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KR Peters Director Peter Nicolls offers some insight into the pros and cons of each choice.

It's an age old real estate dilemma, whether to build a new home or buy an established property.

Old versus new is a key question for buyers across the property spectrum from first home buyers, upgraders and downsizers, to investors.

After 44 years in the real estate game, KR Peters Director Peter Nicolls knows there is no simple answer. Each buyer is different and the answer will depend on individual circumstances.

However, he does have some insight into the pros and cons of each choice.


Mr Nicolls says finding an established home that ticks all the boxes is not easy.

The home may be what you are looking for, however the price of property in established suburbs may overstretch your budget.

He says there are many factors to take into account when looking at established homes, including position, design, house size, colour scheme, number of bedrooms, neighbourhood, orientation, fixtures and fittings, energy usage and proximity to schools, shops and transport.

"Good homes do not last on the market long. My experience shows that it is generally the passive buyer who snaps them up," Mr Nicolls explained. "They know what they want and act fast to close the deal."

He says one of the main benefits of buying an established home is the short changeover, which can occur in 60 days or less, and modifications and updates can be factored in at the time of purchase.

And buying established can represent great value for money.

"The biggest problem with buying established is that the perfect home is as rare as hen's teeth and always hotly contested."


Buying new is more attractive to many people, particularly first home buyers and downsizers.

Major builders specialize in knockdown and rebuild and offer a wide range of choice.

Competitively priced house and land packages in master planned communities can also be attractive, particularly for first home buyers.

"With a new build you have the ability to modify the design to suit your needs, include all the latest tech savvy appliances and gadgets and select colour schemes," said Mr Nicolls. "This all adds to the desirability of buying new. The hard part is finding the ideal home to demolish.”

"Builders and developers hotly contest properties with redevelopment potential, hence pushing the price up."

Another disadvantage is the time it takes to build a new home. The process of building new usually will take a minimum of 18 months from start to finish.

"It is important to set a budget when buying new as costs can easily escalate out of control with upgrades and extras," warns Mr Nicolls.

New home buyers can also take advantage of grants and concessions not available to those purchasing established property. For example, when it comes to Stamp Duty, those buying a house and land package only pay duty on the land, not the house.

"The decision on which way to go, new versus established, depends on the amount of time that you are willing to wait for the right home. Me personally, I would buy new. There is something special about creating your own home!"