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Once you’ve saved up a deposit for a home, it’s tempting to go straight to looking at properties and house and land packages to find your dream first home! But before you do, you need to ensure you have approval in place for a mortgage. Without a mortgage, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to jump straight in to owning a home. We spoke to our friends at The Australian Lending & Investment Centre (ALIC) who gave us a summary on what a mortgage is, and how you go about obtaining one so you can become a home owner.

Mortgage

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a legal agreement where a bank or financial institution lends money to an individual at interest so they can purchase a residential dwelling. The condition of the loan is that the individual’s title on the property becomes void if repayments are not made on the debt at regular intervals as set by the financial institution.

Mortgage

Working with a Mortgage Broker

Working with a mortgage broker to gain mortgage pre-approval is the next step once you’ve saved up a home deposit and you’re ready to look for a property to purchase. Pre-approval is a valuable qualification for buyers , as it’s a guarantee from the lender that you’ve been approved for a specific loan amount for a set period of time. Your mortgage broker will request information from you such your salary amount, and documentation about any existing loans and assets you may already have. They’ll use this information to calculate how much money the bank will allow you to borrow. Part of their job is also to provide advice on what is realistic for borrowers and their lifestyle, particularly when it comes to working out what your monthly mortgage repayment will be.

Applying for a Mortgage

Mortgage brokers are accredited with a number of different lenders, which enables them to compare interest rates and provide the best home loan option for buyers. Once you’ve found your dream home and you’ve made an offer of purchase that’s been accepted, brokers do the hard work for you by following the loan application from start to finish. They act on your behalf during the application process to ensure things move forward efficiently and know who to speak to if any issues arise. They also have a sound knowledge of penalties and hidden fees, and thanks to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission regulations, provide peace of mind for borrowers that they will not receive a loan they cannot afford.

Types of Mortgages

Once you’re ready to finalise your mortgage, your broker will research and recommend the best home loan for you. There are a number of different options available in the market, including basic loans and package loans. Just as the name suggests, basic loans just include a ‘no frills’ loan from the lender. Package loans involve combining your home loan and other commonly-used financial products into one bundle. It can allow you to gain benefits such as access to fee waivers, offset accounts, a credit card with the annual fee waived, or discounts on insurance.

Mortgage

Things to Consider

When working with your broker, it’s important to consider a number of things, including:

Your answers to these questions will determine whether your mortgage broker sets you up with a package loan or a basic loan.

Whether you’re a first home owner ready to purchase property for the first time, or an existing home owner ready for the next stage of life, your mortgage is what allows you to make changes to your property portfolio. Working with a mortgage broker to determine what you can afford to borrow is the first step towards making your purchase.

Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial institution and we recommend home buyers always seek the advice of a registered financial professional before purchasing a home.

Carmen and her husband, Jared recently received the keys to their brand new Hotondo Home on the Central Coast in NSW and they couldn’t be happier with their stunning industrial/Scandi style home. We chatted to first time home builder Carmen about her experience building with Jon and Lyndsey Clarke on the Central Coast, and we also received some insight from Jon about how the build went.

Why Hotondo?

Central Coast
Carmen and Jared have a close friend who built with Hotondo Homes Central Coast last year, and couldn’t speak highly enough of the team! “She told us how easy the build process was, and how accommodating they were, which we liked,” said Carmen. She also said they really love that Central Coast use local trades throughout their builds, supporting the local economy. “They were also really accommodating when there were a couple of changes during the build. They listened to what we wanted and made the necessary adjustments, which was great!”

Client Vision

Central Coast
Carmen and Jared had a specific plan in mind, and when they sat down with Jon, he was able to walk them through the Hotondo design that best suited their requirements. “They ended up with a modified Lorne, with inspiration taken from the Hotham floor plan, and the Bellarine façade with a skillion roof was used,” Jon said. Carmen told us that although they had a particular floor plan they liked, sitting down with Jon to look at Hotondo floor plans helped guide the direction of their build. Carmen and Jared’s requirements included open-plan living downstairs on one level, stacker doors leading to an alfresco to create indoor/outdoor living, and all the bedrooms upstairs, creating one sleeping quarter for their young family.

