Many first time home owners struggle with the classic question: Is it better to build or buy my first home? It can be a daunting decision, and there are certainly a lot of opinions swirling around the internet when you start searching for advice. Many people often assume it’s easier to buy a pre-existing home, but there are definitely downsides to this option. Building a house might seem daunting, but there are so many perks that are not obvious at the start. And we are here to share them!
We’re going to break the decision down for you and show you the benefits of both buying and building. There’s no one size fits all answer, either, so be sure to have a clear idea of what’s important to you. If something below strikes you, make a mental note. The “best” option depends on your priorities. Once you know what is and isn’t a deal-breaker in the home purchasing process, making this decision becomes a lot simpler.
Ready to dive in?
The Perks of Building
Personalisation – Calling the Shots
Let’s start with the perks of building your own home. Right from the get-go, there are several factors that make this option shine. When you’re calling the shots and designing your own home, you can choose to build to your exact specifications. Building from scratch also typically means you’re involved throughout the entire process. What type of fixtures do you want in your bathrooms? Where do you want your living room? What shape is the kitchen? You can let go of the stress of finding a pre-existing house that fulfills all of your needs and instead focus on designing your dream home within your budget. Want a giant deck? Check! Need an extra bedroom? You hold the power!
Lower Energy Costs
As part of the personalization process of building your own home, you can decide how energy efficient you want everything to be. Nowadays, these options are getting cheaper and come with a variety of incentives. Choosing the most efficient options for cooling, heating, lighting, and building materials can save you thousands on your bills. Though the upfront cost might be a bit more, the benefits will start rolling in before you know it. Take solar panels, for example – it can seem like a bit of a hefty price tag, but the energy savings you’ll see in the long run are worth it.
Incentives: First Home Owner Grant
As an unexpected benefit of 2020’s troubling economic situation, the First Home Owner’s Grant is providing funding for those looking to build their first home. You can expect to receive up to $7000 in purchase assistance from your state or territory’s government, with no expectations to repay those funds. This can make a huge difference when saving for a down payment! This is also an option for those looking to buy a brand new home.
Less Competition to Buy Land
A not as commonly known perk is also the fact that there is simply less competition to buy land. Many people are discouraged by the cost and time-intensity of building, so you can take advantage of this and get more of what you want during the home building process without having to compromise.
Another big benefit of building your own home is the fact that if something goes wrong, it’s typically going to be covered under warranty. A new house comes with warranties on all of the parts and labour, and though ideally, issues won’t arise on something brand new, you won’t need to stress if they do. This means you don’t need to worry as much about unforeseen costs so you can save your hard-earned money for other important purchases.
One massive benefit of building your own home is that you’ll only need to pay stamp duty on the lot of land and not the property itself. This is a big deal, as stamp duty can rack up tens of thousands of dollars. For those that aren’t a first time home buyer and therefore aren’t eligible for concession, this is a big deal.
Cons of Building Your First Home
It’s important to discuss some of the cons of choosing to build. Some people simply might not have the time required to make all of the decisions required throughout the process. Chances are your build is going to take quite a bit of time, unless you’ve elected to go with a very simple block-style house. It could take up to a year to complete the process, meaning more money spent on rent living in a less-desirable situation.
As the name would suggest, these loans are specifically used when you’re attempting to build a new home. These are great for getting the initial funding you need, but they also have a number of downsides. They tend to have higher interest rates than typical home loans. They might also require a larger deposit and higher fees. This could cost you a bit more money in the long run.
Building your own home is an excellent option if you’re looking for something out of the city, but if you’re trying to live in the heart of the CBD, building is not usually the best option (or even possible). CBD living is best suited for those wanting to live in apartments or looking to purchase pre-existing homes. Consider your ideal location and lifestyle when making the buying vs. building decision.
What About Buying?
Now let’s touch on the pros and cons of buying your own home. While you won’t get the flexibility and freedom of calling all the shots and building, you can save a bit of time by purchasing a pre-existing home. Keep in mind that most parts of the building won’t be covered by warranties, and if the house is a bit older, this could mean a lot of financial and time-related headaches when performing repairs and maintenance.
It can also seem a bit more convenient to simply scroll through properties on the internet and choose your favorites. While you might end up compromising on some parts of the home, there is definitely a level of ease with the option of buying something already built.
Remember that stamp duties are significantly higher when buying an established home. Though financing might be a bit more straightforward, the government fees might grab you by surprise.
- Building a home means you can call all the shots and personalise to your liking
- You save money on stamp duties and can take advantage of the First Home Owner’s Grant
- Most parts of the home and labour are covered under warranty when building new
- You get to design your perfect home when you decide to build!