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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.

mistakes

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!

mistakes

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.

mistakes

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.

mistakes

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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As we move into the autumn months, our colour palette becomes inspired by earthy browns, multi-coloured leaves and beautiful oranges and pinks.

Volume 8 of Haymes Colour Library, ‘The Colour Forecast’ highlights these autumn colours, and can help guide us towards creating the ultimate autumn-inspired look for our homes.

The Colour Forecast is broken into three themes:


STARK BEAUTY

A finely crafted approach to interiors that blends together a soft minimalism with an almost Japanese aesthetic and sensibility. The colours are simple parings of subtle whites and bold leafy greens providing a palette that is both fresh and balanced. This palette encourages spaces that blur the lines between both inside and out, where there is no need for divides but an overall aesthetic that unifies spaces and creates both harmony and positivity within interiors and exteriors. It’s an ethos of sophisticated design that brings only the essentials into the home, cultivating spaces that are easy to live in.

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STRATA

A rich and earthy palette that mimics the colours found in the layers of the earth. The diversity of the colours is reminiscent of those variations found in the environment we live in. It features gorgeous tans and browns, paired with lush deep greens found in fauna and plant life, reflects the deep blue of the sea and is complemented by neutral base colours. The introduction to interiors of such a raw natural aesthetic adds a quality of “true grit” and a sense of realness and humbleness to the palette, in turn encouraging us to create interiors that feel both natural and secure. This palette can be used in various combinations to really bring the colours of the landscape to life.

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PITCH DARK

An undefinable palette that challenges the senses and plays on the idea of finding dark spaces more relaxing, meditative and exploratory which in the past has been associated with light colours. It’s a new way forward for interiors and the use of strong colours like blacks and dark charcoals, combined with rich reds, moody nudes and deep blue is a palette that is coming into its own. As we start to learn that we can use the power we gain by unlocking the unknown, we start to understand that to explore and discover the new, is both liberating and empowering.

autumn coloursautumn coloursautumn coloursautumn colours

 

For more autumn colours and other colour inspiration, visit haymespaint.com.au

 

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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.

overlooking

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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What is your must-have feature for a modern home?

We asked the question to nine of our builders from right across the country, and here are their responses!

must-have feature

Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC

A must-have feature of a modern home is a well-considered kitchen and pantry. We spend so much time in and around our kitchens and to consider the locations of sinks, dishwashers, ovens, drawers is critically important. A well-considered kitchen means that you will be able to enjoy the space in an efficient manner, while still maintaining its cosmetic appeal.

must-have feature

Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW

Large windows throughout the home and an open-plan layout – it is all about creating the illusion of more space! All bathrooms should have modern floor-to-ceiling tiles, of course!

must-have feature

Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD

A large alfresco area. It offers the perfect place to unwind every evening and it is a great place for entertaining on the weekends!

Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW

Hidden storage. It’s simple, but so necessary. Linen closets are great, but an under stairs storage area or an extra storage room, even just extra cabinets in the pantry or laundry is a must-have in the modern home. To have a brand new home is one thing, but a brand new home with no clutter and where every item has a spot to live is perfect!

Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC

Living in the south of Victoria – a drying room! They are relatively easy to incorporate into a space either off the laundry or under a stairwell. During the winter months when you have your home heating on, you can utilise this space to dry your clothes as well!

Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln, SA

Separate toilet to the bathroom is something we need to bring back! I would also definitely say an alfresco area or balcony, depending on your views. Indoor/outdoor living is still very much alive!

must-have feature

Russell Pearse – Ararat, VIC

Double glazing to your windows and other energy efficiency measures can save you a tonne in utility bills. While it may cost more upfront, the long-run benefits are by far worth it.

must-have feature
Amira Willingham – Ballarat, VIC

The must-have feature in the modern home is by far a walk-in-pantry. This allows for a vast amount of storage for not just food, but rarely-used appliances that take up precious room in cupboards such as mixers, breadmakers slow cookers etc. It also allows you to hide the mess!

must-have feature

Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange, NSW

Outdoor living is very important, as is plenty of storage like walk-in-pantries, large walk-in-robes and linen cupboards. You can never have too much storage space!

What is your must-have feature? Let us know in the comments!

Hotondo Homes 2017 new home designs are now available!

We pride ourselves on releasing new home designs suited to a wide range of home buyers.

