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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

Lansdowne
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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