What is your must-have feature for a modern home?

We asked the question to nine of our builders from right across the country, and here are their responses!

must-have feature

Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC

A must-have feature of a modern home is a well-considered kitchen and pantry. We spend so much time in and around our kitchens and to consider the locations of sinks, dishwashers, ovens, drawers is critically important. A well-considered kitchen means that you will be able to enjoy the space in an efficient manner, while still maintaining its cosmetic appeal.

must-have feature

Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW

Large windows throughout the home and an open-plan layout – it is all about creating the illusion of more space! All bathrooms should have modern floor-to-ceiling tiles, of course!

must-have feature

Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD

A large alfresco area. It offers the perfect place to unwind every evening and it is a great place for entertaining on the weekends!

Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW

Hidden storage. It’s simple, but so necessary. Linen closets are great, but an under stairs storage area or an extra storage room, even just extra cabinets in the pantry or laundry is a must-have in the modern home. To have a brand new home is one thing, but a brand new home with no clutter and where every item has a spot to live is perfect!

Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC

Living in the south of Victoria – a drying room! They are relatively easy to incorporate into a space either off the laundry or under a stairwell. During the winter months when you have your home heating on, you can utilise this space to dry your clothes as well!

Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln, SA

Separate toilet to the bathroom is something we need to bring back! I would also definitely say an alfresco area or balcony, depending on your views. Indoor/outdoor living is still very much alive!

must-have feature

Russell Pearse – Ararat, VIC

Double glazing to your windows and other energy efficiency measures can save you a tonne in utility bills. While it may cost more upfront, the long-run benefits are by far worth it.

must-have feature
Amira Willingham – Ballarat, VIC

The must-have feature in the modern home is by far a walk-in-pantry. This allows for a vast amount of storage for not just food, but rarely-used appliances that take up precious room in cupboards such as mixers, breadmakers slow cookers etc. It also allows you to hide the mess!

must-have feature

Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange, NSW

Outdoor living is very important, as is plenty of storage like walk-in-pantries, large walk-in-robes and linen cupboards. You can never have too much storage space!

What is your must-have feature? Let us know in the comments!

Most of us assume that renovating our kitchens will cost us the earth.

That doesn’t have to be true. It’s highly possible to give your kitchen a fresh new look on a smaller budget.

Hotondo Homes knows how

We were delighted recently to be asked to contribute to a blog post about ways to renovate your kitchen on a budget. The post, for a leading loan comparison site RateCity, asked some of Australia’s top builders and suppliers to offer advice on kitchen renovations without involving a hefty price tag. Check it out for more inspiration and great advice: ‘Save on Your Mortgage and Update Your Kitchen’.

The kitchen should be one of your first ports of call when it comes to home renovation. It is a highly visible area that receives a lot of traffic, and is a major selling point. Most builders will agree that this is one of the areas that will add the most value to your property. Here are some of our tips for achieving maximum effects with minimum spend.

The power of paint

Give your kitchen a fresh coat of paint! People often underestimate this, but it’s amazing how effective it can be in giving a room an updated feel. Light, contemporary colours are a good choice as they will add a feeling of space and give your kitchen a de-cluttered look. Colours that are too bold could turn potential buyers off when it comes to resale.

kitchen makeover

Give your cabinets some TLC

If your existing cabinetry is in good condition, see how much you can change the appearance of your kitchen by simply painting the doors and changing the handles. Alternatively, if you really want a more drastic change, that doesn’t mean you need to spend on completely new cabinets. Why not reface them instead? This means you keep the interior parts of your existing cabinets and have new doors and drawer fronts put on. It’s a much cheaper way of achieving a whole new look.

Spend on the essentials

Saving money elsewhere in your kitchen will enable you to devote most of your budget to the essentials when it comes to refurbishing. The most visible items in the kitchen are the benchtops and splashbacks. Here is where you have the most power to update the appearance of your room, so by focusing your budget you can achieve a kitchen makeover that looks luxurious and will last for many years to come.

For more information on a kitchen makeover for your home, contact your local Hotondo Homes builder today!

If you love the area you live in but not your home, you generally have three options: sell your house and move, renovate/extend your home, or knockdown and rebuild.

