Is Building a New House Worth It? We Weigh the Pros & Cons
It doesn’t matter where you call home, the very word sparks a deep emotion in each of us.
Our homes are our sanctuary, a place where we gather with family and friends and create memories with our children. It’s a place that speaks volumes about who we are.
That is why home buyers spend vast amounts of time researching properties, negotiating interest rates and navigating the lists of costs associated with home loans. Other details to consider include location, lifestyle, house prices, market trends and stamp duty.
Even though there is a multitude of decisions to make when looking to buy a house, there is one main question to tackle before you sign any contract.
Do you purchase an existing home or research reputable custom home builders and build a new one?
Both these options have a series of pros and cons to take into account. In this blog we take a closer look at buying an established home versus building a new home. You can then make an informed decision about how you will buy your next property.
Pros of building a new house
1. Create a custom floor plan that works for your household
Customisation and control are the main benefits of building your own home. You are involved in planning the configuration of your home with the architect. From the number of bedrooms, kitchen layout, how many bathrooms to how many garages on the block and levels. You decide everything.
This allows you to plan for any future life changes as well as the needs and lifestyle of your household.
2. Personalise the interior to your taste
Your home is a reflection of who you are and deserves your personal touch. Unlike established houses, a new build will allow you to control the design of all the finer details and finishes.
The type of materials, fittings and fixtures are in your hands. Whether you’re an entertainer or value technology, you have the chance to realise your vision from the ground up.
3. Match it with your land
A new building can be designed to match your block of land perfectly. It will offer the ability to cater for any extra features later. There could be a new pool, added landscaping or you could make an application for a granny flat.
Whatever specifications you decide, you can ensure your home fits your lot with changing circumstances in mind.
4. It’s untouched and new
Imagine a home where every space boasts a brand new feature. Creating a home from scratch means all the things within it are untouched and up-to-date.
Nothing is worn out and all products work as they should. From the smooth run of the windows and rain shower to the quiet of the air conditioner, the difference from an existing home is crystal clear.
5. New home warranty
A home buyer who builds their house can benefit greatly from new home warranty insurance. Surprisingly, this is an advantage often overlooked by most people.
You will gain peace of mind knowing that you are protected against any structural defects associated with the work as well as the materials of your home.
You are also protected against any non-completion of work or any costly mistakes that may cause a problem later.
6. Energy efficiency
With the cost of electricity and other services rising in Australia, it has never been more important to demand energy efficiency. New homes comply with stricter energy standards than existing houses.
Newer materials and technology lends itself to environmentally sustainable homes which saves on energy bills. This is also a factor that adds great value when it comes to the future sale of your house.
7. Less Maintenance
Older homes may have character but they can also come with a litany of issues. Even newer existing homes, less than five years old, inevitably need repairs and suffer from wear and tear.
A new home will save you from all the extra effort and hassle. Built with the latest building codes and construction materials, you can be assured that your family can move in with ease and convenience.
8. Better resale value
The quality of home construction has dramatically improved over time. Advancements in materials, building practices and technology, as well as improvements in insulation, make newer homes an attractive choice for investment.
This result is a property that spends less time on the market when selling and one that paves the way for a better price.
9. Bespoke appliances
The construction of a new home offers a chance to do it your way. This includes choosing modern appliances that suit your needs and lifestyle. Thanks to enhanced technology, you are in a great position to add anything you desire.
Integrated fridge/freezers and dishwashers, sensor rubbish bins, a modern espresso machine or combined washer/dryer – the choice is yours.
Newer construction requires adherence to far more stringent safety regulations. The final product not only results in fewer maintenance issues but is safer for your family.
Modern materials are sturdy, durable and can withstand the harsh weather conditions in Australia, unlike the risk of older homes. Add to that, the use of alarms, cameras and newer locks and you’ll be well and truly safeguarded.
Cons of building a new house
Buying a home and moving in is a faster process than a new build. Once a deposit is paid and the mortgage and paperwork is all organised, the process is quite fluid.
Conversely, a new house development can take anywhere from 6 months to a year. Some home buyers also experience protracted delays. These could be due to material and labour shortages, weather problems or even conflict with a builder.