The 2017 release features two single storey homes and three double storey homes. Check out each of them below, and follow the link for more information!

home designs

The Meridian 159

Forever Retreat Range

3 Bedrooms

1 Bathroom

Narrow in design, the Meridian is perfect for a smaller allotment. The bedrooms are all at the front of the home which maximises the available space in the living area at the rear, as well as providing much-valued privacy.

 

home designs

The Willowgrove 332

Forever Sanctuary Range

4 Bedrooms

2 Bathrooms

The Willowgrove is one of our new favourites. Featuring a large alfresco, home theatre and formal living area this home provides the perfect space for entertaining whether you’re enjoying a beautiful summer evening, hosting a movie night or simply enjoying your family’s company.

 

home designs

The Esplanade 260

Forever Sanctuary Range

3 Bedrooms

2.5 Bathrooms

With reverse living you can take advantage of local views with the Esplanade 260. The master bedroom can also be found on the top floor along with a walk-in-robe and ensuite creating a perfect private sanctuary for parents.

 

home designs

The Esplanade 281

Forever Sanctuary Range

4 Bedrooms

2.5 Bathrooms

The Esplanade 281 adds an additional bedroom for a larger family. The large kitchen features a stunning walk-in-pantry and island benchtop to help make cooking a breeze.

 

home designs

The Tarwin 301

Forever Sanctuary Range

5 Bedrooms

3.5 Bathrooms

The Tarwin 301 is a massive family home where the ground level boasts a large open-plan kitchen, dining and family area that opens up to the undercover outdoor alfresco. There is plenty of space for a family in this design!

Have you fallen in love with any of the home designs? If not, Hotondo Homes has over 90 other flexible floor plans to choose from! You can check them all out at hotondo.com.au/new-home-designs/

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

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

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

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

storage

 

Spring Clean

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

Compile an Inventory

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

Source Storage Quotes

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

Prepare Whitegoods Properly

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

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

storage

 

Take Note of Items That Can’t Be Stored

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

Pack Your Storage Boxes Like A Pro

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

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

 

Home design has come a long way over the past few years, with many modern design elements now incorporated into floor plans.

Across Hotondo Homes’ range of designs there are some consistent elements that many of our clients request when building their new home.

We have rounded up the most popular modern design elements for you to consider when searching through our range of homes.

 

modern design

A butler’s pantry to conceal the mess

Unlike walk-in-pantries, butler’s pantries are large enough to contain your refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and other such appliances. A butler’s pantry can also contain another kitchen sink, the idea of which is to hide dirty dishes away from plain sight while entertaining. With plenty of preparation space for a keen chef, a butler’s pantry is perfect for those who hate having mess out on display.

Check out the Erskine 202 or the Como 412.

 

modern design

Indoor/outdoor living for a balanced home

Nothing says modern design quite like a beautiful alfresco. Let the lines blur between indoor and outdoor with stacker doors, which allow you to extend your living area to the great outdoors. Having direct access to the alfresco from the kitchen is perfect for entertaining. Finish it off with an outdoor dining setting or relaxing lounge suite.

Try the Eureka 263 ALT or the Kirkby 246.

 

modern design

Walk-in-robe and ensuite to master bedroom

Almost a standard these days is a walk-in-robe and ensuite for the master bedroom to create the ultimate parent’s retreat. A double vanity and waterfall showerhead completes the sanctuary.

For even more luxury, the Amora 384 offers a walk-in-robe and ensuite in every bedroom.

 

modern design

Study nook to conserve space

Many home buyers find a full study to be a waste of space and convert the room into something more practical. The problem that then arises is where do you put your computer or laptop? A study nook is the perfect compromise – you don’t have to give up an entire room, but there is still a dedicated space to work or study.

The Hume 263 offers a study nook in the kitchen, while the Marcoola 269’s is a bit more secluded.

 

modern design

A multi-purpose room

A room that can change and grow as your family does is an important modern design element. Whether you are after a second living area, rumpus, theatre room or additional bedroom, a multi-purpose room is great to have, especially for growing families.

The McRae 250 and Tarkine 238 offer multi-purpose rooms that can be closed off.

 

Check out Hotondo Homes full range of homes here.

Trying to improve your finances is not an overnight task.

