Renovate, buy or build? Make the right decision for you.

If you are a homeowner in New Zealand looking to renovate, build, or buy new, there are some important factors to consider before making any decisions. Each option has its own set of pros and cons, and ultimately it depends on your specific needs and circumstances. This article will delve into these options in greater detail to help you make an informed decision.

Renovating your existing property can be a fantastic way to update your home and make it feel more like your own. However, the reality of renovation is often quite different from what we see on TV shows. It can be a time-consuming and expensive process, and there is always the risk that things may not go according to plan. Before deciding to renovate, it is essential to consider factors such as the availability of resources, time, and money.

Pros of Renovating:

  • Old houses are usually cheaper to buy than new properties, making them an attractive option for homeowners on a budget.
  • The bones of older homes, made of brick, stone, or timber, are usually laid in configurations to last for decades.
  • When renovating, your imagination is limited to the framework of the house already in place. While you can add and take away from it, the basis of your new home is laid out in front of you when you walk onto the section. To many, this is more appealing than building a home from scratch.

Cons of Renovating:

  • The capital cost of renovating an existing property can be significant, especially if you're taking on a large-scale project.
  • Renovations can take longer than expected and often require more work than initially anticipated.
  • There is always the risk that something will go wrong, and you'll end up spending more money than you intended to.

If you're looking to buy a new property, it is important to do your homework before signing on the dotted line. While buying gives you the opportunity to move into a home that better suits your needs, there are some risks to consider.


Pros of Buying:

  • Buying a new property can be a great way to change your scenery or upgrade to a larger home.
  • If you play your cards right, you may even make a profit when you sell.
  • You may be able to take advantage of the current low-interest rates.

Cons of Buying:

  • There is no guarantee that your property will appreciate in value over time, and it may even decrease in value.
  • Buying usually requires taking out a mortgage, which means you'll be committed to making repayments for years or even decades to come.
  • There is always the possibility that something could go wrong, and you could end up losing money on the deal.

If you're looking for something completely different or want full control over every aspect of your new home, building may be the right option for you. However, building is not without its risks.

Pros of Building:

  • Building gives you complete freedom to design and build exactly what you want.
  • Custom-built homes are usually more energy-efficient than mass-produced ones.
  • You have complete control over the quality of the materials used in the construction of your new home.

Cons of Building:

  • Building can be very expensive, and you may end up spending more than if you had bought an existing home.
  • There's always the possibility that something could go wrong, and your final product is not quite what you wanted or expected.
  • Building requires a lot of planning and coordination, and it can take longer than expected to complete.


Whether you choose to renovate, buy, or build in New Zealand, there are pros and cons to each option. Renovating can be a great way to add value to your existing property, but it can also come with unexpected costs and complications. Buying provides the opportunity to move into a home that better suits your needs, but it can be expensive and comes with the risk of not seeing a return on your investment. Building gives you the ultimate control over your home, but it can be a significant financial investment and requires a lot of time and effort.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your specific needs and circumstances. Take the time to do your research, talk to professionals in the industry, and consider all of the factors before making a decision. With careful planning and consideration, you can find the best option for you and make your dream home a reality in New Zealand.

Want to hear more? 

Modal Architecture is a local architectural design firm specialising in high performance, sustainable, and lifestyle homes around New Zealand. If you want to find out more - get in touch below to discuss this article or your upcoming project.

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