When it came to choosing their colours, Carmen had a very specific vision for an industrial feel with elements of Scandi style, and visualising the colour palette with the team was really beneficial. “They really know their stuff, and were so knowledgeable across all the areas of the home. It’s another reason we loved building with Hotondo – you don’t need to lock in your colour selections until a bit later in the process, which allowed us to change a few things,” Carmen said. “A lot of other builders we knew of required all of that stuff to be locked in straight away, which doesn’t allow clients to change their mind later on.”

Navigating Challenges

Central Coast
Jon told us there was a lot of rain at the beginning of the build, so much so that they struggled to find a dry day to pour the slab. Carmen and her family were overseas at this time, during which there was about six weeks of steady rain. Upon their return home, however, Carmen told us the team had accomplished so much, more so than they had expected given the wet weather they’d been hearing about! Carmen’s interior design vision meant there were a few requests that weren’t standard as part of the build, so Jon had their carpenter build some custom vanities to create a cohesive theme throughout the home.

Working With The Team

Central Coast
“The guys were so easy to work with,” Carmen said. “They accommodated our vision as much as possible, and when something wasn’t going to work, they offered solutions that still suited our floor plan.” Jon told us that Carmen and Jared wanted Blackbutt as a feature throughout the home, and they were able to include it in the floors, custom vanity tops, and floating shelves in the butler’s pantry. Carmen originally wanted a concrete staircase, but ultimately it wasn’t cost effective, so she compromised with a pool out the back instead, saying “it’s somewhere we can create lots of memories, so I’m okay with it!” Jon was able to offer up the solution of a beautiful custom staircase balustrade feature screen, which makes a stunning statement in the home.

Congratulations Carmen and Jared! We know you’ll just love living in your new Hotondo Home as much as the Central Coast team loved building it, and we’re sure you’ll love creating memories that are better than you ever imagined! You can view more images from Carmen and Jared’s building journey over on their Instagram page. If you’re looking for a local builder for your new home, head to the Hotondo Homes website and search for a builder in your area today.

When you’ve found the perfect home to purchase, or the perfect block of land to build on and it’s time to organise a home loan, your mortgage broker will start talking to you about interest rates and which home loan gives you the best rate. If you’ve never held a mortgage before, it might initially feel confusing to be talking about rates and percentages, so we’ve got a quick break down of interest rates, what they are, and how they impact your mortgage over time.

Interest Rates

The Reserve Bank of Australia

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is Australia’s central bank, and it conducts the nation’s monetary policy and issues its currency. It also sets something called the ‘cash’ interest rate, which is reviewed each month. The cash rate is the overnight money market interest rate. At the monthly review, the RBA will decide to either increase, decrease or put interest rates on hold, which in turn affects how much your mortgage repayments will be.

Credit Providers

Credit providers are financial institutions that provide credit to individuals and businesses. Often people know these providers as the major banks, but there are credit unions who also offer competitive interest rates. Credit providers have the ability to set their own interest rates, and can increase or decrease their rates in line with the RBA’s cash rate changes. It’s worth noting that while the RBA cash rate may remain unchanged, credit providers can adjust their rate when they deem it appropriate to do so.

Interest Rates

Variable Rate

A variable rate means your rate will fluctuate in response to the cash rate and other changes that have been made by your credit provider. The advantage to having a mortgage with a variable rate is that the rate will often (but not always) decrease if the RBA’s cash rate decreases, which will then reduce the amount of interest you pay. Another benefit to having a variable rate is that you can make additional payments to your home loan, meaning the loan can be paid off sooner. However, remember that a variable interest rate will also increase if the cash rate increases (and can also increase even if the cash rate does not). It’s an interest rate that will change frequently throughout the life of the loan, so you should ensure your finances allow for these changes, particularly the increases.

