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2017-05-02 11:26:45
Building or Buying in Promontory - Which is Best?

New Construction in Promontory

I get this question a lot, in particular in Promontory, probably because Promontory has various offerings both in vacant land and existing homes, whereas other parts of town have very limited vacant land options.  For those buyers who do not want to enjoy / go through / deal with / wait through - however you want to put it - the building process, obviously buying existing is the better way to go.  If there is a specific look, feel, design, or even location that you want, then building might be the better option for you.  But if price is the more determining factor, I've found the easiest way to begin to answer this question is with a question in return - Do you want a mountain-traditional style home, or do you want a newer, more modern/contemporary style home?  Because if you want or are fine with the more traditional styling, homes in that style are are available at below replacement value prices, and therefore it could be cheaper to buy vs build.  But if you want the more modern/contemporary styling, the answer gets slightly more complicated, but only slightly.


If you want to buy a new, completed, modern style home today, then chances are that home was built as a built-to-sell speculative or 'SPEC' home, which means whoever built the home intends to sell the home for a profit, which means it cost less to build than it will cost to buy.  Even though the increased demand for builders has driven up building costs, they are still at a point where you can build a modern home for less than you would pay to buy one - unless you go crazy on finishes, etc, then of course, the sky is the limit.  But depending on the square footage of the home you want to build, and the lot you want to build it on, the gap in price between buying and building is shrinking to the point where you'll want to plan ahead and really assess what you would like to accomplish, and therefore how best to accomplish it.  Keep in mind also various additional costs of building a home that one does not always think of when comparing buying vs building, several of which I will list later in this article.


So, what should you do?  Well, at least add to your consideration a third option - remodel.  We've been seeing this a lot in areas like Old Town and Park Meadows, where building lots are few and far between.  If people in those areas want a newer style home, their options of late have been to tear down and rebuild or to gut and glam, if you will.  At this point in time there is zero reason to even talk about a tear down in Promontory (except that one house), though there have been a few recent cases of buyers choosing to remodel an older style home rather than build or buy a new one.  The idea does have it's advantages.  Because the older homes can be picked up at 'bargain' prices compared to their newer counterparts, an additional investment of a few hundred thousand dollars to redo the interiors and maybe even repaint/modify some exteriors could still come in below the cost of building a new home.  And even if the cost is greater, the fact that a remodel job may only take six months (or less) vs maybe sixteen months (or more) to go through the entire building process, a remodel job is a nice middle road between instant gratification and saving money by building.


With the limited number of promising available homes in Promontory, what the decision will likely come down to is whether or not you can find something that you like.  If not, maybe you'll find a home that can be turned into something that you like.  And if not that either, then, well....I guess you'll be building.


As promised, here are a couple things that people sometimes forget about when building new vs buying existing.


  • Furnishings - this can be the most expensive add on for new homes, especially for larger homes.  Also keep in mind things such as TV's and other A/V equipment, cookware, dishware, etc.
  • Window Coverings - whether or not you like the new modern style homes, I think one thing everyone appreciates is the inclusion of large windows to let in lots of natural light and, in Promontory, big views.  But most people will want some kind of shades or other window treatments, and the bigger the window, the more expensive the blind.  And the more windows there are....you get the idea.
  • Landscaping - Each Promontory neighborhood has different requirements for the number of trees that you will be required to plant, though most people tend to do more than the bare minimum.  Landscaping doesn't have to be ridiculously expensive, but it is a line item you will not want to ignore.
  • Fees - there are a number of disturbance fees, utility hookup fees, design review fees, etc that go into building a home in Promontory.  Normally when I am helping a client work with a builder, these fees are already figured into the cost of the build, which is why I listed it last.  But I want you to be aware of them because no one likes surprises - unless the surprise is cake.

I hope you have found this information useful.  I am always happy to offer you more specific advice for your own scenario.  Call or text me at 801.949.5589.

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2017-11-17 15:00:00

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Building or Buying in Promontory - Which is Best?

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