Building a home can be stressful and one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences of home ownership.
That’s why we are sharing ten quick building tips to help your next build be your best build.
1. Research your Builder
First things first. Get online and read about the builders you’re considering. Visit their webpage, read reviews and even check out the ratings on their social media pages. But don’t stop there! Online can only tell you so much, so be sure to check with any friends who have built before and ask about their experiences with their builder. In particular, what they wish they had known before they built.
Be sure to look out for words like ‘inclusions’, some builders quote everything you could possibly need while others leave more choices up to you, so be sure to keep that in mind when you’re comparing average house prices.
2. Think About Your Long Term Plans
A two bedroom unit might suit you right now, but what will you need in 2-3 years? If you’re building your dream home think about how long you want to be living in it, and what your life might look like then.
Are you planning to raise a family in this house one day, or would you want to rent it out?
Creating a long term plan also helps narrow down the type of house you’re looking for which will help when going through a builders house range.
3. Visit Those Display Villages!
It’s one thing to look at houses online, but seeing them in person is something else entirely. Stepping into a display home means you can feel how big a room will be, inspect the build quality, and get a real idea of how different floorplans and layouts will work for you.
4. Use a Trusted Expert
From financiers to builders and architects, use people who are trusted and experienced in the industry. You might think it’s a great idea to get your friend’s brother’s cousin to draw up your house plans for cheap, but in the long run it can become VERY costly to fix design problems. Top Tip – no one likes to clean up someone else’s mess, so be prepared to invest now as many will have no problem charging you a premium to go over external plans later.
5. Negotiate your Contract
If you are buying your land from a developer or new subdivision, they are usually fixed price and there is very little room for negotiation on price, but be sure to ask about any possible rebates or smaller deposit amounts if you go for a quick settlement (because you never know!).
For your build contract, make sure you read ALL the fine print. If you don’t understand all the terminology, be sure to go through it with your solicitor. Negotiate on your inclusions if you aren’t happy with them, try to set firm time frames for the build, and be sure to chat to your builder about any concerns you might have about the build to see what they can do.
6. Stick to Your Budget!
SERIOUSLY. Sit down, figure out how much you want to spend, check out the finance calculators online and talk to your bank. (Then see a broker to make sure you have a great deal!) Also take into account the settlement dates for your land and house. Are they the same or different? Can you afford to live somewhere else while making payments on the land portion? Once you have your budget, add a buffer. It is always better to over-budget.
It is also important not to get carried away building your dream home and then realizing you have spent too much. Choose to spend on the key aspects that should be done at the same time as the build, like your ducted air-conditioning or built in vacuum system. You can always get that expensive dishwasher or marble countertop later.
7. Sit Down With Your Builder
Chatting face to face with your builder about what you want and your expectations is always the best approach. Dig into the specifics with them (wiring, façade, paint, electrical, site works, etc.) and see how flexible their designs are so you get what you want.
Keeping in touch throughout the build to check up on progress also helps to minimize any delays, mistakes and any additional costs.
8. Don’t Forget Other Fees
The purchase price isn’t all you need to budget for. Keep in mind any insurances, taxes, stamp duty, council rates, service connections, etc. All of these costs should in the back of your mind and included in your budget!
9. Location, Location, Location.
Be sure to research the community you are thinking of building in. Are there nearby schools, parks, community spaces and shops? Do you want to be close to public transport or where you work?
A helpful hint is to look around where you are building. If there are new developments, re-developments or centers nearby or in surrounding suburbs it’s a pretty safe bet that your area is up and coming. If you are nearby city fringe or beach suburbs these are typically very sought after.
If you are worried about security and safety, try to buy into an estate or large development. Although these tend to look like large flat spaces when you find them, these developments tend to be master-planned by experts to create safe community spaces wherever they are.
10. Consider your Investment
Whether you are wanting to spend your whole life in one house of if you are planning to build as an investment property, it is important to consider the growth potential of your purchase. Check out suburb growth rates on websites like realestate.com.au and local demand.
If you are planning on building purely for an investment purpose it is always helpful to meet with a property expert or advisor.
Hungry for more? Check out the links below for more helpful tips.