Published | Written by Liz Kaye

August 13, 2021

To build or to buy? You might be asking yourself this question when shopping for a place to live. There are several factors that go into deciding which choice is best. In 2021, these factors have changed drastically from those in years past, which makes the decision that much more difficult. Let's break down the pros and cons of building or buying a home in the current 2021 market.


Additional costs can be involved when it comes to building that are not necessarily associated with buying. For starters, anywhere from 30-60% of building costs come from labor and design services. Let's break down each pro and con to see if building a home is the right choice for you.


Full customization: The greatest advantage to building is being able to create the dream home you've always wanted, exactly to your liking. You don't have to settle for certain features or traits that a home does or doesn't have when building. The possibilities are endless.

Location of choice: When building, you can choose exactly where you want your home to reside. Beyond this, you can choose exactly which way your home faces, how much yard space there will be, and how much vegetation will surround it.


Time: Building can take months, or in some cases more than a year. Housing during the construction process has to be considered as well, and this may create extra costs if you are needing to rent or are having to pay two mortgages while you are waiting to move into the new construction.

Inflation: Lumber and materials are inflated around 130% in 2021 compared to 2020. 

Customization Costs: With the freedom of adding unique features adds extra costs. 


Buying a home provides endless opportunities when it comes to different designs and locations, and you don't have to lift a finger. When buying a home, all of the work is already done so you don't have to worry about working up a functional home plan. Homes on the market already have unique character and charm that you might not have been able to design yourself.


Mortgage interest rates: are the lowest that they've been in years. This is saving homebuyers thousands of dollars over time. 

Time: The purchasing process is quick and easy compared to the construction process. You can be in your new home in less than a month with quick closing times.

No Visualization Required: If you aren't very creative or don't know exactly what you want in a home, you can shop until you find exactly what matches your style. There are plenty of homes on the market with different aspects that make each one of them unique in their own way.

Turn-Key: Most homes on the market currently are "turn-key", which means that they are move-in ready with no waiting time on construction.


Set Location: If you fall in love with a house but don't like the location, there's not much you can do. When shopping for a home, you have to find one where both the location and home are ideal to your tastes.

Inflation: Existing homes are selling for 19.5% more today in Missouri than in 2020 and 27.4% compared to 2019.

Modification Costs: If there are certain features lacking in a prospective home, there can be additional costs in order to modify the existing structure, however, this is not necessary. 


Build VS. Buy? The correct answer is different for everyone. Unfortunately, both existing homes and lumber are inflated, but building materials are significantly more expensive. For some, the pros of building outweigh the cons. Customization and complete design freedom outweigh the added costs. For others, buying a move-in ready home seems to be better than having to wait up to a year for a new construction. The choice is ultimately up to you. With these factors considered, does building sound like the better choice for you, or does buying? Either way, there are TONS of great ready-to-build lots and turn-key home options on the market!

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