How much does it cost to build a house? According to data from the National Association of Home Builders, the median price of constructing a single-family home is $289,415, or $103 per square foot.

What about the cost of buying an existing home? The latest figures state that the median price of buying a current single-family house is $223,000. 

With an existing home, you will most likely want to change certain aspects to fit your personal needs and desires. When paying for added material and labor costs, you might think that building a home was the better option.

Still can’t decide? Continue reading for the pros and cons of buying an existing home. 


  1. Landscaping – A significant perk of older homes is mature landscaping with large trees and established plantings. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that strategically placed mature trees add tens of thousands of dollars to a property’s value and save up to 56 percent on annual air-conditioning costs.
  2. Provides Context to Your Purchase – Research the home’s previous sale prices and prices of similar homes in the area. Get a grasp if the prices in your area are rising or falling. If the home prices in your area are steadily increasing, there is a higher chance the trend will continue. This is good news if you decide to sell later on.
  3. Less Expensive – Buying an existing home is less expensive than building a brand new home. If you’re working on a tight budget, buying an existing home will give you more for your money. The average sale price of an existing home is approximately $278,000, roughly $60,000 less than the cost of new construction.
  4. Negotiation – There is a greater opportunity for negotiations when purchasing an existing property, which can often result in an even lower price. This option is rarely available with new construction.
  5. Quality – In some cases, newly constructed homes have inferior quality to existing homes. Many times, a house built in 1950 will be a higher quality made home than one nowadays, especially if the home has been updated. Buying an existing home is simple; what you see is what you get. Also, many older homes have more architectural detail and charm compared to newer homes.
  6. Property Taxes – Older homes come with a lower tax burden for the owner in comparison to newer homes. 


  1. Outdated Home Features – Outdated features and appliances of the home may overall increase the total cost of the house. The latest U.S. Census found that the median age of American houses to be 36 years. Older construction means dated windows and appliances—dollars flying out the window on wasted energy expense. Older homes have more wear and tear, which means certain things may need more maintenance. The cost of upkeep can become expensive. Make sure you know the age of the main items, such as the HVAC system, roof, plumbing, etc. Repairs should be minimal, and buyers should be able to address them as time and finances allow. Depending on the age of the home, you should have the property inspected beforehand. Allow for the cost of future repairs and renovations to be considered in the total cost of the purchase.
  2. No Initial Customization – If you were to build your own home, you would get the opportunity to customize it during the building process. Buying an existing home eliminates the chance to make it your own initially.
  3. Less Energy Efficient – Newer homes are more likely to be energy efficient compared to older homes. They are built with newer building materials, better insulation, and state-of-the-art technology. Older homes tend to be less energy efficient, which leads to higher monthly expenditures for the new owners. 
  4. Homeowners Insurance – Homeowner’s insurance on a newer home should be less expensive compared to an older property. The building will be unique and updated to current standards. Insurance on older homes is more costly and may be more challenging to secure.


Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference along with the budget you have to work with for your new home. The cost of buying an existing home and building your own can vary, depending on your personal preferences and desires. 

When building your own house, there are several costs associated with the process to consider:

  • Walls, windows, doors, and roofing
  • Interior finishes such as cabinets, flooring, and countertops
  • Mechanical, such as plumbing and heating
  • Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms to build
  • Architect and engineer drawings 
  • Cost of a plot of land to build on 
  • Excavation and foundation work 
  • A building permit
  • Land inspections
  • An impact fee, levied by the government to cover the costs of a new home will incur on public services like electricity and waste removal

Building your dream home is expensive, yet you will have the power to customize it with quality design, however you please while being more energy-efficient. With purchasing an older home, the repair and maintenance of the building can add up costs making it more expensive than you’d like to have spent on your home. 

All in all, the decision is yours. At MK Homes, we want you to live in your dream home. 


If you do decide to build, MK Homes will customize your dream home to you and your family’s lives with the highest construction standards. We have detailed our construction standards and our homes are comfortable and convenient for you. 

We build each home to Energy Star 3 Standards, and our homeowners see measurable savings on their energy costs. They can feel the difference in home quality every day. 

Are you ready to start your home building journey? Regardless if you’re looking for a larger or smaller home, have land or don’t, MK Homes can help you.

Contact a member of our team to talk with us about this exciting process by calling 724-206-9741.