Should I Buy An Existing Home, Buy a Made-To-Order Home, or Buy A Custom Home?

When you’re buying a home, there are several options presented to you, though you may not realize it. Most homeowners, particularly first-time homeowners, immediately make the assumption that they must purchase an existing, used home. While this may be a viable option for you, it’s important to understand that it is not the only option that exists. You have the opportunity to purchase an existing/used home, a made-to-order home, or a completely customized home. Each type of home comes with its own ups and downs. Here are just a few distinctions between the three types of homes.


Purchasing an existing home has a few advantages. Generally speaking, it’s one of the cheapest options when purchasing a home. Some other advantages are the fact that you have real house data available such as the cost to heat/cool the home, any major repairs it’s had, and more. mycustomhome You can also see exactly what the house will look like when you take a tour, rather than conjecturing about it. Lastly, it’s one of the fastest options if you are in a hurry to purchase a home. On the downside, purchasing a used home means that there may be certain damage that isn’t visible to even a trained eye. You can have problems such as plumbing issues, water damage, and general wear and tear damage that come from a family living in a home prior to you. Many times these issues can be caught with an inspection, but sometimes they cannot. If you’re planning to live in the home immediately, and for a short time period (i.e. 10 years or less), purchasing an existing/used home may be the option for you.


Building a made-to-order home is a great option if you want to have some flexibility in your home planning. You have the ability to make some changes to the floor plan if you’d like. However, these changes are generally limited to a certain number, so choose wisely. While have a somewhat customized floor plan sounds great, there are some downsides to building this type of home. First, it can be more costly than purchasing a pre-built home and will take more time to build than purchasing an existing home. You must pay for materials and labor, and building homes takes time. On the upside, you have a brand new home that no one else has lived in and that is somewhat customized to meet your needs.


This type of home is literally your “dream” home. You have the option to customize every little detail of the home you want. For this reason, be prepared for a lengthy building process in order to get everything “just right” for you. Some of the benefits of purchasing a custom home is the fact that it is tailored to your exact needs from beginning to end, no one has lived in it before, and you are heavily involved in the building process. Since these homes are “custom”, you can typically expect it to cost more than purchasing a ready-made home. These types of homes are ideal for someone who will be living in the house for more than 10 years, as it requires a lot of time, money, and commitment to build.

As you can see, there are several options to choose from when deciding on purchasing a home. Rather than jump to the first option you see, weigh all the options you are presented with. Find out what your ultimate goal is when you decide to purchase a home, and ask yourself a few questions. How long will you stay in this home? Does custom-built or semi-custom mean something to you? Or are you willing to sacrifice custom features for a home you can live in right away? Buying a home is a large investment, and you should take extra care to make the right decision off the bat.

Ginger Heise is the Director of Operations for Stillbrooke Homes/Bud Bartley Homes. Bud Bartley Homes takes great pride in the value offered to each client. We build in the warmth and comfort, never forgetting that a home is where memories are born. Our building associates are craftsmen, each dedicated to fulfilling your distinctive vision for your custom home and using only the finest in materials and modern building techniques. Privately owned and operated for over thirty years, we are confident that the Bud Bartley team will exceed your home building expectations.

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