If you’re in the market for a new home, chances are you’re debating whether to buy an existing home or build a new one. Both options have plenty of upsides - and downsides too.
So how do you decide what’s best for you? Whether it’s your first home, your upsizing or downsizing, or you’re looking for an investment, there are many factors to consider before you make a decision.
The Pros of Building a New Home
The best part about a new home is, that when you start with a blank site and build, you’ll end up with a home that is truly your own. You can choose a house design that suits your needs, plus all the decorative features, which means the end result will be tailor made for you and your family.
Another big upside to new homes is that they’ll have all the latest appliances, and will be built with brand new materials. They will also be more energy efficient, which saves you money in the long run, and be covered by a warranty, so you can feel confident that everything is in top working order.
You have two main options when building – a conventional build or a modular home. Both types of homes are built with the same materials and construction codes - the difference is that conventional builds are undertaken on site, while modular homes are built offsite in a factory, then transported to the site.
Modular homes come with a few important additional benefits. Because they are built in a controlled environment, build times remain on schedule and quality control is high. In addition to this, you generally have more flexibility when it comes to design than you have with volume home builders.
The Cons of Building a New Home
When you purchase land and build a new home, it can potentially cost you more, but this depends on land size, location and the type of house you are building.
Another possible problem can be a blowout with the time it takes to build – but this is only an issue for conventional builds where weather and other site issues can have an impact.
Depending on the location, new homes may also be built on smaller blocks, and lack existing trees and gardens. But it’s still possible to find land that’s a good size and boasts some existing plants and trees.
This is especially true of regional locations, and these areas are particularly suited to modular home builds. In remote locations the cost of a conventionally built home can skyrocket due to delivery costs and the long term travel and accommodation costs for builders.
In these areas, modular homes can be a much better option, as 90% of construction is completed off site, and new homes can be built for a fraction of the time and cost of conventionally built ones.
The Pros of Buying an Existing Home
When you choose to buy an existing home, you generally have more options when it comes to location. This can mean you have more control over finding a home that is close to your work, preferred schools, and are more likely to be close to established communities and facilities.
Another drawcard to buying an established home is that they may have certain character features that appeal to you that you won’t find in a new home.
Things like established gardens and mature trees, are a big plus, and means you don’t have to wait years for your garden to grow. You also may have more power to negotiate on the price of existing homes, which can save you money in the short term – but keep in mind a “bargain” may end up needing a lot more money spent in upkeep and maintenance in the long run.
The Cons of Buying an Existing Home
When you buy an established home, there is a higher degree of risk. If you purchase a property with existing problems, it can end up costing you big time.
It’s essential that you undertake a thorough inspection prior to purchase to make sure that the home is structurally sound and things such as the wiring and plumbing are in good working order.
But even with a thorough building inspection, there’s still a chance that potential problems will be missed. Plus, because the house is older, the need for repairs and maintenance will be higher – and so will the ongoing costs.
It comes down to this…
Every home is different, and every buyer has their own unique needs. This means that for some people a new home build is the best option, while for others buying an existing home is the way to go.
In the end it will depend on your own unique financial and personal situation – and the house and land or existing property in question.
By doing your research and having a good understanding of your options, you’re more likely to choose the property that is right for you and your family – now and in the future.