To Build or to Buy

If a new home is on your horizon you’re probably asking yourself, Should I buy or build? It’s a question that many home hunters ask, and the answer comes down to a few factors, including your budget. As the cost is a factor, you’ll need to choose your option carefully. Let’s have a look at the perks and challenges of buying or building your next home.


Building a new home

When you decide to build your home, you’re only limited by your budget and your imagination. The more money you have, the better the location, design and finishes.

The Perks

  • You can choose a home design that works for you.
  • Channel your creativity and customise the home, the possibilities are endless and budget will be your only limit
  • If you’re not keen on having a garden, you can choose a smaller block to build on.
  • New homes tend to have an emphasis on lifestyle, with features like al fresco entertaining areas and open-plan living spaces being common inclusions.
  • New homes tend to require less maintenance.
  • Brand new homes are often built in housing estates away from the city. When you travel away from the CBD, the price of land decreases, making building a home more affordable.
  • Greater control of building a new home that is water wise and energy efficient, which means lower utility bills.

The Challenges

  • Brand new estates often mean that infrastructure like shops or public transport are not in place yet.
  • If unexpected issues crop up, you could be thousands of dollars over budget.
  • Building a new home takes significantly longer.
  • Building a new home can be very stressful, especially if there are issues with your budget.

Buying an existing home

An established home can give you an instant ‘lived-in’ feeling and is usually closer to the CBD.

The Perks

  • You may be able to negotiate the price or settlement date.
  • Established homes are in established suburbs, which means better access to public transport, schools and shops.
  • Established homes mean established gardens, which save you the trouble of starting from scratch.
  • The time it takes to move into an existing home is considerably shorter.
  • Older homes, especially period homes, have lots of character as well as features you wouldn’t find in newer homes, like verandahs, high ceilings and moulded cornices.
  • Renovate your established home if it lacks a feature you want.

The Challenges

  • You’ll need access to funds quicker than if you were to build.
  • Established homes should have a building inspection prior to purchase; this will be an additional cost.
  • An established home means older wiring, roof and plumbing.
  • Older homes may not be as environmentally friendly as newer homes.

All first-home buyers in Australia are eligible to receive a range of grants offered by the federal government and funded by the state and territory governments. Please visit the First Home Buyer Information website and the pages listed below for the current details in your state.

What will you choose?

The choice to build or buy is a tricky one; both have their advantages. Building gives you the freedom to start from scratch and build a home that is truly yours. If you buy, you may be able to negotiate a lower price, and you’ll be in your home quicker. There’s no right or wrong answer; it all comes down to your personal choice and financial situation. Regardless of the path you choose, you’ll be in a home of your own, and that is the most important thing.

Thinking of building or buying a home? We’ve can help.