The choice between building a home and buying a home can feel daunting.
If you build, you have total control over where you live and your home’s features. Buying can be more budget-friendly, but in exchange you will probably find yourself compromising. You might find a home in the area you want, but you may not like the layout. You might find a home with the perfect layout, but the commute is much farther than you’d planned.
Building a custom home means you get everything you want. You choose the land; you choose the landscaping; you choose your home’s style, size, and layout. For those searching for a “forever” home rather than a “for now” home, building seems like the clear choice.
However, there are still concerns that hold people back. These include budget, timeframe, and the stress of choosing the right home builder. We hope the following pieces of information will lay some of these worries about home building in Calgary to rest.
It costs between $125 and $195 per square foot to build a new, detached home in Calgary (1). This price, of course, depends on the options you choose. If your dream home includes expensive flooring and high-end fixtures, you’re going to need a bigger budget. This estimate also does not include the interest you would pay on a loan or the amount you would pay to purchase land.
By the time you factor these in, the cost would be closer to that of buying a home, which is around $310 per square foot (2).
A custom home is often cheaper because you are building exactly what you want from the beginning. If you move into a home that someone else designed, it will not be a perfect fit for you. You may spend money on something small, like organization. You may spend money on something big, like knocking down a wall or adding on extra space.
There is also the fact that you would be purchasing an older home to consider. It will be unlikely to include a warranty, and general home repairs will crop up sooner. This is simply because the roof, windows, HVAC system, etc. are older. Average annual upkeep of a home amounts to around $3,192 per year, and for older homes that amount is likely to be greater (3).
It can, in fact, be cheaper to build on your own land rather than buying a home.
Some would argue that building a new home and using new materials is guaranteed to hurt the environment. However, there are a few flaws in this blanket statement.
First of all, if you build your own home, you have the option of adding green features. Choose a company that is familiar with building LEED certified homes (4). This means that your home could include features such as water-saving toilets, energy-efficient lightbulbs, and solar panels.
Additionally, you can build your home on what LEED calls a “sustainable site.” Infill homes are gaining in popularity because they use existing space within a developed area (5). Infill homes may be built on small, unused lots between buildings, or they may be built on the site of a derelict building.
Opting for a home within a city also means you will have better access to eco-friendly public transportation and bike paths.
It’s important to have a good relationship with your builder. They’ll be handling one of the most important projects of your life, and you will be working together for quite a while. Look for a company with excellent communication skills and stellar reviews from previous customers (6). Choosing a custom home company that has everything in house, from designers and architects to laborers and more, can save you the headache of trying to piece these elements together yourself (7).
If you decide to build on an infill property because you like the eco-friendly aspect, that is to be commended. However, you may dream of a big backyard and decide to build on an acreage instead. The right builder should be able to walk you through the steps to building a house on an acreage in Calgary.
A brief overview would include finding the right property (taking into account property slope, access to utilities, water supply, etc.), ensuring it is zoned for residential use, designing the home, pulling permits, and, of course, construction.
If you are on a time crunch, you may opt to purchase a home that is pre-owned or, at the least, move-in ready. Some home buyers prefer to get the challenge of finding a home out of the way and then tweaking the space as needed. After all, it takes an average of 9 months to build a custom home (8).
However, if you can make the timeframe work, the wait is always worth it. Nothing compares to having a home that is in the perfect location, reflects your style, and fulfills your family’s needs from the moment you move in. Nothing compares to having a home that is truly your own.
In a survey of over 6,000 homeowners, Houzz discovered that home design influenced the happiness of approximately 87% of participants (9). If you are in charge of your home design from the start, it’s a pretty good bet that you will love your home for years to come.
Reborn Renovations serves Calgary homeowners in all facets of renovation, remodeling, and homebuilding. Take a look at our project gallery to get a sense of the quality of our work. We offer financing and an in person show room, (and are in the process of putting together a second in-person showroom) so you can begin visualizing your new, custom-built home.
We have satisfied customers throughout the Calgary area, connections with realtors, and a designer on staff.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you build your dream home on acreage or an infill space.