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Building a new home is a process that many people can find daunting – there are so many choices to make, from selecting land to build on, a home design that’s perfect for your family, and the colour selections, fixtures and fittings you want in your home. Having someone to guide you through the process is invaluable, and if you’re considering building a new home for the first time, we’ve put together a short summary of each stage of the home building journey to help explain the process and what’s involved every step of the way.

Contract Signing

Home
Once you’ve decided to build a home, your builder will arrange the necessary documentation such as soil report, levels, plans, specifications, engineer’s drawings, and energy rating information so that a contract can be signed. Once that is complete, they will submit all the documentation for building approval. The builder will also order a site set out survey and arrange to commence work on the site once the building permit has been issued.

Land

Home
If you haven’t purchased land yet, your builder will be able to show you a number of house and land options so you can purchase something with a home design already allocated to that plot of land. Your builder can also put you in touch with their network of land agents and land developers to help you find that perfect piece of land in your desired location.

Home Design Selection

Home
The home design is selected early on in the process. Often clients will already have a floor plan in mind, but for those who don’t, your builder can suggest designs that will suit your block of land, needs, and your budget. Your builder will also be able to help suggest designs with a high energy efficiency, as well as designs that will take advantage of the surrounding environment and views.

Colour Selections

Home
Once a home design is selected, it’s time to make your colour selections. This is often one of the most exciting stages for clients! Choosing your home’s exterior appearance and interior colour scheme can be difficult as you’re spoiled for choice with all the possibilities! A qualified colour consultant will sit down with you for an in-depth appointment that can often take a whole day. The consultant will guide you through the inclusions for each part of the home design and help you make choices based on the latest trends and styles. Your builder may ask you to do you colour selections prior to your contact signing to minimise the possibility of any changes later on.

Inspecting Your Home’s Progress

Home
Your builder will invite you to come and inspect your home’s progress at many stages during the build, often each time a progress payment has been made. At each stage of works completed, clients have the opportunity to do a walk through and work with the builder and electrician to confirm the placement of things like powerpoints and lights, and the location of shower and bath mixers and shower niches. It also helps the client visualise the space and where their furniture will be placed once the home is complete. You are always welcome to arrange an inspection of your home at any time, your builder understands that this is an exciting time for you and that you’ll love seeing the progress!

Handover

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Once the build is complete, clients are invited to do a final walkthrough with their builder to ensure everything has been built to specification and is correct. Your builder will show you where all the important things are, such as the switchboard, water pumps, and mains, and show you how to use the appliances. The client then signs off on the build, and the builder hands over the keys to their new home! The builder will also book in a maintenance appointment to ensure the new home is perfect.

The builder will work with you throughout the entire process to ensure you are truly having your dream home built. The builder and their team will offer additional assistance and reassurance as needed during your home building journey, and will ensure you are satisfied with your customer experience and your beautiful new home! To view Hotondo Homes designs and house and land packages, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Last year, the National Bank of Australia revealed that first home buyers now account for almost 40% of buyers in new housing markets and approximately 33% in established markets. Foreign buyers are declining, so now is the perfect time for Australians to get their foot in the door of the property market.

Hotondo Homes is glad to see a rise in first home buyers over recent months after what has been one of the most challenging conditions to buy or build a new home.

“When you think of the Australian dream, you think of home ownership. We’ve seen it get tougher and tougher for people to make that dream come true,” Hotondo Homes Managing Director Michael Renwick says. “It’s great to see more and more first home buyers coming back into the market. Building your first home is such an exciting experience and we love being a part of that journey.”
First Home Buyer

The Hotondo Homes Forever Retreat Range has been designed specifically for first home buyers. The range features over eight architecturally-designed homes that suit a number of block sizes. These homes include everything a home buyer could want in their first home.

If you’re a first home buyer, we have some handy tips to make your first home buying journey a breeze!

House and Land Packages

There are a number of benefits in buying a house and land package, particularly for first home buyers, and it’s a great way to get your foot in the door of property market.

