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A First Home Buyer’s Guide – New Build or Buying?

A First Home Buyer’s Guide – New Build or Buying?

Being a first home buyer is both an exciting and a nerve wracking time of life. How wonderful it is to be able to buy or build your very own home. Somewhere for you to share your future with your family and friends. Also very scary with such big decisions to be made.

One of these first big decision to be made is deciding what is right for you, building or buying. There are some pro’s and con’s for both that I will share with you today.

A First Home Buyer’s Guide – New Build or Buying

New Build

First of all there are some perceived benefits that we need to get out of the way. When building your first home, a common misconception is that you can have the home of your dreams with everything where you want it to be. Unless you have an very large budget, this is simply not going to happen. Compromises will need to be made.

Compromises will need to be made in the case of a new build. Most first home buyers will need to build with a project builder, who will have plans ready to go. These plans will be pretty well set in stone unless you are happy to extend your budget to make the changes.

first home buyer

Remember when you visit the display homes, you are walking through the absolute top end of that homes design, what you will get at a budget price, will vary greatly from what you are seeing on the day.

It is true that you will have control over your selections, however you will be choosing from your builders range. With careful planning and selection of the right builder, this can be a great positive. These days new builds are really quite large, even the smaller versions of, giving you plenty of space to expand your family, if that is something on your radar.

Don’t forget to factor in the need for landscaping, clothes lines, letterboxes and driveways as theses will not always be covered. When building a new home you should also count on around 16-20 weeks build time depending on your builder.


First up the negative, it is very rare to get exactly what you want when buying an existing home. This can be a massive challenge for many. There is no real way around it but compromise. Planning a future renovation or extension is the best way to fulfill your requirements longer term.

Buying an existing home, can come with a list of things to do immediately to create a home that meets your needs, these might be simple, like adding a fence, or complicated like a bathroom reno. Keeping these needs in mind with the budget you have when buying will ensure you are able to afford all necessary ‘to do items’.

first home buyer

Buying an existing home, can be less complicated than a new build, with driveways, and landscaping already taken care of. Of course these may not be in the position or the style you might like them, but with the hard work already done, this is a compromise you might be likely to make.

Position of a existing home is often the most important positive. When I think about our recent consideration of building again, the blocks of land in our City are right out on the fringe, but if we were to buy an existing home, we can be closer to the City. Closer to the City, may mean more expensive right now, but the growth of those areas is always swifter than out in the suburbs. Position also needs to be considered when thinking about proximity to work and family, often an existing home can give you a far superior work/life balance.

There are many positive reasons that either of these options could work for you, and over the coming weeks we will look closer into these options to help you decide what is right for you.

Are you a first home buyer looking to get into the market? Would you like to buy or build your first home?

Nicole xxx




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  1. I’m glad Jacob and I weren’t too fussy with our first home. We bought where we could afford and what we could live in comfortably. Then when the market was right and we paid off more on our mortgage, we could afford to upgrade to a bigger house, in a different suburb. Our current home is exactly what we need.

    1. I really think that is the best way to look at buying a first home. Take what you can to get you in the market, and grow from there.

  2. Fantastic post Nicole! Great to see all the pros and cons in one place. We considered building but with such a young family and two jobs, the thought of it overwhelmed me. It’s still something I’d love to do eventually, though.

    1. I really enjoyed building and would love to do it again!

  3. There are so many positives and negatives to consider in both scenarios. We were very lucky in our existing home being everything we wanted but if we need to move again I realise we are unlikely to be as lucky!

    1. That really is a dream come true!!

  4. Great advice, Nicole. I’m lucky I had my dad to help point out what to look for when I bought my first home at 22. It suited me just fine at the time, but it was lovely when I got older to build something new that could grow with our family.

    1. I have also enjoyed both buying and building. the thrill is there for me either way. ?

  5. We built our “dream home” and moved in back in 1993; sold it 10 years later. It was on the market again recently so of course we had a bit of a sticky beak. They’d updated a few things but the kitchen is still the original mint green – ugh – should have stuck with white I think, though I loved it at the time! I don’t think I’d build again, it’s a pretty full on process no matter how great your builders are! All those choices – from taps to tiles to paint to gutters – it was very overwhelming.

    1. Building sure can be stressful, and you are right, no matter if your builder is good or not, the stress is still there. Would have been awesome to go through your old place!

  6. All of what you say is exactly on point – great advice. We have done both: new build for our first home and bought existing for our current home. Both have provided us with homes that suited our needs. We loved building, by the way. I would do it again, but as you say, would budget extra for all those things you mentioned!!!
    I think it’s important to know what you NEED and then what you WANT, so you can make wise decisions either way.

    1. Great advice Tracey, needs and wants are so very different and it is important to have a handle on both before buying or building. I loved building too!

  7. I’d love to buy (no deposit, so I won’t be any time soon!) or build. Most of what we want isn’t really complex, it’s more that good quality is what we lack now in our el-cheapo rental so it’d be nice to NOT have a cheap plastic concertina door on the bathroom – stuff like that! I’m a firm believer that you can make any space work for you if you work with what you have (after all, that’s a skill you have to have as a renter) so for us it’s more about the right number of bedrooms etc.

    1. I do believe you to be right. You can make anything work especially if you have the drive to do so. ?

  8. This is great advice. We’re city dwellers so self building is out of the question until we win the lottery. We were lucky to buy in the development where we were renting. I put a notice on the rubbish room door asking for a property to buy and a homeowner responded. Easiest first buy ever, I reckon!

    1. That is a win, win for all involved!! What a great idea!

  9. Great article! If money and time aren’t an issue, I’d personally go with building over buying a house.

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