I Can’t Afford to Build – Builder Myths

May 6, 2019

Don’t assume that building is going to be out of your wheelhouse, even if you have a tight budget.  There are more horror stories about buyers settling on a used home only to discover that they must replace floors, appliances, garage doors, etc. just shortly after they move in.

The beauty of owning a new home is that you have a new home warranty.  Because you have selected everything from the beginning, you won’t have to rip out and replace stained carpet or broken cabinets.  If something does happen to go wrong, your builder warranty will cover damages.  (It’s important to know how much of your warranty IS covered though, different builders offer different levels of coverage.)  With Overstreet Builders, you won’t have to worry about additional expenses with warranty items.  And you can count on having reliable finishes in your home for years to come.  You shouldn’t have to replace anything for a very long time.

Buyers often jump to the conclusion that a used home will be cheaper… and up front there can be truth to that.  Until they discover that over the next ten years they will replace or repair almost all of the finishes and appliances, in addition to adding features that they didn’t get when they first purchased (opening walls because the floor plan was too closed in, settling with stained trim and having to repaint all of the their trim to make their home look more current, etc.)  Homeowners can easily rack up $30,000 in costs in 10 years of living in a used home making updates and replacing things that break.

You might pay a little more up front when building, but the “unknowns” don’t pop up demanding immediate attention both physically and financially.  Comparatively speaking, after about 10 years a new home versus a used home may end up costing just about the same… only you will have spent half of your free time fixing, shopping or hiring someone to make repairs and updates in your used home.

I have recently rented a home in Naperville from a couple who purchased it as an investment property.  The home is 33 years old.  Before I moved in they:

-          Replaced all trim / doors in the home

-          Replaced the dishwasher and microwave

-          Patched and painted most walls

-          Replaced an entire bathroom, including cabinets, countertops, mirrors, flooring, tub, lighting and toilet.

-          Replaced everything except for the tub in a 2nd bathroom

-          Painted cabinets in the kitchen, replaced hardware and upgraded to a granite countertop

-          Replaced some light fixtures

-          Replaced locks on windows

-          Replaced the front door

I’m sure they did more, but those were the things I could noticeably see when I moved in.

After I moved in they:

-          Replaced the refrigerator because it had mold and wouldn’t get cold

-          Replaced the washer and dryer

-          Replaced the back sliding door

-          They are planning to replace the HVAC system

-          They plan to replace the windows

In my opinion, they also need to:

-          Fix part of the decking, which is leaning

-          Replace the stove (one burner doesn’t work and the oven doesn’t heat well)

-          Give the lawn some care (there are a bunch of dirt patches)

-          Replace the carpet in the whole house

-          There are plenty of squeaky floors that could use some attention

-          There are two skylights that need some care, they look like they are going to fall into the dining room.


By the time that all of this work is complete, they will probably have spent $20,000 more on the home than a comp down the street.  And all of that work still doesn’t make the home brand new or give it a warranty.

Don’t let this myth put you in a situation that lands you in a “project”.  You want your next home to really be move in ready WITHOUT having to upgrade or fix anything for years!