So you’ve finally saved enough money that you are now torn from buying a house from house developers or build your own house.
We hope this post will help you weigh your decisions. We will try to keep this as direct to the point as possible but at the same time, educational and informative.
Buying a built house and building a house both have their advantages and disadvantages. And for us to be on the same page, we will compare the pros and cons of buying a house from developers and building it on your own.
For context, we’ve worked with developers from the past and we know for sure that they have huge profit in doing so. But then again, they offer amenities, fenced community with security guards roving around. So, would you rather buy a constructed house or build it yourself?
Advantages of building your own house
Design at Your Preference
Well, this would be the main reason why people opt to build their own homes. They can design it how they want. With the help of the Architect to help put it into plans, you will be able to do make use of every tiny space however you want it.
Even more, the lot that you just purchased may not be a perfect rectangle, thus, the space and dimensions your house requires is different from the common house’s rectangular or square dimensions. The point is, you can design your house at your heart’s content if you choose to build your own house.
Value for Money
Since, you will be overseeing the project from time to time, you are sure that you get what you have paid for. Do not confuse this with saving money, as this would still require you to get a knowledgeable contractor. Don’t be fooled and check this to know how to determine a good contractor.
What we are trying to say is, you have the last say as the client. You can tick some design, say, incorporate energy efficient friendly design like skylights, bigger windows, wall, and ceiling insulations to save electricity. Plant some trees to make outside air cooler.
Can Implement Strict Quality Control
Don’t get us wrong, we do not mean here that developers do not implement quality control and assurance. But, the quality control would always mean different if it is your own house construction we are talking to. House developers, especially the big ones, have complete set of professionals to ensure its construction quality, since it is their brand that is at stake. But then, these professionals are not supervising only one house projects, but tens, fifty’s even sometimes hundreds (for low-cost projects) of them. It would just be truly difficult to strictly implement quality control.
You even have the option to hire a third-party quality assurance inspector just to inspect your builder’s output. This is advisable if you do not have a construction background. You can always go to your site as often as you want to, in contrast to developers where you need to schedule house inspection with their customer representative. Clients are normally off limits on-site in developers without the customer representative to prevent untoward accidents.
Disadvantages of building your own house
Effort and Time Consuming
Prepare yourself to be extra hands-on if you want to build your own home. This would not just require monetary investment but also, personal time investment. You will spend your weekend travelling to your house construction site and see to it that the construction is going on as it needs to be. You need to see that whatever is billed to you by your house contractor can be seen installed and casted on-site.
This would truly require time and effort starting from choosing the architect for designing, to looking for the right contractor. Expect to be extremely busy if you wish to be hands-on. Welcome stress with open arms but also be civil should your hired builder encounter delays because of weather problems. Further, be prepare for unforeseen delays because of not just weather, but also because of material delivery delays because of an electric post fell to the ground and the delivery truck couldn’t pass through.
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No community amenities
Developers, especially the big ones, boasts its built-in amenities and the peaceful and safe community it offers. Some developed townhouses mostly the high-end ones, have parks, clubhouses, swimming pools, basket ball courts, and tennis courts, which can be used by tenants in the subdivision residence.
Other than that, you may have to build your own sewer and drainage system that can be tapped into the public ones. Sad to say, but it is reality, most of public sewer and drainage systems aren’t really efficient.
On the other hand, if you are wealthy enough to build these amenities inside your own lot, then “sana-all”.
(For context, “sana all” is a slang term used in the Philippines as a term to convey a hope to experience the same thing about a topic, normally, in an in-joke and envious manner).
Advantages of buying a built from developers
No hassle, move-in right away
This is the main reason why most people opt to just buy a built house from developers, they are no hassle and they can move in right away (provided the house is already constructed). In addition, most developers offer warranties and they also guarantee their houses. This way, the buyers will have peace of mind. Ask the property developer about the warranty timeline as some gives six months, while others offer one year warranty.
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But there is a caveat. Some developers “pre-sell” their property before the actual land development. By pre-selling, property developers sell the property below the actual contract price to build upfront cost to help finance the subdivision project. Thus, you may wait months, even years, for you to actually move-in. Ask your housing developers about this.
Developed housing subdivision, as stated above, have parks where you can bike and jog. Basketball courts where you or your kids can play, clubhouses for your party locations, running and reserved water tanks, and functional sewer and drainage systems. These amenities may not be available on your house lot location. A systematic and functional drainage and sewer system is really one of the plus points for developed properties.
Furthermore, there is a proper entrance and exits for visitors and property owner in a housing development. Meaning, the people visiting the area is controlled and documented (as some subdivisions have CCTVs). You are safe with robing guards at night and you can sleep peacefully knowing your house is built in a safe and secured community.
Disadvantage of buying a house from developers
More expensive than its actual cost
It really is. Developers will make the most of the cheap lands they bought, develop it into residential lands, put some roads, sewer and drainage lines, few amenities, and then construct tons of houses but with similar designs.
For context (not totally accurate but just to give you an idea), the actual construction costs of the house sold by developers is actually just 30%-50% of the price. Meaning, if you bought a house (from a housing developer) for PhP 1,000,000, the actual construction cost of that house is just around 400,000. Shocked? Don’t be. That is just the construction cost, excluding the price of the lot the house is built on. Just think of it that all the hassle it takes to build a house was shouldered by the housing developer. From the designing, the signing of documents, permits and clearances and do not forget to factor in the days, weeks, and months to do this stuff, including all the stress that was filtered by the developers just to deliver you a house. But then, it is just more expensive compared to constructing your own house.
Developers tend to restrict customization on high-end subdivision property especially the front elevation for its branding. They want to retain the look of the house with respect to the entire subdivision. Although some developers allow, it would still be limited since all the structural components have been casted and placed. Thus, customizing it would be too expensive if you want to add, say, additional floor level as you would still need to build another footing and foundation to hold it.
We hope you are able to weigh the options and were able to decide which team are you, the construct-your-own-house-team, or the nahh,-I’ll-just-buy-a-house-team. Each of the options has their own pros and cons. We wish you good luck!