Build a Barndominium or Buy in 2024: Which Makes More Sense?
Barndominiums – essentially homes built out of repurposed barns – have grown wildly popular in recent years thanks to HGTV and the embrace of more rural, industrial styles of decor. In 2024, you may be wondering if constructing your own barndominium makes more financial sense than buying an existing home. Let’s dive into the factors at play.
Cost Savings from Building
The biggest appeal of barndominiums is they can be much cheaper per square foot than a conventional home. Metal barn materials are inexpensive and barn-style layouts skip expensive finishes. If you act as a contractor yourself, you save hugely on labor. Building in rural areas is also more affordable land-wise.
However, it’s unclear if these cost savings will apply in 2024. Inflation, supply chain issues, and rising interest rates suggest costs of materials and construction loans may be inflated by 2024. And cheap rural land is getting harder to find.
Home Appreciation Outlook
Meanwhile, experts predict home price appreciation will slow down after the frenzy of recent years. This could make buying an existing home in 2024 more affordable. Though prices likely won’t plunge, experts say double digit price hikes of 2021-early 2022 probably won’t repeat next year.
If you build, because barndos use less expensive materials, they may not appreciate as quickly value-wise either. Yet barndos hold value better in rural areas versus urban homes.
Permit and Utility Hassles
Building from scratch comes with all kinds of headaches buying a move-in ready home avoids. Depending where you construct your barndo, permitting, zoning laws, HOA rules, and utilities hookups could be challenging or budget-busting. As rural areas get less rural, rules have tightened. Will utilities need to be run hundreds of feet to your barndo site? Ouch.
Of course, there are personal factors too. Building a barndominium from scratch will likely be more stressful but also more custom. And some love the challenge and reward of building their dream home. If your goal is moving to a rural area for the lifestyle, building a barndo tailored to your needs makes sense.
But if easy, quick homeownership is more appealing, buying an existing home relieves major hassles. Just budget for renovations to make a resale home your own.
In 2024, as always, there’s no one right answer that applies to everyone. But considering inflation forecasts, potential home price changes on both fronts and lifestyle goals, buying may make more financial sense for more buyers. Though likely at a higher price than today, shopping resale homes probably wins in total cost, speed, and headaches saved. Yet for some, building their custom getaway, inflation risks aside, will be ultimately worth it.