Building vs. Buying a Home in Your 50s

Posted by Llew Jenkins on Jun 30, 2021 3:45:00 PM
Llew Jenkins


Have you always wanted to build your dream home? In your 50s, you may finally feel like you’re able to afford it but wonder whether it makes sense at this stage—especially if your kids are or soon will be grown. Building a home can be a great way to start out a new phase of life, though, and it might be the ideal option. It’s definitely not too late to build your dream home!

When it’s time for a change, the first step is to decide whether you want to buy an existing house or build the home of your dreams. Think about your budget, what you want in your new home, and your ideal timeline. You can also meet with a builder and a realtor to get a better idea of what each process would entail. Your choice will depend on a combination of your budget, your timeline, and your goals.


Buying an Existing Home 


One of the main benefits of buying an existing home is that it can be done relatively quickly. If you need to be in a new home sooner rather than later, buying an existing home is probably the better option. Purchasing a house is also typically more cost-effective than building one from the ground up. You may be able to avoid hidden costs by obtaining a thorough home inspection, so can be easier to stay within your budget. Once you buy a home, you can always make any upgrades you like as you have the time and the money to do so.



An existing home, on the other hand, might not have many of the features on your wish list—especially at times like these, when home inventories are very low. Competition for existing homes is fierce right now, and bidding wars are common. Additionally, an older home may require more maintenance and even costly repairs as well as experience higher energy costs.


Building Your Dream Home 


Everything in a new build is… you guessed it, new. There is no wear and tear from previous owners, and you won’t need to throw your money away on paint for the exterior of the house or knocking out that wall between the kitchen and the living room for an open floor plan.

You can also save hundreds of dollars on energy costs when building because the air conditioning and heating units will be brand new. New mechanical units like this are much more economical and energy-efficient than the older systems that are in many existing homes. New homes also require less maintenance than older homes, since they are built to meet current codes and are up to date with the latest technology.

The biggest benefit to building your dream home is that you get to personalize it to suit your needs and tastes. Flooring, countertops, and even features like a bonus suite or screened porch are easy to accommodate when you build your new home.



Building a custom home can be stressful because of the long, complex process involved and the sheer number of decisions that need to be made. When you build a home from scratch, you need to buy the land the house will sit on, meet with a builder to discuss your options, and plan every aspect of the design. Weather or unexpected delays can also get in the way of any home build timeline.


Custom vs. Personalized Build

If building a custom home seems overwhelming, a personalized home can give you lots of flexibility with a streamlined process. Places like Iowa’s Epcon active adult communities are designed with people at your stage of life in mind. They also provide low-maintenance living, giving you the time to meet new people instead of shoveling your drive or mowing the lawn.

At Epcon, you get to choose the floor plan that best suits your needs, then personalize it to your taste. Subscribe to our blog for more tips on building and designing your dream home.

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Topics: Insider, Lifestyle

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