A Tale of Two Options (To Build or Not To Build?)

Real Estate

Yes, I know what I did there in the title, and yes, I know it was shameless. (And yes, I know that's Dickens and Shakespeare, and that they don't go together.

But in a seller's market like this one (when sellers have greater bargaining power, due to a shortage of properties for sale), a buyer's thoughts do naturally turn to other options-- especially after missing out on property after property that just sells too quickly or too high for them to catch it. (It is the best of times and the worst of times...)

Frustrations rise. I recently received a series of irate texts from an agent whose sellers missed out on putting in an offer on one of my properties when it sold within a few days of listing. His plight earned my sympathy-- I've certainly been in similar situations-- but nothing could have been done differently on our end. The buyers who ended up with an accepted offer had put up their highest and best right from the beginning, with a net amount $6,000 above the listing price. Their agent understood the market well, too, and had made sure to write a very clean, straightforward offer with no hassles for the sellers.

Hand Holding Light Bulb

But clients on the (repeated) losing end of these encounters start hearing from their friends: "Have you ever considered building? Or would that just be too much trouble?"

We have a couple of nice residential lots listed for sale this spring, one of them located in a particularly desirable neighborhood overlooking the Mississippi River Valley. If you spend a morning walking the scenic trails nestled in the surrounding wooded bluff country, you'll be immediately struck by the creativity in these houses-- the vast range of styles (and all of them beautifully designed) spread out along these winding roads. Craftsman beams, contemporary openness, prairie lines, farmhouse porches-- each lovingly set into hillsides and atop ridges at precise angles best suited to their architecture. Even the landscaping-- whether natural or more structured-- fits each home in such a way that it looks "tucked in," almost as though the house had grown there on its own.

Building a home offers all these things to a homeowner, including the bonus of not having the house sell out from under them.

When is it time to consider building a home? That's not an easy question to answer, so I thought I'd direct you to a few useful sources to get you started, if you're one such buyer.

Black Baby Chicken

The first article compares the pros and cons of buying and building, and it's quite readable:

Should You Buy Or Build A Home?

The second article takes a negative view of home-building, so if you're already determined to build, you may want to skip this one:

Five Reasons Why You Should Not Build A New Home

A third article that leans more toward the "build it" side of this decision is from a few years back, but the concepts still apply today and can help you figure out if you're a good candidate for a home-building option:

Buying A House? Three Reasons To Build It Yourself

As always, I recommend contacting a real estate professional (and as always, I recommend contacting me, specifically) to discuss your options when you've started thinking about a new home, whether you're going to buy, sell, build, or a combination of all three. My easy home search/property value estimate tool is the link below; feel free to enter your search information and see what comes up in the areas you most want to buy (or sell). You will have to type in your contact information in order to have a report sent to you, but it goes directly to me, not to a data bank.

How Much Is This Property Worth?

Posted by L. Lathrop, for Jim Burns