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Is Buying an Existing House The Right Choice for You?

By Rebecca Zhang

The housing shortages in different parts of Australia lead rising demand in buying properties. There are always suitable existing houses on the market, many of which are cheaper than new dwellings.

Reasons for purchasing a pre-owned property:

A ready-made home

Benefits of buying a pre-loved house:

  • Buyer doesn’t need to wait to find out if the final product is what they actually wanted
  • Buyer doesn’t need to wait for construction
  • There are fewer surprises for the family because buyers are certain about how the surroundings, neighbours and community actually are.
  • For an existing home, shops and public transport are already nearby in most cases.  However, this may take time for a new development to complete all these facilities.

Few Surprises

  • An existing home gives the buyer stability of opportunity to know what they are buying.
  • It provides buyers a chance to discover any potential issues before they commit to the sale.
  • Buyers may seek an expert to inspect the house and its accompanying documentation.
  • Problems to be defined are additions made without consent, weather tightness issues, poor safety standards, and substandard electrical, gas and insulation systems.
  • Buyer may find out that the renovations have been done thoroughly and will stand for a longer time.


  • Brand new homes come with all the latest bells and whistles and therefore command a higher price than older homes in a similar area.
  • If buyers are looking for something cheap, though, consider renovating. There are always lower-priced houses on the market, although sometimes you have to compromise on the location.

Buyers need to remember to add extra to their estimate for unforeseen costs for some renovations of the existing houses.  To consider whether or not they are ready for the inconvenience of living in an unfinished house, whether they have the time and capability to take on such a big job, and whether they are prepared to accept delays and negotiate with the local Council so that the work is done to the correct standard.

Be wary of doing up a home so much that its value exceeds that of all the other houses in the area. This can be problematic if you decide to sell it in the future and cannot get the price you want for it.

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