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Should I build or buy my next home

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You know exactly what your dream home looks like. The problem is that after months spent searching for it, nothing on the market quite measures up.

So should you build your dream home from scratch or buy an existing home that closely matches it? It can be a tough decision, and both options have pros and cons.

There’s no denying the thrill of building your own home. There’ll be nothing else like it on the market, but it has some disadvantages too. Most Australians buy an existing home, and for good reason, as it’s an easier process. But it also has some cons.

The pros of building your own home

1. You can customise your home

One reason people choose to build is they get to design a one-of-a-kind home that meets their needs and preferences. You get to choose the location, style, materials and fittings, and have the opportunity to build a more energy-efficient home. Alternatively, you can build off the plan or do a knock-down and rebuild.

2. You may qualify for a government grant

The Australian government has extended the HomeBuilder program, which offers a $15,000 grant to first-time buyers building a new home. This applies to contracts signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 for properties not exceeding $750,000. The property cap is $850,000 for Victoria and $950,000 for New South Wales.

The cons of building your own home

1. It’s a long process

Building a new home is a long, time-consuming and sometimes stressful process. There are a lot of decisions to make. You’ll have to agree on design with the architect, understand the Australian home building process, work closely with builders, contractors and landscapers, and conduct regular site visits.

2. Possible glitches with the project

If you choose the wrong builder, shoddy workmanship will turn your dream home into a nightmare. Even if you have an excellent builder, building projects are notorious for things going wrong unexpectedly. Delays on materials, equipment breakdowns and even the weather can all set the project back by several weeks or months.

The pros of buying an existing home

1. Move in faster

Building a new home can take anything from six months to two years. Buying a home usually means you can move in much sooner. Getting finance is also fast with pre-approved loans. Apply for a pre-approved home loan with Well Money and you’ll receive an answer faster than a bank! With a pre-approved loan, you’ll also be able to seal the deal on a house quickly.

2. You know what you’re getting

With new builds, it can be hard to visualise what the finished product will look like, and some things may not turn out as you envisioned. When viewing houses, you get to see exactly what it looks like. No surprises on moving day.

The cons of buying an existing home

1. You may need to renovate

Finding the right house at the right price is tricky. You could find the perfect house but it’s priced higher than your budget. You may have to opt for a lower-priced house that requires some renovations. 

2. Real estate and property fees

The cost of a home doesn’t only come down to the sticker price. There are other fees and hidden costs lurking. These include:

  • Transfer and mortgage registration fees
  • Conveyancing fee
  • Stamp duty (although first home buyers may qualify for an exemption – check with your local authority as legislation differs across states)
  • Building and pest inspection costs

To build or buy is a big decision. Ultimately, it comes down to your circumstances and needs.

Whichever route you choose, Well Money can support your dream of homeownership with a low-interest home loan. Call us on 1300 899 724 or send an enquiry.

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