Buy or Build?

Sydney’s property market feels like a cruel joke – the competition is crazy.  Anyone we know that is house hunting or has bought in the past few years has suffered so much stress trying to find a great property that was also affordable, then realizing time and time again they were priced out as competition and desperation drove bidding wars out of their reach.  Their Saturdays become an endless cycle of house inspections for months, even years.

Alex (my husband) and I are picky at the best of times, we rarely agree on big decisions, so the chances of us finding a property that we both loved, was in the right location and we could afford just seemed like it would be impossible.   We have both always said we would much prefer to build our own home and get what we want from the start but expected it to be an unaffordable option for our first home.

After much saving, putting the figures through online mortgage calculators and some research into new land releases around the Sydney region we started to think we had to move sooner rather than later to get on the property ladder.  Our current area was out of reach, painfully out of reach.  Our budget would only cover buying a smaller apartment than we currently rent which was never going to be an option we would pick.

We expanded our search to see what kind of commute we would have to take on to be able to afford land and to build a small house.  After several years of the government only offering support to first home buyers if they buy brand new or build, it seemed like an option we should consider.  I started with house and land packages to get an idea of where we should be looking, then started registering for land release information to narrow down the area – basically as close as possible to a station with the shortest commute back to Sydney CBD for work.  And with that we focused down to Edmondson Park and Leppington.

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