First Home Buyer

– Instead of having to organise purchasing land, coming up with a home design yourself, and then finding a builder you’re happy with, everything is taken care of for you. Your builder will be able to guide you towards the land sales agent, and once your land is purchased, your builder will have a number of home designs to choose from.
– Your builder can help point you in the direction for finance when you’re ready to purchase, saving you the trouble of finding a mortgage broker. One less thing to worry about!
– The price is set from the day your purchase, so there are no hidden surprises as the build progresses, unless you decide to upgrade items.
– You will work with a qualified builder and team who are committed to helping you every step of the way. If you haven’t considered building a home before, having this support network throughout the process is invaluable.
– If the home design in the package doesn’t quite suit you, the builder is always happy to tweak the design to suit you and your family’s needs. You’ll end up with a new home that suits your specific requirements exactly!
– Your builder will work with you to ensure the costs stay within your budget range from day one. Having someone to monitor finances throughout the process helps prevent budget blowouts and is one less thing for you to worry about.

Think About Your Choices

Once you’ve selected your home design, think about your colour selections and finishes. There are so many options, but a well thought out façade design and interiors will go the distance in your new home.
First Home Buyer
– Choose colour schemes that are subtle and timeless will ensure your home’s appearance won’t date in a few years’ time once trends change.
– Consider where to invest more of your budget – flooring, tiling, and benchtops are expensive to replace, so if your budget allows, invest more money in high-end finishes in these areas when you build. The quality will show and more importantly, they will last a long time.
– Selecting good quality appliances is also another area to consider allocating more of your budget to. Inexpensive appliances might not have a long lifespan, so having to reinvest hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace two or three big ticket items after only a few years will prove to be quite the financial headache. Particularly if this happens when you’re starting a family or have small children at home and only one income.

Whether you’re after a single storey home to get your foot in the door of the market, or a double storey home to accommodate your growing family, a split-level design, or an investment property, Hotondo Homes has the solution to suit your specific needs. Our Forever Retreat Range is perfect for first home buyers, with no compromise on quality, size or style.

If you’re a first home buyer take a look at our Forever Retreat Range for a home that perfectly suits your budget. and if you would like to learn more about our fantastic house and land packages available, we’ve got all the details right here.

When it comes to storage it is all about functionality.

The easiest way to include additional storage in your home without taking up space is to purchase items that double up as a functional item and as a storage unit.
Below we have listed ways to add additional storage to every room of your home and make the most of the space you have!

 

storage

Bedroom

The space under your bed: The most obvious solution to add more storage in your bedroom is to utilise the space underneath the bed. While a bed with built-in storage is a great idea, you can also hack your way to a little extra space by using drawers with wheels on them for easy access! Check out this neat tutorial!

The space over your bed: The space above your bed is probably the second most wasted area in the entire bedroom. Look at installing sleek wall units here to keep it from looking too ‘clunky’, and you’ll have more space to store books, clothing or to hide away your mess!

 

storage

Living room

The functional coffee table: Invest in a coffee table that doubles as a storage unit. Alternatively, decorative baskets or cubes can be placed underneath the table to fill the space, and they have the exact same effect.

 

Hallway

Create your own mudroom: If you don’t have space for an entire mudroom, why not create your own simplified version? A ‘mudroom bench’ can store your raincoats, shoes, jackets and other outdoor equipment easily and in a convenient location right by the door. Opt for a bench with a high backboard with hooks for your clothing, and a flip-top bench for extra, hidden storage.

Or alternatively… a simple clothes hooks can do the trick if a whole bench is not a realistic option!

 

Backyard

A garden bench with hidden storage: Like we said, the best kind of additional storage is those pieces with a dual purpose! A garden bench offers a place for people to relax and enjoy a beautiful summer’s day, and can also be used to hide messy hoses, gardening equipment or shoes.

 

Laundry

Wall-mounted clothesline: If you use a clothes horse during winter, you’ll know just how much valuable space is given up for this little beauty. A retractable, indoor clothes line is a great alternative that can easily be folded away when not in use.

 

storage

Kitchen

Think back: The back of your pantry door is a great space to utilise. You can use pegs to hang baskets or bins from it to store a whole range of items, just be careful of the weight!

Think wall: Got a spare bit of wall available? Why not use it as a place to hang your pots and pans! Install pegs, or try something a little more creative like this.

 

Bathroom

Wall-mounted shelves

Need extra room for your makeup, moisturisers, soaps and other miscellaneous items you have stocked up on over the years? Invest in some easy-to-install mounted shelves which could be used over your towel rack, in the corners or your room or even over the mirror! Another alternative is to install hanging baskets from the ceilings, for a slightly more eccentric look!

 

Do you have any other ways to add storage to you home? Let us know in the comments!

hotondo.com.au

When moving from one home to the next, new home buyers may need storage space on which they can rely.

