With the Federal Government’s newly announced $25,000 HomeBuilder stimulus, this is the perfect time to build a new home to suit your lifestyle! There are plenty of reasons to upsize or downsize your home as you move through life. Your requirements for a home will change depending on your family, financial situation and your overall lifestyle. Building a new home, whether it’s in the same location you’ve always loved, or in a new region is a big decision to make, and we’ve got a quick rundown on what you should take into consideration.

Reasons to Downsize

Elwood 173 floor plan
A smaller home can mean you might move to a duplex or townhouse, which brings with it a much smaller home clean. You’ll also have a reduced garden to care for, meaning you can enjoy your days outside in the garden without feeling like it’s a never-ending task you can’t stay on top of! Downsizing means less maintenance inside and outside, giving you the time to relax and enjoy life instead of constantly trying to keep up with your to-do list around the home.

Tarkine 238 Open Plan kitchen dining area
There are a wealth of options for those wanting to build their dream home on a more modest scale. A three bedroom home, such as the ones in our Forever Retreat range of designs offer the modern open-plan living you know and love on a reduced scale, still giving you the space you need without feeling overwhelming. Alternatively, you might like to think about building a duplex and renting out one side as an investment, while you live in the other one, providing you with an income long after you’ve retired.

From July 2018, people aged sixty-five years and over who have owned their home for more than ten years can sell it and contribute up to $300,0000 of the sale proceeds towards their superannuation. It’s worth noting that if you’re part of a couple, both parties can contribute to their nest egg, meaning you’ll have a little more money put away for so you can enjoy your golden years! As always, chat to your financial advisor to find out how you can take advantage of this option.

Downsizing from a big family home can seem like a daunting thought. However, making the decision to do so brings with it the opportunity to simplify and reinvigorate your life in a new home with streamlined belongings, no compromise on space, and a new lease on life with a reduced amount of home maintenance.

Reasons to Upsize

Lorne double storey home
A growing family will need more living space as children get older, which is the perfect opportunity to upsize your home. Similarly, families who are growing in size due to elderly family members moving in for increased care means more bedrooms and living space will may be required.

As you progress in your career, you may find that you can afford a larger home, or a home situated in a more expensive area, and you may be able to use the equity you’ve grown in your current home to purchase your next home. While only a certain portion of the equity can be used, it’s ideal for growing your real estate portfolio and building a bigger home for your family to enjoy.

Lansdowne 257 living area
As your family grows you may find that metropolitan living isn’t suitable and you’d like your kids to experience life in a coastal or country town as they grow up and you also want to add a few pets to to the mix! With wider blocks of land allowing for larger home designs, you may find relocating to another region presents you with the perfect opportunity to build that acreage home you always wanted with plenty of space outside for kids to run around in and pets to enjoy.

Depending on your family’s stage of life, deciding to build a new home to suit your lifestyle will often be hugely beneficial in the long run. While the decision to build a new home can be daunting initially the opportunity to simplify your life when you downsize or enjoy an increased amount of space in a larger home is well worth considering. To view a range of homes to suit your needs, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

With children tending to live at home with their parents for longer as well as an increasingly ageing population, and family units with unique circumstances many people are turning to multi-generational homes as a solution to comfortably housing large family groups for a longer period of time. If you’re curious about what these new home solutions may look like, we’ve got a quick summary for you!

Why Build a Multigenerational Home?

You may have ageing family members who require a little more care, your adult children aren’t able to purchase their own home yet, or perhaps you have parents who want to help out with the grandkids on a regular basis. A multigenerational home is the perfect solution; each family member has their own separate space, but you’ll still be living in together so the opportunity to check in daily and help out will be a beneficial convenience for all parties.

Things to Consider

When you’re thinking about what your multigenerational home might look like there are some important things to consider. Would you prefer separate homes on the same block or would you like one larger home with separate living quarters? Is open-plan living the best option, or would you like more defined, separate living areas so everyone can have their own private space to relax in? Would you like separate entries to the home or perhaps you’d like a home with multiple ensuites to allow for more separation between family groups. Whatever your requirements, there are a range of suitable solutions that will work for you and your family.

