Renovating vs. Building vs. Buying a New House

It’s the age-old question - should you renovate your existing house, buy brand new, or build from the ground up? 

inverted lounge room

Knowing whether to renovate, build or buy can be a complicated process with many moving parts. At the end of the day, it comes down to your individual circumstances, but there are definitely aspects you should consider before committing to anything. 

Renovating vs. building vs. buying brand new

A lot of the decision making around buildings vs. renovating vs. buying a house comes from your financial position and willingness to be involved in certain projects. While you’re going to need some financial stability to undertake any of these three ventures, a multitude of other factors may have a significant impact on whether you want to become involved in a renovation or new build. 

There is, of course, a great sense of accomplishment when it comes to finishing a renovation or new build which cannot be played down either. Assessing your personal and financial circumstances will mean you have the best chance at completing whichever project you choose to begin. 

Some things to consider before renovating

There’s no two ways about it. Renovating, whether it be a facelift or a full tear down, can be a stressful project. Your ability to make quick decisions, juggle competing tasks, think on the move and overall, remain calm, cool and collected are vital to getting the desired result. 

There are some important questions you need to ask yourself to ensure you’re not making the wrong decision about your property. Ask yourself;

  • is the cost of building a brand new house cheaper than the cost of renovating?
  • do I have the time to manage the project?
  • what restrictions are there on my home (e.g. heritage listings)?
  • will my renovation proposal pass council standards and regulations?
  • will my plans to renovate mean I’m overcapitalising (am I spending more on the renovation than the property is actually worth)? 

Getting the right information for your circumstance ensures you’re making informed decisions about your renovation that will provide you with the right outcome. 

Some things to consider before building

Much like renovating, careful planning is crucial to ensure a successful house build. Building a house from scratch will no doubt be one of the toughest, yet most rewarding projects any property owner could do. Similarly, the planning, strategy, effort and, of course, money that goes into building a new house cannot be undersold. 

But as always, there are a number of things to consider before you go knocking down an old place and laying the slab for your little slice of heaven;

  • do I have the finances to complete this task?
  • do I have the time to manage builders and tradesmen? 
  • can it be achieved in any other way?
  • am I in a position to fund my lifestyle into the future after I spend money on building a new place?
  • will my plans be approved by my local council?
  • what are the building restrictions in my area?

The most important thing to always consider when it comes to building a new place is whether you have the finances to finish the project. Your architect and builder are likely to provide you with a quote, but it’s wise to always budget more as, you may  come across unforeseen problems. As long as you plan and budget correctly, competing a new build can be extremely rewarding. 

Some things to consider before buying

If you’ve decided that undertaking a big project isn’t for you, or you’ve got the capital, purchasing a new or existing property may be the right option. Deciding to purchase a new or existing house means you’ve got the flexibility to look for the perfect place. It’s your chance to find something that is just right for you. 

Naturally, there are going to be some things that you need to consider before taking the plunge and making a big financial investment. This is likely going to be the biggest purchase you make in your lifetime and making sure you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s is of great importance;

  • do I understand all  of the costs involved (deposit, stamp duty, conveyancing, bank fees, legal fees, among others)?
  • am I happy with the area that I’m going to be living in?
  • am I planning for children in the future - do we have enough space?
  • am I prepared for the ongoing maintenance costs associated with home ownership?
  • am I prepared to look around to ensure I’m making the right choice?

It all comes down to you

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to always make the right choice for you and your circumstances. Whether that’s deciding on renovating over buying or building, or considering what type of property you can afford, always do your research, and then do a bit more. 

It can be all too easy to get overwhelmed in the renovating, building or home-buying process, so taking the time to research and plan will mean you’re going to give yourself the right chance to succeed. 

Speak to an Aussie Broker 

Keep learning

What property type is right for you?

Be open-minded to different types of properties when finding a home.
Read more

How to budget for your home loan

Maximising your home loan deposit is one of the best investments.
Read more