The storage space needs to be one that is safe, secure, clean, free from damp, mould and pests, and be manned by a friendly, expert team. With peace of mind all your belongings are safe and sound, you can then focus on the job at hand – building your dream home.

However, it doesn’t matter how safe or secure your storage space is, if your belongings aren’t packed properly they could suffer damage. Not only do you need to know how to pack moving boxes, you also need to understand how to pack the storage space itself so that you can maximise your investment and protect all your household treasures.

Our simple checklist will help you get the most out of your storage space and ensure your goods are in tip top condition when it comes time to move into your brand new Hotondo Home.

storage

 

Spring Clean

Before you even think about storage, we suggest you undertake a thorough spring clean. After all, you pay for both storage and removal services based on the volume of your goods. There’s no point in paying to store items you don’t use or are unlikely to need in the future. Go through your belongings with a fine toothcomb and sort the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘can live withouts’.

Compile an Inventory

Once you’ve decided exactly which items you’re going to keep, make an inventory of everything that’s going into storage. It’s a good idea to have a few copies of this on-hand, including one to leave inside your storage unit once it’s all packed.

Source Storage Quotes

Armed with your inventory, you will be able to contact multiple storage providers to source quotes. Make sure you know exactly what is included in your quote so that you’re comparing apples with apples. Does the quote include pick-up and delivery costs? Does it include insurance? Are there extra charges when it comes to accessing your belongings?

Prepare Whitegoods Properly

All whitegoods (including fridges, freezers, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers) must be completely drained and then cleaned, disinfected and thoroughly dried before they are placed in storage. You should also leave all doors ajar to prevent odor build-up.

Damp or dirty whitegoods are a breeding ground for mould and mildew, so if you want to use your fridge again you really need to make sure know how to store a refrigerator.

storage

 

Take Note of Items That Can’t Be Stored

There are certain things that just don’t belong in a storage space such as corrosive, poisonous and toxic substances. In addition, anything containing fuel or oil (like lawn mowers), and items like batteries, scuba tanks, aerosol cans, or any kind of pressurised vessels should never be placed in storage.

Pack Your Storage Boxes Like A Pro

Packing moving boxes for storage is an art form. To ensure your treasures survive, we suggest you keep a few essential packing tips in mind.

Check out Kent’s Storage Checklist & Tips for even more tips and tricks.

 

Making sure you ask your builder the right questions before signing a building contract can save you a lot of time, money and heartache.

To help you get started, we’ve put together 10 essential questions to ask your builder before you start your dream home journey. Be sure to have your questions written down, and if you are unsure about the answer, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification! Remember, this is perhaps the biggest purchase of your life, it being as well-informed as possible can help keep your mind at ease.


1 – Do you have a builder’s licence?

All registered builders have a builder’s licence, which is something they will be more than happy to show you.

2 – Can I see examples of your work?
Walking through a home that your builder has constructed is often the best way to see the quality of their workmanship. This could include visiting their display home (if they have one), a client’s open home or a home currently under construction. You can also ask to see their collection of testimonials and photos.

CHECK OUT OUR LATEST CLIENT STORIES HERE:

Client Home: The picture perfect ‘Story’
Client Story: A helping hand for first home buyers

Client Story: A dream home 12 years in the making

3 – What insurances do you use throughout construction?
Check what insurance cover your builder has throughout the construction process. Every state has different policies.

4 – How many homes are you currently building?
Find out how many homes your builder is building at once. This will help you gauge their professionalism and the attention that you will receive.

5 – When can you start and how long will it take?
Getting an idea about when construction will start on your home and when you will move into your new home is essential to know. This will help you plan where to live during the building process. However, it is important to remember these dates can never be guaranteed as issues out of the builder’s control, such as the weather, can cause delays.

6 – Do you have a range of home designs?
Most builders have a great range of home designs that you can choose from. These designs should also be flexible so you can turn their standard design into your dream home.

VIEW OUR FULL RANGE OF OVER 90 DIFFERENT HOME DESIGNS HERE

7 – What brands do you use throughout the home?
It is important to know the brands, reputation and products of suppliers that go into your home.

8 – How do I choose the fittings and colours of my home?
Putting the finishing touches to create the look and feel you want for your home is a fun process, but it can be stressful. A good builder will have someone to help you through this process to make it as easy as possible.

