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    Buy vs. Renovation vs. Build, Part III: Why We Decided to Build New

    Believe it or not, building new is more cost effective than renovating. When you compare the cost per square foot and what you get for the money, tearing down and building new makes more sense. Not to mention the instant equity!

    For the past two weeks, NDI Homeowner, Sarah Bagley, shared her family’s story about their growing family and their need for more space. Their family had expanded and they were running out of room! They figured they had 3 options…

    1. Purchase a slightly newer, larger home somewhere in Vienna.
    2. Renovate their existing home.
    3. Tear down and rebuild.

    They soon ruled out purchasing resale after realizing what they would get in their price-point. Then, Sarah continued their story about exploring the possibility of renovating their existing home. And today she’s sharing why she and her family ultimately decided to tear down their home.

    Here’s Sarah Bagley, NDI Homeowner since 2014.



    After deciding not to purchase a different house or renovate our current house, we decided to crunch the numbers on building a new house.

    We decided to look at the Penrose Model because it fit the best on our lot and gave us everything we were looking for. Remember back to our wish list? Garage, actual Master Bedroom, large Master Bathroom with a big shower and tub, three additional bathrooms, two home offices, etc…?

    Let’s take a look at the plans for the Penrose:



    At the time of our build in 2014, the Penrose Model base price was $290,900, and we put in about $110,000 in options and our site work was about $75,000. We also had a few other costs and incidentals involved, which made our all-in dollar amount $550,000 on a house that is nearly 5,000 sqft.

    The key point?

    That’s $110/sqft.

    How about the renovation?

    Over $200/sqft.

    Build new? No brainer.

    Remember our wish list? For that garage and dreamy master bedroom and bathroom and a kitchen with MANY drawers?

    Not to mention, everything brand new and updated. No worries about that HVAC system! And we got to truly make it our own by selecting all the finishes?!

    A brand new house with everything we want for $550,00 at over 5,000 square feet.

    I’ll let you do the math!

    We’ve been in our NDI house coming up on two years this November. So, was it the right choice?


    The question I get all the time: Are you still happy with your house? Are you glad you did it?


    And a good thing we did because, the day after we moved in to our new NDI house, we got another surprise.

    I was pregnant with our third child.

    Good thing we have lots of room for all those toys!

    Psst…check out a virtual tour of Sarah and Dan’s home HERE!

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