Is It Better to Buy Land or a Home? A Detailed Comparison

Are you in the real estate market to purchase a property? You might still wonder if it’s better to buy a home immediately or acquire land and build structures from scratch. These two processes are different, and we focus on those differences in this guide. Here is a detailed overview of buying land vs buying a house, so you can make an informed decision on what’s the best move for you!

Buying Land – What You Should Know

Before you know whether to buy land or a house, you should know their specifics. Those who purchase land will acquire a piece of property that often doesn’t have any structure on it. It’s vital to confirm which utilities are already available and whether you’ll need to install water, electricity, and septic systems.


  • Available for building from scratch – if you buy an empty piece of land, you can build whatever you want on it. That being said, it’s important to follow zoning regulations for your area.
  • Pick how you want to use it – you can use the land for hunting, fishing, picnicking, or collecting timber. You can build a house and live there or spend only weekends on the property. It’s entirely up to you.
  • A lower price – a piece of land without any structure is available at more affordable prices than a house. However, even if you build everything from scratch, you might end up paying less than for a home in specific locations.
  • Suitable if you like pieces – empty lots are often available in rural surroundings and away from the city centers. That makes them perfect if you’re looking for a retreat and your little haven.
  • Higher resale value – if you buy land in an area and that area develops in the next several years, the lot value will increase. Depending on the chosen property, you could profit significantly when reselling it.


  • Higher interest rates and down payments – banks and other lenders consider purchasing land a higher risk than buying a property. We could discuss why that’s the case, but the fact is that a down payment can be from 20% to 50%. Additionally, attractive interest rates are often only available if you have an above-average credit score.
  • More effort is required – it takes time and effort to build a house on an empty piece of land. If you don’t feel ready for that project, purchasing an existing home could be a better option.

Buying a House – What You Should Know

The main advantage of purchasing an existing home is that you’ll have water, electricity, and other utilities secure. They might require some upgrades, but you don’t have to think about installing them from scratch. Many buyers find convenience to be the greatest benefit of this option, while others don’t appreciate losing the opportunity to decide on every detail from scratch.


  • More attractive locations – residential properties available for purchase could be both in city centers and away from them. However, you’ll usually have more locations to choose from. 
  • Everything’s already there – you shouldn’t underestimate the convenience of buying an existing home. Not only do you get a house, but also a backyard, swimming pool, and other features. 
  • You can move in soon – although some repairs will probably be required, they’ll take less time than building an entire property.
  • Easier to get a loan – it depends on the lender you turn to, but getting a loan is frequently easier when buying an existing home.


  • Hard to find exactly what you imagined – if you buy an existing house, the odds of it having every feature you wanted are slim. You’ll probably need to compromise after analyzing the available properties.
  • Old buildings and structures – you might be buying a house in an old building with poor energy efficiency. The renovations required could be expensive and increase the price significantly. 

Final Thoughts

Should I buy land or a house? That solely depends on your preference. As you can see, each path has its pros and cons. That’s why the experts advise starting with determining your expectations. Once you figure that out, it’ll be easy to decide which way to go with the next purchase.