Building From The Ground Up: Should You Create The House You Want?

Buying a house is by no means a straightforward process unless you are blessed with the kind of disposable income that allows you to pick and choose at will and leave the legal stuff to others. It’s also frustrating in that you’ll often find that your spending power doesn’t amount to a lot of house. 

When you consider that a million-pound budget in London will pretty much get you a two-bedroom apartment - and most of us don’t have a million pounds nor the borrowing power to get it - it can be downright dispiriting to search for a new home.

building home

So what is the alternative, aside from perpetual renting? Well, you can look around the country and get more bang for your buck if you’re prepared to move, which can work well. Another option is to pay for the land and materials, and set about building your own house. This has more than a few advantages, but it’s obviously going to be a longer project with its own complications. So, should you consider ducking the house-hunt and get to building your own?

Building your own can save you money

It’s hard to conclusively compare the costs of building your own house against those of buying one. There are a lot of variables to consider, but it is broadly agreed that building from scratch - including land, materials and labour - will save you anything up to 30% on the cost of a new house from a developer. You may be able to increase the size of that saving by only building what you need; there is no reason for a family of four to buy a four-bedroom house or larger, but many new developments lean heavily on bigger houses for some reason. If you’re building for yourself, you can tailor it to your needs.

Keep it compact, but not too small

Although recent legislation has opened up planning to allow extra storeys to be added to existing homes, the truth is that few of us need any more than two to accommodate the bedrooms, bathrooms and utility we need. Instead of adding another level that may rarely or never be used, you can use the money for that to add your own style to a new build home. If you need to add a space for a new addition to your family, a loft conversion can be an option. At the same time, it makes little financial sense to build a bungalow - space will inevitably be cramped and your options for development are limited.

When you’ve done it once, you can do it again

An underrated benefit to building your own home is that it brings a level of experience that many people never reach, and if you wish to sell up one day and move elsewhere, you can repeat the things you’ve learned on the first go-round. You can even look further afield and build abroad, where you will often find better deals on land and other costs - and when you’ve built a house yourself, you will also see a significant boost to your profit margin when you come to sell it, as the buyer will be paying for the privilege of a ready-built home.

There are plenty of advantages to building your own house, and when you move in you’ll have the joy of a home that’s really yours. Of course, there are some challenges along the way, but you might find it’s the choice for you.

*Collaborative post

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