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Building or Renovating a Home: Pros and Cons

You’ve been saving up money to get your dream home. Maybe you’ve always planned to build something from scratch, to suit your every design whim. With all those popular home improvement shows on TV, though, maybe you’ve also started to think about renovation as a potential option. The question is, which option is better for you?


The truth of the matter is that both renovating and new construction have their perks and drawbacks. At Twinley Homes, we do both! We buy and restore distressed properties in areas such as Cupertino, Willow Glen, Campbell, Fremont, Belmont, and San Mateo, eventually putting the houses back on the market and selling them to new buyers. We also develop new properties of our own, giving families a chance to buy new construction homes in the California Bay Area.


In short, at Twinley Homes, we know all the pros and cons of renovating and building. Read on to learn more about both options.


Renovating Your Home: What to Expect

Renovating gives you a chance to take an existing house—either one that you’re currently living in or one that you are thinking about buying—and turn it into your dream home. Advantages of this option typically include:


  • You don’t need to move: Perhaps you love your neighborhood and don’t want to leave it behind. Maybe you have an emotional attachment to your home because it’s where you grew up or raised a family. Either way, there can be an appeal to getting a better house without having to move.


  • Your money goes toward the house only: When you build new, you have to invest some of your money in moving and closing costs. When you renovate a home you already own, you avoid these expenses. The extra money can allow you to do more things with your renovation.


  • You are eyeing a prime location, but there are no vacant lots available: Sometimes, building a new house isn’t an option. In prime locations, there are often no vacant lots left for building. As such, if you want your “dream home” in one of these neighborhoods, your best bet is to either find the perfect pre-existing house or buy an existing house and renovate it.


Another advantage often cited in conversations about renovating is cost. The assumption is that renovating a home is cheaper than building one from scratch. This statement can sometimes be true—especially if you are mostly focused on one floor or just a few rooms. However, if you plan to gut the interior of the house and renovate everything, you could easily end up spending just as much to restore as you would to build. Experts will tell you that renovations always end up costing more than expected, whether due to unseen water damage, out-of-code electrical work, or something else. New builds are pricey, but their costs are more reliable.


Building a New House: The Perks

Building a house from the ground up usually seems more daunting than renovating an existing dwelling. However, there are a few advantages that can make things easier. These include:


  • You get more freedom: You can do a lot with a renovation, from knocking out walls to changing out the flooring. You can even build new additions to the house. However, in many spaces, you will be limited by the existing layout and “bones” for the home. With new construction, you have a lot more freedom regarding architecture, style, and layout—simply because there is no existing structure to consider.


  • You start modern: With a new build, it’s a lot easier to start with everything modern: appliances, electrical systems, building materials, etc. You get a house that adheres to every code, boasts an environmentally sustainable design, and looks innovative. You can accomplish most of these things with a renovation, but they will cost you.


  • You don’t need to live amidst the wreckage: When you are renovating your home, you have two options: do it in stages and live in the parts of the house that aren’t under construction, or move out and find temporary housing for the duration of the work. The first option can be extremely inconvenient (or downright impossible) depending on the layout of the house and the extent of the renovation. The latter option adds considerable cost to the project. With a new build, you can continue living in your current home while the house is under construction and then move in once it’s done.


As you can see, there many varied factors to consider when thinking about a renovation or new construction. If you are thinking about new construction, Twinley Homes can help you find brand new Bay Area real estate. Contact us today or give us a call at 408-909-TWIN to discuss.