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Thanks to all for your replies--they have given me a great deal to think about. It sounds to me as if the starting point is not buy vs. build, but rather where I want to live and how much I am willing/able to spend. These decisions will, in turn, lead me to what is available in new vs. used at the time I decide to bite the bullet. BTW, the statement in my earlier post regarding more house for the money when building is not based on any particular data--it merely reflects the opinion of some friends who built homes and is therefore anecdotal.

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