A home is usually the single largest investment that a person makes. Most buyers end up spending a great deal of time and energy either searching for or designing "the perfect home" before signing any contracts. Location, price, market trends, property taxes, and the condition of the property are factored into the house hunt. In addition, each buyer typically has a wish list that includes specific needs (the things the buyer absolutely have to have) and wants (the features the buyer would like, but could do without if necessary). While the home-buying process involves a number of important choices, one of the very first decisions buyers need to make is whether to shop for an existing home or build a new one. Each path has its advantages and disadvantages. Here's a look at both sides.