When you’re looking to make the next step in your residential life, there is a common question that always arises – should you buy something established or build a brand new home from scratch? Obviously it all comes down to personal preference. You might be a lover of period Victorian architecture and desire to live in a delightfully charming 1930s inner city terrace with soaring ceilings and exquisite leadlight windows. In which case, buying something existing is more up your alley. On the other hand, you might be desiring a property that is sleek, modern, and that you can customise and build to your own bespoke stylish tastes. In this case, grab your hammer and get cracking.
For those however who are on the fence, here is a guide to navigating your way through the decision of older vs brand new.
The benefits of building a new home
Customise to your liking
Building a new home allows you to completely customise every detail of every inch of the property, from the considered floorplan you want over single or multiple levels, to which pendant lighting to use over the beautiful freestanding bath in the master bedroom ensuite. This is much harder if you’re buying an established property. Yes, there is the potential to renovate and extend an existing home, but that can be an expensive and lengthy process which can also be a logistical nightmare (where do you cook when you spend 6 weeks renovating the kitchen?!). With a new home, it is tailored for you and exactly what you want and need.
Leave it to the builder
Buyers who want to build may have a desire to live in a brand new luxury home but don’t want the hassle of being overly involved in the actual design. When building new, you have the flexibility to go with a builder’s standard design. Some builders have multiple designs you can choose from, and you can visit display homes to get a feel for what the finished product will be like.
Choosing the right builder is vitally important no matter how involved you are in the building process. You want to find a builder with an established track record of producing quality homes, someone who communicates with you every step of the way, and one that will be able to expertly problem solve if any issues arise. Do your research, visit some display homes, and decide which builder is right for you!
Saving, saving, saving!
Another benefit to building a new home is that there is no stamp duty to pay on a build contract, which will save you thousands of dollars! All new homes also have a statutory 10 year structural warranty, which will avoid any further costs over the decade if any major or minor problems arise with the property. If you’re building a brand new home as an investment, attractive depreciation schedules may apply to the property’s new fittings, fixtures, and appliances. This is a great tax benefit to take advantage of!
Higher energy efficient standards
New homes these days have been designed to much higher energy efficient standards, which will only save you money in the long run in terms of utility bills as compared to that of an older property. New homes are also being built to decrease ongoing maintenance costs.
The benefits of buying an established property
You know what you’re getting
The major benefit of buying a home that is already established is that you know exactly what you’re in for. Well, after getting a building inspection of course (watch out for those pesky termites!). You’re able to walk through the home, feel the hardwood floors under your feet, touch the soft carpet, and appreciate the natural light in the living zones. Nothing is theoretical or imagined, it is all there for you to either fall in love with or not.
Size and location!
When it comes to buying an established home, one major advantage is the location. As a general rule, you’re more likely to find established homes in areas that are close to a city centre and near amenities such as schools, shops, parks, and transport. It is much harder to find vacant blocks in popular and coveted inner city suburbs if you’re looking to build something new.
Of course, you can still build a new property on an existing home site by knocking down the original, which is another tick in the box for new home builders. Many of the renowned builders even have dedicated processes in place specifically for knockdown re-build customers.
The need for speed
Buying an established home will often benefit buyers who want to be living in their property sooner rather than later. Depending on your settlement terms, you can be enjoying your new place within 30 days of purchase, although the typical settlement terms will likely be 2-3 months. This is still much quicker than the time it will take to build a new residence, which can range from 7 to 12 months depending on the type of home you are constructing.