Find all the tips, advice and new home inspiration with our Home Blog
Know what you want or need in a loan and shop around. Fixed rates, variable rates, redraw capabilities and the length of the loan are all important factors. Make sure the structure of your loan is right for you straight off the mark – this is a long-term commitment.
Builder quotes can vary by thousands of dollars, so while it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option presented to you, it is important to realise that comparing quotes based purely on monetary value may in fact cost you more in the long run. This is because you are not always comparing apples with apples. Some builders may not provide you with all the expenses upfront, and there are many items that may be inclusive with one builder and non-inclusive with another. It is important to recognise what sort of variations may be affecting your quote including things like labour rates and the quality of the materials. Take the time to understand why your quotes may vary so you know what you are paying for.
Take the time to work out what you can really afford. Many people are excited to buy their first home, but forget the extra fees or underestimate the cost of actually owning one. Find out what kind of fees may be applicable to you including home insurance, stamp duty, moving costs, council rates and transfer fees. Also, be prepared for maintenance costs which will now fall back onto you.
Review your floor plan thoroughly. Work out where your power points and light switches are best positioned, consider the location of your bedrooms to noisy areas like the laundry or living room and always ensure you have plenty of storage.
READ MORE: AVOID COMMON FLOOR PLAN ISSUES
Increasing the standard ceiling height to just 2700mm can instantly offer a more spacious feeling in your home! Highly recommended by almost every builder, it is worth the initial extra cost.
Building a new home offers the opportunity to make massive savings by increasing your energy efficiency. This can be as simple as orientating your home correctly, installing eaves and double-glazed windows and ensuring your insulation is adequate, or you can look at more complex solutions such as solar power or energy-saving appliances. New homes offer new home technologies, so now is your chance to cut down on your energy bills and decrease your carbon footprint!
You can never have too much storage in your home! A clever builder should be able to help you find extra nooks and crannies where you can include additional storage space for your belongings. Finding room for extra storage is highly recommended and your builder will have some great tips on ways to avoid a cluttered home.
It can be very difficult to predict where the future will take you, however it doesn’t hurt to consider possibilities like future pets, children or family. Make sure the home you choose accommodates for future plans too, to get as much out of the home as possible.
Having finally built or found the perfect home, the last thing you want to think about is selling it. However, your home is an investment, and it is important to think about a time where you need to sell it. When searching for your home, consider what other typical home buyers may want and accommodate for this if possible. The location is also extremely important, and while your preferences should be paramount, thinking ahead is important too.
Are we overlooking something? Let us know in the comments below!
However, for Peter and Maxine Story there was no discussion, question or debate on who would build their new dream home.
“Twenty years ago we built our first house with Hotondo Homes Horsham. While the builder was different back then, they left such a good impression there was no hesitation in building with them a second time,” Peter said.
“We chose them because they were a national builder with a good reputation and local knowledge. We wanted value.”
Peter and Maxine’s stunning home is a blend of two Hotondo Homes designs. Based on the beautiful three-bedroom Claremont 163 with a few extra touches, the couple were adamant they wanted to make the home their own.
“I have lived in a lot of homes previously, so I had a good idea of what I wanted,” Peter explains.
“Anthony (our sales person) had ideas too, and we worked together to bring them to life. Hotondo are very good at making adjustments to their floor plans, and were very accepting of the changes we wanted.”
The resulting home is the epitome of open-style living. Three spacious living areas are interconnected with the dining room and kitchen, creating an airy and open feel for the home. This was achieved by removing a wall from the front living room.
Other additions to the design included extending the second bedroom to include a walk-in-robe, a gas log fire, an extensive walk-in-pantry for the kitchen, extra storage space in the garage and even the inclusion of an entire storeroom to utilise all available space on the block.
“We chose them because they were a national builder with a good reputation and local knowledge. We wanted value.” – Peter Story
The home features gorgeous New South Wales spotted gum flooring combined with a light, natural colour scheme to ensure it retains a good resell value, and it is finished off with modern timber furniture.
“My favourite part of the home is the outdoor alfresco space,” Peter said.
“The second living area overlooks the alfresco, and with three stacker doors you can create an even larger entertainment space. We had awning blinds installed to prevent wind and dust getting in, meaning we have an all-year round outdoor living area.”
“The other great part of the home is the dining table – the way the home is designed you can sit at this beautiful table and see every single part of the home. It is amazing.”
