Have you ever wondered whether to buy an existing property or build a home? If so, here are some ideas to consider before making your choice.
Compare the costs by talking to an expert.

If you’re unsure about what’s involved with constructing a home, ask a local builder to explain the process and discuss the costs for various options. You can then compare those costs with existing properties by looking up established real estate prices online.
It’s also important to consider the upfront costs as these can vary depending on whether you buy or build a home.  

If you build, stamp duty is only payable on the land and footings cost (not the total house and land package cost). This can substantially reduce the amount you’ll need to get started. Aim to stick to a budget by keeping costs within your pre-approved loan amount.
The amount of deposit required may also be different. For example, HomeStart’s Graduate Home Loan could get you started with as little as a 3% deposit to buy an existing home, or 6% deposit to build.
Building a new home
First home buyers looking to build their own home can apply for grants in South Australia. This includes the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant (new home or building only).
Where you want to live may determine if you can buy or build a home. The closer you are to the city, the more likely it is that you’ll be looking at established properties as there are fewer vacant lots for sale.  Upcoming developments are more common in the outer suburbs. 

With that in mind, think about your travel time to and from work and the availability of amenities in your location of choice. Choose the community that’s right for you.
Building your own home can take significantly longer than finding an established home to purchase. Most builders offer a fixed price contract option and this can include a guaranteed build time. Also factor in weather related delays and the amount of time council approvals and design plans can take.

If you were to build a home with HomeStart, the construction loan option allows you to defer any loan repayments for up to nine months or until construction is complete, whichever occurs first. This way, you don’t have to cover both rent and mortgage repayments, making it more affordable to get started.
If you want your home to be designed in a particular way, building may be the best option for you. Building your home gives you more control on how the house is laid out and all its finishing touches. You also have more control over the building materials used and can customise it to suits your needs.
On the other hand, with an established property, you get to see and inspect the finished product. For more tips on finding the right home for you, watch this short video.
Whether you’re buying or building, you can get started with HomeStart and compare our home loan options.