Buy or Build

So you’ve saved up your deposit and are ready to buy your first home, or perhaps you’re upsizing or downsizing. One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is do you want to buy an existing home or build a new one. Below we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both. 

What are the advantages of buying an established home?

The biggest reason to buy an established home is convenience. Once you sign the papers, you can move into the house as soon as the settlement date – usually 90 days, but it can be shorter depending on the owner’s circumstances. 


New builds are primarily found in new housing estates and rarely in the city or established housing estates. However, if you’re settled on an established area such as Mount Eliza or Mornington, you may need to buy an established house and renovate it to meet your needs and wants.


As the property is already established, you could choose to move in straight away. This, of course, depends on if you wish to repaint or renovate (flooring, bathroom, and kitchen are all common renovations) before you move in.

What are the disadvantages of buying an established home?

Limited features

Usually, you go into buying or building with a set idea of what kind of home you want. Does it need to have 3 or 4 bedrooms? Does it need two bathrooms? Is a large garage important to you? Perhaps a large block with plenty of room for the kids and dog to play? Do you want a low-maintenance garden, or are you a green thumb? Unfortunately, most existing properties probably won’t have everything on your list and within your budget. So you’ll either have to forgo some features you want or renovate to add them.

Higher stamp duty

The stamp duty to buy an existing home is usually higher than for building one. This is because when you buy an existing house, you pay stamp duty on the price of the whole house. On the other hand, if you build, stamp duty applies only to the cost of the land.

Wear and tear

If you are buying a property someone has lived in, the home will have gone through wear and tear and deteriorated over the years. This increases your maintenance costs. Older homes usually do not have energy-efficient systems either.

What Are The Pros Of Building A Home?

Building your own home is a great way to get your desired outcome. You can customise it to make everything just the way you want it.


Do you want a corner block or one at the end of a court? From the land you choose to build on and the number of rooms right down to the colours of the tiles and walls, building your own home allows you to customise nearly everything.


Older homes usually do not have excellent insulation, water-saving taps/showers, solar panels or water tanks. With a new build, you can use energy-efficient materials and appliances. Over time this can amount to a saving of thousands of dollars on energy bills.

Investment opportunities

Building and renting out a new home can be a compelling investment. You can take advantage of better capital depreciation with a new home, as you can claim deductions over the maximum life of the property.

Sub-divide and make a profit

If you buy the right-sized block which is eligible for subdivision, you could build more than one home and start to develop your property portfolio. You could save time and money by building more than one home at once or by building in a specific position on your block to allow for future development. Each council will have their own rules and regulations about subdivision, so make sure you do your homework.


Less maintenance equals more leisure time. When everything is new, it means fewer repairs and maintenance around your home.

What Are The Cons Of Building A Home?


Most blocks of land will be in new housing estates which are moving further and further away from the city.


Building a home takes time. There are numerous processes necessary to start building: levelling and clearing the building site, engaging the services of a builder, laying a foundation, pouring the slab, constructing the frame, etc.

A construction schedule outside your control

While the builder will have a timeframe for completing the project, expect some delays due to weather, labour shortages or the unavailability of materials. This further lengthens the time for the home to be complete.

Why you should build or renovate with Conrad Construction

As Conrad Construction and Management commenced 40 years ago, their craft, quality and building knowledge has only grown. As the world evolved, so did Conrad Construction and Management. Conforming to the way of the world and keeping up to date with building standards and codes of conduct, there is a reason why particular architects and draftspeople continue to work alongside Conrad Construction and Management. Conrad Construction is renowned for its delivery quality, custom builds, their determination to finish a project on time and within budget.

When building or renovating with us, you choose everything, from the floor plan to the finishes. After walking through a display home you love, you may want to build it exactly as is. However, if you want to make changes to existing plans or even design from scratch, we can help you do that too. It’s all up to you – the style of bricks, tiles, carpets, taps and door handles, and even where your power points and lights are placed. Conrad Construction and Management have completed so many beautiful residential builds, some of which are Townhouse developments or single dwelling builds, all more beautiful than the last build.

If you choose to buy an established home to renovate, we can help you with that too. You will need building defects inspection whether you are buying or selling. It’s an essential part of the process when engaging a builder to perform any renovation or construction work. This includes both residential and commercial properties, regardless of age or condition.

For more information on why you should choose a quality custom builder such as Conrads can be found here – and here –

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