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

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

1. Cancel subscriptions/memberships

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

2. Renegotiate your bills

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

3. Pay your debts

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

4. Find your unclaimed money

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

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5. Automate your savings

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

6. Reconsider your phone plan

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

7. Take a grocery list shopping

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

8. Cook dinner at home

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

9. Don’t be TOO strict!

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

DOUBLE STOREY HOMES

The Amora 384

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

family-friendly homes

 

The Hotham 247

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

family-friendly homes

 

The Lorne 302

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

family-friendly homes

 

The Tarwin 297

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

family-friendly homes

 

SINGLE STOREY HOMES

The Birchgrove 222

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

family-friendly homes

 

The Erskine 290

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

family-friendly homes

 

The Jamieson 222

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

family-friendly homes

 

The Marcoola 209

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

 

family-friendly homes

The McRae 250

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

family-friendly homes

Visit hotondo.com.au to view more designs.

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

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

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

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

 

investing in property

 

The benefits

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

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

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

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

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

What to consider

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

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

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

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

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

The Milestone Range

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

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

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

If you are looking for ways to maximise the potential of your land or seeking an investment opportunity, you should consider building a duplex home.

Essentially a duplex home consists of two separate living quarters and entrances that can cater for two different households, all within one dwelling. Duplexes can be the perfect living arrangement and create substantial financial gain and investment potential.

An investors dream

Duplex homes offer an affordable way to strongly enter the property market and build up your property portfolio. They create the ability to generate two rental incomes whilst owning a single block of land.

Land maximisation

Ultimately with a duplex you can get the most out of your land as a two for the price of one situation emerges. You can generate double the return than if you were building one home on the same sized block.

Options and flexibility

With a duplex home you are provided with different opportunities and options to suit your current stage of life. You can live in one and rent out the other, occupy both or rent out both – the choice is completely up to you.

Meet the special requirements of your family

If you have a family member that requires extra care or supervision, or a grandparent or young adult that’s not quite ready to leave the nest, then a duplex could be the answer. This enables you to be close to your loved ones whilst ensuring they can still maintain their independence. You get to preserve your privacy while still having peace of mind and security.

Hotondo Homes has a range of duplex options to consider:

The Aon 265 comes in two different configurations, the courtyard and the garage.

duplex homeDuplex home

The Halifax is a double storey home that can be used in isolation, turned into a duplex or rearranged in a multiple townhouse development.

Duplex home

For more information on duplex homes, contact Hotondo Homes today at hotondo.com.au

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

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

 

1. Know all the numbers

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

 

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

 

2. Reputation of your builder 

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

3. Know your land

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

4. Build to resell

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

5. Green your home

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

6. Passive design elements

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

 

READ MORE: A PASSIVE HOME DESIGN FOR AMAZING ENERGY SAVINGS

 

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

The living room is a part of the central hub of your home.

It is a space for people to relax and enjoy, entertain guests or spend time together as a family. Check out some of our favourite interiors for some living room inspiration!

 

Living room inspiration

THE BEACH LOOK: For a coastal feel, try light, bright colours like white, grey and teal. Finish it off with a beautiful rug and you will have the perfect space to sit and enjoy the views!

 

Living room inspiration

THE DARING STYLE: Be daring and stand out from the crowd with a bold colour like this yellow. Next to the dark blue of the couch, yellow really pops and creates a fun living space. Be careful not to go overboard though, it can become overbearing if not handled correctly.

 

MORE ON COLOUR: CHOOSING COLOURS FOR YOUR HOME

 

Living room inspiration

A CLASSY TOUCH: For elegant appeal, try pastel colours on a neutral background. The chandelier and curtains add a touch of class, as does the abundance of cushions on the couches.

 

Living room inspiration

BEAUTIFULLY CONTEMPORARY: This living room offers modern appeal. The careful white borders of the photos, window and skirting all stand out against the feature wall, creating clean, neat lines. The lowset couch and matching cushions finish off the look.

 

Living room inspiration

THE UNDECIDED: A completely neutral pallet works well for the undecided. The white couch is a stunning addition that helps brighten the room, and the coffee table complements the kitchen island bench, tying the whole area together.

 

Living room inspiration

THE WILD APPEAL: Go bold with a distinctive pattern that continues through the living room. The lamp shade, cushions and light shade are enough to give this living room a great feel, without the pattern becoming overpowering.

 

For more living room inspiration, visit hotondo.com.au. You can also check out our Instagram page, or our Pinterest page!

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