9 – Are you a local builder?
It is always best to choose a local builder. A local builder knows and loves the local area as much as you.

FIND YOUR LOCAL HOTONDO HOMES BUILDER HERE

10 – Can I be assured the price will remain the same?
Builders should offer you a fixed-price contract. Once that is signed you can be confident knowing you won’t have any nasty or hidden surprises.

 

What other questions did you ask your builder? Let us know in the comments!

Trying to improve your finances is not an overnight task.

Working towards a deposit for your home takes time and patience. The best way to approach it is to start with small changes in your life. This doesn’t mean giving up absolutely everything, but rather cutting back on the non-essentials in life. Every little bit counts, and each small contribution can result in big progress.

We have rounded up a list of nine things you can start doing today to help you improve finances and get on track to purchasing a new home in 2017!

1. Cancel subscriptions/memberships

Topping almost all financial guides is cancelling subscriptions to magazines or gym memberships you do not use. Another perhaps unnecessary purchase is cable TV. With so many cheaper, alternative streaming options available, it may be worthwhile checking out.

2. Renegotiate your bills

Shop around for your energy, gas, credit card and insurance needs. If you like the company you are with, a simple phone call asking for a reduction will often get you a cheaper price – they want to keep you as a customer! It may be painstaking, but renegotiating your bills could save you some big cash. If you already have a mortgage, it is worth speaking to your bank about an interest rate reduction too!

3. Pay your debts

If you have a high-interest credit card, the first thing you should do is pay it off as fast as possible. Interest-related costs is basically dead money, so working to get rid of the debt should be your priority. Consider transferring the balance to a credit account with a lower or even zero-interest rate to further help your cause and improve finances in the new year!

4. Find your unclaimed money

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission  can help you search for unclaimed money from various banks, building societies, credit union, life companies, friendly societies and registered Australian companies. Check out this link to see if you have any unclaimed funds!

improve finances

5. Automate your savings

Set your bank account to withdraw a portion of your earnings every time you are paid. By doing this straight away, you can never miss the money you never had! If you can transfer it to an online account you cannot touch, or does not have an attached card, even better. Be sure to figure out exactly how much you can afford to save per pay by creating a budget for the week, fortnight or month.

6. Reconsider your phone plan

Just like renegotiating your bills, it is worth checking out your phone plan for cheaper alternative options. These days there are so many options including ‘bring your own phone plans’. These plans require you to purchase a phone outright, but the ongoing monthly cost of the phone plan is significantly cheaper than an all-inclusive one, which could work out cheaper in the long run. Carefully consider all your options and work out what is best for you and your lifestyle.

7. Take a grocery list shopping

Plan out your meals for the week, write a shopping list and STICK TO IT. How many times have you gone to the supermarket and come home with items you never intended to purchase?

8. Cook dinner at home

Not only can this be cheaper and healthier than eating out, but you can also cook extra to have for lunch or even dinner the next day, saving you even more cash.

9. Don’t be TOO strict!

Saving for a new home will require some discipline and cutbacks, but you still want to live and enjoy life while you do it. Don’t feel guilty for indulging every now and then and treating yourself. If you work hard to stick to improve finances for 2017, there is no reason to not go out, enjoy a nice dinner or hit the shops on occasion. Do not let your finances consume you!

 

Contact your local Hotondo Homes builder today to find out more and help improve finances next year!

 

*Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial adviser so please seek professional advice for your banking enquiries.

When it comes to building family-friendly homes, there are a few key elements to consider.

Family-friendly homes generally have a number of separate living areas to cater for both parents and children. Children’s bedrooms are often set in their own wing, and versatile spaces are available as they become older and family dynamics change.

Most importantly, a good home design will suit your family’s needs. What is perfect for one family may not be right for another, so it is vital to determine what the most important elements are to you.

Hotondo Homes Home Navigator tool can help you find up to nine designs suitable for you based on a short, two-minute questionnaire designed to determine what you need in a home. Below we have listed our own personal top nine family-friendly home designs for you to consider when building your dream home.

