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What are the biggest mistakes home buyers make?

Take heed, new home buyers! We asked the tough question to nine of our builders right across the country, and here are their responses.

Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW

Not including items they wanted in their home during the design stage. In our colours and selections process we encourage clients to reach for the stars and discuss every feature they could possibly want. I’ve met many who have built in the past but regret not having included certain features.

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Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC

I think some of the biggest mistakes home buyers make is to buy land without understanding the implications of the quality of the soil and any additional site costs that need to be considered and could affect the total budget.
Then, when it comes to the home, many people think bigger is better. This is not necessarily the case. You should be more concerned about the function of the room, so if there is additional space it can be added to areas where it is better utilised. If you like outdoor living, incorporate more space in your alfresco, but if it is cooking you love a plentiful and well-considered kitchen might be the place.

Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln SA

Some may not fairly compare the quality, value or fixed price of one home to another. Quite often you will find you are not comparing apples with apples in the building industry, which is why it is so important to carefully read the contract and inclusions of every home, as well as ask questions!

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Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC

Working with their budgets. We all like the finer things in life and its absolutely fine to upgrade from the standard inclusions here and there. What I don’t think people take into account is that, on their own, each item is not overly expensive but then when it’s all costed together they can suddenly fall into trouble. At the end of the day, the functionality is the same (for a sink mixer as an example), but the cost can vary widely without it even being a statement piece.

Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW

Many home buyers rush through their colour selections or choose a floor plan far too quickly. Take the time to figure out what really works for you, and how you intend on using the space before making these very big decisions.

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Amira Willingham– Ballarat, VIC

It would have to be not investing enough time in their electrical plan. When building a home, you should put a large amount of thought into where you need extra power points. Do you require more lighting? Would you like downlights? Have you thought of USB points? These are all extremely important but are often overlooked or not given importance.

Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange NSW

The biggest mistake home buyers make is not consulting or taking advice from a builder before purchasing land suitable for their preferred design. Home buyers are often seduced by a cheap block of land which is then really expensive to build on.

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Russell Pearse- Ararat, VIC

Building the biggest house they think they can afford, instead of concentrating on what would be best value long-term. They may still be in that home in 20 years’ time when the children have all left home – although this may be more likely in regional areas than metro.

Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD

Not building with Hotondo Homes Mackay.

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When your building journey begins, avoid overlooking these nine items for a more rewarding and fulfilling build!

YOUR LOAN

Know what you want or need in a loan and shop around. Fixed rates, variable rates, redraw capabilities and the length of the loan are all important factors. Make sure the structure of your loan is right for you straight off the mark – this is a long-term commitment.

COMPARING BUILDER QUOTES FAIRLY

Builder quotes can vary by thousands of dollars, so while it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option presented to you, it is important to realise that comparing quotes based purely on monetary value may in fact cost you more in the long run. This is because you are not always comparing apples with apples. Some builders may not provide you with all the expenses upfront, and there are many items that may be inclusive with one builder and non-inclusive with another. It is important to recognise what sort of variations may be affecting your quote including things like labour rates and the quality of the materials. Take the time to understand why your quotes may vary so you know what you are paying for.

BUDGETING ACCURATELY

Take the time to work out what you can really afford. Many people are excited to buy their first home, but forget the extra fees or underestimate the cost of actually owning one. Find out what kind of fees may be applicable to you including home insurance, stamp duty, moving costs, council rates and transfer fees. Also, be prepared for maintenance costs which will now fall back onto you.

FLOOR PLAN ERRORS

Review your floor plan thoroughly. Work out where your power points and light switches are best positioned, consider the location of your bedrooms to noisy areas like the laundry or living room and always ensure you have plenty of storage.

 

READ MORE: AVOID COMMON FLOOR PLAN ISSUES

 

CEILING HEIGHT

Increasing the standard ceiling height to just 2700mm can instantly offer a more spacious feeling in your home! Highly recommended by almost every builder, it is worth the initial extra cost.

overlooking

ENERGY EFFICIENT DESIGN

Building a new home offers the opportunity to make massive savings by increasing your energy efficiency. This can be as simple as orientating your home correctly, installing eaves and double-glazed windows and ensuring your insulation is adequate, or you can look at more complex solutions such as solar power or energy-saving appliances. New homes offer new home technologies, so now is your chance to cut down on your energy bills and decrease your carbon footprint!

 

READ MORE: A PASSIVE HOME DESIGN FOR AMAZING ENERGY SAVINGS

 

EXTRA STORAGE SPACE

You can never have too much storage in your home! A clever builder should be able to help you find extra nooks and crannies where you can include additional storage space for your belongings. Finding room for extra storage is highly recommended and your builder will have some great tips on ways to avoid a cluttered home.

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THE FUTURE

It can be very difficult to predict where the future will take you, however it doesn’t hurt to consider possibilities like future pets, children or family. Make sure the home you choose accommodates for future plans too, to get as much out of the home as possible.

THE RESELL FACTOR

Having finally built or found the perfect home, the last thing you want to think about is selling it. However, your home is an investment, and it is important to think about a time where you need to sell it. When searching for your home, consider what other typical home buyers may want and accommodate for this if possible. The location is also extremely important, and while your preferences should be paramount, thinking ahead is important too.

Are we overlooking something? Let us know in the comments below!

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Is white right for you?

There is nothing quite as lovely for your home as a beautiful, white couch. The pristine feel and the elegant nature of it will make it the focal point of any living room, however, we all know there is danger in giving in to the ‘light’ side.
But the modern trend just won’t bend and people still love the look of a white on white room. So the question remains, should you buy a white couch?

PROS

White is so versatile it will never go out of style, and it goes with everything. If you own a white couch, you will never have to worry about your décor because you know it will match. You can change it as often as you like without consequence. White itself also has so many different shades – you will be spoilt for choice!

If you are worried about children or pets, white leather couches are easier to clean than you would think. It only takes a wipe to clean up spills, and even pen marks can be removed relatively easily.

If your living area is lacking in natural light, having light furniture is a simple way to brighten the room. As a larger piece of furniture, couches can have a significant effect on the entire room, so it only goes to follow that a white couch will greatly lighten the space!

White slips for your couches are a good alternative. Because they are washable, you will get the look you are after and be able to remove the slips to clean any spills or messes.


CONS

Children, pets, food and drinks are all dangerous for a white couch. Stains can be hard to remove from fabric, and you know the instant the couch enters the home it will never look as good as it did when you bought it.

Blue jeans will stain it. Be prepared for the dye to rub off on the couch.

You may consider white leather couches as a way to avoid your couches getting dirty, however, cracks in the leather are much more obvious in lighter colours than darker ones. It will age your couch prematurely.

Being comfortable in your home is important. Constantly having to check whether it is safe to sit down can become tedious, so if you want to relax and enjoy your home, white couches may not be for you.


At the end of the day purchasing a white couch should depend on your personal preferences. While it may not suit some lifestyles, if you are willing to put in the hard work keeping it clean there is no reason you shouldn’t purchase one. Remember, this is not a lifetime purchase!

Have you read our how to create a white on white interior guide? Check it out for more interior inspiration!


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