The "great Australian dream" of home ownership has always been highly sought-after, but throw in a global pandemic, a ban on international holidays and a lockdown-induced desire for more space, it’s no wonder housing has become a very desirable commodity.

The journey when buying established or building your own home can be quite different, and both have much to consider. So how do you know which option is right for you?

To help make your decision a little easier, we’ve done our homework and listed some of the pros and cons for each.

Buying an established house:


One of the biggest advantages of buying an established property is that you get to see what you are signing up for. You have the opportunity to walk around the house, see yourself in it and the homes’ potential. 
Likewise, when you buy an established home, you can generally move in within a six-week timeframe. It also means that you get to bypass the stress incurred when building a home, and the shortened time frame means that you get to feel the excitement of buying your own home, sooner. 


An established home is more likely to have extra costs associated to either maintenance or renovations. You are buying the property as it is. If you are wanting to renovate or add to the house, you are up for much larger sums of money than if you were building the same thing from scratch. It might also mean that you need to replace outdated features, such as heating and cooling that are not energy efficient or suitable for today’s technology, all of which is expensive.
In some cases, building can also be the cheaper option. When you build, you only pay stamp duty on the land value (and not the house value).On top of this, In South Australia, the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) is only available to those who buy a brand new property or build. 

Building a new home


Building allows you to design your home to suit you and your lifestyle. You can choose your own features, finishes and floorplan, and you get to create your home in your own style from scratch.

When building, you may also be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant and stamp duty discounts outlined here, as well as a contribution towards upfront costs through HomeStart’s participating builders. If covering both rent and your mortgage is a roadblock, HomeStart’s construction loan provides the option to defer any loan repayments for up to nine months or until construction is complete, whichever occurs first. 


Don’t be fooled by reality TV shows that suggest building – or renovating – can happen within a matter of weeks. By the time you factor in council approvals, design plans and the construction time, building your own home is a lengthy process.

The construction process can also add a layer of complexity to the buying process. There are more terms and processes to get your head around. Chat to a few different local builders who can explain the processes – and costs – involved. Once you understand these costs, you can compare them with buying an established property and see which option works for your financial situation. 

Takeaway message

Whichever option you are leaning towards, whether that be buying the home of your dreams or choosing to build a brand-new house of your own, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Lots of questions! There is no such thing as being too informed when it comes to one of the biggest life decisions you’ll ever make. 

If you think that you are ready to begin the home buying journey or make a fresh start, contact HomeStart today and talk to someone about taking the first step in getting into your own home, sooner.