To build or to buy; What is the right decision for your dream home?
To build or buy? It’s become quite the debate. And the answer will be different depending on who you ask; where they are currently living, their income level, and what their life-plan holds. You also need to consider these factors for yourself and assess what the right choice is for you. Let’s take a look at building vs buying.
Pro’s of Building a House:
- Customisation. Building your own home from scratch means that you get to decide what every nook and cranny will look like, together with your designer, of course. This is often the most exciting aspect people think of when building their dream house; choosing the flooring, the cabinetry, the cladding, the doorknobs and everything in-between—turning their dream home into a reality.
- Avoid the hectic buyer-battles. In New Zealand, particularly in our larger cities and most certainly in Auckland, homes don’t stay on the market for very long. There is usually a LOT of competition, causing desperate buyers to panic and often end up spending more than they had intended. Avoid this madness and just build it yourself, mate.
- Lower maintenance. (sometimes). A new home means new everything. The worst new home you could build would simply need to meet the current (low) building code standards. Beyond that, you can choose to build smart and exceed the current building code to actually create a warm, dry and healthy home. Build it tight; Build it right. Building a home with better materials, built to a higher standard, will reduce your future maintenance. Fixing issues later costs much more than doing it right the first time. Make sure you remember this in your building plan.
- Save on energy costs and create a healthy home. Following on from the above point, this is your chance to significantly cut down on your energy costs, by building with passive energy features, saving you money in the long-run. The other aspect that is often overlooked; is the pleasure and comfort people get when they live in a warm, dry and safe home. Homes are about people.
- It’s all about that New-New. Let’s face it; there is a certain something that comes with waking up in your new bedroom, walking into the sparkling new kitchen and taking your morning coffee onto your new deck, and knowing that when it’s cold or hot outside, your home is just right inside too.
Pros of Buying a House
- Shorter wait time. Unless you have signed on to buy a planned home that has yet to be built, chances are your wait time of buying a house compared to building on land means that you can move in a LOT faster. In some cases, people choose to wait before moving in if significant repairs or renovations are needed. In most cases, when buying a home, you can expect to be in your new home significantly sooner.
- Less noise and mud. If you are buying a finished house that is your dream home straight off the bat, that means you won’t have to deal with excessive drills, tools, construction and muddy boots throughout your home. But keep in mind these may be in your future if renovations are ahead.
- Avoid stress. Creating your dream house from the ground up can be a magical experience. But you know what, it can also be extremely stressful! Managing every aspect of the build is time-consuming and demanding. Some choose to save themselves this type of stress by buying a finished home.
- Less hidden costs. Buying a move-in ready house means that all the up and down leg-work of estimating various costs has (mostly) already been done. Which means more money for decorating the inside and turning your house into a home.
- It’s there waiting for you. What’s that saying? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! If you find your dream home just sitting there waiting for you, swoop in and claim it!
However, the BIG ISSUE is buying an older home. Unless it has undergone significant renovations, older NZ homes basically never meet the healthy home standards. But instead, were built to meet the building codes… which (in NZ) is 25 years behind the rest of the world’s standards. Many of these homes lack features such as double glazing and adequately insulated walls, rooves and underflooring. Without these features, you may find yourself living in a home, losing large amounts of warmth through air leakage due to poor insulation. Not to mention, the lack of energy-efficient systems such as water heating and cooking systems. It is extremely rare that you will find an older home in New Zealand that already has these features incorporated. This is something to consider when weighing up buying vs building. It can be a lot more work to implement these features into an older house, due to the existing infrastructure, which can add time and cost restraints.
Key takeaways and questions to ask yourself:
- Is this my forever home?
- Am I planning on having any more children or taking on elder relatives at any point?
- Am I prepared to live in a home during renovations?
- What renovation costs will be required?
- Am I in a hurry to move?
- Building allows you to put better energy-saving healthy home features in place.
So, what’s the plan for your dream home, are you building or buying?