Fixed Rate

Having a fixed rate for your mortgage means you can lock in an interest rate, often for one to five years of your home loan. This means that while the rate is locked in, your repayments won’t change during that time. You’ll be able to plan your finances accordingly because you’ll know exactly how much your repayments will be. This is beneficial during times of national or worldwide financial uncertainty or crisis, when cash rates may increase significantly; your rate will be safeguarded against these changes. On the flip side though, a fixed rate means your repayments won’t decrease if interest rates go down, so you may find yourself locked in to a fixed rate that’s much higher than the cash and variable rate. There may also be restrictions on making additional loan repayments if you have a fixed rate, and your credit provider may impose a fee for ending the fixed rate period.

Interest Rates

Partially-Fixed Rate

This type of interest rate offers the best of both worlds. You can pay a fixed rate on part of your loan, and a variable rate on the rest. This allows you to take advantage of interest rate drops on the variable part of your mortgage, and the fixed rate partially protects you from interest rate increases. Often you can still make additional repayments to your loan, helping you pay it off faster.

If you’re ready to build or purchase a home this year, doing a little research to properly understand interest rates and how they will affect you as a property owner will help you have a clearer idea of how to plan your finances accordingly. For more information about building your own home, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

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

If you’re located in Victoria, or you’re thinking about moving down south, we have a number of franchisees based all across the state ready to make your dream home into a reality. This week we’re putting the spotlight on a few of our builders throughout Victoria so you can get to know some of the franchisees in our Hotondo Homes family!

Hotondo Homes Ballarat

Hotondo
With over twenty-five years of experience, Adrian Willingham and Brenton Simpson are local builders you can trust. Awarded the Hotondo Homes Builder of the Year in 2018, the pair have established themselves as the builders of choice in Ballarat and the surrounding areas. The Ballarat team use local tradesmen, have a range of flexible floorplans available to help you find your dream home, and offer professional and personalised services with great attention to detail to make sure you get the home you’ve always wanted! Amira Willingham is the resident colour guru, and will work with you selecting all the items to make your house a home, and Lisa Simpson is the Finance Manager who works to ensure building permits are in order for you. Both your local builders at Ballarat are active members of the community, and as a family-owned business they remain committed to a number of groups and activities in the local and surrounding areas. Visit their modern Marcoola 269 display home in Lucas and see their superb work in person!

Hotondo Homes Warragul

Hotondo
Jeff and Fiona Kittelty are your local builders in the wider Warragul area, who love creating homes that are tailored to suit your needs, lifestyle, and budget. Jeff has been part of the building industry as a qualified builder for over thirty years and works with his clients to ensure every part of the build process is as smooth and stress-free as possible, from the first appointment, right through to the handover of a new home! Jeff’s wife, Fiona, is the finance manager and Colour Consultant, and is always up to date with interior trends and styles. She will work with you during your colour selection appointment and help you put together your final palette, fixtures, and fittings, ensuring your new home has an interior and exterior aesthetic that is cohesive and stylish. Acreage homes and difficult sites are no problem for the team at Warragul, who have experience with narrow lots, sloping land, and unusually shaped blocks. Jeff and Fiona, and their entire team pride themselves on their professional service, and their stunning Lansdowne 257 display home is currently open for you to visit to see the quality craftmanship you’ll get when you build with Hotondo Homes Warragul.

Hotondo Homes in Ocean Grove

Hotondo
Aaron Anstis, Nick Barker and their team know how to create your dream home. Whether you’re looking for a sea change or you’re a first home buyer, they can tailor any Hotondo Homes design to suit your budget and lifestyle! Nick and Aaron specialise in coastal and split level home designs so that you get the most out of your local environment. With personalised customer service and attention to detail on both the complexities of the build and the aesthetics of your home’s design, you’ll receive a quality home build when you work with local builders who can give you peace of mind throughout the entire build journey. Visit their new Tarkine 238 display home in Ocean Grove, or their Erskine 240 display in Mount Duneed today!

Hotondo Homes has a number of builders located throughout Victoria to help you with your vision. With flexible designs for all types of land, and plenty of house and land packages available to suit your budget and lifestyle, you’re sure to find a local builder in your area to create a beautifully constructed home for you and your family! Visit the Hotondo Homes website and find a builder local to you today.

