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To Buy or to Build?

If you’re in the market to buy a house right now, we don’t need to tell you that it’s not a buyer’s market. As exciting as it can be to be on the hunt for your first house or your dream house, it can be equally as stressful. Especially in the summer of 2019 where the housing market is about as hot as the air outside.

A trend is defined as “a general direction in which something is developing or changing.” It’s safe to say that the housing market is on an upward trend. According to Zillow, the average home list price in Wisconsin right now is $222,500. In the past year, prices have increased 6.3%. And they are projected to continue to rise 3.2% over the next year.

Home List Prices in WI - Image courtesy of Zillow

Perhaps there’s an alternative you might consider: Building a house. Yes, it sounds a little crazy. But when you see the prices of homes that are in your “budget”, building might not seem so crazy after all.

Building a house can give you the floor plan, the aesthetics, and the usability that you want, exactly to your liking. But the task of building a house is daunting. There’s the design, the entire building process, and of course, the cost. But how much does it really cost?

According to Home Advisor, homeowners report the average cost to build a new house comes in at $293,600, which would put a 2,000 square foot home costing about $150 per square foot. This will obviously vary greatly with all the costly variables involved, so the cost could range between $150,354 and $440,209. Our designers at Nelson-Young estimate the cost to build can range from $160-$200 per square foot to build, so these figures are in the ballpark.

Here are some other factors that can affect cost:

-Land and Excavation




-Design Features (Pools, decks, etc.)

So what’s the verdict here?

Houses are expensive. Whether you’re buying one on the market or you decide to build one, it’s a big decision for you and your family. But as housing prices continue to rise, perhaps looking at building could be an option. It will give you the house that you truly want and it might not cost that much more after all is said and done.


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