Most people at some point in their lives will be faced with the decision of becoming a homeowner.

For most of us, it comes when we realise we are paying someone else's home loan by renting their house, when we could be paying off our own. 

I decided 18 months ago to take the plunge and become a homeowner, but I was soon faced with a bigger decision to make: To build my home, or to buy an existing home? 

Everyone has their own opinion on this dilemma, it maybe from their own experiences or someone else's that has formed their opinion. There are many things that everyone should consider before making the final decision and here some of the ones that helped me: 

When buying an established home you have to accept you are buying someone else's dream, and trying to make it your own. 

Look for hidden costs in the established home your looking at for example: is the home or garden in poor condition and a lot of maintenance or renovating is required costing both time and money 

An established home is far easier to consider all costs before making an offer. What you see will be what you get. 

Building has the very real immediate advantage of getting the home that is exactly to your requirements. You're not living someone else's dream, you are realising your own. 

Site cost and finishing costs will need to be included in your building budget. Be sure to allow enough budget to finish the home off. 

When considering building, have a finished price in mind and work backwards in your calculations 

Location, Location, Location 

Stamp Duty: there is a vast difference in the amount of stamp duty you will pay on an existing house compared to a block. 

And lastly but maybe the most important: First Home Owner Grant. 

The first Home Owner Grant provides eligible first home buyers with a $7,000 grant. In addition, if you build a new home you could also be eligible for the First Home Bonus of $13,000 and also the Regional Bonus of $6,500 if your new home is built in a regional municipality in Victoria.

My first tip if to make your own decision because at the end of the day, your're the one that owes the money to the bank!