When 2019 arrived, did you decide that this was going to be the year you started saving to buy your own home? The start of a new year is often the perfect time to sit down and work out your savings goals by taking an in-depth look at your finances to figure out how you can quickly and efficiently save a deposit to build or buy your first home. While it can be overwhelming to think about how long it might take to save a sizeable deposit, we’ve broken it down into manageable goals to set you on the path to home ownership!

Your Finances

Saving
The first step is to look at your finances and work out how much you earn versus how much you spend each month. This will highlight areas where you can cut back on spending, such as your morning coffee habit, buying lunch each day, or that gym membership you’re not using, and enable to you reduce costs incrementally. Implementing new habits like bringing a latte and your lunch from home, or joining a group fitness program to share the cost will add up in the long run. You’ll also start consciously monitoring how much you spend each month and your habits will change once your monthly budget is defined.

Set Manageable Goals

Saving
Instead of big-picture goals, break down your goals into smaller, achievable targets. Rather than having one singular goal of buying a home, create bullet point goals that will set you on the path to your overall goal of home ownership. Things like starting a separate savings account, allocating a set amount of money aside each month, cutting back on one or two personal expenses a month, or aiming to pay off existing debt will feel more attainable if you take it one step at a time.

Existing Debt

Saving
Many of us have existing debt that can hinder our ability to start saving. Instead of trying to save money and pay off debt simultaneously, focus on paying off existing debt first. Car loans, university tuition fees, personal loans, and credit card debt can be paid off faster if you direct more payments towards them each month. Instead of paying off the minimum each month, allocate a slightly higher amount of money to decrease any interest accumulating and repay the debt faster.

Do Your Research

Saving
Use this year for research while you save. Speak to a financial advisor and a mortgage broker to find out how much you can afford to spend on your first home. Start exploring suburbs you like and pay attention to the property sale prices each month. Look at a house’s advertised price, versus how much they actually sell for to give you an idea of which areas you can afford. You may also want to start researching house and land packages in more rural areas and consider how much it costs to build a brand new home instead of purchasing an existing home. Visiting display homes and going to open for inspections, as well as chatting to builders and real estate agents will help you understand the process involved in purchasing a home and the costs involved. When you’re ready to make a real estate purchase you’ll have the knowledge and information you need to make an informed decision.

With some careful planning and patience, you can start 2019 off on the right financial foot by creating attainable goals that set you on the path of saving for a house deposit. By putting these goals in place, you’ll be able to put aside money each month to save money to build or buy your own dream home. Visit the Hotondo Homes website for more great home ideas and tips, as well as house and land packages and home designs currently.

Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial institution and we recommend home buyers always seek the advice of a registered financial professional before purchasing a home.

Celebrate the new year with your very own new home! At Hotondo Homes, we want to help you get into your own beautiful new home to start creating memories that are better than you ever imagined with your choice of no-cost bonus packages worth over $10,000! Our versatile home designs suit a range of families and lifestyles, so now is the perfect time to build your own dream home and choose your Summer direction. We’ve got a quick summary of each no-cost package to help you choose your Summer direction below!

Summer Solar Package

Solar power is a great way to ensure your home is environmentally sustainable, as well as being a fantastic cost-saving measure. With our Summer Solar Package, you’ll get a 3kW Solar Power System and an Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water in all states except Victoria. If you’re planning to build your dream home in Victoria, you’ll get a 4kW Solar Power System and an Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water for your new home. Choosing this Summer Direction for your new home will help reduce its footprint, and save you money in the long run!

Kitchen Summer Package

Summer
The kitchen is the heart of every home, and here at Hotondo Homes we want to give you the best! When you choose our Kitchen Summer Package, your new home will have beautiful Blanco appliances. This package includes a Blanco 460 litre fridge/freezer in an elegant dark stainless finish in keeping with 2019 trends, Blanco granite undermount sink and tap, Blanco fully integrated dishwasher to keep things clean, and a Blanco 9kg front load washing machine, plus a Blanco 7kg heat pump dryer. If you’re building one of our luxurious Oasis homes, you’ll also benefit from a Blanco freestanding wine cooler, perfect to use when entertaining family and friends! When you choose our Kitchen Summer Package for your new Retreat or Sanctuary designs, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning Essastone by Laminex stone benchtops, truly creating a cohesive colour palette for your space.

