It is well publicised that the Bay of Plenty property market has experienced strong growth over the last few years.

Houses which were selling for between $500,000-600,000 four years ago are now selling for $750,000 and beyond.

This might work in your favour if you are downsizing however not so much if you are upgrading or looking for a change. You may find you can build a brand new home for the same price as you would pay to buy an older existing home which needs work.

Both options have pros and cons, so keep in mind the following information to safeguard your investment.


Building allows you to design a new modern home that is suitable to your needs. New homes are easy to keep clean, low maintenance and the build process is exciting.

For added peace of mind, most building companies offer 10 year warranties which supplement the consumer protection under legislation.

However, new builds can run over budget and over time – proving a stressful experience.

Keep a close eye on provisional sums and prime costs – those items which do not have a fixed price at the outset. Variations can also increase the cost.


An existing home may have character, be in a well-developed suburb and allow you to move in much quicker than the build process. You may also be able to add value through renovations or landscaping.  

But, you should do your homework on the house by obtaining a pre-purchase building inspection and a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report. The LIM report will show whether existing works received legal consent and sign off.

You do not want to buy someone else’s problem and nor does your bank.

Whichever option you decide, it is important you do your homework and seek legal advice before signing on the dotted line.

Published in The Weekend Sun - March 22, 2019