Why It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Build a House - Expert

An image of a house design
An image of a house design
Home design

Most homeowners end up spending lots of time and energy either searching for or designing "the perfect home" before signing any contracts or securing the money needed to achieve their dreams of owning a house. 

Location, price, market trends, property taxes, homeowners association fees, and the condition of the property are some of the most common factors considered during house hunting.

Equally, each homeowner typically has a wish list that includes specific needs (the things they must have) and wants (the features they would like but could do without if necessary).

However, the major question is usually with regards to the cost implications of buying a read-made house visa vie building one from the ground up. 

Artistic representation of a modern house design
Artistic representation of a modern house design.
House Designs Kenya

Kenyans.co.ke sought the opinion of a real estate agent Maureen Kiruna to understand the pros and cons of buying a ready-made house and whether it is cheaper compared to building one from scratch.

“Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice depends on your specific needs, budget, and personal preferences,” she stated.

The need to buy a move-in ready home may be especially true for buyers on a tight schedule, such as those relocating for a new job or whose children will be starting at a new school,” she added.

Among the advantages of purchasing a ready-made house include;


An existing home may be a better option if you want to be in a particular established neighbourhood, near work, school, friends, or extended family. 

An existing home will most likely have some landscaping, eliminating that expense for the buyer.

Equally, if you want to live close to town, your best bet will be an existing home since most, if not all, of the land, will have already been built upon.


Ready-made plans are often less expensive than custom designs, as they have already been developed and can be easily modified to suit your needs.

Move-in condition: 

If you are hoping to move quickly, buying an existing home is probably your best option. Construction projects will require some time to complete

Home renovation options: 

You can easily make upgrades to an already-build home when you have the time and money available.


However, the most significant disadvantage of buying an existing home may be that you won't get exactly what you want.

According to Maureen constructing one’s own home by balancing a family’s needs with its budget is a time-consuming and effort-intensive process.

"Whether you build or buy, make sure you stick to a house you can actually afford. That means getting a house with a monthly payment that’s not more than 25% of your salary," she advised.

She thus advocates for investing in smaller apartments that have become the default choice of urban home-buyers as flats offer quick appreciation with much less effort directed towards property maintenance.

A luxurious house in Kenya.
A luxurious house in Kenya.