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In today's world, is it better to buy established or build new?

Posted 1 February 2022

It’s the question that will always spark a lively discussion: buy established or build new? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each in the context of today’s world.

As we enter our third year of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we reflect on how much our daily lives have changed. In particular, how we live within our homes. The social function of a house is rapidly evolving as an increasing amount of time is spent there, whether mandated or by choice, and temporary work-from-home arrangements transition to permanent. 

As more people begin working from home and spend more time within their homes, houses now need to fulfil an expanded social function. Not only from a work-from-home point of view, but one of mental and physical health, too.

Practically, this might look like a room dedicated for a study or home office; more square metres of space in the home; nooks or additional spaces for members of the household to find privacy; more entertainment rooms like a theatre or games room; more exercise options like a home gym or, externally, a pool. Even with Western Australia opening its borders, many people will continue choosing to spend more time at home for health and safety reasons.

The question is, will an established home or newly built house better meet the needs of this new world?

The social function of a house is rapidly evolving as an increasing amount of time is spent there and temporary work-from-home arrangements transition to permanent. 


Often, established homes have bigger blocks. This provides more physical and mental space for household members. In most cases, established homes are also landscaped with well established gardens, trees and lawn areas which takes out a lot of hard work and can be immediately enjoyed. 

With an established home, you can also see exactly what you are getting. You can walk through the home and physically touch and feel what you are buying. And you are getting it immediately. In the current climate, this instant comfort can be appealing for many. 

However, an established home means an older home. Whether it be 10, 20 or even 50 years old, this comes with issues of its own. Your home will inevitably require more maintenance than a newly built one. Perhaps it’s just a coat of paint but it could also be a vastly more expensive problem. Buyers will need to prepare for such situations.

Buying an established home means you are buying a house that was purpose-built for society at that time, with the materials at hand. For example, the function of a house built in the seventies is vastly different from what we require in a home today. Not only from a floorplan perspective, but an environmental and sustainability one, too.

Older houses may not have an energy efficiency rating that meets today’s standards, meaning homeowners end up paying a lot more for heating and cooling the home, as well as negatively impacting the environment.

Renovating an existing home to meet today’s buyer’s needs can be of huge expense, particularly in a market where building costs have increased and trades are scarce. 

As more people begin working from home and spend more time at home, houses need to fulfil an expanded social function.


Building new means you have complete control of your home’s aesthetics, functionality, future-proofing ability and energy efficiency. You are not buying a floorplan that suited life 20 years ago. Nor are you buying design trends from 10 years ago. Summit Homes is proud to be at the forefront of innovative, energy efficient and beautifully designed homes with customisable, flexible floorplans for life now and into the future. 

Summit also offers a choice in the latest innovative construction methods. This means buyers can choose the method that’s right for them, their home, and their block. All Summit designs meet rigorous energy efficiency and thermal analysis assessments. Summit have invested in years of technology, research and testing to ensure their newly built homes are sealed air-tight as required – in fact, their homes are 51% better than the national average*.

Of course, it’s not all pros for building new. The Pandemic has impacted building costs due to supply issues and therefore increased build timeframes. Not all builders are the same, Summit has helped over 40,000 Western Australians realise their new home dreams in over 40 years. Led by an experienced management team they have navigated through high pressure industry environments and are current back to back winners of the Housing Industry Association's WA Professional Major Builder 2021 & 2020 as well as Master Builder's WA Project Builder of the Year 2021.


Ultimately a flexible floorplan and energy efficiency is what will help future-proof a home.

As we have seen over the past few years, anything could become our new normal so a home that can adapt to the changing needs and expanded social function of a house will ensure comfort and peace of mind. Build future flexibility with Summit today.

Browse over 50 new home designs recently launched, all with theatres and flexible room layouts for modern living, starting from just $235,000 or get started with a design consultant.

*CSIRO Study 2016 - Measuring buildings - Air tightness of new house construction.


Whether you're considering building, renovating or developing our experts can guide answer any questions you might have.

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