Is It Cheaper To Build Or Buy A Home?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Buyers of real estate often wonder whether they should acquire an existing structure or vacant ground on which to construct a new one.

    Both approaches have important economic and societal advantages, but which one is "better" depends on the purchaser's values and goals.

    To figure out what qualifies as better, you must first identify your requirements or preferences.

    You should think about getting a car. In comparison to a Prius, a motorcycle, a stunning two-door sports car, and a Range Rover, which is the best option? All of them offer transportation, but do any of them tailor their services to your requirements?                                           

    Established Home

    There are a number of advantages that purchasers can enjoy by purchasing an already-existing property.

    buying a house

    Since empty lots are uncommon in central city neighbourhoods, an older home is more likely to be located there than a brand new one. As a result, it'll be at a more convenient location in relation to things like public transportation, shopping, and educational institutions.

    Aside from being in a more desirable area, the lot size on which this house sits is also likely to be larger than that of similarly situated brand-new constructions.

    • When compared to today's standard home and land combination, lots used to be significantly larger.
    • It's not uncommon for an established home to have both a sizable yard and a generously proportioned interior, two features that come at a premium in newly constructed residences.
    • Buying an existing house is far more efficient than constructing a new one. Once the buyer has found a home they want and put down a deposit, the entire process can take as little as 30 days from start to finish.
    • However, the construction of a new house might take many months and is fraught with possibilities for more setbacks and issues. This means that many homebuyers will have to keep renting during the construction of their new residence.
    • Choosing all of the fixtures, colours, and finishes for a new house is also a huge time commitment. If you're making an architectural home, this process will take even longer.
    • Gardens, trees, and parks that have been built over time have a favourable effect on long-term residences that is typically missing in newer developments.
    • The lack of trees and flowers in a newly built estate is immediately noticeable.
    • It's possible that the expense of a garden should be included in a new mortgage, despite the fact that it's typically forgotten about. If you've never laid out a complete garden and lawn before, you might be surprised at how much money is involved.

    One of the most important considerations for buyers is whether or not the property will be used as a primary residence or an investment. In the second case, the tried-and-true family residence is usually the safer bet.

    • Those purchasing their first house should plan for its worth to rise so that they can eventually upgrade to a larger and nicer dwelling.
    • Investing in an already established piece of real estate that receives a tasteful facelift can increase its worth immediately, bringing the buyer much closer to their ideal home in a shorter amount of time.
    • Buyers also have a better basis for gauging the value of their purchase and the potential return on their investment when dealing with pre existing properties.
    • As an added bonus, buying an already-existing property gives purchasers a solid idea of the design, style, and price point for comparable properties in the region, which is helpful for estimating the home's potential appreciation in value.

    Enhancing Thermal Comfort

    Boosting thermal efficiency during a renovation is possible using the strategies outlined below; for additional information on each strategy, check out Passive solar heating, Passive cooling, and the linked pages.

    Windows And Glazing

    • Instead of using low-performance units that aren't suited to the climate, replace them with high-performance units. If you want to preserve your wooden windows but want to increase their efficiency, upgrading them with double glazing is a viable option.
    • When reinstalling sashes, pay special attention to airtightness.
    • In colder climates, you can get the same effect as double glazing with polycarbonate films attached by magnets during the winter months; these can be taken down and stored during the warm summer months.
    • Change the position or size of windows facing due east and due west, and add operable blinds or shades.
    • If you need to cover your windows temporarily because of a problem, you can use shade cloth blinds.
    • Reduce the amount of shade cast over north-facing windows by cutting back or removing trees and plants, and encourage neighbours to do the same.
    • To stop heat from escaping through the roof, install thick drapes that reach the ground and the walls on all sides, and secure sealed pelmets above.

    Thermal Mass

    • In areas where it is desirable to have thermal mass exposed, carpet or other insulating coverings on slabs should be removed and tiles or concrete floors finishes installed. Reports from sustainability experts on buildings suggest that this can boost NatHERS ratings by as much as a full star in several regions.
    • Place dark, phase change material in solar or sealed water containers or breeze-exposed areas to take advantage of passive heating and cooling.

    Draughts, Ventilation, And Air Movement

    • Increase ventilation by doing the following:
      • Incorporating new, fully operable windows and doors to let in fresh air
      • cutting new passages through ceilings, walls, and floors that aren't load bearing
      • rearranging doors to create better airflow
      • If you want to maximise the cooling effects of your home's natural breezes, you should arrange your landscaping, outbuildings, and fencing so that the airflow is directed through the interior of your home.
    • Fan the entire room or house with ceiling fans.
    • Ventilation fans that can be blocked off in the winter will keep your attic cool in the summer.
    • Having doors installed in corridors and stairwells helps regulate airflow, particularly during the colder months, and also helps divide a building into different climate zones.
    • Drought seals the entire structure.

