New homes are edging further ahead of ‘second-hand’ homes in the market, writes David Aubrey.

To buy new or second-hand is a debate that has raged for decades in the housing market; a dinner table topic as hot as the housing market debate itself.

New homes offer obvious advantages over second-hand such as customisation. House builder McDonald Jones Queensland business development manager, Anthony Kirby says the benefit of buying new is that the client gets to choose everything in the home from scratch.

“Even the floor plan can be modified to suit the exact requirements of the individual’s lifestyle which is not possible with an existing dwelling,” Kirby says.

New home buyers Mike and Sarah King recently moved from a second-hand home at Strathpine to a new development at North Lakes.

“The builder had a client services manager who sat and listened,” Mike Kings says. “After
several meetings we were able to get exactly what we wanted for our brand new home.”

Over the last decade builders have become a lot more flexible in catering to the demands of new buyers even down to which plants they want in the garden.

Amy McNamara has just moved into her new home in Durack.

“We are away a lot on business and whilst the children have left home we aren’t ready for an apartment.” Husband, James agreed.

“We love the yard and could choose plants that are water-hardy so will not die when we are away.”

For investors, the new versus old debate has only one winner.

Aston Milan’s Robert Douglas says there are tax incentives for investors buying new homes instead of old.

“Owners can depreciate items within the investment home and use those deductions to reduce their personal tax position.”

Another advantage for investors according to Douglas is that tenants will rent a new home over an old one as it has never been lived in and all the products are brand new.

Plus the maintenance for an investor is significantly less on a new home than an older home.

Existing or second-hand homes however can offer character. For lovers of history or for those wanting to carry on traditions, the existing home, particularly the Queenslander, captures a spirit of the time and the area.

Julie Clarkson of Annerley says she fell in love with her home the moment she saw it.

“I loved the tongue and groove timber, the bullnose verandah and the huge rooms. I also loved that I was preserving a bit of history.”

Renovations to existing homes both to the internal structure and façade can ensure the old is new again … retaining character while adding the mod cons.

The choice is personal, but the differences are clear cut.