Building a New Home vs. Buying Existing Homes 

Let’s talk about your dream home. Whether this is your first or fifth house hunt, the thrill and nerves are real.

Should you build and create something fully customised just for you? Or go with an established house that you can move into as-is? An exciting choice – and maybe an overwhelming one.

Take a deep breath. This is your chance to manifest the home that reflects your style and supports your lifestyle. As leading home builders in Perth, we’ll help you break down the ‘need-to-knows’ on building new vs buying existing homes so you can decide what path works for you.

Consider Your Budget

Building a home requires significant upfront costs – first, the land purchase itself, which can vary greatly by location and lot size. Next, development charges and building permits from the local council. And finally, construction costs for the home itself – materials, labour, Perth home builder fees, and contractor fees. The upside? You can pick standard or premium finishes and features to match your budget and priorities. Create a custom home suited to your lifestyle while controlling costs in areas that matter less.

Buying an existing home puts the full purchase price on display upfront. However, additional expenses add up over time – any renovations or upgrades needed to match your style, replacing aging systems like the roof or AC, higher utility bills from outdated insulation. Create a budget cushion for potential hidden issues that pop up down the track.

What’s Your Timeline?

Building a home takes time and the wait from breaking ground to getting your keys can feel long. Factors like design complexity, material shortages, or weather can delay timelines. If you need to move soon, building may not be realistic.

However, the lengthier timeline also lets you calmly make calculated decisions. Tweak the layout to perfection. Hand-pick finishes. Meticulously curate built-ins and smart home tech. The additional wait is an investment into exactly what you want.

Buying an established home means moving in right away in most cases – an instant solution to get out of the rental rat race. However, consider that even then finding the right property can still take weeks or months, especially in the current Perth market.

Client Journey Waikiki portrait 10

Customisation Potential

Building new allows you to completely personalise and customise to suit your family’s needs and dreams. Craft that gourmet chef’s kitchen with cherry cabinets and a built-in coffee station. Deck out the mudroom with organisation solutions. Create a spa-like owner’s suite with giant soaker tub. The home is your literal blank canvas.

Buying existing means taking a property as-is – making due with existing floors, layouts and deficiencies. While you might get lucky and find the perfect dream home, it’s often the case that you’ll want to make at least some upgrades to an established home to better suit your aesthetic and lifestyle. Be prepared to compromise or take on significant upgrade projects to match your wishlist. Also consider that the existing structure of the house limits your ability to remodel, meaning you’ll be renovating around what’s already there. 

Choosing Your Location

Building a new home means options galore on location – score the vacant lot that checks all your boxes. Within the school district you want. Close to key amenities like parks and transport. Neighbourhood vibe that matches your own. Newer communities have modern infrastructure planned with future residents in mind.

Buying an existing property limits control over the surrounding area. The home itself may be perfect but the location lacking – a dilemma for many buyers. Prioritise must-haves like noise levels and proximity to work or schools. Weigh up nearby growth and development that could impact future enjoyment or value.

Resale Value

Brand new construction offers potential for higher resale value down the track thanks to modern features, currently stylish finishes, energy-efficient building standards and customisation. Plus, warranty coverage for defects and workmanship issues.

Buying established means resale value depends highly on market trends in the neighbourhood and regular maintenance to keep things updated. Outdated materials or questionable renovations by past owners become buyer turnoffs. Prepare to invest in improvement projects for optimal future gains.

Stress and Convenience

Building a dream home requires weighing options and making decisions through every step of the process – flooring, cabinets, lighting, and endless other considerations. It can feel stressful or overwhelming managing the details, especially if construction issues crop up. However, the payoff is a highly personalised sanctuary tailored to suit your family’s unique lifestyle.

On the buying side, you skip many of those tough decisions, but undergo stresses of another kind – the hunt for “the one” amidst tight competition, negotiations with sellers, invasive home inspections, and closing complexities. There’s convenience in potentially faster move-in times but often more compromise on things like layout, size, condition, and location.

Moving Day. Lovely couple relaxing on the couch in new home with cardboard boxes around. Happy man and woman lying on sofa and dreaming, discussing future interior design, free copy space

Energy Efficiency and Technology

Building new construction allows incorporating cutting-edge technology for maximum efficiency – solar power systems, insulated windows and doors to self-regulate climate, EV chargers in the garage for future vehicles, smart climate control to self-optimise heating and cooling. Essentially future-proofing your home investment for sustainability as energy costs climb.

Buying an existing home often requires weighing expensive upgrades to meet modern efficiency standards – replacing dated insulation, ducting, and HVAC systems, upgrading to double-glazed windows and heat pump technology. Make energy audits a priority to understand where existing homes fall short on efficiency metrics and prioritise fixes with the best payoff.

Environmental Impact

Building with sustainable principles minimises lifetime environmental footprints compared to buying existing – implementing renewable and recycled materials, greywater systems to reuse water onsite, native landscaping that self-sustains. Essentially a blank canvas to implement eco-conscious practices. Reach out to your Perth home builder to discuss how they can help you manifest eco-conscious construction.

Buying an existing home means inherent negatives from past construction methods and materials. However, opportunities still exist to minimise environmental impact – update landscaping to native plants, reduce waste outputs, implement renewable energy sources and modern green tech. However, be prepared that these may come at a higher price and may not achieve the same level of sustainability as a new home.

Maintenance and Repairs

Brand new construction means fewer likely major repairs in the first 5-10 years compared to existing homes, especially if built under warranty by a trusted Perth home builder – offering coverage for defects, leaks, or issues caused by workmanship problems. However, budgets should still plan for maintenance needs down the road as systems age.

Buying an existing home means potential to inherit neglected repairs or dated infrastructure from prior owners. Carefully assess appliance/system lifespans and factor in costs to upgrade or replace them as needed – especially HVAC, roof and electrical. Home inspections help identify issues early so buyers know upcoming expenses to factor in.

Personal Circumstances

Building a new home makes the most sense if you know specific lifestyle needs or dreams for your ideal property – like a home gym, theatre room, giant walk-in closet or spacious open concept entertaining areas. Designing new means crafting spaces precisely for your family’s wishlist, patterns and hobbies.

Buying an existing home suits those seeking a quicker or potentially temporary move focused on ticking basic boxes – acceptable location, size, condition, layout. For some, buying established starts as the “starter” home before custom building their forever dream home later.

Government Grants

In Western Australia, the First Home Owner Grant applies special incentives for new construction buyers – offering a one-time payment up to $10,000 to encourage and assist first-timers with costs associated to building. Grant access helps transform custom building dreams into reality.

Buying an established home doesn’t allow grant access generally, unless you’ve come across a house that has been significantly renovated recently. 

Key Takeaway

So, should you build a new home or buy established? As we’ve explored, there are excellent perks and quirks to both options. What matters most is understanding your priorities and circumstances to determine the best path.

If customisation is crucial and you envision a home catered exactly to your family’s lifestyle, building new makes sense despite greater upfront effort. You ultimately invest in a property perfect for present and future needs.

If timing and convenience are deciding factors, buying an established home allows quicker move-in with potentially fewer custom decisions down the road. Go into the search knowing areas where you’ll compromise.

Carefully weigh each consideration against your homeownership vision and you’ll find the path that suits you best at this point in your life.

Modern Home Builders in Perth

The home-building process can seem overwhelming – but doesn’t need to be. At Residential Attitudes, we are your local home builders in Perth who understand the thrill and nerves that come with manifesting homeownership dreams. Our team lives to create homes with attitude – spaces as unique and contemporary as their owners. 

Ready to build your forever home?

Reach out and make it happen