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The investment question of the year: Build or buy?

by Jemima Codrington on 09 Jan 2013
CREW online is looking at the arguments for each to help you decide.

Reasons to Build
•    No Hidden Surprises. Older homes – heck, even newer homes that have had past owners – can have nasty surprises lurking under the floorboards. Faulty electrical or rotting foundations can end up costing you a fortune. Building your own home affords you hands-on supervision to ensure that everything is done to standard.
•    Custom-Made. Finding a move-in-ready, perfect property to fit your desired tenant demographic can be a tall order. Chances are some revisions and/or renovations will need to be done to the property. By building, you can tailor the property to have the number of suites, amenities and features you need to achieve maximum ROI in a property that’s always in-demand.
•    Energy Efficiency. Many older buildings require more in terms of heating and insulation, but new buildings made of the highest standard windows, electrical and plumbing will reduce operating costs in the long run.
•    Health and Safety. Speaking of new materials, many older homes may contain unsafe materials such as asbestos, PCB and lead. Current health and safety codes will ensure a house built with none of these hazardous materials.

Reasons to Buy
•    Faster move-in. Building a property takes considerable time! The closing period gives you time to screen suitable tenants, who can then move straight in to the property. You can start earning rental income immediately.  
•    Current Market Conditions. Prices are falling in many urban markets across the country. It’s not great news for those looking to sell, but it is excellent news for investors looking to buy! Investors can get more property for their buck in terms of property size and location, and enjoy a high resale value once prices pick up.  
•    Variety. Older urban markets are home to variety of property types, from condos to bungalows to apartments to town homes and more. Investors can have their pick of the litter depending on investment needs and target tenant demographic.
•    Location. Finding space to build in central locations can be tough, as most metro markets have already undergone major development. Finding a property to buy and renovate if needs be opens up options in the city centre.

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