There are many decisions to be made once you've decided to purchase a home. One of the biggest decisions first home buyers face is whether to purchase an existing property or build new. Building used to be left to subsequent home buyers and those who wanted a custom-designed residence. This is no longer the case. There are many builders who cater to first home buyers and middle income buyers these days. This means the question of building versus buying is relevant to buyers at every life stage and every income level.
How, then, do you decide if it's better to build or buy?
The Pros And Cons Of Building
Advantages of Building
• Customisation. The biggest advantage of building is customisation. New houses can be built to the individual buyers' specifications. Even estate housing offers some level of customisation. Yet, they are less expensive than custom built designs.
• Everything is new. New appliances and materials make it unlikely the buyer will need to make major repairs or replacements anytime soon.
• Improved energy efficiency. New construction is built to the latest building standards and use the most up-to-date technology. This makes them more energy efficient than existing housing.
• Pride. Many buyers who choose to build enjoy the process of making all of the decisions and seeing their ideas come to life.
• Can be less expensive. Builder incentives can reduce the cost to the point where it is more affordable than purchasing existing.
Disadvantages of Building
• Purchasing home and land. New construction requires the buyer to not only pay for the construction of the dwelling, but also to buy the land that it will be built on. Both can be expensive, even with discounts offered by builders.
• Construction time. It takes time to build. Plans need to be drafted, reviewed and approved before construction can even begin. You'll need to wait for inspections to take place before the next steps can begin and you'll need to make decisions about finishing touches as you go along. Weather can cause delays as can unexpected factors such as soil stability. New construction can take several months or longer to build.
• Costs can add up. The first price you're quoted may not be the final price. Prices can increase based on the level of customisation you choose, the size of the residence and the quality of the contractors you use.
The Pros And Cons Of Purchasing Existing
Advantages of Buying Existing
• Typically cost less than building. You're paying for everything at once. No need to purchase land separately.
• Everything is included. Appliances, landscaping and property structures such as garages, decks and sheds are already included in the price.
• Less stressful. For many people, it is less stressful to buy existing than to build new. There are no worries about something going wrong during construction or delays turning your life upside down.
• Established neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is established making it easier to determine the character of the area and whether or not it is a good fit for your family.
• Shorter wait time until move-in. No need to wait for months for the home to be ready for move-in.
Disadvantages of Purchasing Existing
• No chance of customisation. What you see is what you get with an existing home.
• There may be problems due to aging or neglect. You have no control over what previous owners did to the property or how they maintained it.
• High chance of costly repairs or replacement sooner rather than later.
• May not be able to find what you want. Depending on what is available at the time, you may not be able to find the home you want or need.
Ultimately, the decision to buy or build will come down to what kind of home you want, how much you can afford and whether or not you are willing to wait on new construction.