Peter and Maxine chose to build the largest home they could on the smallest block of land they could find, in an effort to reduce garden maintenance. As Peter put it, even those who live the busiest of lives could “live in this home comfortably”.
Although their children Sam, 29, and Caitlin, 26, have both moved out, Peter and Maxine still share their expansive home with West Highland White Terriers Angus and Barney. The couple now have more than enough room for family gatherings and the occasional party, with Peter’s dartboard still having a place of pride in their alfresco.
CHECK OUT MORE CLIENT HOME STORIES HERE:
Leaving such an outstanding impression that a couple chose to build with the same builder 20 years after their first build is a testament to the dedication and commitment the team at Hotondo Homes Horsham have.
Peter and Maxine’s dream home is a masterpiece built through the teamwork and collaboration of themselves and Hotondo Homes. Their input into the design and the ability to watch their ideas and dreams come to life make it all the more sweeter for them to enjoy their beautiful new home.
For more information on Hotondo Homes range of designs, visit hotondo.com.au
Take on a few of these quick makeover ideas to lift and improve your home in a matter of hours!
First impressions – an inviting entry
Stand out from the crowd with a beautiful new front door. If you are more daring, try painting it a bold colour for something unique. Don’t forget a welcome mat, or even a large potted plant for maximum impact!
The neglected entryway
Often forgotten in interior design is the entry to your home. A small-scale table and mirror is a great way to give it some character and it is the perfect place to set the tone for the rest of the home. If possible, add some storage for your shoes, keys and other items you generally leave by the door.
Up the ante with new tapware
One of the quickest ways to improve your home is to update your tapware. Matte black remains a popular choice, just be sure your new faucets match the configuration of your existing ones. Try updating your showerhead too. A luxurious waterfall showerhead will add instant class to any bathroom!
READ MORE: TAPWARE TO PERSONALISE YOUR BATHROOM SPACE
Replace your cabinet handles
Simple, cheap and easy to do, changing the handles of your kitchen cupboards can make an enormous difference to the overall feel of your kitchen. You can pick up cheap, beautiful pieces from your local hardware store, or for a more eclectic feel, try an op-shop!
Repaint or paper your wall
Nothing can improve your home quick like a fresh coat of paint. Whether you are merely updating your white walls or looking to create a bold feature wall, painting your wall will instantly transform the entire room. Alternatively, wallpaper is making a comeback!
Embrace the outdoors
Absolute minimal effort: Invest in some outdoor furniture. Summer is here, so make the most of the good weather and extend your living area to your backyard! Add a few new plants, an outdoor light and voila, you have new space to enjoy with family and friends!
Do you have any quick ways to improve your home in 2017? Let us know in the comments!
We often say this, however it doesn’t make it any less genuine. It is true both metaphorically – family members spend a lot of time in the kitchen with many memories made here – and literally – a kitchen is more often than not located at the centre of a home’s design.
So what does it take to build a dream kitchen? Our 7 simple steps can help you determine your favourite style, the ideal layout and the key components you need to consider when it comes to kitchen design.
What is your style?
Choosing a style or theme for your kitchen is the first step towards creating your dream kitchen. A cohesive look is important not just for the kitchen, but for the rest of the home too, especially if you have an open-plan design. Whether it be modern, elegant, country or something a little bit different, make sure you have a style in mind or you could end up with a chaotic mess. Check out some kitchen inspiration here.
Build your foundation
The anchor of the kitchen lies in the cabinetry which takes up a good portion. You’ll want to consider just how much storage space you will need, and whether you intend to hide away appliances like your toaster (clutter is a killer for good interior design!). Natural wood, a painted finish, gloss or matte, cabinet choices are endless. Think carefully about the style choice you select and how the cabinets will complement it.
Work in the benchtops
Benchtops are the next big ticket item in the kitchen. Highly visible, there is a huge range of choice available these days from natural stone to laminate for a cheaper – yet just as lovely – option. The question you need to consider when choosing a colour is whether you want your eyes drawn to the cabinetry or the benchtop first. Choose a similar colour for a seamless look or something different for a bolder and more eye-catching approach. Ensure you have plenty of bench space to cook and prepare your meals too!