    Space And Amenity Improvements (To Lessen The Necessity For New Construction)

    • Consider summer shade, pest protection, and winter sun when designing or renovating outdoor living spaces that are near to the kitchen and internal living areas.
    • Put in some extra, dedicated shelving or cabinets.
    • The washing room could be better connected to the outside or future extensions by being moved to a cupboard off of a living space or circulation space.
    • To accommodate new roles and storage needs, try out different furniture configurations.
    • If the final location for your renovated kitchen is set in stone in your conceptual stage plan:
      • Select long-lasting, non-dating finishes.
      • Make sure there is enough airflow around the fridge and that it isn't placed adjacent to any heat sources.
      • materials with an E0 or better finish should be chosen as they emit very few or no volatile organic compounds.
      • thinking about the safety and efficiency of traffic
      • pick out the water- and energy-saving machines
      • Provide sufficient space for recycling and composting.
    • If you plan on keeping your current bathroom layout, here are some upgrades you should make:
      • Choose water fixtures with the highest possible WELS star rating, including toilets, showers, and faucets.
      • Two- or three-way layouts can reduce the number of bathrooms needed. It is possible to shower and brush your teeth at the same time if you install a mirror and vanity in a previously unused closet or trash bin.

    New Home

    house building

    There are a number of advantages to buying a plot of land and constructing a new house from the ground up that you won't get with an already-existing house.

    Because of financial incentives including lower stamp duty and a First Home Owner Grant, this choice is appealing to many first-time homeowners.

    • You can take advantage of a beneficial tax benefit by claiming depreciation on your new home at a rapid rate in the first few years if you plan to use it as an investment property.

    There is also the possibility of long-term savings, as a newly constructed home is expected to be more energy efficient and to have fewer maintenance difficulties than an older one.

    • Even if problems do arise during the warranty period, the homeowner of an architect's design home that employs responsible building practices such as natural ventilation, greywater systems, PV panels with battery backup, and one that takes advantage of sunny weather in any area will always recognise these features.
    • You now have a home that requires no maintenance or repairs for the foreseeable future. Because there is nothing to improve or replace, we may relax and enjoy ourselves.

    The ability to personalise a space is a big selling point for new construction.

    • Determine the size of your entertaining space, where the fireplace will go, and the material used for its cladding.
    • Since you had a hand in creating the product, the tales you tell your pals over a few cold ones at the BBQ will be more believable and engaging.

    This way of purchasing has its benefits, and it may be argued that it offers sellers more value.

    • A lot of times, the value you receive exceeds the cost. A two-bedroom apartment may cost less, but a brand-new house customised to your specifications beats anything money can buy any day.

    Despite the longer build period, purchasers can save many Saturdays and Sundays often spent on home inspections, auctions, and haggling with real estate brokers.

    • Buying a plot of land and constructing a house eliminates the need to compete with buyers of existing houses. Many people are put off by the high difficulty and expense of construction.

    New construction can be an excellent choice if you want a place to raise a family and spend many years.

    • In light of the fact that the average Australian home has shrunk in size by 20 percent over the past two decades, it may be more financially prudent to construct a brand-new home according to your ideal layout rather than renovate an older one.

    Green Building/Energy Consumption

    Whatever your "green" (money spent on monthly energy bills or concern for the environment) may be, a newly built home is almost always the best alternative. Current national code requirements for energy efficiency are much stricter than they were even a few years ago, and as a result, today's newly constructed homes routinely meet or surpass. Every component of a brand-new home—from the walls to the roof to the windows and doors and even the appliances themselves—must pass stringent energy codes before being certified. As they were built to considerably lower standards, often decades ago that power consumption was an afterthought, almost no resale properties offer certifications.

    Though expensive, it is possible to remodel many parts of an existing home to increase its energy efficiency. However, you still might not reach the efficiency standards that are now expected of newly built houses because of flaws in the original design. Furthermore, the improved air filtration found in most modern homes raises the quality of the air within and decreases the severity of asthma and allergy attacks.

    Flexibility For Customising Space And Wiring

    The prospect of moving into a brand-spanking-new home that can be customised to the buyer's exact specifications is a major selling point for many people considering a new build over an existing home, where they would have to settle for the previous owner's aesthetic preferences and perhaps some wear and tear. In the 1950s or earlier, a house built for resale would have had the kind of formal small kitchen, dimmer windows dining room, and fewer bathrooms, dimmer windows that today seem antiquated. In contrast, before building even begins on a new house, you and the builder can often work together to plan out the layout of the interior areas. 

    And many modern homes already have the high-tech wiring for the latest in high-speed electronic and communication devices, home theatres, and safety systems. Spending a lot of money to knock down walls (some are "load-bearing walls" and cannot be simply moved) in an older home may be necessary if you want to create the open floor plan that is popular today.

    Replacement Costs

    Homebuyers interested in a low-maintenance investment may choose to consider a newly built house. Everything in a new home is brand spanking new, including the expensive heating and cooling systems, water heaters, stoves, refrigerators, and other appliances. Many of these parts are backed by lengthy warranties—up to ten years in certain cases—that might ease your mind. In a resale home, you're likely to find appliances and fixtures that have seen better days, or that are on the verge of breaking down entirely. It's possible that there aren't any warranties, or that they come with very specific conditions.