Building a Duplex

If you have family members who need a higher level of attention but aren’t quite ready for assisted living facilities a duplex is the perfect alternative, such as our Elwood and Aon designs. Each family will have their own separate living space and independence, but you’ll be neighbours so you can visit them daily while still maintaining a level of privacy and separation. When help is needed, you’re right there to assist, and for young families living next door to grandparents who are still able to lend a hand with childcare, the burden is eased on working parents. You may like to build a duplex with your older children, easing the financial burden as the building cost is shared between two parties, which gives you the chance to downsize and provides your kids with the opportunity to own their first home sooner.

Split Level Homes

A split level home takes full advantage of all the space available on your land and is a cost-effective way to build a multigenerational home while still enjoying the benefits of a backyard and a spacious home design. Split level homes are a great option for families who still want to live under one roof while still enjoying their own space on different floors within the home. For example, the open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas often serve as a common area for the household, with bedrooms located on different levels, multiple bathrooms and ensuites as seen in our Hillgrove, Kalara and Killalea home designs, and an additional living area located near the bedrooms to allow for another separate zone for family members to enjoy.

Acreage Homes

Acreage homes are perfect for larger blocks of land often found in regional areas. They also have the added benefit of being a single storey home, removing the need for stairs, which can prove to be a challenge for older family members, or those with mobility issues. Acreage designs often have wider hallways, big open spaces and even separate family wings, allowing family members to feel a little more separate from each other without being too far away. Home designs like our Alden, Lansdowne, Stockton and Yering are all designed to suit wide blocks and feature spacious bedrooms, multiple living spaces, and plenty of space in common areas to allow for larger family groups to use them comfortably at the same time.

Multigenerational living can be a wonderful solution for families with unique needs and different lifestyles. With a range of options available, you’re sure to find a home design that will suit your family’s needs, so head over to the Hotondo Homes website to look at possible solutions today.

If you’re looking to build your first home, finding the right home design is such an important decision. With so many floor plans to choose from, it can feel overwhelming having to narrow your choice down to just one home design. At Hotondo Homes we love helping first home buyers find their perfect first home, and our Forever Retreat range is the perfect starting point. By working out your must-haves and considering various block sizes in a floor plan, you’ll be able to choose a design that’s the ideal first house you can turn into a home with your family.

Block Size

First Home Buyers
The size of your land will determine what size home you can build. Often first home buyers may gravitate towards a smaller block, often one that’s subdivided for the sake of affordability. This means you’ll need to find a home design that’s on the modest side, and possibly even one that’s narrower to fit two homes side-by-side on the land, such as the Aon home design range. This floor plan is longer rather than wider, with three bedrooms situated throughout the home and open-plan kitchen, living and dining at the rear of the home. Depending on your block, this modest and practical design is available in three different sizes making it the perfect first home. Explore it today using our Virtual Retreat tool to get a feel for this unique design.

Growing Families

First Home Buyer
If you’re thinking about starting a family sometime in the near future, as a first home buyer you’ll benefit from considering a slightly more spacious home design. A floor plan that allows for more generous open-plan living and having the option of extra living space that can be turned into an additional bedroom in the future will give you enough space now and room to grow later on so that you don’t need to upsize in just a few short years. A home design like the Tallis 196 is an ideal first home because it has room for your family to grow with great features like a walk-in-pantry in the kitchen, four bedrooms, a separate living room, plus an alfresco for that all-important outdoor time that kids need! You can explore this home anytime, anywhere using our Virtual Retreat tool.

Double Storey Dreams

First Home Buyer
A double storey home may be worth considering if you’re a first home buyer who already has a family that requires a bit more space. A double storey home will provide your already growing family with enough space on the ground floor for everyday family life in the open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas, plus many double storey designs include a study space that’s perfect for the kids, while upstairs is devoted to spacious bedrooms, as seen in the Paragon 199. A modest double storey home will give your family the space it needs now and in the future while still feeling cosy. With a variety of sizes available, you’re sure to find a double storey home that has enough room for all of you without being enormous and blowing the budget. You can take a tour of the Paragon 199 using our Virtual Retreat tool to get a feel for this terrific floor plan from the comfort of your couch today.

Being a first home buyer is an exciting time, but it can also be quite overwhelming. Once you have your finances in order and you’re ready to start the search for the perfect first home, it can be challenging to know which design to choose. By working closely with your builder to look at all the home designs available as you think about how they might suit your lifestyle now and in the years to come, you’re sure to find a first home you’ll love. For more first home buyer information and to browse our range of Forever Retreat designs, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

First impressions matter, so choosing the perfect façade for your new home is important. An appealing façade sets the tone for the entire feel of the home while also blending in to the surrounding landscape and the streetscape itself. If you need some help selecting a façade we’ve got some great tips to help you choose something you’ll love for years to come!

