The Build vs. Buy Debate

Deciding whether to buy an existing house or build a new one? It’s a big choice and there’s a lot to consider. This “build vs. buy” choice shapes your planning process, as well as how happy you’ll be with your home. In today’s market, buying an older home might seem cost-effective initially, but the expenses of updates and repairs can quickly add up. These unexpected costs often outweigh the initial savings.

In contrast, building or buying a new construction home offers a fresh start with minimal maintenance. New construction homes allow you to enjoy the benefits of modern and efficient features without the hidden costs.

As a Florida home builder, we know firsthand that new construction homes aren’t just about looking good—they’re designed for today’s lifestyle. They offer features like better energy efficiency, the chance to customize your space, and the latest in-home tech. So, let’s break down the “build vs. buy” debate and show you why a new construction home might just be the perfect fit for your life in the Sunshine State.

couple receiving keys from realtor after buying new construction home

Deciding to Build vs. Buy a House in Florida

When it comes to settling down in Florida, the decision between building a new home or purchasing an existing one involves several important factors. The state’s diverse communities, continuous growth, especially in regions like Ocala and North Port, and its unique Florida lifestyle living make it a great place to live. Here’s what to consider when deciding whether to build or buy a home in Florida:


Build vs. Buy Key Consideration: Location & Lifestyle

Choosing between building a new home and buying an existing one often hinges on the aspects of location and lifestyle. These are crucial in determining your overall satisfaction with your home. When you build a new home, you have the flexibility to choose not just the lot but often the community that aligns with your lifestyle preferences, whether that’s near top schools, close to nature, or within an active neighborhood that offers amenities like pools, parks, and community centers.

ariel view of a Residential neighborhood of new construction homes

On the other hand, buying an existing home often means adapting to the pre-established norms and conditions of the area. While you might find a home in a mature neighborhood with established trees and closer proximity to urban centers, you may have to compromise on modern features or face potential renovation needs.

For those looking to tailor their environment to fit their lifestyle, building a home provides a level of customization that buying simply cannot match. This is particularly beneficial in Florida, where new developments are designed with lifestyle in mind—think resort-style pools, community events, and eco-friendly living spaces. Conversely, the charm and convenience of an existing neighborhood might appeal more to those who value traditional settings and quicker move-ins.


Financial Considerations in the Build vs Buy Debate

In Florida, the decision between building a new home and purchasing an older one carries significant cost implications. As of 2024, the median price to build a home in Florida is around $415,000, compared to $412,100 for an existing single-family home in the US. Although the initial cost of a new home is higher, these homes are generally more energy-efficient, which can lead to long-term savings in utility and maintenance costs. Additionally, new homes may offer lower insurance rates and are less likely to require immediate repairs or renovations, which are common with older properties. On the other hand, the charm and potential lower purchase price of an older home can be appealing, but potential buyers should be mindful of the additional costs for updates and repairs that such homes frequently require.

attractive young couple making renovations to their home

Considerations When Buying an Older Home

In 2024, the market dynamics have shifted, making older homes less attractive due to the costly upgrades and renovations.  Beyond cosmetic renovations, older homes often need updates to their systems to meet modern energy standards and living expectations. These upgrades can lead to unexpected expenses and complications. When purchasing an older home, potential buyers should be prepared for extensive renovations, which can vary significantly based on the property’s condition. Below are several common major renovations that you might need to consider:

Structural Repairs:

Older homes can have issues like foundational weaknesses, sagging beams, or overall structural decline, all of which need to be addressed through repairs to ensure the home remains safe and structurally sound. These repairs can be extensive and very costly. For basic fixes to the foundation, you might be looking at shelling out between $2,000 and $7,000. But if things are really bad, those costs can climb significantly. And those sagging beams or floor joists? Fixing those might involve propping them up temporarily or even replacing them outright, which can cost you anywhere from $1,000 to a steep $10,000, depending on just how much work needs to be done and what materials you go for.

Then there’s the broader issue of structural deterioration—think everything from cracked walls to supports that are giving way. Addressing these problems can be a major undertaking that might run you more than $10,000, especially if the damage is extensive. All this goes to show why it’s so important to get a thorough inspection when buying an older home and to plan your budget not just for upfront costs but for potential major repairs down the line.

Construction worker on renovation roof the house installed new shingles

Roof Replacement:

When it comes to older homes, it’s not uncommon to find that the roof has seen better days. Replacing a roof goes beyond just swapping out old shingles—it often involves tackling the underlying decking and even the structural supports, which can be quite the renovation project. On average, you’re looking at a cost of around $9,117 to replace a roof, but it can range anywhere from $6,700 to $25,000 for larger or more complex jobs. For just the decking, costs can range from $35 to $45 per sheet during a roofing job. It’s a hefty investment but essential for preserving your home’s integrity and safety.


Electrical System Overhaul:

Outdated electrical systems not only struggle to handle modern loads but can also be safety hazards. Upgrading the electrical wiring, panels, and sometimes the entire system is necessary. Costs for these upgrades can vary widely. For example, upgrading an electrical panel can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $3,000 for a basic 200-amp panel. More comprehensive rewiring projects can extend far beyond, sometimes exceeding $8,000, depending on the size of the house and the complexity of the work required.