The feature splashback
After the benchtop it is time to choose your splashback. Contemporary homes tend to use a glass splashback. Paint is applied to the back of the glass, leaving the colour well protected and the surface smooth, shiny and easy to clean. You could also consider a window to enhance natural lighting. For a more traditional style, tiles remain popular. No longer are you stuck with plain square tiles either, with more and more shapes available every day. Tiles can be made to imitate natural materials like wood, concrete and marble, meaning it is easier than ever to create a look you love. Read more about splashback options here.
Prominence for your must-have items
Make a list of the most important items or appliances for your dream kitchen, and prioritise them. Whether it is a dishwasher, an extra space for a large fridge or a butler’s pantry with a sink, now is your chance to include them all!
Consider the kitchen work triangle
Closely related to your must-have items is the kitchen work triangle. The kitchen work triangle is a concept used to create the ideal functional layout for your dream kitchen. The main tasks completed in the kitchen are using your stove, sink and fridge, creating a kitchen ‘triangle’. Having these three features close (but not too close) to one another creates the ideal cooking environment. Think carefully about how you use your kitchen and what the ideal layout could be to maximise time and space.
Proportion and scale
Open-plan living is a beautiful thing, however it also means the line becomes blurred between kitchen, living and dining spaces. Properly scaled furniture creates more defined spaces and helps a room ‘feel right’. Ensure your benchtop is at an appropriate height, and your bar chairs need to fit comfortably under it. Your dining chairs need to sit approximately 25-30cm lower than the table. The table itself should be large enough to seat your family, but still have enough space around it to pull each chair all the way out.
What do you think of our list? Is there something we missed when creating a dream kitchen? Let us know in the comments!
For over 12 years it remained vacant, awaiting a time for the Invermay couple to proceed building their dream home.
For a home years in the making, there was every chance it would never live up to their expectations, but the impressive façade, amazing floor plan and beautiful finishes resulted in a stunning home with all the right touches.
“The best part of the whole experience was the flexibility, we could change whatever we wanted and nothing was a problem for Hotondo Homes,” Debra said.
“We spoke to another builder and they were not flexible at all. We wanted to make the home ours, there were a few specific things we really wanted because it was an acreage block, and Hotondo Homes accommodated them all.”
The stunning Stockton 322 is an incredible acreage home featuring four bedrooms, three living areas, two bathrooms and a powder room. With a few adjustments including larger windows to take in the beautiful views, bigger bedrooms and even the installation of a wood heater, the couple are delighted to call this place home.
“We got along really well with the team at Hotondo Homes Ballarat, who were even able to take us down to a display home to show us something tangible,” Frank said.
“Our block also had a few overlay and sloping issues, and the team were able to walk us through how they would address them.”
A mix of beautiful, neutral colours is seen throughout the home. The white walls and light coloured tiles and kitchenware creates a spacious and open feel, which works in harmony with the striking floorboards and custom wood heater that help add a warmth to the area.
Topped off with beautiful pieces of wooden furniture and high quality finishes, the charming home emits a modern yet country charm.
“The best part of the whole experience was the flexibility, we could change whatever we wanted and nothing was a problem for Hotondo Homes.” – Debra Cartledge
For Frank and Debra, the large walk-in pantry, big ensuite and the entry located to the side of the home were all must-haves.
“Luckily for us, this design ticked a lot of boxes with just the standard inclusions, and we then added few of our own,” Frank said.
The expansive alfresco space, large double garage, powder room for guests and plenty of storage room were other favourite features for the Invermay couple.
“Both of our girls moved out of home during the building process, meaning we have even more room now for friends, family and other guests to come around,” Debra laughs.
“Another great part is that one of the extra bedrooms has its own walk-in-robe, which is really good for our guests. There is so much room, we have even started calling one end of the house the ‘west wing’!”
The Ballarat team were awarded the 2015 Hotondo Homes Builder of the Year award, which is reflected in the quality build of Frank and Debra’s home. Living just down the road for the majority of the construction period meant the couple were able to enjoy watching their home go up from start to finish.
“Each stage that finished was another burst of excitement, it was great to watch it all come together,” Frank said.
“Brett was really fantastic to deal with, anything we wanted, he would accommodate. He adjusted the price as we added things, and they were always quick to get back to us.”
While Frank and Debra had completed several renovations and extensions previously, this was their first newly built home. Their children may have moved out before they had a chance to enjoy it, but the couple are loving their new home shared with their cat, dog, cows and even alpacas.
From a fleeting thought 12 years ago to the beautifully constructed design Frank and Debra now have before them, Hotondo Homes Ballarat have delivered a dream home that does not disappoint.
