Deciding you are ready to find a new home is an exciting stage of life, but it brings many new questions with it. Amongst the biggest of these new inquiries is whether it’s wiser to build a home or buy one. Like many quality-of-life determinants, the answer to that question changes as you move from state to state. A recent study by Storage Cafe shows that the 50 states are split pretty evenly between buying and building in regards to which is more cost-effective. 18 lean towards cheaper to build, while the remaining 22 go towards buying.

Alabama is one of the most centered states when it comes to the split between buying and building, but we lean just slightly toward the former. It was determined to be around $17,000 cheaper to buy in our state. The only closer candidates were South Carolina (8k leaning towards buying), Nevada (4K towards buying), Arizona (3K towards buying), New York (11K towards building), and Tennessee (13K towards building). 

Our home state is joined by a few other Southeastern neighbors in being a better place for buying than building. Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and South Carolina are all allies in this home-buying decision. The South is joined by the Northeastern and Western states as the most populated collectives where buying is better. Alabama was also shown to be in the top 10 states for self-storage unit convenience in the study. 

The study looked at total building costs in each state, along with the median single-family home listing price to determine their metrics. The cost of living obviously varies in each state, with Alabama being on the lower end of things. The Yellowhammer State’s total construction cost per house was $367,000 while the median home price was $350,000. Compare that to places like New York (524/535K) and California (495/700K) and you can see why people are moving our way to make their dream homes. 

Buying is currently better in Alabama, but both options lead to a happy home. 

Cover image by Binyamin Mellish