qld Blog 2024 2403 Should-you-build-or-buy-a-house mcp-ch-bayside-0324-002-2000x850
Housing and property market /01.03.24

Should you build or buy a house?

Deciding to purchase a home is a monumental milestone, whether it be an existing property or your first dream build. Both options come with their own set of advantages and drawbacks, making the decision a deeply personal one, often balancing questions of financial affordability and quality control. Can an old house really satisfy your lifestyle without significant renovations? Every answer is different.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the details of building vs buying a house to help you navigate this significant coin toss.

qld Blog 2024 2403 Should-you-build-or-buy-a-house mcp-ch-bayside-0324-012-1360x765
The pros and cons

Building a property vs. buying a house

Reasons to build a house

Customised to suit your lifestyle

Building a house allows you to bring your dream home to life, from  open plan living areas to gorgeous kitchens with hidden features like butler’s pantries; reading nooks with floor to ceiling shelves or an entertainment room for Friday movies with the family, it’s home the way you’ve always wanted.  

Everything is new

Building your home cancels out any repairs or renovations inherited from past owners, ensuring your savings are spent on modern comforts and innovative touches instead of working plumbing or a roof that doesn’t leak. 

Save on transfer duty (also known as stamp duty)

Buying an existing property can put a dent in your cash reserves, costing tens of thousands if you’re not a first home buyer. On the other hand, home builders only pay transfer duty on the land purchase and not the build. But how does that translate?  Buying a median lot in South East Queensland will set you back over $350,000, attracting an average stamp duty of $10,948. While an existing house at the average cost of $819,832 demands over $30,000 at the time of writing. 

Circling back to first home buyers/builders for a moment, first timers can take advantage of a vacant land duty concession of up to $7,715 when buying a lot, reducing the outlay to $0 for land below $330,000. 

Quality Control

Building a house gives you control over the quality of construction and materials used. By choosing Clarendon Homes, you’ll ensure that your property is built to the highest standards, protected by a Lifetime Structural Guarantee for peace of mind for years (and years) to come. 

Traditional challenges of building a house

It’s all consuming

Building a house is a draining process… if you don’t have a team by your side. We’re here to help you navigate everything from finding the right layout for your lot to stepping through the building process in real time, plus any in’s and out’s your local council presents as we move through development applications. While it may be your first time building, we’ve made simplifying the business a cornerstone of ours - we’ll tell you everything you need or want to know, often before you ask the question.  

Limited availability

 Finding the perfect piece of land in your desired location can be difficult if you don’t have the right connections. Again, we’re here to help. Our house and land packages solve the availability problem without considerable time, effort and research on your behalf - we’ve done the legwork already to ensure your lot is everything you’ve dreamed of and within budget

Reasons to buy a house


Buying an existing home can be convenient if you have the removalists on speed dial and need to move quickly.There's no need to wait for construction or navigate the complexities of the building process, making it an attractive option for those seeking an easy transition.

Established neighbourhoods

Existing homes are often located in established neighbourhoods with leafy streets, lush parks, and community amenities. Although new estates and growing suburbs don’t have quite the same level of community (yet), they should have equitable if not better access to schools, shops and sporting facilities. 

Investment growth

While the jury is out on whether buying an existing property is cheaper, some suburbs can experience a sustained increase in value as they become more affluent. 

Why an established home may not suit you

Limited Customisation

While you can personalise an existing home to some extent, your options for reinvention are limited compared to building from scratch. You’ll find yourself compromising, shaping your dreams to match the property instead of creating something unique to your preferences - it’s one thing to paint the walls, and quite another to remodel the kitchen. 

Repairs and renovations

Older homes may require repairs, renovations, or updates to bring them up to modern standards. These additional costs can add up quickly, impacting your overall budget and timeline for moving in. Why buy if you’re going to spend considerable time and money turning your house into a construction site anyway? 

Inherited issues

Existing homes always pose a risk of hidden issues that may not be immediately apparent during the inspection process. Structural problems, hidden damage, plumbing problems, ageing wiring and outdated appliances (ovens, stovetops, range hoods and air conditioning) could require costly repairs or upgrades down the line. Avoid most of the above by seeking a detailed pre-purchase inspection and pest assessment. 

Is building a home cheaper than buying a home?

At the present moment, averages suggest yes, building a new home is modestly cheaper than investing in an existing dwelling.  Recent industry estimates show a new home in Brisbane sets you back $2,000 to $4,500 per square metre (or $452,200 for a 226.1 square metre house). When factoring in the average cost of land ($357,717 for 421 sqm), the total expense for building a new home tallies up to $809,917. In contrast, the average house price in Brisbane stands at $870,526.

qld Blog 2024 2403 Should-you-build-or-buy-a-house mcp-ch-bayside-0324-018-1360x765

So, what should you do?

Ultimately, the right choice depends on your individual preferences and circumstances. By weighing the pros and cons of each option, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your vision of the perfect home.

Curious? Get in touch today and begin your home building journey with confidence. 
Need assurance? Find out more about our Lifetime Structural Guarantee,