To help mitigate the amount of delays, doing your research when choosing a new builder will ensure you hire the most reliable contractor and crew.
2. Building costs
For some, the cost of building a new home will quickly burn holes in their pockets.
Before you part with any funds, take time to speak to the new build experts about how to best budget for your new house. You could save thousands by simply taking some steps in forward planning. By discussing the choices you’ve made for your bespoke home and making some savvy calculations, you will avoid a budget blowout.
3. Construction loans
To fund your custom built home, you will need a specific construction loan. Although they are good for constructing a brand new home, one of the main drawbacks are that they cost more than a home loan.
Repayments can be higher due to their higher interest rate. Also, factor in the fact that you need a larger deposit and may pay higher fees. As with anything, speak to a number of mortgage brokers in order to get the best deal.
Most new developments are constructed on the outskirts of the capital cities and in newer suburbs. Northwest and southwest Sydney, for example, have a number of areas ripe for building. These new suburbs are usually at various stages of development and may not yet have the infrastructure or facilities such as public transport in place.
If you plan on building a new home in established areas, you may need to factor in the cost of demolishing the old house. This may add more time and require extra money.
It can be challenging visualising something that is intangible and cannot be touched or felt. At the end of construction, you may be left with a family home that doesn’t meet your expectations.
The key here is to get the architects and builders to help guide you. Some expert custom home builders will show you a list of their typical inclusions and will help in the planning process.
Before signing any contracts, ensure all your questions are answered and get a handle on all expenses covering the content of your home.
Not all builders are transparent about their prices and inclusions or are upfront about possible variations. This can leave some customers with lots of problems.
Your builder should be able to offer you a realistic guide to building your boutique home and communicate throughout the course and stages of building.
This way, you can work within budget whilst getting the design you’re after.
Questions to consider before building a new house
Apart from the pros and cons of building your new home, it’s important to explore some extra factors and information available.
By considering these factors, you can be sure that your new home is worth the effort. Time to get the calculators out …
What is your budget for a new house?
- Take into account all aspects of the build, from design to structure, fixtures, fittings and completion.
- Partner with your builder to go through all expenses with a fine tooth comb to avoid miscalculations.
- Speak to lenders and a financial advisor to help go through the figures and ensure affordability.
Where would you build a new house?
- Location can adversely impact your construction costs, so ensure there is access to services.
- Are you building in a city area where the cost of the building may be higher or where you require greater earthworks?
- Speak to your real estate agent to glean the best area to build and work with your contractor to gain further insight.
How much do you currently owe on your house?
- Speak with your lender to refinance in order to build your new home.
- Look at your overall finances, including other liabilities, credit cards and expenses.
- Your credit score may limit your access to a construction loan, so speak to your lender to find different ways.
What are the benefits of building a new house?
- It can be designed with modern fixtures, fittings and appliances to enhance your lifestyle.
- Every idea, detail or decision is made by you – the home owner.
- Given the bespoke nature of a new home, you can optimise the money spent.
- You can take advantage of stamp duty savings.
- Government incentives may apply to some customers to help finance a custom home, such as the First Home Owners Grant.
- Quality of materials is assured as you make all the choices.
- Choice of the ideal outdoor space with trees, gardens and landscaping.
- You have the option to secure any contractor and crew you wish.
What are your long-term plans?
- Consider your current as well as future lifestyle, which includes pets, family planning or empty nesters.
- What are your goals work-wise and will you need to travel overseas or to another state?
- Are you building for a long-term investment or to sell and make money?
Life is full of hard decisions and each of those is laden with pros and cons. It’s no different when trying to decide between buying an established house or hiring a contractor to build your own. There are so many things to think about.
Do you invest in land packages, try your hand at a renovation or make a down payment on an existing average home?
If only the answer was as easy as using a calculator or reading a report.
To help you come to a decision, the first thing you should think about is this: If you’re after a space where you will have complete creative control on all the specifications, then building a new home is for you.
With the right tips and advice from your custom home contractor, you can easily create a home that will suit yourself and your family for many years to come.
New South Homes are proud to be the new house builders of choice for those looking for an award-winning team to help build their dream home.
Benefit from our expertise, knowledge of current trends and our integrity. Get in touch today.
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