Buying vs. Building: Pros and Cons

  • Article by: Sally Wood

If you’re planning on a new home, you need to decide if you want to buy an existing house or build your own. There are pros and cons to both options – including cost, customisation, timelines and location – with the choice coming down to what is going to work best for your individual lifestyle and requirements.

We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying or building a home.

building a home

Building a Home: Pros

Building a home gives you complete control over your house, allowing you to create the ideal home for you and your family. If you like to be involved with all aspects of a project, building a home is for you: you can find your own block of land, choose a builder, and create a customised home with the right floorplan that is perfect for your needs. You can also choose high-quality materials to reduce the need for maintenance later.

Part of this personalisation includes building a modern and energy-efficient home that will save you money in the long run. A sustainable home can reduce your electricity and gas costs by the thousands. Although building in an energy-efficient way can mean some upfront costs, it saves you money and is much cheaper than trying to make an older building efficient.

Building a Home: Cons

If you’re short on time, building a home is not for you. Construction can take months, depending on your floorplan and finishes. Factors outside of your control can affect your budget and your timeline, like equipment failures, material shortages, and council approvals. For more information, take a look at:

Additionally, building a home in an urban area can be tricky. Vacant blocks are rarely available, which means to build new you either have to buy an established home to knock down and rebuild or move further from the city.

buying a home

Buying a Home: Pros

Buying an existing property is quick and convenient. You can find your dream home, apply for a loan, and be in your new house in a couple of months in most cases. When you buy an established house, you have your pick of locations, with properties regularly coming up for sale in most cities and towns around the country. Plus, buying a home means you can see exactly what you’re getting before you purchase, so there’s no surprises later.

Buying a Home: Cons

When you buy a home, you’re normally buying something that has already been lived in by other people – sometimes for decades! This means the home will have some wear and tear that may not be immediately obvious, but that you will need to deal with.

When you buy an existing property, you need to pay high levels of stamp duty, which can significantly increase the amount that you need to save before you can buy.

Finally, there are always going to be compromises when buying an existing home. It is very unlikely that your perfect dream house was already built by someone else, so you need to find a home that meets most of your requirements. If you do have specific needs or your heart set on a special design, it may be hard to find the right house.

Published: 25/06/2021
Author: Sally Wood