Your Dream Home; Building or Buying?

We all have Dream Home aspirations. For some, these dreams are detailed and specific with absolute certainty regarding each and every aspect of the home.  For others, these dreams take shape as a more flexible picture of a home and environment that meets your intrinsic needs, and is usually more focused on the home’s surroundings.

That being said, regardless of how defined your dream home is in your mind, the result is the same – a home that meets your needs and lifestyle and fills you with the same feeling that the dream did before it existed. But how do you get to that point? What steps need to be taken to create your dream home? Where do you start?

The obvious starting point is the dream itself… you have to establish where you want to live, your homes’ environment, followed by its style, age (if you buy), aesthetics, size and finishes. After these decisions are made, you are then faced with a crossroad: do you buy and renovate, or do you build?

It goes without saying that when you build from scratch, you can create exactly what you want. From the size of your master bathroom, to the style of your kitchen. Your imagination (and of course, your budget) are your only limitations. There is however one critical aspect to consider here, and that is that you must have a clear idea of the end result, as well as a plan of how to get there. As much as you have room to change your mind, having to knock down a wall to make a room bigger comes at a significant cost, not only from a monetary perspective, but from lost time on your build schedule too.

When you buy a home that you will be renovating into your dream home, that plan becomes all the more important, and comes with many benefits. You can live in your home while you slowly renovate it. You can do work to the home as money comes in, making it less financially draining to build the dream. You also have a base to work off which could help your creative process, but remember to have that plan before you start construction. It is usually quite easy to spot a home that has been built over many years without a plan as the pieces don’t always fit together.

Another point of consideration is timing. When building, it is incredibly difficult to manage the timing of your occupation date as so many things can cause that date to shift. This means you may end up in a short-term rental, or paying occupational rental in the home you have sold before moving into your new home. It may also create uncertainty as to when to place your existing home on the market, if that is required. It is therefore vital to account for these uncertainties and budget accordingly, as these aspects are largely out of your control.

This is obviously far more predictable when buying an existing house as you can move in as soon as transfer takes place. However, when buying, you are forced to pay transfer fees on the total price of the home, which is a cost that you avoid when buying a stand and building.

While we are discussing finances, lets address the common misconception that building is more expensive than buying and renovating. A point that is seldom understood is that when you build your dream home, you don’t have to do it all at once. Provided your plan is complete and whole, you can build over many years until the home is complete. Your dream home may be three stories tall, but you can start with one, and add the other two later. You can start with the essential rooms now, and build out the final wing when you need it. You don’t have to commit everything up front, or wait until you have saved enough to build everything at once.

Given how quickly technology evolves, it must be mentioned that building a new home does afford you the ability to install and benefit from the latest technologies. From building technologies that make it more affordable or more efficient to build, to built in entertainment systems or more efficient and advanced electrical and gas systems that could add significant value (and savings) to your home. This is far easier to implement and install when building from scratch. While it is absolutely possible to install solar panels on an old home, you will always have the internal systems and structures that the house was originally equipped with.

The long and short of it – is that if you are looking for a home that comes right out of your imagination, build it from scratch. There is no better or rewarding feeling than seeing something that you conceptualise, rise out of the ground that you get to call home. But be warned! Building a home is no mean feat, and can be a very stressful exercise regardless of how prepared you are. The end result however, is always worth it.

If you find that your dream home is more about how it feels than how it looks. Then find something that feels right and buy it. You will find that you will quickly settle into that home, and in all likelihood you will get used to the things that you maybe didn’t love about it initially.

At the end of the day, there is no wrong decision, and there will always be the right option available for you, you just have to dream it.