It is always cheaper to buy, if you buy good quality, because today good quality is considerably more expensive.
Then, older good quality will be, well, older, so you have to know what you want in a house and barn, the old type or the new, as there can be a big difference.
I would look for both and see if you find one of either that will fit your requirements to either build or is already there and you can live with what is there.
In this market - BUY. I can say from personal experience that you will find something that is perfect (or close to it) and affordable in this market. I speak from personal experience and two years of farm shopping in a declining market. We found our (practically) dream farm about 18 months ago, and the market is even better now for buyers than it was then.
Remember the rule on building or remodeling-everything costs twice as much as you think it will, and take twice as long. This is probably the truest thing every written.
Definitely buy turn key if possible, and something with a few cosmetic improvements is a close second. Buying raw land and building from scratch can be very expensive, and it's difficult to know all of the costs involved until construction actually starts. In this economy you should be able to find exactly what you want for the price you want to pay, and if you have the time then a short sale or bank owned repo might be a possibility for you too.
I got 5ac with no fencing or outbuildings except for a metal toolshed presently serving as my chicken coop.
The house needed only cosmetic rehab and was in great shape for circa 1976.
Cita: for me planning the barn/arena and having them built was a pleasure.
Both buildings up in 3 weeks, fencing done in 2 days.
Maybe I was lucky, but the only delays were weather-related - can't do the initial excavation to prep the base when it's raining
I admit I might have felt differently if I'd been doing the work myself.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
I have owned a few houses in my time, now I only buy new or build. It's Very hard to finance big dollar repairs and updates once you have made your house purchase. Why reach into your savings for any more than the down payment, you will want many upgrades anyway, save your extra money for that.
If you can find an established older house that needs very few repairs, passes inspection and has everything you want..GRAB IT!
I have big issues with building. Ripping down woods and putting stuff up - no. We used to have some gorgeous hunt property around here - but - it's all gone - build, build, build. You're all horseman; you can appreciate that. I just can't be part of that.
Yes, I own a house but I would never rip down trees to build.
- or -
Why don't we just cement the whole darn planet and be done with it, already?
Back in 1989-90 I looked for a suitable horse farm. Could not find anything. I ended up buying a 10 yr old home on 5 acres. The house was insulated beyond belief and had fantastic closet space-just what every working woman would want! I even liked the basic floor plan of the house but did add a mud room in the lower level and extended the master bedroom considerably.
I then proceeded while waiting for closing to find someone to prepare the site, extend the driveway to where the barn/indoor would be, someone to build the barn, someone to do the fencing and someone to tear out the baseboard electric heaters, put in duct work and add a new furnace and heat pump for AC. All the while I was trying to sell my townhouse with a realtor doing an open house every damned Sunday, work a 55-60 hr wk job, take care of 2 horses, one retiree, and a dressage horse as well as act as executor for my Mother's estate in FL.
I made it through somehow but I'd never ever do it again!
Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!