 

DOUBLE STOREY HOMES

The Amora 384

The Amora features three separate living areas – one upstairs and two downstairs – to offer plenty of space for a larger family to relax or entertain simultaneously.

family-friendly homes

 

The Hotham 247

The Hotham contains a leisure space upstairs along with a study nook tucked away in the corner, making it an ideal space for children to occupy while parents enjoy the open-plan living downstairs.

family-friendly homes

 

The Lorne 302

If you have younger children you need to keep an eye on, the Lorne may be the one for you. The downstairs semi-private living space is secluded enough from the rest of the home to provide some privacy, but parents can keep an eye on children from the kitchen.

family-friendly homes

 

The Tarwin 297

Maintain your privacy with the Tarwin. Perfect for slightly older families, the Tarwin keeps the children and parent bedrooms separated, upstairs and downstairs.

family-friendly homes

 

SINGLE STOREY HOMES

The Birchgrove 222

Single storey homes that feature a kid’s zone or rumpus around the children’s bedrooms are great family-friendly homes, just like the Birchgrove.

family-friendly homes

 

The Erskine 290

The Erskine features all three children’s bedrooms in a separate wing to the rest of the home. The semi-private lounge space could also be closed off to provide another space for a family to enjoy.

family-friendly homes

 

The Jamieson 222

Just like the Erskine, the Jamieson has all the children’s bedrooms in a separate wing, which also includes a kid’s zone. This versatile space can turn into a bedroom if required.

family-friendly homes

 

The Marcoola 209

The Marcoola offers three distinct zones, the master bedroom area, the living area and the secondary bedroom wing, making it one of our particularly popular family-friendly homes.

 

family-friendly homes

The McRae 250

The McRae is a versatile home where the lounge and kid’s zone can be converted into other rooms like an extra bedroom, home theatre or study, depending on your family’s requirements.

family-friendly homes

Visit hotondo.com.au to view more designs.

Completing a home renovation is similar in many ways to building one from scratch.

First, you have to start with a design idea. Next, you set up the framework for building out the concept. Lastly, you put the finishing touches on the home renovation project that turn the house into a home. But what if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to encompass your whole plan?

Because Hotondo Homes has nearly four decades of experience in the home building industry, Bupa Home Insurance​ tapped us for our insight into renovating on a budget in their recent article, ‘How to Stick to Your Renovation Budget‘. With over 80 builders all across Australia, we have unique insight into what works not just in a single market, but in a wide variety of areas. Here are a few bonus tips!

Focus on the key area:

The kitchen is and will probably always remain the heart of the home, so we recommend you focus a good portion of your budget here. If you don’t have the cash for a major overhaul, there are still a few inexpensive things you can do that will lift the entire feel of the kitchen. Try re-facing your cabinet doors and choose soft glide hinges for an added touch of luxury.

Changing the splashback can have a huge impact on the style of your kitchen, as can switching your bench tops. Although stone bench tops are still loved by many, laminate is a cheaper alternative that can look just as amazing.

home renovation

 

Dabble in DIY:

Do-it-yourself projects are growing in popularity as consumers become more and more budget-conscious and handy. This can be a great way to save money throughout the course of your renovation project, and it is not as difficult as you might think. Remaining focused on the kitchen area, you could simply swap out the doorknobs for a cheap, modern update, which can cost you as little as a few dollars each.

Call in the experts:

Changing door knobs is one thing, but while DIY projects can help you save money, it is still important to be aware of your limitations. Botching the job is going to end up costing you a lot more money in the long run, so entrust more difficult tasks to the hands of certified professionals.

Through the Hotondo Homes network, you can find many certified builders in your local area. The benefit of using local builders is that they are familiar with the area’s real estate market and typically have built relationships with a variety of local vendors and suppliers, enabling them to negotiate lower prices for materials to help you save. Visit our website at hotondo.com.au to find out more!

When considering investing in property, you will want to choose a home design that is simple and versatile.

You may have multiple tenants over the years at varying stages of their family life, so a versatile design where a study can be turned into another bedroom or a second living room could be ideal.

When building or purchasing an investment property you’ll want to take every step possible to ensure you will get the greatest return. Factors that can impact this include:

There are more financial benefits when you build an investment property compared to buying an existing home, including fewer repairs and you’re able to claim depreciation at tax time.

 

investing in property

 

The benefits

Property can be less volatile when compared to shares or other types of investments.

Property is tangible – you can see exactly what you’re buying.

You are able to rent out the property to gain a second income. If it’s negatively geared you will need to pay the gap between rental income and the mortgage repayments. If it’s positively geared you will have more money in your pocket.

Capital growth – the value of the property may increase over time.

You are able to gain tax benefits for negatively geared properties, depreciation and other expenses that you might have to pay as a landlord.

