What to Do – Build On or Buy a House?
We’re in the final stages of building onto our house. For literally YEARS, we were in huge debate as to whether to build or buy. I can’t tell you how many houses we looked at or how many discussions we had re the pros and cons of buying vs building and building vs buying. We researched countless websites, like this one on Associates Home Loan and this one on Investopedia.com.
Although every situation is unique, here are some of the reasons we decided to renovate rather than start afresh in a new home, in the hopes that sharing our process will make it easier for you to reach your own decision.
Building Costs vs Selling and Buying
Although building costs have climbed astronomically in recent years, when we weighed up the cost of building onto our house with the potential return on investment, it made financial sense to turn our 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom house into a 3-bedroom, with main en-suite. Especially as we live in a Security Golf Estate and it’s pretty difficult to overcapitalize.
We also calculated the cost of selling our house (agents commission, bond cancellation fees, rates and tax clearance certificate, etc) and the cost of buying a new one (transfer duties, bond registration costs etc). Once we’d added up all the fees the figure came way too close to the entire cost of building on our new wing.
That was an eye-opener.
Location, location, location
In the end though, it really boiled down to the Estate Agent’s Golden rule.
We were already perfectly situated.
If we sold our small house in a stunning security Estate and bought in a more affordable suburb, we’d be able to get a bigger house for sure. But we wouldn’t sacrifice the lifestyle we have where we live right now. In a sense, we’d be sacrificing quality (security, peaceful surrounds, beauty) for quantity (more space).
We realied if we built, we’ll get more space without sacrificing all the rest.
Time and Inconvenience
When we first started discussing our options, my biggest negative about building was how long it takes – to get building plans drawn up, approved and then, of course, built. I argued that we could sell and buy in a couple of months, whereas this process might take a year or two (and it did).
I wanted instant satisfaction. See a stunning house, with an established garden, fall in love with it, buy it, move in.
I also didn’t want the inconvenience of the build. Living around the dust and the mess. The stress of it all. Moving stress is 3 days, building stress is 3 months.
As it turns out the experience of building has been wonderful. My son has enjoyed it the most. He’s at the perfect age to turn a building site into a playground. I’ve enjoyed the planning with our brilliant Architect, Enrica van der Linden and choosing the fittings and finishings with my hubby. The creative process has been a joy.
LOTS of decisions though, feels like more decisions than I’ve made in a lifetime.
And the best part is the end result. We’re not quite there yet but it’s coming together and it feels amazing to have created something so lovely as a family.
Next up, Phase 3, Pool and Entertainment area.
Are you considering a move or a reno? Have you had similar thoughts and discussions? Share your story in the comments below.