Build it or Buy it in Barbados?

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Buy it or build it in Barbados?There are a number of important decisions involved in the home ownership process. The most important is always: Do I buy an existing home or build my dream house? There are clear benefits to both but also several obvious disadvantages.

Whether buying or building, one still has to take into consideration location. Ensure that the location you decide on meets all your standards and requirements. In an established neighbourhood you can see the type of construction and upkeep of the area. If you are purchasing a piece of land in a new development, ensure that the covenants provide for good construction and a time line for building.

The main advantage to building a home is everything is new and customized to your taste and needs. From the layout of the kitchen to the exterior landscaping; everything is NEW! However, we have all heard the horror stories of the delays in construction and more often than not exceeding cost expectations. One must also take into consideration the dual payments of rent and mortgage during the construction period. Is it worth it? Absolutely! Just ensure that you have all your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed before you start. Hire a contractor with good experience and great references and be sure to have a contingency fund for those unexpected surprises.

The obvious advantage to purchasing a house is that the process is generally quicker than building. Once you have been approved for a mortgage and have found your ideal property, the transaction can be completed and keys handed over between 3 to 6 months. In some cases you can purchase a home that is move in ready and others where renovations are necessary (but this should have been a strong negotiating point). The price of renovations is usually less costly than an overall new build but one can still run into unforeseen costs during this process. Ensure that you have the house inspected to make sure the structure is sound and the plumbing/wiring is in good order and repair. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the condition and construction of the property. As they say “you can take a house and make it your home.”

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