Building your home is an exciting adventure that starts from the moment you begin viewing display homes to when you find one that best meets your needs.
Another option is to have an architect or draftsperson design a home that suits your lifestyle and individual needs.
Whichever you decide on, make sure you get the lowdown on the typical process and associated costs so you know exactly what to expect from your home-building experience.
Choosing a block of land.
Buying your dream block is an exciting process, because there’s nothing more rewarding than starting with your dream lot and watching your home rise from the ground. Keep in mind the following tips so you’re across everything you need to know.
This is all about natural sunlight; therefore the most important consideration is the land lot and house in totality. This is because most will want to maximise light in their alfresco area, so its position will determine where you’d want the sun to be.
As a general principle, you’ll always want your alfresco area to face north, and experience both morning and afternoon natural sunlight throughout the day. You can find various configurations to get this outcome; it just means that the right house design has to be placed on the right land lot.
Make sure your land lot allows you to build your dream home on it. Be careful as you must take into consideration all setbacks and easements to ensure the home will fit.
Did you know? Just because your home is smaller than the land lot doesn’t mean it’ll fit. It’s always best to get your Project Sales Manager or consultant involved.
What's the best thing about buying land? You can buy a lot that has an aspect you desire, e.g park front, waterfront, school front, retail front, views, etc. The choice is all yours!
Some overlook the fact that your overall budget can work in multiple ways by through a variety of home and land lot configurations.
To put it simply, you need to decide if you want to invest more in your land lot (bigger the lot, the more expensive) or your home (bigger the house, the more expensive).
You need to be aware of these as they can help protect your investment in the long run. Plus, they can add extra costs. Your Project Sales Manager will be able to provide insights on what these may be and guide you in the right direction.
These generally make up an overlooked cost that considers your soil class and the site itself, and how much it’ll cost to establish your land lot to build on it. This fee is generally separate to your land lot and house prices, and is charged by your builder.
Before the build.
Land transactions incur fees like stamp duty and conveyancing or legal fees. As a rough indication, stamp duty equates to approximately 5% of the purchase price. Conveyancing and legal fees depend on the organisation, so do your own research to identify the pros and cons of each service.
Before you begin building, you will also need to have your plans approved and stamped by the local council for your building permit.
Looking to do this yourself?
- If you’re project managing and building your own house, be aware that costs will vary from council to council, as will time taken to receive your permit.
- Costs may include things like building fee, lodgement fee, inspection fee and a government levy.
If you decide to use a project builder, the builder will take care of this process and in most cases, include the costs in your contract.
There are other elements that will impact the house cost such as buying in a bushfire-prone area, which will require you to use building materials and construction standards for greater fire-resistance. Other considerations would include metal shutters for windows, strong window glazing, use of metal and non-combustible materials for external frames, and a ban on wooden decks and pergolas.
Choosing a builder.
Whether you select a project home or design one yourself, you’ll enter into a building contract which includes the following:
- The Building Contract setting out the role, rights and responsibilities of you and the builder
- A Specifications Document listing the work to be carried out, the items to be supplied/installed by the builder and the manner in which certain work is to be undertaken
- The drawings/plans stamped and approved
It’s important to understand what’s included in the building contract and what will incur extra costs. Most builders will provide a standard list of inclusions – note that these differ between builders. Things you might consider standard may actually be extras, and the little things can add up quickly.
Before you sign, make sure you run through both big and small-ticket items such as garage doors and fences, and hand towel holders and doorstops, with your builder.
During the build.
It’s well worth developing your own checklist to ensure you avoid a cost blowout. Turn-key prices can be more expensive, but knowing that your builder covers any additional costs may be worth it in the end. If only for your peace of mind!
This would also come in handy when you’re seeking finance upfront, to ensure you have enough you’ll need for the build.
If there are any changes or variations to the contract during the building process, make sure you get them in writing so you don’t find a surprise bill in your brand new letterbox.
So… why build?
It takes more effort, but it certainly is rewarding. You can build exactly what you want and add your own personal touches. You can save costs on only having to pay stamp duty on land, and get exactly what you want by investing in what’s important to you, i.e smaller house on a larger lot vs large house on a smaller lot.
It’s truly the best way to build a home that’s just right for your needs.
For advice and information on building your own home, feel free to contact us now to speak to one of our Project Sales Managers today.