Building a New Home – Smarter than Renovating

30 October 2020

If you’re tossing up between building a brand new home and buying an existing home and renovating, there are some important points you should consider first. Renovating may seem like an exciting, romantic notion at first, but it can go off the rails quite quickly, especially if you’re inexperienced. Remember, the contestants on programs like The Block have an experienced construction team behind them all the way, so this doesn’t represent ‘real life’ renovating! To help you decide what’s best for you, we’ve put together a handy list of reasons to build new, rather than renovate.

Get more for your money

There’s no two ways about it. Building new is almost always cheaper than buying an existing home and renovating. The cost per-square-metre of a new build is generally cheaper than the cost per-square-metre for a renovation. No matter how prepared you are, there will probably be some surprises along the way that throw a spanner in the works and add to the cost. In contrast to this, the cost of building a new home is usually known upfront and remains pretty much the same throughout (unless you change your mind). Renovations are also more difficult to quote and stick to. Most builders will include a contingency in the quote to cover unexpected expenses, such as asbestos removal, rewiring, plumbing and structural issues – whether it’s required or not.

Less compromise

With a renovation, you have to work around an existing structure, while a new home build gives you complete freedom. So if you’re not willing to be flexible, a renovation may not be for you – especially if you’re hoping to achieve a seamless blend between old and new. For example, you may not be able to match the existing timber flooring perfectly. Is this something you can live with, or is it a deal breaker? It’s almost inevitable that you’ll have to compromise at some point during a renovation. With a new build, you’re starting with a blank canvas (vacant land), so you can build your dream home from the ground up. Choose a design that suits the way you want to live, and the fittings and finishes you love, so your new home is a true reflection of your style.

Avoid budget blowout

Renovations are far more prone to budget blowout, as unexpected issues can arise. You will need to be prepared for the costs associated with asbestos removal, electrical wiring, water and pest damage, applying with council regulations and possible code violations, permit fees, plumbing, updating appliances and design fees to alter plans along the way. These can all add up very quickly. Alternatively, many new home builders offer a fixed price contract, eliminating the risk of budget blowout and giving you certainty. You’ll know exactly what you’re up for from the start, which is also very helpful when applying for a home loan.

Less stress

Renovating can be stressful, especially if you’ve already moved in. Parts of your home may be out of action for long periods of time. It can also be noisy, messy and disruptive to family life. Alternatively, when you build from scratch, you know exactly what the final product is going to look like, and you can just move in and start enjoying it straight away.

Structural guarantee for peace of mind

When you build a new home in Queensland, it is covered by Home Warranty Insurance with the Queensland Building & Construction Commission (QBCC). This covers structural defects for six years and six months. Non-structural defects are covered if you become aware of them within six months of completion. In addition to this, most home builders provide their own structural guarantee. For example, when you build with Hallmark Homes, you’ll enjoy total peace of mind knowing that your home is covered by a generous 30 year structural guarantee.

Less risk of overcapitalising

Overcapitalisation means you have improved a property beyond its resale value. In other words, you’ve spent too much on renovations and wouldn’t be able to recoup your money if you decided to sell. There’s always a risk of overcapitalising when you renovate – especially if you encounter extra costs along the way. So it’s important to take the emotion out of it. Is the home really worth spending money on? And if so, how much? Extensive renovations usually only make sense if you plan to stay for a while, or if they have the potential to significantly increase the value of the home. Talk to local real estate agents about what the home is worth now, versus what it would be worth if you renovated. This will give you an idea of the budget to set for your project, so you don’t overcapitalise.

Nothing beats that new home feeling

If you love the idea of living in a home that’s brand spanking new, building is definitely the way to go. Because no one has ever lived there before, you can well and truly make it your own. And that’s a great feeling! A new home also gives you the opportunity to declutter and make a fresh start.

Get the latest and greatest

Brand new homes come with the latest appliances and technology built-in, such as alarm systems, internet and cable – saving you time, money and holes in the walls. Many older homes simply don’t have these features, and sometimes they are difficult and/or costly to incorporate in a renovation.

Less maintenance

With a new home, there’s no work to be done. No weekends spent ‘fixing things up’. And that’s a big bonus if you lead a busy lifestyle. With brand new appliances, plumbing, roofing, electrical and paintwork, your home should be repair-free for quite a few years – which means you also benefit financially.

More energy efficient

In Queensland, all new homes must have a 6-star energy efficiency rating. This means that they are built from the ground up to meet energy efficiency requirements, incorporating the latest building materials, lighting and appliances, resulting in lower utility bills.

Build happy with Hallmark!

If you’re looking for affordable design flexibility, check out Hallmark Homes’ latest range – Luma by Hallmark. Luma’s bespoke design system with interchangeable custom modules means you can mix and match to get exactly what you want, without blowing the budget. It’s so easy, and it’s all pre-priced and ready to go, so you know exactly where you’re at from the very start!

Recognised as one of South East Queensland’s most trusted builders, Hallmark Homes are passionate about giving you more home for your money. So if you’re thinking of building a new home in South-East Queensland, our friendly team is ready to help. Come and visit one of our display centres for yourself or check out our virtual tours and house plans from the comfort of your own home. If you have any questions about our single storey, double storey, acreage, narrow lot, home designshouse and land packages, or how you can take advantage of the government grants on offer, please contact us today.

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