Things to Consider

Once you start looking at façade options for your new home, there are a few things to consider before you settle on a style. Location is a big influence – if your home is in a suburban part of a large city, a modern design might be best suited as it will most likely blend in with the other homes in the neighbourhood. Conversely, if you’re building a home in a regional or coastal area, selecting a façade that complements the natural environment and doesn’t clash with the landscape is ideal. You might also want to consider the maintenance involved with different types of facades. Some will require more frequent maintenance than others, so think about how often you want to spend time and money ensuring your façade looks as good as new over the life of the home. It’s also a good idea to think about the interior style of your home. A coastal interior won’t necessarily feel consistent with a sharp, modern exterior and vice versa, so think about adding similar tones, textures and features that you’re planning to have inside your home as well.

Modern and Stylish

A façade that’s truly modern in look and feel features sharp lines and corners, lots of square and rectangular shape to it, and smooth render with accents such as dark wood or cladding panels and brick or stonework in a different shade to the render to soften the sharp edges. The colour palette on modern facades often features cool neutrals like grey, charcoal, and white with accents of warm browns and beige tones to add depth and dimension.

Hamptons Style

One of the most popular façade designs, Hamptons style homes look relaxed and welcoming while still evoking a feel of timeless elegance. With key elements such as weatherboard cladding, large windows, and gentle roof lines that feature gables to add dimension, your home’s location will determine which Hamptons style you opt for. A beachside home will benefit from a façade that has light neutrals such as light grey and white to blend seamlessly with the coastal environment as well as the home’s interior. A suburban home can be a little bolder with its colour scheme – think dark charcoal as the main colour with white trim, or a true white with dark grey or black trim to make a statement.

Traditional Façades

If you want to opt for a traditional façade for your home, you don’t need to worry about it looking boring or dated! A traditional façade still features basic elements such as exposed brickwork, but modern updates such as a partially or fully rendered exterior, wooden screen panelling around rooflines and over the front door, plus the addition of exposed stone can quickly and easily lift a traditional façade from drab to fab! The key is to keep it simple with some subtle accents to bring a traditional façade into the twenty-first century with style.

Coastal Style

A façade that’s relaxed and oozes a laid-back feel is essential for coastal homes and texture is key. Coastal home facades need careful consideration so that they not only blend in well with the beach environment, but also have the longevity to last when braced against the elements. You can opt for a colour palette of soft whites, taupes and beige with accents of natural wood and neutral coloured texture, or feature darker wood and other deep natural tones to create a façade that truly echoes the look and feel of the landscape.

The façade of your home is the first thing your family and your guests see, so taking care to select a façade style that suits your home’s interior while still feeling unique and modern is an important part of the home building journey. You can find lots of façade and home inspiration when you visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

The Australian Government recently announced the introduction of a First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to support eligible first home buyers to purchase a home faster. If you’re a first home buyer looking to get your foot in the door of the property market in the new year, we’ve got a quick summary of the Scheme and the eligibility criteria.

What is the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme?

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme has passed the Senate and is now law, meaning it is expected to start on January 1, 2020 and will be administered by the National House Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC). While applications for the Scheme are not open yet, it has been introduced to support eligible first home buyers in a low and middle income bracket with as little as a 5% deposit saved purchase a home sooner. The Scheme is expected to support up to 10,000 loans per financial year, starting from 2020 and will apply to owner-occupied loans on a principal and interest basis. The government guarantee lasts until the homeowner refinances their home loan.

Am I Eligible?

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme
Applicants under the Scheme will be subject to eligibility criteria relating to income thresholds. For single purchasers, it’s anticipated that the income threshold will be up to $125,000 per annum, and up to $200,000 combined for couples. These thresholds will be based on applicants’ income from the financial year preceding the financial year the loan is entered into. Applicants much be 18 years of age or older, and all purchasers of the house or land cannot have previously owned an interest in land in Australia which had a residence on it before July 1, 2000.

