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If you want to move and you have a clear vision of your dream home, you have two options. You can buy a house and renovate it, or you can purchase a piece of land and design and build the house you want. 

Pros and Cons of Renovating
If you buy an existing house and make some upgrades, the process may take less time than building a home from the ground up. The timeline for renovations will depend on the types of work you want to have done. 

Renovation costs can vary widely from one area to another. Several local contractors may even charge completely different prices for the same project, which is why it’s important to compare quotes. You will also need to pay for permits.

When homeowners renovate, contractors often discover unforeseen problems, such as outdated electrical wiring, structural issues and mold. If you buy a house and encounter unexpected issues, the price tag can quickly increase, which may force you to cut back in other areas. Unanticipated problems can also greatly lengthen the amount of time it will take to complete the process. 

If you buy a house to renovate, you will have to decide whether to live there while it’s being fixed up or stay somewhere else. If you choose to live elsewhere, factor those costs into your budget. 

Positives and Negatives of Building From Scratch
If you decide to construct a new home, you will have to buy a vacant lot or purchase a lot with a house and tear it down. You will be able to work with an architect to design a home that meets your exact specifications. Starting from scratch may cost more than renovating, but you will be unlikely to encounter any surprises after contractors get to work.

When renovating a house, you have the option to complete projects one at a time to spread out the cost. You won’t have that luxury if you decide to build a new home. You will have to cover the entire bill at once, but then you will be able to move into a house that’s exactly the way you want it to be, and you won’t have to worry about tackling other projects down the road. 

While the house is being built, you will need somewhere to live. If you currently have a house, you can live there and sell it later. You will have to pay for insurance and taxes on both properties in the interim.

What Should You Do?
You may be able to find a cheap fixer upper that you can renovate for a fraction of what it would cost to build a new house, or you may discover that it would be easier and cheaper to start from scratch. Your plans and local building costs will play a major role in your decision. Discuss your ideas with several contractors and request estimates. 

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