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To Buy or to Build – That is the Question

Currently, there is a limited number of Albuquerque homes for sale, making the process of buying a home difficult. That could be one reason for building a custom home, but there may be others.

At the same time, there are downsides to consider. You may have unique situations and preferences that make the pros outweigh the cons, but here are some downsides and upsides you should know before making a decision.

The Pros 

Get Exactly What You Want

When you purchase a used house in Albuquerque, there are certain things you have to settle on. Eventually, you’ll likely be able to make changes or updates, but more than likely you won’t get the exact result you want.

With a custom home, you get everything you want. Depending on your lifestyle and taste, you can customize the space to meet your needs. In the meantime, you’ll have to be careful that this doesn’t become a house that’s too specific that you won’t be able to sell it.

Customize Your Location

By building a custom home, you get more than just the house you want. It also allows you to choose where to build. Perhaps you’re interested in buying land where you’ll have no neighbors or where you can have a stunning view of the Sandia Mountains.

Less Maintenance

You typically spend at least some of your free time and money maintaining a home you purchase.

You can save thousands of dollars per year on maintenance when you have a new home. It means you won’t need to make repairs every weekend, and you can spend it doing anything else you want.

You’ll still be liable for some upkeep like making sure the lawn looks great, but much less so than if you buy an older home.

The Cons

It’s Expensive

It is almost always more expensive to build a custom home than to buy an existing home that is comparable. A builder will be necessary, and labor will account for about 40% of expenses. Besides labor and permits, you’ll have to pay for design fees and materials. If you pick the right materials and finishes, you can certainly lower your costs, but it’s hard to get labor costs that much lower than the quote you receive.  

Construction Loans Are Challenging

A construction loan may be needed for building a home. Lenders typically require 20% down payment on construction loans because they consider them higher risk.

When applying for the loan you’ll have to provide the lender not only the documents you’d normally submit, but also the plans for your project, estimated costs, and land value as well. Your lender will need a signed contract, specifications, and timeline for the construction of your project.

Building Can Take a Long Time

A custom home can take a long time to build, which is another downside you’ll need to consider carefully. Building a small, simple house will take at least three months. You should expect it to take up to a year to build a bigger house. Weather conditions or difficulty making decisions can cause delay along the way.

In the end, deciding to build your own custom home in Albuquerque is up to your needs and budget. We can help you decide the best course to take. Call the Sandi Pressley team today to see what your home buying or building options are in Albuquerque.

Contact us today to help you buy or sell your next home in Albuquerque. Looking for the perfect home for sale in Albuquerque? Our easy-to-use home search tool can help you start the process. Join us twice a week on our blog for more real estate advice and great reasons to buy a home in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Follow us on Facebook for the latest Albuquerque real estate updates.


1738 VASILION Place NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120     $275,000

3 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 half) / 1523 Square Feet

Light and bright, with a beautiful open floorplan. Charming warm interior colors with wood and paint accents throughout. The Primary Bedroom is on the ground floor near the cozy fireplace. Tile and bamboo flooring in the common areas. Easy, low maintenance yards with fountains in the front and back; backyard has afternoon shade, accent lighting, and a new block wall for total privacy. Pink and yellow roses bloom along one wall, and can be seen through the living room windows. Tons of extra storage in the finished garage and under stairs. Extra parking, and an anchor chain in the driveway to secure a trailer or RV. Refrigerated air is less than 3 years old, and controlled with a smart thermostat. There are so many little EXTRAS in this house they can’t all fit in the description.

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

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Sandi Pressley

Albuquerque New Mexico Real Estate YOUR SOURCE FOR ALBUQUERQUE REAL ESTATE! Sandi Pressley offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in Albuquerque and surrounding communities in the New Mexico real estate market. Sandi's motto is "Putting You First." Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority. As a native of Albuquerque, Sandi Pressley has been dedicated to serving her client's real estate needs for over 45 years. Sandi has achieved a goal unprecedented by any other Realtor of being the #1 Top Producing Realtor for 38 consecutive years in all of Albuquerque as well as the entire state of New Mexico. She is also the #1 Top Producing Realtor for the entire Western Region and 8th in the Nation with Coldwell Banker National. Sandi Pressley serves the entire Albuquerque New Mexico real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Rio Rancho, Placitas, Corrales, Bernalillo, Northeast Heights, North Albuquerque Acres, Sandia Heights, High Desert, Foothills, Four Hills, UNM, Nob Hill, Ridgecrest area, Uptown area, North Valley, Northwest Heights, Paradise Hills, South Valley, Southwest Heights, Bosque Farms, Los Lunas, Cedar Crest, Tijeras, and all East Mountain areas. Whether you are considering buying a home, selling a home or both, we know these areas inside and out.

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