When looking to buy a home, one question buyers normally face is whether to purchase an established property, or to buy land and build a home from scratch.
While both methods offer significant financial and social benefits, ultimately, the “better” method depends on the priorities of the buyer.
At face value, the answer would seem to be building your own house being cheaper than buying one from a developer. What the typical self-build homeowner ignores is the value of their time. It takes on average 8 years for self-build and self-finance homeowners to complete their properties. If you value your time on an hourly basis, multiply that by the number of weekends and years project managing it yourself. In addition, without the right expertise and experience, mistakes and unforeseen wastage can add up significantly.
Most people as well think that once you own a plot of land, building would be slightly cheaper than buying a similar house provided that one has full control over the costs incurred during the period of construction, making it easy to control.
Similarly, quality control is guaranteed as compared to that where you find a structure already set up without any clear back track on the nature of materials used.
However, buying a house would as well be economically viable especially in these current times where financial institutions have started giving out mortgages to their clients who may want to own homes. And from economies of scale, it makes it slightly cheaper depending on the mortgage period since you can enter your house even on partial payments.
People think the price of developed properties is expensive, but the cost of an acre of land in a prime location around Kampala or Wakiso for example can be sold for over Shs. 280,000,000. Some individuals cannot buy unless a developer buys and maximizes the land.
The other advantage of building your house is that you can design it according to your specific needs and tastes. This offers benefits like improved energy efficiency.