Build, Buy or Renovate?

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Build, Buy or Renovate?

Have you outgrown your house? Or perhaps you just feel like a change in your home environment. If you need to change your living space, save yourself many sleepless nights by finding out exactly what you’re letting yourself in for, from a construction and financial perspective. Here are three options you can consider:

•    Build a new house
•    Buy a new house
•    Renovate your current home


Building Pros:Building Cons:
Building your own house can be a challenge, but if you choose your builder wisely, you’ll learn a great deal about your house and about house construction.

You’ll have much more freedom on the overall design of your house so it can be tailored exactly to your requirements.

A professional builder will take care of all the paperwork and negotiations with local authorities, suppliers and sub-contractors on your behalf.
Building a house can be very expensive – around 20% more than the average existing house price.

Be prepared to wait. Building takes time and ultimately you are responsible for the final outcome. You will also have to budget for the extra costs of temporary accommodation until the building is complete.

You need to be ready and available to make decisions quickly should a problem arise. Delays in making even minor decisions can ripple through the whole process. Expect the unexpected. Problems are bound to occur and you must be ready to face unforeseen costs.

Buying Pros:Buying Cons:

You can take your time to look at several homes and compare what’s on offer, until you find something that suits you.

You may be able to move in straight away if the seller agrees. You would just need to pay occupational rent until the deal is settled.

As the economy begins to recover times are still tough for sellers, so you may be able to negotiate over the price.



Unless you are very lucky, you will probably have to compromise over the design and layout of the house.

Be prepared to spend extra money to make modifications or repairs. Most houses will need some additional work.

Watch out for so-called “bidding wars”, where you may find yourself in fierce competition over your dream home. It’s easy to get carried away and pay more than your budget.

You may have to wait for your ideal home to come on the market, especially if you have very specific requirements.



Renovating Pros:Renovating Cons:
If you are happy with the area in which you live, renovating your home will allow you stay there, without the need to move schools, etc.
Contrary to popular belief, it is often more expensive to renovate your home than it is to sell and either build or buy a new home with the features you require.


Overall most experts agree that right now is not the ideal time to build, because of a sharp rise in building costs in 2008 and 2009 and an over supply of existing homes on the market. However, the same experts suggest that the situation will change in 2011 as the supply of existing houses diminishes.


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