When you are ready to purchase a home and you are contemplating if you want to buy or build, there are some important things you may want to take into consideration. Your budget is the most important thing, but you want to talk with a real estate agent about some other things as well.
First you want a real estate agent to send you some listings of houses in the area that meet the criteria of what you want. Then you should price out a new home and lot with a local builder, which can also be managed through your agent. Compare these options and think of these things.
Are there houses in the area that have what you want? If there are, it may be financially smarter to buy an existing house that isn't newly constructed. If you can't find anything that you want, and if you are struggling to see yourself living in any of the listings that you have been sent, there may not be any purchase options that are possible.
Cost to Renovate
Would the cost to renovate a house be more than what you would spend if you were to build a new home? Are the costs for renovations worth the expense, or are you going to put more into the property than you would see if you had the house appraised after the work is done? You don't want a house you spent more money on than it's actually worth.
Compare Build Costs to Sale Costs
If there are any houses for sale that have been constructed in the last couple of years, see if they are selling for the value that the house was purchased from the builder. This way you can know if you are going to instantly hold the same value as you put into the new house, or if building in your area may not be the best option at that time.
There are a lot of different pros and cons with building a new house and purchasing a house that is already existing, what you want and how much you want to spend should affect your decision. Start working with a real estate agent to see what options you have around you, what lots are available if you want to build a home, and what builders are known for building houses in the area and in your price range.