What to consider

It can be expensive if the property doesn’t have a tenant, if there needs to be any repairs and paying mortgage repayments.

Mortgage repayments can be affected by interest rates, so if there are any increases you may have to pay the difference.

Negative equity – if the value of the property goes down, the property might not be worth what you owe.

Capital gains tax – if the value of the property goes up, when you sell the house you will have to pay tax on the value increase.

It’s best that you speak to a certified financial advisor prior to buying an investment property as they will be able to help establish what would be the best option for you.

The Milestone Range

The Milestone Range is filled with designs perfect for investment properties. These designs are both versatile and practical making them the ideal choice for investors.

With a wide range of designs available including single and double storey, terrace and duplex properties investors are sure to find a home that will suit their needs and help build their property portfolio. Visit hotondo.com.au to find out more to find out more about investing in property.

*Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial advisor so please seek professional advice prior to buying an investment property.

On the hunt for that perfect first home design?

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.

first-time home buyers

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.

first-time home buyers

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.

first-time home buyers

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.

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?

Building a new home can be daunting for many home buyers.

You may only go through the process a handful of times throughout your life, so knowing all the ins and outs can be difficult. Read our top 6 things you need to know before building to arm yourself with the knowledge to get started!

 

1. Know all the numbers

Once you have a contract price for your house and land, you can work out how much you will need to borrow from a bank or finance lender, as well as your mortgage repayments. However, just because a bank says you can afford the loan, doesn’t mean you can. You need to consider additional costs such as the initial deposit, stamp duty, transfer duty, conveyancing costs, loan establishment costs and lenders mortgage insurance. There are also living expenses including gas, water, electricity, phone and internet bills, and if this is your first home, you may need to purchase new furniture and appliances. Know ALL the numbers when it comes to living in a new home before you commit.

 

READ MORE: SAVE MONEY ON YOUR BILLS IN 5 SIMPLE WAYS

 

2. Reputation of your builder 

Do your research and find a builder with a good reputation. Better yet, if you have family or friends who have built a home you love, ask them for a recommendation. Always speak to your builder about what you want in a home, what your expectations are and how they can help accommodate this. If required, get them to run through the entire build process so you know what to anticipate. Get to really know your builder, and find someone you can trust – this is a huge commitment!

3. Know your land

Aside from the obvious including the price of your land and its proximity to essential amenities, schools and family, there are a few other points to consider when looking at your land. If your land is in a bushfire zone, there can be additional costs associated when building your home to adhere to the appropriate regulations. If your land has a significant slope, retaining walls or excavation may be required, again, which again can cost you more. You may also find the estate you have bought in has certain requirements when it comes to landscaping, façade choices and even letterbox options! Speak to your land agent or builder to find out if any of these are applicable to you.

4. Build to resell

No matter how much you love the house you are building, you need to consider a time when you may need to sell or possibly rent it out. In particular, if you are a first home buyer it is ill-advised to make too many upgrades to the home, especially if it puts your home in a price bracket above that of your neighbourhood’s. It may not actually increase the value of your home. You should also be careful on your colour selections – ask yourself if what you are choosing will be appealing to others.

5. Green your home

Take the opportunity to upgrade any appliances you have to a higher star rating. This can include washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, taps and light globes. Any step you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and your energy bills is a positive one.

6. Passive design elements

You can also consider building materials and other passive design elements to reduce the cost of your bills. Ensuring your main living areas are orientated north allows the sun to naturally heat your home in winter and cool it in summer, as well as provide natural light. Installing eaves, good insulation, glazed windows and other such devices will all contribute to a better home.

 

READ MORE: A PASSIVE HOME DESIGN FOR AMAZING ENERGY SAVINGS

 

Do you have any other things you think you need to know before building? Let us know in the comments!

Open-plan living is a popular option for new home owners.

Open-plan living combines multiple rooms into a single space to create the illusion of a larger area. Many new home designs feature open-plan living, particularly with the kitchen, dining and lounge area.

While there are many positives to this style of floor plan, there are still a few drawbacks. Read on below to see if open-plan living is right for you.

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The golden rules of an outdoor kitchen.

Building an outdoor kitchen requires thought and creativity. The most important part of the process is thinking about exactly what you plan to cook or how you plan to entertain, and creating your space around these requirements.

Having said this, there are six golden rules to building an outdoor kitchen/entertainment area that will work. (more…)


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