Buying vs Building a New Home in Florida: Pros & Cons 2024

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Ready to move to the Sunshine State and wondering whether it’s better to buy an existing home or construct a brand new one? You’ve come to the right place! Below we’re going to take you through the pros and cons of each option and the other essential things to think about before making that all-important decision.

Buying a Home in Florida

In the red corner: buying a home in Florida. Here are the pros of going down this route.

  • It’s generally a much quicker and easier process: you’ll have those keys in your hands quicker.
  • You’ll actually be able to view the property before committing any money to purchasing it.
  • While in some parts of the US, it works out as cheaper to build rather than buy a home, in Florida it’ll cost you less, on average, to purchase a home rather than construct your own.

That last point may have surprised you and demonstrates (again) that, when it comes to property, it really is location, location, location. In Florida, you’ll pay around $254,000 for a single-family home, whereas the cost to build a single-family home comes in at about $314,000.

Now let’s take a look at the cons of buying a home in Florida:

  • If you’re looking for a very specific type of property or one with very particular features or amenities, you may not find it on the market in the area you want.
  • If the property you purchase requires renovations or alterations, the costs may come in as higher than building your own home.

Building a New Home in Florida

And in the blue corner: constructing your own home in the Sunshine State. Here are the advantages of choosing this option.

  • You can create your dream home that’s exactly to your specifications.
  • The ongoing maintenance costs of newly constructed homes are likely to be significantly lower than those of older properties.
  • You can ensure your new home is as energy-efficient as possible: great for the environment and your wallet.

That all sounds good! But what about the cons of building a new home in Florida? Let’s check these out now.

  • In Florida, it’s often more expensive to build a home rather than purchasing an existing property.
  • You’ll have to wait a while to move into your new home: construction can take time, and it’s possible to run into snags and problems along the way.
  • The process may be complex and incorporate a steep learning curve; you’re likely to spend a significant amount of time planning, overseeing, and managing the build.

Other Things to Consider

As well as the above advantages and disadvantages of each option, there are several other key things to consider. For example, when deciding whether to buy or build a home in Florida, it’s essential to think long-term to assess the resale value. While this may not be so much of an issue if you’re planning on this being your ‘forever’ home, if it’s to be an investment property, or if you know you’re likely to move again within the next five years, it’s a vital consideration.

Think carefully, too, about location. Check that the area will support the lifestyle you’d like to live: are there schools, shops, or leisure facilities within walking distance, for example? What are the transport links like? And the crime rate? It’s highly recommended to visit the area as many times as possible, and at different times of the day, to get the best idea of what it’d really be like to live there.

Whether you choose to build or buy a property in Florida, don’t forget to take out a home insurance policy. You would need to make sure you have a personal liability home insurance element under your homeowner’s insurance coverage. In general home insurance protects your stuff and the structure of your property whereas the personal liability element means that if a visitor suffers an accident or a cleaner gets injured while in your home, you’ll likely be covered. This could be especially pertinent if you decide to build a property, or have renovations carried out on an existing one, as you’ll probably have a range of contractors on-site undertaking work.

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Building a Strong Foundation

It may surprise you, but building a home in Florida may be more expensive than buying an existing one. However, home is where the heart is, and it’s not all about cold, hard cash. Constructing your own property allows you to create the home you dream of in an area of Florida that you love. You may well also find that the maintenance and running costs of a newly constructed home are significantly less than those associated with an existing property. While you can use the guide above to help you make a choice, ultimately the right option for you will come down to your budget, preferences, and longer-term plans.