Build Vs Buy: Which Property Path Is Right For You? Lisa October 21, 2020

Build Vs Buy: Which Property Path Is Right For You?


Purchasing a house is one of the biggest financial decisions the average person will make in their lifetime – so how do you choose between build vs buy?

Much like purchasing a car, there’s no “one size fits all” winner – don’t fall into the trap of buying an Range Rover, when you could have been just as happy with a Corolla. When it comes to purchasing a house, while both build vs buy methods offer significant financial and social benefits, the better fit usually depends on the individual priorities of the buyer. 

So how do calculate what works out to be the best fit?

Build Vs Buy – What You Should Know About Building A House 

With a range of monetary incentives available such as the First Home Owners Grant and the HomeBuilder Grant, more Australians than ever are being encouraged to kick start the economy and build their own home – but is it worth it? 

Pro: Customisation – If you’re about to spend a lot of money on a home, then the big pro of building your own from the ground up is that you can bring it to life in line with your tastes. This can include anything and everything from the layout, cabinets and flooring to the sinks, lighting, paint colours and even doorknobs. 

Pro: Lower Maintenance – You’re not going to have to worry about undertaking big repairs like leaky roofs or structural issues with a new home, and even if you do – many home builders offer a warranty in the event that something should break or go pear shaped. In line with modern building codes, the technology used in new homes means less stress with maintenance. 

Pro: Lower Bills – Along with residing in a sparkly brand new home, most people don’t even factor in the lower living expenses. Most modern abodes are designed to be energy efficient – think better insulation, and materials that make the most of the climate in your part of the world. This also translates to significantly lower power and energy bills. 

Cons: Wait Times – Did you know that constructing a brand new home takes seven months on average, and that’s not including any applicable wait times that come with the planning and council approval stages? When you’re in between residences, you may also be up for the costs of renting a home to close the gap. 

Cons: Less Negotiating – Unlike navigating the existing property market, there generally isn’t a lot of “wriggle room” when it comes to negotiating on price with builders. The cost of labour and materials is usually quite fixed, so when you’re given a quote or price, that’s usually the bottom line – tradies are often very busy, and have plenty of other jobs to undertake. 

Cons: Ongoing Stress – Some people thrive on making decisions under pressure, and others not so much. There will be noise, there will be mud, and there will be things that go pear shaped. You’re also ultimately responsible for selecting fixtures, flooring, and all of the design work – not to mention sticking to a rigorous budget.

Build Vs Buy – What You Should Know About Buying An Existing House

While it may not always be the aesthetic dream that you had in mind, most people opt for purchasing an established home or property for the investment value and a quicker turnaround time. 

Pro: Negotiation – Especially considering the current economic climate, if you have the finance ready to go then it really is a buyers market. Be flexible on the look, feel and even suburb of an existing property, and you’ll often be able to negotiate on much more than just the price. If the owners don’t budge, there’s plenty of other options out there. 

Pros: The Work Is Done – Unless you’re buying a “doer upper”, then chances are that your home will be mostly ready to go. After the settlement and and contracts are signed, done and dusted, the turnaround time between the sale and when you can physically move in is usually pretty quick. 

Pros: Flexibility – Even if you DO want to get started with some renovations or even just a coat of paint, purchasing an existing house or property means that you can get started on small or large projects when you have the time, energy or budget to do so – there’s no rush, and this can relieve the major stress that usually comes with renovations. 

Cons: Higher Living Costs – While many existing homes in Queensland offer extensive charm and character, they’re often quite old. The materials used are often over 100 years old, and simply aren’t capable of coping with our sweltering summers and chilly winters, meaning higher living expenses when it comes to your quarterly power bill. 

Cons: Big Projects – Older homes also usually come with bigger maintenance bills. Even with the most extensive building and pest inspections, sometimes there’s a nasty surprise or two that inevitably await buyers who purchase a dated home – and the price tag that comes with fixing them usually isn’t pleasant. 

Cons: It’s Not Your Vibe – The simple reality that comes with purchasing an existing home is that you’re inheriting someone else’s taste. If you compromise on too much, then you may find yourself hating more things than you actually like about a property, so make sure you have the budget (or the patience) to slowly “tweak” the home to your style or vibe. 

How To Source A Reputable Builder  

When sourcing a reputable operator to see your new or existing home renovations right through to the finish line, it’s important to do your research. Start collecting examples of previous renovations that you like – many construction companies can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?

Another mark of a quality construction company is that they are happy to work with you. Ultimately, they’re getting paid to ensure your vision and goals are brought to life – so if you’re happy, they’re happy. 

An example of a reputable operator is Brisbane based Kibo Constructions. Lee Bourke and the team offer a unique “concept to creation” approach, and have extensive experience in residential and commercial renovations, refits and fitouts. If you know that there’s an upcoming project for you, your brand or your business, then the team at Kibo can happily provide a quote – and you might just be pleasantly surprised with the result.

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