Building a New Home in Kansas City vs. Buying a Home

In the exciting yet often challenging journey of searching for a new home this question is almost always bound to come up. Should we build or buy?

What are the pros and cons of building a custom home vs buying an existing home? Is it cheaper to build or buy? What is the long term return on this major investment?


Building a custom home takes time. It is a process that can take up to 8 months to complete depending on the size of the home, weather, material supply, etc.. Buying an existing home remains a much shorter timetable than a custom build. Get pre-approved, pick out a house, make an offer, close and move in. As any home buyer can attest the process of picking out a home and making an offer may have to be repeated several times.

Fortunately, many builders have a supply of newly constructed homes called spec homes that are for sale and often not yet at the finish stage allowing the buyer an opportunity to customize fixtures and finishes.


When building a custom home it’s important that you and your builder are communicating and that you have a clear understanding of costs and allowances. You also need to be made aware of any potential unexpected costs such as site conditions for subsurface issues that cannot be seen by the naked eye. At Elevate Design + Build we work diligently with you upfront to get a budget and cost sheet together before we get started. We go through the selection process upfront instead of somewhere in the middle so you have a very clear understanding of the cost before we break ground. Consider that new homes come with a minimum one year warranty which provides peace of mind for future security.

When buying a newly constructed spec home the price listed is the price you pay and includes a minimum one year warranty.

Purchasing an existing home is similar, the price listed is the price you pay. However, unexpected costs can sneak up on you quickly. Costs to update finishes, fixtures and landscaping to your preferences or maintenance or replacement of HVAC or plumbing systems can add up quickly.


One of the great perks of building a custom home or purchasing spec home is the fact that everything is new and normally covered under warranty for at least the first year if not longer.

When buying an existing house it’s important to determine the age and wear and tear on the home. Problems with the foundation, stormwater drainage issues, roof repair or replacement can costs thousands. Upgrades to plumbing or fixtures and changes to interior and exterior finishes can add up as well.


To the very last detail, your custom home is a reflection of you, your family, your lifestyle, and your preferences. No compromising. This is really what drives people to build their home as opposed to buying an existing home.

Buying a spec home allows for customization as well depending on what stage the home is at when purchased.

Energy Efficiency

Many existing homes have outdated HVAC systems, older windows and poor insulation.

New homes are simply more efficient due to new energy codes that require higher standards for building materials, HVAC, insulation and air filtration. New homes are literally better for you and the environment. New homes are made with materials that are not toxic, they have better air filtration and more efficient plumbing and electrical systems that make it easy to build green.


Your new home comes with a warranty which provides peace of mind for the homeowner. Most warranties span an entire year from the date you close on your new home. Existing homes do not have this feature.

When deciding to build or buy an existing home it really comes down to convenience vs customization. While it is more convenient to buy an existing home you may be compromising on floor plan, design and functionality. Building your home allows you to create a custom space that fits your lifestyle and is a true reflection of you and your family.

If you are considering building a home and have a few questions, give us a call at 816-885-8663.