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For some enterprising homeowners, purchasing a lot instead of a house and lot seems like the wiser investment. Once they pay for the lot in full, that’s when the owner starts with the house construction. But is this a good deal? Is it better to buy or build your house? More to the point, which option is cheaper? 

Buy or Build Your House: BUY

Instead of contracting the developer to provide the house, they got a separate contractor to do so. But is that a good move? Buying a house (with a lot) is usually cheaper than building one. However, the main reason for this is that developers can buy raw materials in bulk and house designs remain standard. 

In addition, you won’t have to worry about the impact of construction delays, overhead costs, and issues such as labor or material shortages. Your developer is on the hook for that. All you have to do is sign the contract, pay your monthly dues, and wait for the developer to turn over the keys to the house.   

Buy or Build Your House: BUILD

Building your own house means designing it to your needs. Most developer houses are designed for a family of four, so building your own dream home can accommodate your family’s actual size. All it takes is spending time with your architect and telling them your exact specifications. Design-wise, it’s your call. The choice of color, materials, and even where each piece of furniture goes. 

Customization also helps set your house apart from your neighbors. Going home after a hard day’s work to rows and rows of similar-looking houses can be a tiresome sight. Instead, go home to a house you know that’s yours and yours alone.  

Buy or Build Your House: Price Check

Whichever option you choose, be prepared for the costs. Even without extras, building a house can be a formidable expense. According to construction site Martilyo.com, the cost of building a house goes at an average of P20,000 per square meter, using basic construction materials. Expect prices to go higher as inflation continues to rear its ugly head worldwide. Earlier this year, Manila Bulletin reported that construction materials such as cement and steel bars all went up by about 25%. If you plan on getting these materials yourself, consider local fuel prices when trying to haul materials over long distances. 

Labor costs also rose but at minimal rates. As of May 2022, the minimum wage for Metro Manila-based workers rose from P537 to P570. Nearby regions also reported increases between P33 and P110. Still, this can take a substantial bite out of your budget, whether you hire laborers directly or use workers from a construction firm. 

The Bottom Line

What’s our take on the debate on whether to buy or build a house? If you can afford it, go customize your house, especially if you plan on living there for a long time. However, be prepared to pay for the privilege. However, check with your developer if they allow custom houses or lot-only purchases. 

Ready-to-move houses aren’t a bad second option. All costs related to labor and materials are already factored in your contract price, so you don’t have to worry about inflation or rising prices. As long as you deal with a reputable developer, you’re more likely to stay in good hands. Just make sure you clear with your real estate agent all your concerns about the house before signing the dotted line. 

Let Ohmyhome Be Your Guide

Not sure which real estate developer to approach? Let Ohmyhome help you find the right property For the latest news and trends on the hottest Philippine properties today, visit us at Ohmyhome Philippines or download the iOS or Android app!  Even better, subscribe to Ohmyhome’s Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube accounts to get daily postings. 

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