Plumbing Updates:

Old plumbing can be prone to leaks, clogs, or even lead contamination if the pipes are very old. Renovating these systems typically involves replacing outdated pipes and modernizing fixtures and connections. The cost of such renovations can vary significantly: minor updates might start around $175 to $325, while comprehensive replacements can range from $1,500 to over $4,000, especially if extensive work is required to update the plumbing infrastructure.

plumbing issues when building vs buying a home

HVAC System Replacement:

In Florida, where the climate demands reliable cooling and heating solutions, outdated HVAC systems in older homes can be inefficient or completely non-functional. Replacing these systems is crucial for improving both energy efficiency and living comfort. The cost of upgrading an HVAC system in Florida typically ranges between $3,800 and $7,900, but complex installations or additional repairs could drive costs even higher.


Building a New Home in Florida in 2024

Building a home in Florida in 2024 presents a range of costs that vary depending on several factors, including location, materials, and the complexity of the design. On average, prospective homeowners can expect to spend between $270,000 to $560,000 to construct a new house. This cost generally does not include the price of land or site preparation, which can significantly increase the overall expense.

Couple building their own home

The price per square foot for constructing a new home in Florida typically ranges from $150 to over $280. This variation is largely influenced by the specific region within Florida, as well as the quality and luxury level of the materials chosen and the house’s design. For example, building in urban areas or popular coastal regions may be at the higher end of this range due to higher land costs and stricter building codes.

Additionally, when considering the total cost, it’s important to factor in expenses such as permits and fees, which can add thousands to the budget. For those looking to build in Florida, it’s crucial to plan for these variations and possibly extended construction timelines due to permitting time constraints.

Building vs. Buying a Home: Benefits of Buying New Construction in Florida

When weighing building vs. buying a home in Florida, the benefits of new construction homes are clear. You’ll enjoy a modern design, better energy efficiency, and hardly any repair needs right off the bat. Built with the latest standards for efficiency and safety, new construction homes provide peace of mind and savings on maintenance and utilities. Whether you’re building from the ground up or purchasing a move-in ready new build, opting for new construction minimizes stress. It’s a smart move to make for lasting satisfaction and great value.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

New Florida single-family homes, particularly our Homes by Deltona, are designed with sustainability in mind. Our homes offer quality construction with modern materials and energy-efficient systems that not only adhere to the latest environmental standards but also significantly reduce energy consumption. By focusing on energy efficiency, homeowners can save money on their utility bills and do their part for the environment—it’s a win-win for your wallet and the planet.

Reduced Maintenance and Repair Costs

One of the compelling benefits of buying new construction homes in Florida is the reduced need for maintenance and repairs. Everything from appliances to roofing is brand new and under warranty, which diminishes the frequent maintenance demands that older homes often require. This aspect of new homes offers homeowners peace of mind and long-term savings, as the initial years in a new home rarely need major repairs or replacements.


New Build Home Warranty

New construction homes in Florida are typically backed by a 10-year structural warranty. This warranty is designed to protect homeowners against major structural issues that could affect the integrity of the home. It’s an assurance from builders that reflects the quality and durability of their work. At Homes by Deltona, we are proud to offer a 10-Year Maverick Warranty. This warranty not only provides security but also underscores our commitment to quality that is a hallmark of new construction homes.

buy vs build a house in florida

 Build vs Buy Debate: Considering Custom Homes

When deciding between building a custom home and purchasing a new construction home, it’s important to consider the costs and customization options available. Typically, buying a new construction home will be more cost-effective than building a custom home from scratch. This affordability stems from several factors:


Economies of Scale:

Builders constructing multiple homes in a development often receive discounts on materials and labor, and these savings are passed on to the buyer. This makes new construction homes generally less expensive per square foot compared to custom-built homes.


While custom homes offer nearly limitless customization at every step, new construction homes also provide a variety of customization options. Buyers can often choose from different floor plans, finishes, and other upgrades, allowing for personalization without the premium price of a fully custom design.

Time and Convenience:

Building a custom home can take a significant amount of time, often requiring months or even years to complete. In contrast, new construction homes are typically built on a faster timeline and are ready for quicker occupancy, which can be a crucial factor for buyers with time constraints.


Overall, while building a custom home offers an opportunity to tailor every aspect to personal tastes, purchasing a new construction home provides a practical balance of customization, cost-effectiveness, and convenience, making it a great option for homebuyers.

new construction homes for sale in florida
Time and Convenience:

Building a custom home can take a significant amount of time, often requiring months or even years to complete. In contrast, new construction homes are typically built on a faster timeline and are ready for quicker occupancy, which can be a crucial factor for buyers with time constraints.

Overall, while building a custom home offers an opportunity to tailor every aspect to personal tastes, purchasing a new construction home provides a practical balance of customization, cost-effectiveness, and convenience, making it a great option for homebuyers.


Let Us Help You Answer the Build vs. Buy a Home Question!

Deciding where to live in Florida and whether to build a new home or buy an existing one involves careful consideration of many factors. This build vs. buy a home debate hinges on lifestyle, cost, and long-term goals. With Homes by Deltona, you can rest assured of quality and value, whether you choose to live in Sunny Hills, Citrus Springs, or any of the other vibrant communities we offer. As Florida continues to grow, our communities provide a solid foundation for establishing a fulfilling life in the Sunshine State. Contact us today for more information about our new construction homes and how to call Florida home!