The housing market can be a fickle beast at the best of times. Making any decision on what, where or when to buy is hard as you can never know what will happen. You can look back at past figures but there is no guarantee where the ‘bottom’ or the ‘top’ of the market is, how stable the sales are and where the latest trends will turn and take you. You have to rely on the experience of a realtor to get any kind of direction as to where the market may go. Relying on a realtor is paramount when you are trying to decide whether to buy or build. Many people dream of building their own home, but it may turn out to be a costly dream or a downright bankrupting nightmare.

When making the decision to buy or build you have to look at the bottom line. You can calculate it by sq ft, by the increase or decrease in value or by the dollar, but in end the decision maker will be what is the best home for the buck. If you are in the enviable position of not having to worry about finance, then you are able to build the home of your dreams and worry only about the colour of the chandelier’s, and not about whether you have enough to pay the bills or if you lost money or not. Those people who have the money to buy a luxury country estate sprawling over many acres are the best candidates for breaking even. Not so for the young couple or family who are just starting out and wanting it to be a big part of their financial security.

By general rule of thumb, building your own home in today’s market will cost you more than buying an older property. Whether it’s 1 or 2 years old, or 41 or 42 years old, the likelihood is that it will have all the landscaping finished, will be in an established area, and be able to live in. For an older property you may find it cheaper to renovate it to your specifications and have the home you want without the cost. The main advantage with a house you build yourself gets what you want, but this can be achieved in renovating an older property without laying cables, lines or even sewage systems which cost more money than the basement, foundations and exterior walls.
This advice runs true, until you consider one unique factor – your horses. When you consider building a home for yourself from a piece of undeveloped land you have the cost of your home, which in today’s market will be more expensive, but add to that the cost of building barns, plumbing in water and fencing, the cost of building your own home skyrockets.

Buying an already established horse property makes sense any way you look at it, and there is so much to choose from. You can buy a turnkey property that allows you to roll and pull out the ramp and be right at home, or you can buy a horse property that fits your budget, but needs a little tlc and restore it to as near a new build as possible, without the financial perils. You could even consider a property with land and build your barns and horse facilities if you have the equity. You have many economical choices that will suit your purposes, and have a better resale value as they will appeal to a more general audience. You may love your ensuite with full length glass walls, but everyone else may not.

As with any home purchase – do your homework. Talk to realtors, it’s their profession to know what is going on in the housing market, and where it make take you next. They know what will sell quickly and what people are looking for. They also know what may be on the horizon. A horse property – To build, or not to build, that is the question? A talk with a horse property realtor may just be your best answer.


Leave a Reply