November 13, 2014

To buy or to build? It’s the question every homebuyer needs to ask. But if you’ve always assumed that building is more expensive, think again.

Many homebuyers are discovering what industry insiders have known for a long time: building a new home is often cheaper than buying and renovating an existing property.

The true cost of buying an existing home

The important thing to consider is the total cost of ownership. A 30-year-old home may be $20k cheaper initially, but have you factored in the cost of a new kitchen, fresh paint and updated carpet? In many instances, older homes also require costly ongoing maintenance. Is the huge investment of time and money really worth it?

Even adding the cost of minor renovations can often outstrip the cost of building a new home. And unlike in reality TV, renovations don’t take 30 minutes – standard renovations take anywhere from 2-7 months; some even take years.

Choice of design features

Older homes also mean you have to compromise your dream. Structural limitations may cause you to live with characteristics you don’t like, such as low ceilings, small living spaces or fewer bathrooms. With a new home, you can choose a custom layout to make everyday life easier, by including modern features such as ensuites, extra storage, and open plan living.

New and old homes are also very different – and we’re not just talking about styling trends (70s wallpaper and beige bathtubs are relatively easy to fix). Building standards and regulations have improved dramatically over time, even in the last 5 years. So when it comes to things like energy efficiency and sustainability, there’s no real comparison. A new home will always be cheaper to heat in winter and keep cool in summer.

All of this means that when moving from one pre-owned home to another, homebuyers often find themselves swapping one set of problems for another. It’s no wonder that research shows that 55% of homebuyers either prefer or would consider building – compared to 45% of people who prefer pre-owned homes.

Financial benefits

From a financial perspective, building a new home also has several advantages. Stamp duty is only payable on the land, not the total house and land package – representing a saving of thousands of dollars. Also, first homebuyers can apply for the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant.

Of course, if you love Victorian architecture and the challenge of renovating in a certain style, go for it! Just be sure to consider the total cost of ownership. Ask yourself: which is more affordable in the long run – not only in money, but in time and stress? You may be surprised by the answer.

Looking to build your new dream home? Take a look around some of communities;

Back to blog