    To get an idea of what you would actually spend in the first few years after buying an existing home, think about some of these common major renovations:

    • Air conditioning and heating. The average lifespan of a furnace is 20 years and that of a central air conditioning system is 15 years. Depending on the replacement technique, an AC unit might cost upwards of $4,100 and a furnace can cost as much as $3,675.
    • Hardwood floor refinishing, flooring, carpeting, and tile. The carpet in a resale home will almost certainly need to be replaced, and you may want to consider upgrading other floors or finishes as well. Dependent on your preferences, prices might range from the low thousands to well over $15,000.
    • Roof. Most shingled roofs can be expected to last for around 25 years. The estimated cost to replace it can range from $5,000 to well over $10,000.
    • Painting exterior. New construction allows you to personalise your home's appearance with paint. Painting an existing home is a common project, and it can cost as much as $5,000.
    • Painting the Interior. Again, when purchasing a brand-new home, you get to choose out the paint colours for each individual room. The inside of a pre-existing house will likely need some fresh paint. Doing it yourself will still take time and effort.
    • Kitchen Renovation. Estimate a range of $20,000-$40,000.
    • Renovation of the Master Bath. $15,000 and higher.

    While it's true that a brand-new house won't have any hidden fees, they should be far more manageable than the costs associated with fixing up an older property. Window coverings are an example of an infrequently considered, but potentially significant, additional expense. That's probably not that big of a deal, some may remark. The cost of window treatments, like blinds or plantation shutters, may add up quickly when applied to 52 brand new windows. She also mentions landscaping, saying that a homeowner who has just had a house built may want to add more shrubs, trees, and groundcovers to the property to help the existing vegetation mature.

    It's likely that you'll spend a considerable amount of money in the years following the acquisition of a resale house on at least a few of these capital upgrades, although what you upgrade and when is ultimately up to you and your budget. They're the hidden expenses of not purchasing brand new items.

    FAQs About Home Builder

    Building versus buying means you can customise everything to your specific needs. You can outfit your home with stylings Homes, for instance, and not have to remodel again in the future.

    You can save a lot of money by building your own home, and there are other advantages as well. For example, a contractor-built home took an average of 8.1 months to complete in 2017. For homes that their owners constructed, the process can take considerably longer. This is why you need to get started on your new house plans straight away.

    This is why you need to get started on your new house plans straight away. This perk pertains to the potential cost savings that come with purchasing all-new home appliances, upgrading to better models, and selecting unique features and finishes.

    The buyer can determine if the house is suitable for his needs based on the floor plan's depiction of the layout and the sizes of the various rooms. A well-drawn floor plan is crucial to any home's design and construction process.

    We'll talk about the downsides of purchasing a brand-new home. It would help if you thought about these downsides together with the benefits before buying a property that is brand new. The home-buying process can be challenging without the right information.

    Safety Features (Especially From Fires)

    Unlike older homes, which often lack contemporary fire retardants in places like carpeting and insulation, newly constructed homes have these features standard. Construction firms increasingly incorporate hardwired smoke and CO detectors into new construction, eliminating the need for buyers to rely on less reliable battery-powered models. When constructing a home, many construction companies will additionally install battery backup for hard-wired detectors in case of power shortages.

    Mortgage Financing

    Financing, including down payments, "points," other loan costs, and interest rates, can be arranged to suit your needs by many builders because they commonly have mortgage subsidiaries or affiliates. Numerous lenders are likewise prepared to assist with settlement charges. While some sellers of previously owned homes may be eager to help with closing costs, you can be assured that they do not control a mortgage lender and are therefore unable to provide you with the necessary financing. There is little help available from the bank when you use a loan to buy a used car.

    Buyer Competition

    One factor, though it may not always hold true depending on location, is that buyers of newly built homes typically have no competition when it comes to selecting a particular property. Low housing supply in the area could lead to several offers on resale properties without necessarily sparking a bidding war. However, the seller has more control over the transaction with a newly built home. There isn't anyone else with whom you have to contend. In our industry, that is essential. Recently, we have been engaged in situations where a single buyer has made repeated bids on resale houses and been outbid each time.

    Resale Value

    Your new house could be where you spend the next many decades. However, most individuals sell their homes at some time in their lives for a variety of reasons. This could be to make room for a growing family, downsize after the kids have moved out, relocate for a new job, etc. Even though the house you sell won't be brand new anymore, if it has even half the amenities listed above, it will likely sell for more than a 25-year-old house. Also, while purchasing a home that is brand spanking new, you are paying full retail price. On the other hand, when prices rise as each new "phase"' and developed area opens in a subdivision, that retail price may be acceptable in the future. Unlike in older, more established neighbourhoods, property values in newly developed regions tend not to decrease.

    Each prospective homeowner should make their own judgement about whether to purchase a brand-new or pre-owned residence. You may now make an informed choice because you are aware of the right inquiries to ask and the various prices to consider.

    Scroll to Top