If you have saved 5% of the purchase price of your property, the government will guarantee the remaining 15% of the deposit. This means that while you still need to borrow the remaining 95% of your home’s purchase price, you won’t need lenders mortgage insurance, which can be a hefty amount on top of your deposit that must come directly from purchasers. This will allow first home buyers to purchase sooner, being able to save just 5% in a much shorter amount of time than having to wait to save the full 20% deposit. When applying for the Scheme, remember it is not available for investment properties, so you must occupy the home as your principal place of residence within twelve months of the construction or purchase of the home, for a minimum period of twelve continuous months.

Property Price Criteria

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme
The Scheme will also have property price threshold criteria for each state and territory, which will ensure the scheme is only available for the purchase of modest homes, or the purchase of land and the subsequent construction of a modest home. The property price thresholds will differ depending on the location of the house or land being in either a capital city, or in the rest of the state or territory in a large regional area where the population exceeds 250,000 people. The NHFIC has developed a tool to help first home buyers search for anticipated property price thresholds in the suburbs in which they’re interested in purchasing a home.

If you’re gearing up to purchase your first home, or land to build a home on in the new year, you may be eligible for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to assist you in buying your first home sooner than you thought. Visit the Hotondo Homes website today and browse the First Home Buyers section, where you’ll find a wealth of information to help you through the process of purchasing your first home.

Hotondo Homes is not a registered financial advisory and therefore we recommend you speak to your financial advisor or mortgage broker to receive expert advice before entering into a real estate contract of sale.

Following on from the 2019 Hotondo Homes National Conference in Singapore, we chatted to some of our award-winning builders about what their favourite Hotondo Homes home designs are and why. Here’s what they had to say!

Hotondo Homes Ballarat

Kirkby 267
Hotondo Homes Ballarat, who are our National Professional Builders of the Year two years running love the Kirkby 267. The team there think it’s an amazing home, with a frontage of under 14 metres but still packs a lot of space in with three living areas, and four bedrooms, they told us “it’s the gift that keeps on giving!” They also noted how easy it is to modify this particular floor plan to suit clients’ needs and creating a dream home that people really love. Builders Adrian Willingham and Brenton Simpson also noted having two entries to the alfresco is a bonus, taking your outdoor entertaining to the next level! To find out more about the Kirkby 267, visit our website today.

Hotondo Gympie

Cooloola 208
Chris and Michelle Dodt of Hotondo Gympie, and our Queensland Professional Home Builders of the Year found it hard to narrow things down to just one favourite design! With Gympie being part rural, they find the Lansdowne design in both sizes to be very appealing to clients with rural properties because of its central open-plan indoor/outdoor living areas, as well as separate bedroom areas for parents and kids. The Cooloola 208 has tremendous street appeal, with many clients drawn in to see what’s behind the beautiful facade. Michelle noted that “the flow and feel of this smaller design are genuinely surprising to some, realising a smaller home can still be very functional and spacious in its own way.” See more of our Lansdowne home designs here. If you’d like to learn more about the Cooloola 208, check out the Gympie team’s display home!

Hotondo Homes Jimboomba

Alden 312
Builder Craig Bunning from Hotondo Homes Jimboomba, who took home the award for Commitment to Local Area Marketing, noted that the Omeo 180 is a great entry level home for a first home buyer to help get them into the market. If you’re looking for a larger home, he tells us the Alden 312 is perfect! With large, open-plan kitchen/living/dining areas that open out onto the alfresco, it’s the perfect home for amazing gatherings with family and friends, saying “Could you imagine Christmas in this beautiful home design?!” Take a look at the Omeo 180 today, or learn more about the Alden 312 right here.

Hotondo Southcoast

Glenbrook 187
Adam Sturt from Hotondo Southcoast recently won the Make-A-Wish Australia Overall Achievement Award and says he loves the Glenbrook 187 floorplan at the moment, saying it’s extremely versatile and suits a broad range of families. With four generously sized bedrooms, and an open-plan area that’s the heart of the home it’s ideal for every day living with two points of entry from the alfresco. The kitchen has been designed for practicality with ample bench and storage space, and direct access from the double garage, making coming home a delight for families! Adam tells us that they’ve received great feedback from all who visit their new Glenbrook 187 display, making it a winner!

Hotondo Homes Griffith & Leeton

Erskine 290
Hotondo Homes Griffith and Leeton builder Bill Arnold, our New South Wales Professional Builder of the Year, loves the Erskine 290 because “it truly is the perfect family home!” It’s a design loved by many of their clients because of the open-plan living and dining area. This is also a space that can be modified in the passage area between the family space and the alfresco however you want, to make the space bigger or smaller, they noted. The large master suite’s his ‘n’ hers walk-in-robes are a big draw card for clients, as is the generous butler’s pantry. “How could you not love it!” Bill said, further noting that everyone loves looking at it when they visit the Hotondo Homes website. Visit the website and see why everyone loves the Erskine 290!