Home Automation Summer Package

In 2019, make your home fully automated when you choose our Home Automation Summer Package! With a lighting and voice control system, controlling the sound and light in each space has never been easier. You’ll also have voice assistant speakers including an Amazon Alexa Echo, smart voice licence Voice Cloud, and premium unlimited phone and cloud support for twelve months. Your new living or media room will also include a Sonos Playbar and Sub as part of the audio system so you can fully immerse yourself in your favourite movies and music!

Flooring Summer Package

Summer
You’ll get up to $10,000 towards your flooring from Choices Flooring when you choose a flooring Summer Direction! Their wide range of flooring available will create spaces that complement your family’s lifestyle. Whether it’s smooth, durable vinyl plank flooring in the open-plan zones or lovely, plush carpet for the bedrooms, you’re sure to find a style that completes your home’s overall aesthetic.

If you’ve decided to take the leap in 2019 and build your own new home, choosing a Summer Direction will ensure your beautiful new home will be better than you ever imagined with one of our no-cost bonus packages worth over $10,000. Head over to the Hotondo Homes website to find out more about this offer today. But hurry, our Summer Directions offer ends March 23, 2019.

Terms and Conditions apply.

Love where you live but feel like your home is less than perfect, and you don’t really want to renovate? It might be time to start thinking about knocking down your home and rebuilding it! Whether you’ve just bought an older home and want to rebuild it before you move in, or your family has outgrown their existing home and you need to completely redesign it to suit your needs, a knockdown rebuild will give you the opportunity to have your dream home in the location you already know and love.

Location, Location, Location

Knockdown Rebuild
If you love your neighbourhood and you really don’t love the idea of moving house, knocking down your home and rebuilding in the exact same location means you’ll be able to enjoy your location for many years. For families with kids, there’s no need to change schools and make new friends, and adults won’t need to reconsider work commute times and distances from all their favourite local haunts – you’ll all get to continue to enjoy the familiarity of your existing suburb.

Renovate Versus Rebuild

Knockdown Rebuild
Knocking down your home is a daunting thought, and many people often wonder if a simple renovation will give them the house they want. However, renovating has its drawbacks and can be a expensive project to undertake. When renovating, having to work around existing structures and spaces can be costly and difficult, and often renovations can uncover underlying problems in other areas of the home, leading to more repairs that were not previously included in the initial renovation budget. The cost of the renovation can quickly escalate, leaving you with a sizeable dent in your finances as a result.

Completely New Floor Plan

Knockdown Rebuild
When rebuilding your home, you have the luxury of being able to choose a home design that suits every aspect of your family life. Instead of partially renovating an existing home and still not having a layout you entirely love, your builder will have numerous home designs to suit your block of land, so you can find a floor plan that truly works for you. These plans can also be modified so that they’re even more compatible with your family’s lifestyle, and you’ll end up with a home that doesn’t compromise on comfort, space, and layout.

A Newer, More Efficient Home

Knockdown Rebuild
Rebuilding your home means you’ll also be able to incorporate many new modern conveniences and energy efficient appliances into an otherwise dated home. Selecting appliances that have a high energy efficiency rating will help reduce your environmental footprint. Your new home will also most likely include a water tank to help reduce household water wastage, and you can opt to include solar panels as part of the new build, meaning your power usage and bills will be reduced over time, which is a huge plus for both your family finances and the environment.

While it can be incredibly daunting to think about completely knocking down your home, the long-term benefits can far outweigh any apprehension you may have. Being able to choose or modify an existing design to suit your family’s precise needs means you’ll be able to enjoy your newly rebuilt home for many years to come. To view our variety of home designs, or to find a builder local to you, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

One of the biggest road blocks to becoming a home owner is saving a deposit to put towards your first home. Being able to put aside funds each week or month in a savings account to go towards the purchase of a new home is great, but these savings take time to build up – often years. In the meantime they can get depleted when we dip into them to pay for other things, moving that first home goal post further and further away. One great initiative that’s been launched by the Australian Taxation Office is the First Home Super Save Scheme. Aimed at first home buyers, this initiative was created to help Australians buy their first homes. We’ve summarised some of the key points below for you as per the ATO website’s information.

