To build or not to build? This is the age-old question that has crossed every potentially new home owner’s mind. For many clients, a building project is a once-in-a-lifetime activity and they often weigh up the options between building and buying a new home.
A house is most likely the single largest investment that a person will make and therefore requires serious consideration before embarking on the journey. Antoinette Horngren from JK Designs discusses how there is no right choice that suits everyone; both paths have their pros and cons.
Purchasing an existing home
The most convenient
route to follow would probably be to purchase an existing home. With a
physical, tangible product almost immediately available to you, purchasing an
existing home initially yields the most fulfilment. Convenience does not,
however, mean long-term satisfaction. The possible advantages and disadvantages
of purchasing an existing home is:
• Commonly located in established areas
with extensive infrastructure.
• Existing gardens and landscapes.
• Defined price.
• Immediate solution.
• Cheaper than building.
• Ability to view and compare the
• Approved building plans might not be
• Possible outdated designs, materials
• Possible renovations might be required
to get your home up to standard
• Transfer duties are payable.
• Quality of workmanship and structural integrity is not always known (no guarantees).
Building a new home
Though having a
longer timeline and perhaps requiring more effort, there is a sense of
emotional fulfilment when you build your own home. This route does not yield
immediate reward but rather produces value in the long run. It might not offer
the same convenience as buying an existing house, however there are far more
advantages that can outweigh the convenience factor:
• Tailor-made to your requirements.
• You have the power to select your
location, orientation and neighbours.
• A new home has a longer lifespan and
higher market value.
• Material specifications comply with
the latest building standards and technology.
• Integrated planning that can include
energy-efficient systems, home automation and security systems.
• Aesthetically relevant.
• Lower maintenance costs compared to an
• Structural integrity is known due to relevant professionals on the project.
• In case of any negligence, the project will be covered by the responsible professional’s indemnity insurance.
• Up-to-date approved building plans are
• Construction is more time consuming.
• Unexpected events (including weather,
soil conditions, material availability, etc.) can delay the construction
• Delays, changes and poor management
can result in cost escalation.
• The success of the project is dependent on your professional team and contractor selection.
Before embarking on
this journey, it is helpful to ask yourself some questions. What are my
budgetary constraints? Can I afford to build a house with the possibility of a
25% increase in anticipated cost? Do I have 12-18 months to dedicate to a
Besides all the
possible complications when building a new home, it is an extremely fulfilling and
rewarding journey when managed properly. The personalisation and thought that
an architect puts into a design yields much greater satisfaction for the home owner
over time as the house is tailor-made to suit that person. Long term, you will
be happy you put in the time and effort to achieve your dream house. Are you
ready to get started?
For more information visit www.jkdesigns.co.za