Hotondo Homes Dubbo

Erskine 240
Michael Letfallah from Hotondo Homes in Dubbo recently won Most Improved – New Franchise at our national conference, and is also a fan of the Erskine, though he prefers the Erskine 240. “Because of the open-plan family, dining and kitchen all at the back of the house, connecting to the expansive alfresco that blends inside and outside seamlessly, this design really promotes outdoor living,” he told us. “The large separate lounge area and four spacious bedrooms really contribute to the sheer size this design has to offer and it’s a fantastic house for the Central West, which is why it’s my favourite!” See more of the Erskine 240 over at our website today.

If you’d like to learn more about any of these fantastic home designs, or you’d like to speak to a builder in your local area, head over to the Hotondo Homes website today.

When you’re ready to build your new home, choosing a home design that will suit your family throughout many stages of life is the most important choice you’ll make. One of the decisions you’ll need to make is whether you opt for a single or double storey home. Both designs have a number of pros and cons, from lifestyle to budget there are a number of aspects that need to be taken into account. It can be a difficult decision to make, so we’ve got a quick summary of the advantages and disadvantages of single and double storey homes designs.

Construction and Living Costs

Double Storey
It’s no secret that double storey homes have a higher construction cost than single storey homes, purely because of the additional storey being built. However, one of the benefits to building a double storey home is that they can often be situated on smaller blocks of land than single storey homes, so while construction costs can be higher, the cost of the land you’re purchasing may actually be less than that of land required for a single storey home.

The cost of heating a cooling will vary between single and double storey homes and is something to consider when choosing a home design. Single storey homes are easier to heat and cool at the same time because each room is on the same level. Double storey homes will have a more varied temperature between floors, meaning you may need to install separate heating and cooling systems on each level, which is an added cost you will need to factor in to your budget at the time of building, and something to consider for your yearly utilities budget.

Use of Space

Double Storey
While single storey homes are obviously smaller than double storey designs, the use of space can be much more efficient. With a family-friendly layout all on one level, you’ll find that every corner of the home is utilised to its full potential with clever study nooks and conveniently placed storage filling the home to ensure no space is left unused. There’s also the benefit of not having a staircase, which means that floorspace isn’t being taken up and rendered an unliveable space, so you can include an additional living room, media room, or extra bedroom. However, because single storey homes often take up more land you may have to compromise on the size of your backyard to allow for a spacious home.

Double storey home designs are often bigger and can offer your family a lot more space not only inside the home, but on your land. These floor plans allow for a clearer separation of living space and bedrooms, often providing a much more generous allowance of space. This means that open-plan kitchen/living/dining areas can be more spacious when the entry level of the home is dedicated to everyday living, and bedrooms can be located upstairs, making them larger because of the additional storey. You might also find your double storey home design allows for additional rooms, such as a private study, or media room, as well as an extra rumpus room upstairs for the kids, giving the entire family enough room to spend time together and comfortably apart when needed.

Family Suitability

Single storey homes are a perfect choice for young families, with home designs that situate everything on one level. Having your kitchen and common family areas located close to the bedrooms you’ll find it much easier to keep an eye on small children in a single storey home. You’ll also find that often the bedrooms are located close to one another, making night time feeds and cuddles a lot easier to manage because there’s less floor to travel to get there. The lack of stairs also removes a safety hazard for little children, giving you peace of mind during the baby and toddler years in your home.

However, if you have children who are heading into their teenage years, you might decide a double storey home is the perfect design for you. As kids get older and want a little more space and privacy, double storey floor plans offer more separation between living spaces and bedrooms. The master suite is often located on the ground floor creating a sanctuary for parents, while the kids’ rooms are upstairs nestled around a rumpus room they can enjoy with their friends. These home designs are often the perfect solution for families looking for additional space for their older children while still maintaining an open-plan living layout downstairs so your family can still spend time together on a daily basis.

While there are many good things about both single and double storey home designs, it’s a decision that needs to be made based on the suitability for your family, your overall lifestyle now and in the future, and your budget. To view our range of flexible single and double storey floor plans, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

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