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Should you build or buy an established home

Updated on November 20, 2009

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Should you build or buy an established home

We learn from our parents to save up and buy a home. Things have not changed over the years. It is still a big step in anyones life to make the big decision to own your own home. When you feel ready to buy that home, think long and hard before making any desisions.

It is not something to take lightly. Do not make the biggest purchase in your life without giving it a lot of thought. For one thing, you will spend most of your working life paying off that huge mortgage.


Most new married couples dream of building their own home. They take it for granted and expect to have a new home these days. Years ago, you could build it yourself. Building one room at a time, as you saved a few dollars you would buy more material.

Young ones cannot do it because of council or government rules and regulations. Under the health regulations, you cannot buy a block of land and live there in a caravan until the home iss built either.

When deciding to build, think about the overal time and work it will take to bring it to fruition. If you both work, will you have the time needed to plan everything?

House plans look great on paper; You will find living in a house is very different to walking through one. It is not until you move in that you realise, When someone opens the garage door, they will bag into you opening the oven door. My daughter found herself in this predicament. They have to knock before opening the door, in case she is cooking and caught with a hot saucepan in her hands.

That is one instance of bad planning. Designers should understand these problems, they do not, so be careful. You will have to check on the work progress on a weekly basis. If you do not, and the tiles are the wrong color, it will be too late.

If building your own, you can also contract the work out to different contractors. You can choose the plumber, cabinetmaker, electrician and painter. This could save money by negotiating the costs and by doing some of the work yourself.

Another thing to watch out for is the builders or contractors working on nearby sites. Many are unscrupulous; the other builders could use your water and power, thereby saving themselves extra costs. The original price can blow out due to the lay of the land.

You may require landfill, or retaining walls. These costs need factoring in. It depends on what you agree to when you sign the papers. The house if finally finished. Now you still need to buy and fit the floor coverings, blinds, and curtains. Did you allow for that?


The choice of purchasing an established home to fulfill your dream is often a better way to go. Some people prefer this option, because you can see the finished product. In fact, when settlement is complete you can move straight in. The established home is livable; just organize the Removal Company and pack. You will not have to do anything at all, as the blinds, curtains, floor coverings, and landscapes done for you.

Actually, you will always find things to alter, no matter which home you buy. You may like to add that water feature to the patio, or put in a swimming pool. You would not have to paper up the windows to protect your privacy or landscape your garden, just do a bit at the time.

The decision is yours, so choose carefully. Your personal and financial situation will dictate to the selection of buying or building your home.


If not financially set up, why not buy a smaller home. This could need a little tender loving care, a coat of paint and you have increased its value. It would save you having to fork out higher repayments on a mortgage that you cannot afford.

Good luck, with the search for your future home. Have fun house hunting.


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    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Same here, I could not be bothered fitting curtains, carpets, and garden.

      But having said that, we still seem to change everything to our liking anyway. Although we can do it in our time then, when we got a dollar.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      If you have a tight budget which you cant go over I would always buy an existing house - far fewer variables to blow out. In fact Iwould always buy a home which is not brand new beause there are always kinks to be sorted out and Icouldnt stand waiting for the builder to get back to me!