About the Scheme

Saving
From July 1, 2017 first home buyers have been able to make voluntary concessional (before-tax) and non-concessional (after-tax) contributions to their superannuation funds. Then from July 1, 2018 you can apply to have these funds released, along with any associated earnings that have accrued and use these funds towards the purchase of your first home. One of the great things about this scheme is that you can use the funds as a first home buyer for either a property you plan to live in straight away as a family home, or for a property you plan to live in for at least six of the first twelve months you own it.

How Much Money Can I Save?

Saving
You can apply to have up to $15,000 of your contributions from any one financial year included in your eligible contributions released as part of the scheme, up to a total of $30,000 across all years. On top of that, you will also receive any earnings from those contributions which will add to the amount you have for a deposit.

Key Things to Remember

Saving
You can only apply for a release of your funds once, and you should never sign a contract of sale or contract to build a new home until the funds have been released to you. If you don’t wait for the funds, you may have additional tax to pay. It can also take approximately 25 business days for funds to be released to you, so take this into consideration when you’re ready to sign a contract of sale. If you don’t have money for the deposit at the time of the contract signing, you may be in breach of the sale contract.

Am I Eligible?

Saving
While you can start making contributions to your superannuation fund at any age, you can’t apply to have funds released until you are 18 years old. You also cannot have owned any kind of property in Australia (including investment properties, vacant land, commercial property, a lease of land, or a company title interest in Australia), or have previously requested a release of funds in relation to the scheme. If you wish to purchase a property with other people, you can each access your own funds individually, however if one of the purchasers has previously owned a home they will not be eligible for a funds release, however this will not prevent the other purchasers from applying for their funds.

Saving for your first home can seem like a daunting thing, especially when you need a sizeable amount of money saved up to do so. With this First Home Super Saver Scheme, you’re able to contribute savings to an account that’s not easily accessible, which means the funds will continuously increase and earn interest and your deposit will accumulate at a faster rate than a regular savings account.

For full terms and conditions and to learn more about this scheme, head over to the Australia Taxation Office Website. Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial institution and we recommend home buyers always seek the advice of a registered financial professional before purchasing a home.

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 you’re building a new home, your focus is often on how you and your family will adjust to living in a new house, and a new location. It’s a big transition for everyone, and with months to prepare yourselves for the move you’ve probably driven past the house a few times as well as exploring the neighbourhood a little bit. No doubt you’ve also visited the house a few times in the lead-up to moving day. But have you given some thought to how your beloved fur baby will adjust to its new surroundings? It’s something that’s not at the forefront of everyone’s minds as preparations to move begin, but ensuring you’re making time to let your pet adjust to their new home will make their transition smoother and stress free as well!

Take a Tour of Your New Home

Introducing your pet
You’ve probably been to visit your new house a number of times with your family, and it’s well worth bringing your pet to visit the house as well. Letting them explore inside the house will reduce their stress at suddenly being in a new, unfamiliar place if they’ve visited a couple of times. You can check the perimeter fence for gaps and possible escape routes before you pet visits. Once you’ve done this, taking them outside to explore the front and back yards, and around the perimeters so they can become familiar with their new territory will make them feel a little more at home. This is also a good time for you to make your landscape gardener aware of your pets so they remember not to include any plants that are hazardous to your pet’s health.

Meals, Toys, and Beds

Introducing your pet
Leave your pet’s bed, blankets, food bowls, and toys unpacked until the last minute on moving day to keep them relaxed and happy while there’s a lot of activity in the house. Once you’re at your new home, ensure you’ve decided on a space inside or outside for your pet’s belongings and meal area and pop their things in those areas straight away. Ensuring they have a routine and their own defined space from day one will help them settle in and become familiar with their surroundings while still having their own comfort items close by.

