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Building vs. Buying a Home: Pros and Cons

Owning a house is a classic Kiwi dream, but what’s the best way to go about turning fantasy into reality? Is it better to buy a piece of land and build a home from scratch, or are you better off buying an existing dwelling? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons for each method.

Building a House


100% You

You can turn your wildest dreams into something tangible. With the help of a great builder, you can design a house that is exactly to your liking, creating what is essentially a piece of art that represents you. You’ll feel immense satisfaction at having built a home from the bottom up.

Greener and Cleaner

Many of the older houses on the market have hidden problems, such as borer, rot, mould or meth. Building a house gives you the opportunity to make it safe, clean and green, so you don’t have to waste money on expensive power bills and repair works down the line.


New builds come with warranties, which you can discuss with your builders. This is a safety net that can come in handy if problems arise in the future.


More Money Now

There are potentially more upfront costs, so you’ll need to have savings or a lender. You may have to manage your finances for a while, until your home is ready to be lived in.

Regulations and Licenses

There are more steps to building a house. You need to find the right piece of land, then check if it’s on top of municipal water and sewage systems, get environmental checks done, and apply for permits and licenses. Your builder can help with all of this, as it’s not a job for the inexperienced!

Less Immediate

It takes longer. Building a house requires patience, focus and positivity. But the end result is well worth it!

Buying a House


Streamlined Process

It may be more convenient, unless you are buying in a highly competitive marketplace. If you get lucky, buying a house can be straightforward with the right real estate agent and lender. Sort finance, view homes, make an offer – and home sweet home!

Ready-to-Go Garden

An existing property may already have mature landscaping, which saves you from planting from scratch.

Explored Neighbourhood

If there’s a particular neighbourhood you want to live in, it may be easier to buy a house, particularly if it’s in the inner city. However, keep in mind that a lot of people are moving away from busy cities.


Maintenance and Repairs

Remodelling, repairing, decorating and landscaping can add up to a small fortune. When you buy a house, you won’t get exactly what you want. You’ll probably end up spending a bit fixing it up.

Less of Your Own Personality

If you buy a house, you’re buying someone else’s idea of perfection. It will be a design from another era and another life.

Health Hazards

An older house may need to be decontaminated and thoroughly cleaned.

At the end of the day, it’s better to build a new home that’s customised to your life. It means more immediate costs, more time and more paperwork, but you get what you put in. Your house should be a place that makes you feel truly at home. At Smartway Builders, we believe a home is worth putting in the effort for. If you’re planning on building a new house, we can connect you with Wellington builders who guarantee quality work.

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