As your single largest investment, you’ll probably spend a great deal of time searching for or designing your perfect home. When house hunting, you’ll consider things like location, price, market trends, costs and the condition of the property. And you’ll probably have a list of things you absolutely have to have and those you’re prepared to forgo. Deciding whether to buy an existing home or build a new home is an important part of your decision. To help you make an informed choice, we’re taking a closer look at each option.
Buying An Existing Home
The primary advantages to buying an existing home are convenience and cost. Once you have pre-approval, you’re able to shop around, pick out the home you like and then make an offer. Working closely with your mortgage adviser and your real estate agent, you’ll already know how much you have to spend, and have a list of properties that fit your requirements.
Despite a number of steps involved – arranging finance, attending open homes and auctions, getting inspections done – once your offer is accepted, you’ll be able to move in within a month or two, all going well. Buying an existing home is ideal for those buyers on a tight schedule – relocating for a new job or whose children are starting school in the area
The Cost Factor
In many cases buying an existing home may be more cost effective, particularly if you’re looking to move into an established neighbourhood near your work, school, friends or family. You may find it hard to find available land in these areas, so buying an existing home will be your only option. It also means that your garden will already be established so you won’t need to worry about starting a lawn, planting shrubs or waiting for trees to grow.
On the other hand, buying an existing home means you may not get exactly what you want, and you may need to spend money remodelling, repairing or redecorating any outdated features of the home. These additional costs could make the difference in deciding whether to build or buy.
Building A Home
While building a new home is not as convenient as buying an existing home, it does mean you get the home you want. One of the biggest advantages to building a new home is the fact that everything is new. You’re also able to build in features that make your home more energy efficient, like heating, cooling, insulation or air filtration systems that are environmentally friendly, saving you money in the long term.
In fact, your home may quite literally be better for you as it’s less likely to have health concerns or toxic materials you may find in an older home – things like asbestos, lead paint or mould. And it can be built using materials that are better for the environment like Energy Star rated appliances and more efficient plumbing systems.
The Cost Factor
While the cost of building involves a number of upfront costs, it’s easier to recoup your investment long term. A newer home will require less repairs and lower ongoing maintenance, and is likely to fetch a higher resale price when you decide to sell.
The biggest drawback to building your own home is that it’s not immediately available for you to move in, and the costs may be higher. But money and time aside, building your own home can be emotionally satisfying in that you feel you’re achieving a dream and living in the home you created; a home that perfectly matches your style and personality.
Build Or Buy
Whatever you decide, it’s vital you seek professional advice before you commit to any decisions. Determine how much you can spend and obtain a pre-approval from your bank or lender. This will help frame any conversations with builders or sales agents should you buy.