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To Buy or To Build?

The biggest question perhaps that most people face when they want to have their first home is ‘To Buy or to Build?’

Aspiring home owners or those that are already property owners and want to acquire new homes generally look for convenience, personal taste, satisfaction and cost.

Buying a Home

Generally, research indicates that it is cheaper to buy a home than build one especially in the urban centres where the cost of land is higher.

Buying a home comes with a host of benefits especially for those who are in a tight schedule and may not have the time to supervise or follow up the processes of building a home from the ground up.

It also helps homeowners settle very fast especially if they just got a job in a new area and need to hit the ground running in matters work.

Another benefit also comes when the homeowner happens to have school-going children who should be reporting to school as soon as the school calendars indicate.

But one of the major advantages of buying a home is that it offers the owners convenience to facilities they wish to be around like schools, hospitals, work and perhaps a favorite work-out spot.

Additionally, it makes one have the choice of staying next to friends, family members or colleagues for convenience and personal satisfaction or closeness.

While that looks awesome, the home might not meet your expectations and worse still, it may lack the capacity for expansion or modification. These worries may be a bathroom placed in a place you exactly do not want it to be, a small balcony or kitchen which offers no room for remodeling.

Another problem with buying homes is that one needs to spend time repairing from broken curtain rods, replacing bathtubs, kitchen sinks and other hidden costs that come with bought homes.

Building from Ground Up

On the other hand, building a home from scratch offers plenty of freedom in the structure, and general customization of the building. You actually get what you want when you decide to build your home instead of buying.

A new home presents the owner with fewer maintenance cost and repairs and replacements. Built homes also tend to have a higher resale value than the older buildings that have been occupied for years.

Additionally, building a home generally gives you the opportunity to start on a clean slate. You, therefore, do not have to deal with odours from the ceiling or unhygienic asbestos roofs because you have the choice to decide on the more advanced green technologies.

On the flip side, building a house is associated with higher costs ranging from buying land, paying for the labour, buying the materials and enduring the processing of paperwork associated with land and new constructions.

It also takes time from the period when construction starts to the day you actually move in.

Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya


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