The two major minuses of contracting for a custom-built home are money and time. You will undoubtedly spend more money to purchase a custom-built home than you would to buy an existing home. The additional costs begin with the hiring of an architect and the creation of blueprints, a step that is unnecessary to purchase an existing home. You may need to purchase the land and demolish an existing structure, again money that would not be spent in purchasing an existing home. Finally, you probably will want certain more expensive materials for your home. This all adds up to additional cost for the custom-built home.
Time is the other problem in building a home. It is not just that you and your family are anxious to move into your dream home, but time costs money. From the date you sign the contract with the builder, time becomes your enemy. You may need to sell your existing home in order to get the funds to build a new home; in a buyer’s market this may mean a significant delay. In some areas were there is significant rehabbing and building, your builder may spend time waiting for demolition to be complete, permits to be obtained, materials to arrive, and crews to become available. Then there are the expected but unforeseen delays that happen to every construction site that will cause additional time delays before your home is completed.
Now here is the scary part, in a market where home prices are dropping, once your custom home is finally ready for occupancy it may be worth less than what you contracted to pay for it way back when you initially signed the builder’s contract. For years this scenario was unheard of; however, during the current economic correction of housing prices, the more time between signing that contract and actually taking possession, the more likely this will happen.