Time for a Walk

Introducing your pet
If you have a dog, a great way to let them settle in and feel comfortable in their new surroundings is by taking them for lots of walks in the first few weeks. Letting them explore the neighbourhood smells by walking the blocks around your home is a great way to familiarise them with their new home. Finding local, fenced-in dog parks where they can stretch their legs and interact gently with other dogs is another good way to build their confidence and reduce their stress levels. It may be a good idea to keep them on their leash the first few visits until they feel more comfortable with their new friends. If your dog seems a little unsettled during the first few walks, just take short walks, allowing the dog lead the way. This lets them discover where other barking dogs and kids live and helps your dog get used to their location in the neighbourhood. Each time the dog confidently walks a slightly longer route, ensure you lavish them with praise to continue building their confidence. If your dog seems skittish and doesn’t want to continue a walk, return home and try again the next day.

Continue with Routine

Introducing your pet
Once you’ve moved into your new home, try to continue with your pet’s existing routine. Keeping meal time, exercise and play time, and bed time on the same schedule that occurred in your previous home means your pet will know what to expect each day and settle in a little faster. This will relieve their stress and anxiety around being in a new location and will make your days calmer as well.

You dog will pick up on your excitement at being in your new home, so it’s also great to involve them in that feeling of happiness with the family whenever possible, whether it’s with a celebratory pet-friendly treat, or some fun and games in the backyard. Moving with pets doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. As long as you give your pet plenty of opportunities to become familiar with their new home and continue to keep things familiar and structured wherever possible, your pet will be settled in to their new home in no time!

For other great tips, tricks, and home ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website.

Hotondo Homes has had a busy year already, and it’s only the start of May! We’re thrilled to have five beautiful new display homes open already this year, showcasing some of our versatile and stylish designs for new home builders looking for that perfect home design!

Erskine 240

Display homes
The Erskine 240 demonstrates family versatility at its finest! Hotondo Homes Tamworth builder Geoff says “We decided to go with the Erskine 240 for our display home as the design includes the most modern features which reflect current design trends. The family/dining and kitchen area is the most outstanding feature and the outdoor living area blends seamlessly. This area of the Erskine allowed us to use the raked ceiling and skylights to create a stunning feature!”

Kirkby 259

Display homes
The Kirkby 259 is the ultimate family home. Hotondo Homes Greater Port Stephens builder Jason says “The Kirkby 259 display home offers everything the modern family wants. With a huge kitchen and walk in pantry opening straight onto the open-plan lounge room and dining area, it’s perfect for the entertainer and those who love the indoor/outdoor Australian lifestyle.”

Lansdowne 257

Display homes
The Lansdowne 257 is a versatile family design suitable for wide or acreage blocks of land. Hotondo Homes Warragul builder Jeff says “The Lansdowne suits acreage properties as well as corner blocks which makes up a large portion of the clients we build for. Being a four-bedroom plus study home means this could potentially be a five-bedroom home. It’s compact in what it offers in terms of design, but once you walk through the home the size really is deceiving, it reveals itself as a large family home.”

Marcoola 269

Display homes
The Marcoola 269 presents versatility – ideal for families of any age. Hotondo Homes Shepparton builder Colin says “We chose the Marcoola 269 as our display home because we felt that it was a great family home with room for everyone’s privacy, but also has space for the family to come together. The master allows parents to feel like there’s a little luxury in their busy lives, and there’s a large dining area for family gatherings or entertaining friends. We think this is a great family home!”

Somerset 233

Display homes
The Somerset range offer cleverly designed homes. Hotondo Homes Launceston builder Sam says “We wanted to showcase a home that took a modern spin on a traditional Australian family home. The Somerset 233 was the perfect design for this! You get your classic four-bedroom house, with all the added features to make it an ideal home. There are clever features right throughout this display and the best part about it is you can tailor the home to suit your needs!”

If you don’t live in close proximity to these fantastic display homes, don’t worry! You can head over to the Hotondo Homes website and take a full 3D tour of each home to see the floorplan and beautiful features of each home in greater detail.

Hotondo Homes’ three unique Forever Ranges offer something for everyone. Whether you’re building your very first home, creating your ultimate dream home, downsizing from your current home or even expanding your property portfolio with an investment, the Forever Ranges will have something to suit.

The Forever Ranges have been created to help you find your dream design with ease! Check out our favourite homes from each range below and click on the floor plans for more information.