To start your own journey towards your dream home, contact Hotondo Homes today.
While all three options have benefits and drawbacks, considering a knockdown and rebuild project can be highly beneficial and profitable in the long run. It can also save you from the stress and costs involved in renovating or extending your existing home.
You don’t need to compromise on your dream home. Committing to a knockdown and rebuild project will mean you have the opportunity to create a home to suit your current taste and lifestyle, without having to move away from a location you love. It will also mean your home will be in line with current building and design standards.
Whether you want a cutting-edge modern design, a coastal-themed home or something with a bit of country charm, you can build it to your liking. You can also include features in the home that support your lifestyle such as an alfresco area for outdoor entertaining, an open-plan kitchen, a dining and living area, a study nook or extra bedroom for visiting guests.
Here are three other compelling reasons to knockdown and rebuild your home:
A knockdown and rebuild project can be cheaper than extending or renovating your current home. Why? Because a big renovation often means working in and around existing structures which can be costly.
Building a new home on your current block of land can also save you money when it comes to your heating and cooling bills. Installing new energy efficient products and appliances can save you thousands. You will also have the chance to introduce passive home design elements, which can further influence your bills.
Renovating or extending your existing home can be a risky process because they can often run over time and over budget. It’s often impossible to know what lies under the surface of your home or land until you rip it up, therefore you can run into unknown costs and time delays.
You may also be required to upgrade existing aspects of your home during the renovation or extension in order to adhere to current regulations, whereas a new home will always be built to current standards.
Most importantly, you can stay in an area you love! The design of your home shouldn’t be a barrier to living in the area where you are already established. Stay close to the amenities, schools and people you have come to know, and build your dream home to complement your lifestyle.
Visit hotondo.com.au to find out more.
Choosing the right design for you can be a difficult decision, even more so when you are doing it for the first time. As well as learning all the processes, dealing with banks, builders and land developers and even learning the right lingo, you also have to pick a home that you are likely to live in for many years to come.
We have listed the most important factors to consider when choosing a home design for the first time. We have also made a few suggestions on what we think are perfect home designs for first-time home buyers.
Look towards the future
Extra space should be a high priority for first home buyers. If you are planning to have children in the future, it may be wise to accommodate for them. Choosing a home with more bedrooms should be a higher priority than any other ‘additional’ features like a stone benchtop, freestanding bath or a double vanity in the ensuite. These can easily be added down the track, but extra space is more difficult to come by.
The Jamieson 222 is a versatile design with a kid’s zone that can be converted into a fourth bedroom and a separate living area at the front of the home that can become a study, theatre room or even another bedroom.
Buy the home you can afford now
Even if you expect your household income to increase in the coming years, never build a home beyond your current means. You never quite know what the future may hold, whether it be children, school, new cars or an accident, and pushing yourself to the absolute limit of your budget is never a good idea. You still want some money to live an enjoyable life, with plenty of time to build your dream home down the track.
The Aon range of homes can be built as a duplex, which can be a good way to bring in extra income. Live in one and rent out the other to increase your return and reduce the amount you have to pay on your mortgage.
Designs have personality
Find a design that is going to suit your personality and lifestyle. If you like the idea of an open-plan home, opt for a floor plan where the kitchen, living and dining areas run seamlessly into one another. If you are a bit of a movie buff, something with a closed home theatre room may be perfect for you.
The Alpha 237 offers an expansive alfresco area, great for those who love to entertain. With all the bedrooms secluded upstairs, a family can both entertain and relax simultaneously.
Study the floor plan
Some people may find themselves swayed by the beautiful interior design of a display home, and forget to be practical. Always picture yourself actually living in the home, and if you have any furniture, work out whether you are going to be able to bring it with you. Try running through your day-to-day activities and see how the flow of the home works with you.
The Leneva 185 has a seamless flow from the entry right through to the living room. The other bedrooms are all located in a separate wing, perfect for a little bit of privacy. The Leneva is a very popular home, making it one of our favourite home designs for first-time home buyers.
Choose something you LOVE!
At the end of the day, you have to love the home you choose. Building a house is a long-term commitment, and if you find there are things you don’t like about it now, you can bet they will only become an even bigger issue down the track. While you may need to make sacrifices, be sure overall you are happy with the design you choose.
What do you think of our perfect designs for first-time home buyers?