So, you’re looking to buy a house but you’re toying with the idea of whether you should build or buy an existing home. It can be a tough decision to make and there are pros and cons to both situations! Before you make the call, let’s go over the benefits and drawbacks of buying and building to ensure you’ve considered everything.

Advantages of building a house

There are a number of advantages to building a house, so keep in mind these are just some of those benefits.

  • Customisation

Perhaps the biggest advantage of building a house is the ability for you to completely customise your home to suit your needs1. Not only do you get to choose all of the features, such as tiles and paint colours, but you also get a say in the house layout and design1. If you’re looking for the home of your dreams, building could be your answer.

  • Access to funding and stamp duty concessions

While you may also be eligible for stamp duty concessions if you’re a first home buyer purchasing an existing property, choosing to build your home may mean you’re eligible for the First Home Owners Grant2. This grant is a state government incentive helping first home buyers to purchase or build a brand new home (i.e. building or buying a home that no one has previously lived in that is valued less than $750,000)2.

If you’re not a first home buyer but are still considering building your next home, you could still be eligible for stamp duty concessions. As you purchase land to build a home on, no transfer of ownership of the house takes place so you are only required to pay stamp duty on the land2. This could end up being cheaper than if you were to buy an existing house – obviously, this is all dependent on the purchase price of the land2.

  • Lack of wear and tear

Building a house completely from scratch means you won’t have to worry about the normal wear and tear that can come from buying an established home that could have had many previous owners1. Plus, there can often be older houses on the market that may potentially contain asbestos or lead paint1. Building can reassure you all materials used to construct your home are safe and do not pose a risk to your health1.

  • Less competition

Anyone who’s bought a house before knows the market can be quite competitive and there is always the possibility your offer may not be accepted. That’s where building your home can be slightly different3. Yes, there is still competition over purchasing the land but it’s a completely different market and you often don’t experience the same competitiveness as purchasing an existing home3.

Drawbacks of building a house

Just like with anything, there are a few downsides to building instead of buying, so it’s a good idea to keep these in mind before making your decision.

  • Longer wait time before moving in

If you’re in a hurry to move into your new home, building may not be the best option for you. You need to factor in not only the build time, but also choosing and ordering supplies as well as approvals for construction to commence1. Depending on how quickly you achieve each of these, you could be looking at up to a year before you’re able to move into your new house1.

  • Construction and material costs

When it comes to building a house, there is a lot more work involved when it comes to choosing materials. You need to factor in costs for every single room of your house, meaning you may need to stick to a strict budget to ensure you don’t go overboard2.

  • Place of residence during construction

If you’re renting and making the shift to building your very first home, you may need to look at your current lease and consider whether you could renew for a shorter period of time or cop the extra rental payments when it comes time to move3. Alternatively, as a current home owner, you would need to decide what you’ll do with your current house3. Whether it be that you choose to rent it out or sell it, these both take preparation.

Advantages of buying a house

There are also a range of benefits to buying a house over building one, so here are just a few that may influence your decision.

  • Quicker move in time

Unlike building, buying an existing house gives you the freedom to negotiate a settlement period that suits your needs, meaning you can move in quicker1. This means that instead of waiting months before you can make the move, you likely only have to wait a matter of weeks1. If you’re on a tight schedule and need to move out of your current place of residence sooner, this could be the better option for you.

  • Can still find your dream home

Just because you’re buying a house that’s already established, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find your dream home. Many house listings online have floor plans and photos of the house so you can customise your search to find a house that has the features you’re looking for (e.g. four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, etc.)1. Plus, you have the option of inspecting a property closely before you commit to putting in an offer so you can be absolutely sure it’s the right place for you1.

  • Location flexibility

When it comes to building, there’s often not as much flexibility for choosing to live in a suburb that suits your needs – you’re usually limited based on available vacant housing lots2. With buying, however, there’s generally a wider range of location options available. If you’re searching for a house that’s close to a specific school or shopping centre, buying gives you the flexibility to cater to these factors2.

  • More room to negotiate pricing

In most cases, you’ll see a price listed next to any house up for sale, but this is generally just what the seller hopes for. There is usually room for you, as the buyer, to negotiate with the seller until you reach a price both parties agree to3. The difference could prove to be quite significant to you and your finances.

Drawbacks of buying a house

Just as we’ve showcased with building a house, buying also presents a few disadvantages that you should be aware of before deciding which option is best for you.

  • May not get everything you want

Unlike building, buying a house means you don’t have as much say in the features, so you may not get absolutely everything you want in a house3. There may be instances where you have to settle on some features and shorten your list of ‘must-haves’.

  • Potential for more maintenance

Depending on the ages of the houses you’re looking at buying, you may find small fixes, renovations or maintenance is required before you’d be able to move in2. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate this when it comes to discussing the purchase price. Otherwise, you may need to decide whether the house is truly for you or if the repairs are absolutely necessary right away. Given that building a house means it’s brand new, you’re not likely to encounter these same issues2

  • Higher stamp duty costs

Unless you’re a first home buyer, purchasing an established property leaves you liable for paying stamp duty, which can often be quite expensive2. Unfortunately, there isn’t the advantage of paying stamp duty solely on the land as with building a house2. Depending on the price of the house you’re buying, you could end up paying quite a hefty amount of money towards stamp duty. Keep in mind, this changes according to the sale price.

As you can see, deciding between building vs buying a house all comes down to personal choice and circumstances. Whatever you decide, Queensland Country Bank is here to help with the financial side, offering both fixed and variable home loans, and the option to book an appointment with a lending specialist.


Terms and conditions of Queensland Country Bank’s fixed and variable home loans apply. View the relevant TMD available at Normal lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply and are available on request.

General Advice Warning: This information is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice.


1Jean Folger, 2023, Building new vs. buying an existing home, Investopedia,

2Alasdair Duncan, 2023, Building vs buying a house – pros and cons, Canstar,

3Rachel Cruze, Should I buy or build a house? The pros and cons, Ramsey Solutions,