To a build new home or buy an existing one: The Pros and Cons

Buying or building a home is an extremely exciting process, though it isn’t without a lot of questions, thoughts, and confusion. There’s one question that’s more common than any other, which we thought we would highlight today. 

“What’s best: to build a new home or buy an existing one?” 

To help, we thought we would lay out a few of the pros and cons of each, so you can make an informed decision based on your wants and needs. 

A new home is custom designed for you.

The biggest benefit of building your own home is the level of control you have over the layout and design. You can work with a designer and/or builder to ensure your home perfectly suits your family and lifestyle for years to come. 

When you buy an existing home, you are relatively stuck with the current layout. You can potentially make minor changes or invest in renovations, however this again adds to the cost, and needs to be considered based on your budget. 

New homes are more energy efficient.

Energy efficiency in homes has come a long way in the last decade. When you build a home today, every room is designed with maximising efficiency in mind. From the layout of the bedrooms, to window and LED light placement which increases light and airflow; all of which helps the environment and your wallet!

Older homes can have structural issues and extra maintenance.

A negative of buying existing is the age of the property. Depending on the state of the house, you may be up for cosmetic or structural updates, as well as increased maintenance that a new build doesn’t need, this will need to come into your calculations also. Older homes can run into problems with internal issues like plumbing and electrical systems, leading to more maintenance in the long term and higher energy bills. Fixing these essential aspects of your home can take a large chunk out of your bank account when you least expect it.

Before you agree on a price and sign a contract on an existing property, it’s extremely important to get a professional building inspection. This means getting an expert to go over the house with a fine-tooth comb to find any structural faults or issues that might cost you further down the track. This doesn’t just save you money, it’s an investment into the safety of your family. If you purchase a house without doing your due diligence, you could get caught out and have a lot of unaccounted for expenses. 

Time frame

Cost and timeframe are two of the major differing factors when it comes to building new verse buying an existing home. While there are very affordable house and land packages available, the cost of building your home depends on the size, features, customisation and level of finish you need. The time to build a new home can be anywhere from 4 to 8 months, again this is dependent on the size or the home. This will often deter people from building, instead opting to buy an existing house so they can move in immediately on settlement, as well as reduce the amount of hoops and decision making along the way. We believe, however, that the process of building your home is the most exciting part! 

Location, location, location! 

New homes are often built in new land releases. Before you start your build process, be sure you check the amenities in the development. Will they be in place prior to your house being built. What other amenities are planned for the area? Your builder or the developer will have all this information and a schedule for completion. 

Building an existing home means the infrastructure and local amenities are already in place. You can have confidence knowing the local area prior to build and exactly what it would be like to live there. Furthermore, when you buy an existing home, it broadens your search capability to all the areas you want to live in.

Government Homeowner Grants and Incentives.

If you’re a first homebuyer building a home, you may be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant from the government. If you’re looking to build in the near future, there is also the recently announced $25,000 HomeBuilder Scheme. It’s important, however, not to get too caught up in the potential savings over the house itself or what you can reasonably afford. The scheme might give your deposit a boost, but you need to keep up with the repayments.

Make the right choice for you. 

So, there you have it. We think the negatives for buying an established home are found in the positives for building new. Buying established not only removes your ability to customise the home from the start, but you’ll need to make a more conscious effort to ensure that it’s energy efficient for the future. You’ll also have the added stress of structural or dated features which need fixing, which can often be an expensive endeavor. 

Making the final decision of whether to buy or build your home is a big one, and not one to consider lightly. Take the time to think about what you need, what aspects are important to you and your family, as well as your budget. Hopefully the points we have outlined above help shed some light on the choices to be made. If you would like to discuss your home building queries further, our team will happily talk through any concerns or questions you have. Contact us today on (07) 5496 1477 or through our website here.At Hepner Homes, we pride ourselves in building custom, high quality homes that last a lifetime.  Regardless of size, shape or style, our reputation for quality workmanship and transparent pricing means you can rest assured you are in safe hands with us.