To buy or to build? That’s the question!

For many first home buyers, deciding whether to purchase an established property or to build your own can be the most important decision of the process.

To help make the decision easier, it’s worth looking at your priorities. What exactly do you want out of your first home? Is it your forever home or will it become an investment property? These are considerations that will largely impact your decision when it comes to the property type.

To make things easier, we’ve broken down what you can expect of each option, including the benefits and the drawbacks, to help you form some of those priorities.

Established properties

The most sought after established properties are usually located closer to the CBD and inner and outer surrounding suburbs. Their major drawcard is that they are often located near established amenities and infrastructure such as schools, shopping centres and public transport.

Typical Melbourne homes found in the inner suburbs

Another major benefit of purchasing an established property is the ability to move in quickly. Once the initial house hunting is done and the deposit has been paid, buyers can often move in and start their new life in as little as 30 days.

You’ll find that the land size of established homes are generally bigger in nature than that of today’s house and land packages and has resulted in very few, if any, land vacancies to build upon. 

So what’s the catch? As you probably know, with all these benefits comes a costly price tag. You’ll struggle to find a standalone house in these areas with the sought after amenities under $800k. Often, to afford the property buyers have to settle for a smaller home, or even an apartment with no backyard or outdoor area. The competition for these homes are fierce, and can often set buyers back months in looking for their ideal home.

If you’re looking for a forever home, established properties are unlikely to meet those needs unless there is an ability to renovate the home. However, it’s important to be aware of the hidden costs that come with renovating or fixing existing issues of established properties. 

Major pros

  • Close to established amenities and infrastructure
  • Quick move-in time
  • Proximity to cbd
  • Good for investments

New builds

If you prioritize growing a family and future livability in a home, then it’s worth considering a new build. 

Many first home buyers are drawn to this option due to the savings and concessions available from the Government, such as reduced stamp duty and the First Home Owner Grant.

There are plenty of house and land packages available, although they can be sold rather quickly with some builders only requiring a small deposit up front. 

A snapshot of estate living

When building a new home, you have the ability and freedom to personalize the home the way you want. You can choose where the master bedroom is located, whether you want an open plan living and dining area and if there should be a deck for a barbeque with family and friends. Often buyers are more passionate about these homes as they are more involved in the process.

You can expect fewer maintenance issues after the build, saving you money in the long run. If any problems do arise, this is usually covered under a warranty. 

The usual deterrent of new builds is often they are found within new estates, where the estate itself is still under construction. However the estate types have dramatically changed over the years in Australia, with most offering education in the area, new trains stations for an easy commute to the city and plenty of open space to enjoy the outdoors with family.

Major pros

  • Ability to personalize your home
  • Government incentives for buyers
  • Lower ongoing costs for maintenance
  • Less competition to buy land
  • Issues and defects covered under warranty

When it comes to deciding what property type works for you, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each is the most important aspect of the process. Understanding what’s important to you when it comes to your home and your future is what will shape your decision to purchase your property. At the end of the day, you’re the one living in it!

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