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Should First-Time Homebuyers Build a House?

Purchasing your first home is an exciting time, but it also comes with plenty of decisions to make.

Before you get stuck on paint colors, landscaping, and new furniture, you might be wondering whether you can afford to build a house rather than buying a pre-existing home. Building a home may be more affordable than you think, but understanding the differences between buying and building and asking yourself the right questions will help you make your decision.

What are the differences between building and buying a home?

There are pros and cons to both buying or building a house, and deciding really comes down to personal preference. In today’s market, the prices between building and buying a home are comparable.

One major difference is that building a home means no immediate renovations; when you buy an older home, chances are you’ll find something that needs to be repaired, updated, or replaced, and these renovations can really add up.

Many first-time homebuyers are concerned about the amount of time it takes to build a house. While a modular home does take an average of 3-4 months to complete, renovations in an existing home can take just as long (and you’re often forced to live in the house during the renovation process to save money.)

Are you ready to build?

A common mistake that many first-time homebuyers make is taking the maximum home loan available to them. Your bank may offer you more than you can afford, which can lead to extra fees and larger monthly payments. Look past your total loan qualification and instead take a loan with a mortgage you know you’ll be able to afford.

Before you build, ask yourself these questions:

  • How long do I plan to stay in my next home?

    If you plan on staying in your new home long term, having a custom built home which meets all your specifications might be the right choice for you.
  • What are my “must haves” in a home?

    Certain house features and customization options are more expensive when they’re added to an existing home.
  • Am I willing to put in the extra work?

    Building a home requires more decisions and extra time collaborating with your builder to make sure everything in your home fits exactly what you’re looking for.

Building a house is possible for first-time homebuyers. To learn how to decide how much house you can afford to build, check out our free guide, “Can I Afford to Build a House?”

Interested in the customization options we offer and more? Check out our FREE webinar, Modulars 101: Your Guide to Customization!

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Building a Home: The Features You Don’t Want to Overlook

Making the decision to build a house is exciting, but it also comes with its fair share of worries. There are so many things to think about and so many decisions to make. That’s why we’ve decided to help get you started with some important reminders!

Quality over Quantity

Don’t build a house that’s too big – you’ll waste space and have less money to spend on the finishes of the house. Use your funds to create focal points in your rooms, like built-in cabinetry or a fireplace, with nice details (but not so much detail that it feels too “busy”). 

Unique trim and moldings can really enhance your space, so keep them in mind. You’ll feel more comfortable in a smaller, intimate space with beautiful touches than a large, empty room.



To maintain comfortable temperatures in your home, you need to insulate interior walls. Also, pay special attention to plumbing – if you want to avoid unwanted sounds of flushing toilets, for example. Add closets between bedrooms or built-in bookshelves (books will absorb sounds) for further sound insulation. It’s much cheaper/easier to do this now rather than later.


Make sure you choose the right locations for your outlets. They should be easily accessible and in a place where furniture can conceal them. It would also be a good idea to have outlets on the outside of the house. Depending on how creative you want to be, you could even opt for outlets inside drawers. There’s nothing more inconvenient than a house with too few outlets.

Ventilation and Light

Never underestimate the power of natural light and ventilation (and the power of building code rules and regulations which will require that you have a specific amount of both for certain rooms). The circulation areas of your homes, like hallways, need natural light as well. Not only is it a necessity, but it makes your space feel much more open and natural. If you’ve ever seen a room with floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll know just how much the light transforms that area. In short, a sufficient amount of windows is a must.


Let’s talk about these in a little more detail. You’re going to be looking through them all day, so that saying “quality over quantity” is still very relevant here. It’s worth investing in windows that are appealing and reliable. Keep the type of window consistent throughout the house and make sure they’re well-placed. Out of reach windows are going to make opening, closing, or cleaning them a lot more difficult than it should be.


We hope this we’ve answered some of your questions (some you may not have realized you had!) and given you new ideas for your future home. Creating your perfect space takes a great deal of time, planning, and effort, but you’ll get there. And when you do, you’ll see just how much it was worth it.

Would you like to know more about custom homes and the many additions you can include? Learn more by viewing our FREE webinar, Modulars 101: Your Guide to Customization!

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We're matching $1000 deposits with a $1000 credit!


What to expect when you meet with Carolina Custom Homes.

First: Tell us when you’d like to come see us.

Then: Chat with us about your unique needs and vision. We’d recommend considering the following so we can cover a lot of ground in our meeting and better serve you.

  • How did you hear about us?
  • How much space and how many bedrooms and bathrooms would be ideal?
  • Would you prefer a one-story home or multi-story home?
  • Do you already have land and if so what’s it like and where is it located
  • Budget! How much are you looking to spend? Will you be financing your home or paying cash?

The rest is really just showing them the model homes and finding out what is important to them in their new home.

Finally: Walk through some of our most popular floor plans. We swap these out occasionally, so keep an eye out for anything new you’d like to see. Keep in mind while your wandering that any of our floor plans can be customized to better fit your lifestyle.

Not Ready To Meet?

During the tour of our homes, you will see a wide variety of features that are available to you for your custom project. Of course, any home you build with us, can be completely customized with an open concept floor plan, 9′ ceilings, granite countertops, hardwood flooring, atrium doors, transom windows, etc.

Touring Our Floor Plans



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