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.


knockdown and rebuild


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.

One of the major advantages in building your own home is that you can select a design that will best suit you. From your lifestyle to your budget, there are many aspects that need to be taken into account. Decisions need to be made, and one of the biggest is whether you should build a single storey or double storey home.

It can be a difficult, so consider some of these factors and make sure you build the most appropriate home for you.








While there are many arguments for both designs, ultimately the decision comes down to your personal preference. You should weigh in the advantages and disadvantages of each home type and assess how they could affect your current or future lifestyle.

To help select your dream home contact your local Hotondo Homes builder click here.

When choosing a builder to build your home, extension or investment property you must first ensure that they have an up-to-date builders licence.

You can do this by contacting the state regulatory body, performing an online licence search or ask your builder to show you their licence card. Doing this before you commit to a particular builder will ensure that the builder is qualified and that you are protected from any possible defects throughout the building process and after the home or work is completed.

Once you have found a builder it’s important to know what questions to ask them before you sign any contracts and before construction commences.

Insurance – ask your builder what kind of insurance cover they will have throughout the construction process.

Previous work – ask your builder to show you examples of work they have previously completed. This will give you a good idea of their building capabilities as well as the quality of their work.

Current work – ask your builder how many homes they are currently building and how many homes they usually build per month or year. This may influence the time it takes to complete your build.

Cost – ask your builder to provide you with a detailed quote outlining each stage of the building process, how much it will cost and when each payment needs to be made. This will allow you to organise your finances and living arrangements during this time.

Time – ask your builder to provide you with an exact timeline of when they will commence building, how long each stage is expected to take and when they will complete the work. If you have this in writing it will be easier to hold your builder accountable.

Suppliers – ask your builder what brands/ products they use and why they use them. Do your research into the products and brands to ensure they are high quality.

Local – ask your builder if they are a local builder and if they have built many homes around the area. Choosing a local builder is best because they know the area and often live nearby.

Range – ask your builder about the range of home designs they have on offer. The bigger the range the more likely you are to find something to suit your specific lifestyle, family and budget requirements.

To have all of your buying and building questions answered and to find your local builder click here.

Choosing a home loan can be a daunting process as there are many things to consider for not only yourself, but your family.

Choosing the loan that’s best for you can also be difficult and confusing due to the lending industry becoming increasingly competitive and complex in recent years.

When choosing a home loan it’s important to work out the features you need from your loan as there are many different variations when it comes to home loans. The fees and features differ greatly depending on the lender you choose, and this is a vital consideration.

When making the decision of what home loan you will choose, it’s also important to look at the loan as a whole package, not just one aspect of the loan. For example, if a loan has a very low interest rate the fees may work out to be high.


Compare home loans

Do your research. Shop around. Compare different home loans and different lenders.

Asking lenders for a key fact sheet is a valuable tool when comparing home loans. This will give you the most important information.

Types of loans

The most common home loan is a principal and interest loan which involves making regular payments against the amount borrowed, as well as paying off the interest on the loan.

The lender will usually offer different principal and interest loans, with different features included.

Other types of loans include an interest only loan, bridging loan or building/ construction loan.

Rate options

Rate options for your loan can include variable, fixed or split loan.

Variable interest rate – This can go up or down over the life of your loan.

Fixed term interest rate – This rate will remain fixed for a period of time. After this time it will usually revert back to a variable interest rate.

Split loan – This is split into variable and fixed term.

Other features

Other features of your home loan can include having an offset account, redraw facility or a line of credit.

Having an offset account attached to your home loan can be beneficial if you have a substantial amount of money in the account. This amount is taken off the amount you owe on your loan, reducing the interest you will pay over the life of the loan.

A redraw facility enables you to pay extra money off your loan and redraw it later, if needed.

Having a line of credit attached to your home loan means that a specific credit limit is set and you can spend up to that limit. This feature suits people who are disciplined budgeters and who may receive an irregular income.

Having an offset account, redraw facility or a line of credit attached to your home loan can result in a higher interest rate or fees. Therefore it’s important to consider whether these features are a necessity.


For more information on choosing the home loan that’s best for you, contact your local mortgage broker or bank representative.

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