It’s the classic home buyer’s conundrum: Should we build, or should we buy?
Each option has its pros and cons. For instance, building a house from the ground up will give you the floor plan you want, but it will take months to construct. If you buy an existing home, you might have to compromise on the floor plan, but you’ll get to move in right after settlement!
Before you decide on your next home, take time to explore the arguments for and against each choice with the information in this article.
The Case for Building a House
In your average property market, an existing home is typically on the market for 30 days! With homes flying off the market so quickly, competition to find an existing home can be tough. When you build a home, the competition factor decreases.
Customisation is another huge pro. You’ll get to personalise the details of your house when you're building a house from the ground up—from the layout, cabinetry and flooring to the sinks, lighting, colours and door handles!
Obviously, new homes are built to meet current building codes, are often more energy efficient, and can incorporate up-to-date technology. For the first few years, you’re less likely to deal with big-ticket maintenance issues like leaky roofs or ineffective air-conditioning units in a newly built home. Plus, many homebuilders offer warranties or a whole host of products.
Cons of Building
So, why wouldn’t you choose to build a house? For starters, it takes an average of 4-5 months to construct a new build. This means you’ll likely either have a gap in residence between the time you sell your old place and build your new one or you’ll be renting whilst you’re building. You’ll need to be prepared to cover the cost of renting until you can move into your newly built place.
Here’s another disadvantage: Most buyers go into a home purchase expecting to wheel and deal on the price. While that’s certainly common in the resale market, new homes are a little different. Usually there’s not a lot of leeway on purchase price due to the fixed price of materials.
Another con: unexpected out-of-pocket expenses like unforeseen costs or upgrades. They have a funny way of sneaking up on new home buyers. Bendella Group have a very stringent cost management program and fixed priced contract so that’s sure to give you piece of mind. To cover yourself against any unexpected surprises, start by asking your builder these questions:
- How much does your typical buyer actually spend on upgrades?
- What’s included in the standard house price?
- Are there any additional costs not already factored in?
Knowledge is power. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard-hitting questions; it’s your hard-earned money at risk!
The Case for Buying an Existing Home
Pros: The benefits of buying an existing home are more than financial. Buying a home is often less stressful than building one. When you build a house, you’ll have to purchase land, decide on a home design, pick out flooring, fixtures, cabinetry, countertops, interior colours, exterior colours, and on and on it goes. You’ll have to do all of this and stay under your budget. Managing all the details that go along with building a home takes time and effort. Don’t underestimate the depth of stamina you’ll need to make sure it’s all done the right way.
On the other hand, purchasing an existing home is usually less stressful than building because you have fewer decisions to make about the house itself! It’s already built!
Here are some other pros for buying an existing house:
- You can negotiate the best deal possible. You could potentially get more bang for your buck with an existing house.
- You can move in right after settlement.
- You can upgrade at your own pace as you have the time and money.
The Cons of Buying Existing
Clearly, there’s a higher risk you’ll face maintenance issues in an existing home. Whilst a professional home inspection can root out many of those potential problems, it can be expensive to order a host of tests and most people only order a few, for this very reason. You may also need to update some of the outdated features of an older home, bathrooms and kitchens in particular.
Other cons include:
- Buyer’s remorse if you end up not loving your home’s floor plan.
- Higher energy costs if you purchase an older home.
- Neighbour remorse if you end up living next to someone who blares techno music at 1 a.m.
The most important detail about buying an existing home is making sure it suits your needs both now and in the future.
Ready to Decide?
With all that said, every market is different—just like every buyer is different. The best way to choose the option that’s right for you is to take your time and consider all options.
Building a home may be an easy way to get what you want, but there’s more to it than picking a floor plan with all your favourite colours and finishes.
Still not sure? Well it is a BIG decision and the following article might just be what you're looking for: