Buying vs Building: Pros and Cons

My last post focused on the pros and cons of buying and renting. Considering that I’m in the process of building now and still constantly weighing up my decisions daily, I decided to also analyze the same for the building and buying process for others who may be weighing up their options. So here they are: the drawbacks and benefits to building and buying.

Pros Of Buying An Existing Building

  • Less costly (time and money!)

This may be the most glaringly obvious benefit to buying a turnkey property. Whether financing out of pocket or through a loan, building can tie up your cash for a long period of time initially, whereas a turnkey property allows you to move in quicker and spread your payments out over a longer period of time, allowing you to allocate your cash to other responsibilities or investments in the meantime.

  • Less stress

Buying a property that’s move-in-ready eliminates a lot of stress and anxiety of making sure that all the boxes are checked yourself. For example, building requires multiple inspection stages and certificates which would have already been covered when moving into an existing building.

  • Update at your own pace

Moving into an already-built property doesn’t restrict you to stay within those boundaries forever. You can still make personalized updates if and when you have the time, patience and funds.

Cons Of Buying an Existing Building

  • Maintenance issues:

Building a home yourself can give you some reassurance that it should be a while before you need to start repairing and updating old fixtures. Unfortunately when purchasing a building, particularly older ones, you may start to discover major repairs that have been neglected for many years and need urgent attention with a hefty repair bill.

  • Settling for someone else’s style:

When building on your own, you can tailor it to the most current market trends and add your own style and preferences into the building from the get-go. It can be costly and frustrating to go back and make these adjustments later.

  • Less modern:

These days, new builds are often sold with smart home technology included. Technology itself aside, many older homes are less energy efficient. Both of these factors can increase your ongoing costs such as modernization and energy bills, even if only in slight increments.

Pros Of Building

  • Customization and equity:

Even the least creative people like myself can enjoy the customization and creative freedom that comes with building your own home. Particularly when you already have a certain picture in mind, building is a straighter road to bring that vision to life. In the process, you’ll also significantly increase your equity in the property which can be useful later on (keep an eye out for more on this in a future blog post!).

  • Less ongoing maintenance

As previously mentioned, a brand new building should present less maintenance issues and subsequent expenses - at least at first!

  • Peace of mind

Similarly to the previous point, a new building may give you more of a peace of mind when it comes to withstanding natural disasters, for example, considering that newer buildings are required to be built to higher standards.

Cons Of Building

  • Financing:

Whatever way you put it, building is expensive. Land loans and construction loans are both notoriously difficult to obtain with higher interest rates, and the average person isn’t in the financial situation to build out of pocket. As we’ve seen in the past two years, the cost of building materials can also fluctuate significantly and present some overwhelming unexpected costs.

  • Delays:

Another thing we’ve witnessed particularly in the past two years are delays caused by sudden shipping issues and supply chain shortages which can throw off the planned timeline for building while driving up costs. In a tropical climate like The Bahamas, you can also experience sudden weather issues which can push the job back for weeks unexpectedly.

  • More time and stress:

While buying a turnkey home has its own stresses, building is a much more prolonged process which can cause significant stress for a long period of time. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but this is why the rewards can be so huge!

With so many variables, it’s difficult to say whether buying or building is objectively better than the other. It really comes down to what aligns best with each individual’s circumstances and preferences. Conflicted on which route you should take? Send me an email at so that we can map out your real estate goals and bring them to life together.

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