Forever Retreat

The Forever Retreat Range is the perfect choice for those taking the first steps in their building journey. These designs feature everything you could want in your new home.

Gone are the days when first home buyers were forced to sacrifice luxury and style for the sake of economy. The Forever Retreat Range is filled with quality homes previously thought out of reach.

These architecturally-designed homes were crafted to create the ideal first home so you can make memories that last a lifetime. Suitable for a range of blocks, these homes have made now the right time to build the first home you’ve only ever dreamed of. Our favourite designs include the Emerge 217 and the Primo 175:

forever

Primo 175

forever

Emerge 217

 

Forever Sanctuary

Forever Sanctuary homes have been cleverly designed to suit your family’s requirements. Aptly named, they are homes that will build family memories and create a true family sanctuary.

As Hotondo Homes’ largest range, it offers countless single and double storey home designs in a variety of sizes. Whether you’re after a coastal, metro or regional design you will find something you love in the Forever Sanctuary Range.

This range focuses on three key areas of the home; the kitchen, alfresco and master bedroom. These rooms are imperative to the growing family and our designers have created homes to ensure these rooms are practical, spacious and inviting. The spacious Erskine 240 and the incredible Willowgrove 332 are our top picks from Forever Sanctuary!

forever

Erskine 240

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Willowgrove 332

Forever Oasis

The Forever Oasis Range is the epitome of luxury and style with all the features you could want in your home. Created with elegance and class in mind, the opulent designs offer generous living areas perfect for every member of the family.

The Oasis homes encompass luxurious bedrooms and additional living areas providing the warmth of a home with the amenities of a five-star hotel.

With high ceilings, quality upgrades and top of the line inclusions, these homes are the best of the best. If you’re ready to build a home that will become your own personal oasis, this range is the perfect choice for you. Both the Amora 384 and Como 449 offer ensuite and WIR options for every bedroom!

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Amora 384

 

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Como 449

 

Which is your favourite range? You can also view Hotondo Homes full range of designs here.

Client story: Stephanie Winfield knew from a very young age she wanted to be a home owner.

As an eight-year-old, she had already started earning pocket money doing chores around her mother’s house to save for her very own home. Then at 16 years old as she passed Hotondo Homes in Horsham, Stephanie made the decision to go inside.

“I always knew I wanted to build my home, and instead of dismissing me because I was so young, Hotondo Homes gave me the time of day,” Stephanie said.

“They were very welcoming and spoke to me for nearly an hour giving me tips.”

After this experience it was never in doubt who Stephanie would trust to build her dream home. At just 23 years old, she is now the proud owner of her new modified Alpine 178 home.

client story

 

Featuring four bedrooms, two bathrooms and open-plan living, the Alpine 178 is a design that maximises everyday living.

The master bedroom is secluded at the front of the home for privacy, and includes a massive walk-in-robe and ensuite. The remaining bedrooms are located in a separate wing, while the outdoor alfresco area is easily accessible via the kitchen and dining area, making it ideal for entertaining.

“I always knew I wanted to build my home, and instead of dismissing me because I was so young, Hotondo Homes gave me the time of day.” – Stephanie Winfield

Stephanie also made a few modifications with help from New Homes Sales Consultant Anthony Crute to suit her needs, including changing the bricks, tiles and appliances.

“Anthony was very good at working within my budget, even though I upgraded and changed a few things,” Stephanie said.

“Whenever I had questions or needed a quote on something, Anthony would answer me very quickly, and since I was a first home owner, there were a lot of them.”

 

View another happy client story here: A dream home 12 years in the making

 

Of particular use for Stephanie was information for first home buyers, finance advice and building for a profitable resell. She admitted at times it was a tough process doing it alone, but Anthony and the Hotondo Homes team helped her through.

“Even though it was tough, I would do it all again in a heartbeat,” Stephanie said.

“Anthony understood that I wanted this as my forever home, and bent over backwards for me.”

“When you are building a home that is what you want.”

The outcome of the home is nothing less than spectacular. From the beautiful brickwork to the clean lines and white colours of the kitchen, the home is the picture of modern design.

client story

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