With some excellent first home buyer incentives now on the table courtesy of the state and federal governments, deciding whether to build or buy your dream home is a major decision.

Due to a shortage in housing stock both governments are actively encouraging Australian home buyers to get in and build a home, with a raft of incentives and exemptions currently in place.

If you’re weighing up whether to build or buy, here are some key elements to factor into the big decision…

Building benefits

You know that shiny new car small? Well it applies to houses too, where you’re the very first person to touch the freshly painted walls, set foot on the newly tiled floor and peel the stickers off those recently installed shiny, modern appliances.

That’s a great incentive in itself to build your own home but there are also a host of other reasons building may be an attractive option for you.

In the Macarthur region a number of new areas are springing up as the government releases new land, and they offer master-planned estates with all the amenities included. There are also additional financial incentives if you choose to build that you can learn a little more about here.

Importantly, building your home allows you the freedom to decide what you like and what you don’t, and there are a bevy of building companies offering highly affordable all-inclusive building packages.

Alternatively, you can have your home architecturally designed to meet your lifestyle and space requirements.

Buying benefits

While building offers the freedom to purpose-design your dream home, buying an existing property offers the opportunity to walk into an established home with an ingrained feel. 

In an established property you often know what youre getting in terms of the property itself and the suburb youre embracing.

There are major merits to this, with items like landscaping and pools already taken care of. And there’s still the freedom of renovating or tailoring an existing home to meet your needs.

Renovating can offer the additional benefit of capital growth where you take a diamond in the rough and add true shimmer to reach your financial goal.

Critically, there’s no waiting to call this home your own, and no additional financial cost of renting while you wait for your home to be built.

Building pitfalls

Unless you’re really careful with your cash and pay attention to the devil in the detail, the cost of building can quickly add up.

Extras or amendments to the original plans are a major factor in budget blowout, as are headworks charges for connecting to electricity, Council plumbing, and sewerage.

All these items, including plan preparations, amendments, any covenants or even unexpected items, need to be budgeted and carefully planned for long before you embark on the building process.

You also need to be selective about the builder you choose, checking their background and liability to ensure your project will reach completion.

Meanwhile, building takes time, meaning there’s a likelihood you’ll be paying rent or another mortgage as you await the completion of your dream home.

Buying pitfalls

Houses can be renovated and changed but only within reason, and there’s the additional cost of making alterations to an already established home. Meanwhile, buyers also need to factor in items that may be nearing their use-by date like hot water heaters, solar systems and more.

That’s why it’s imperative to do your homework on a property, with inspections like pest and building to ensure you’re not buying into someone’s already existing problems.

What’s right for you?

In the end only you can make the decision as to whether buying or building is right for you. It’s a matter of weighing up the pros and cons, carefully researching the likely outcome and being prepared for the unexpected which can come with both.

About United Strata

Centrally located in Mt Annan, and specialising in the Macarthur region, United Strata offers professional yet personalised service for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants alike.

You can learn more about our services here, or contact us directly for further advice.