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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


Finally having the chance to decorate your own home is always an exciting experience.

As much as we try though, we can’t all be the next Martha Stewart. It is more than likely at one point or another we will fall victim to some common home decorating mistakes.

To help protect you and your home from the worst of it, we have listed the eight most common home decorating mistakes we can think of, and the best ways to avoid them. Read on to keep you, your home, and the world of interior design happy.


That zebra print pillow on your couch? Fine. That same zebra print on your pillows, on your couch, on the rug, the lampshades, the chairs… it may be a little too much.

Keep intense colours and patterns to a minimum so you don’t overpower the room. You are far better off having a single item that stands out rather than smothering the space in matching decor. The same goes for more neutral pieces. You will want to add something with a different texture or colour to help break things up, otherwise you will end up with a bland landscape.

Mixing things up a bit will help draw the eye and keep your room looking exciting.

home decorating mistakes



People will often choose a rug too small for their living room which is barely big enough for their coffee table. This can actually make the space look smaller and your furniture disproportionate. Instead, choose a rug that is large enough for all of your furniture to be touching it – even if it is just the front legs. This helps unify the space and creates a sense of balance


Possibly the most common home decorating mistake, pushing all your furniture up against the wall will NOT create more space. It actually creates distance between people in spaces which should be more intimate, and can make a room appear empty.

Give your furniture some breathing room, and keep them off the walls. In particular, your couches should be kept adjacent to one another to establish a feeling of inclusion.


Curtains, shutters, blinds… the possibilities are endless. Window coverings can help add character and personality to a room and really complete a look, so don’t neglect them, embrace them!

If you aren’t sure what you are after, try light, neutral coloured curtains. Shutters are also a very popular choice these days and can create a French provincial look or a more updated modern impression.

home decorating mistakes



We all know that a white couch can turn an average lounge into an incredible one. We also know the dangers of owning a spill-prone and dirt-attracting piece of furniture.

For a full rundown of the pros and cons of a white couch, read our blog post on ‘Should you buy a white couch?


At the end of the day, practicality in your home should win every time. If you cannot relax/sit/or even use the item, chances are you will end up hating it. So let go of the beauty, and find an item that you can love AND use.


Lighting is a key part of creating the ambience of your room. There should always be a mixture of lighting in every room to help provide light for every occasion.

Mix overhead lights with table or floor lamps to create pools of light that can create intimacy and increase the functionality of the room.

Our Jagera 250 utilises down lights, a lamp and fireplace for a cosy look.

home decorating mistakes



A cohesive flow from room to room is important in interior design, especially these days while open-plan living is popular. Bringing in too many different styles can appear confusing and cluttered.

Try choosing a fairly neutral palette, and changing a few small pieces from room to room for something a bit different.


What home decorating mistakes can you think of? Let us know in the comments!

Building or buying your first home is a huge learning curve. You will discover new terminologies, new processes and be granted enormous decision-making choices. However, as with anything new, mistakes can be made along the way.
Here is a list to help avoid first home buyer mistakes. Remember, it always pays to be prepared!


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!


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 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 on you.


Try not to take out new credit while applying for your home loan. The bank assesses how much they can lend you based on your current financial situation and getting another loan during this time can put a strike against your name. Further to this, try not to change jobs while applying for a mortgage. Banks like to see a stable income. If you are thinking of moving jobs it is highly advised you avoid doing so until after your purchase.



It can be very difficult to predict where the future will take you, however it doesn’t hurt to consider possibilities like future children and pets – it is very likely your family situation will change while you’re living in the same house. An extra bedroom or a bigger backyard not only increases your resell value, but can help increase the length of time you live in your home. Make sure the home you choose accommodates for the future-you too!

young family


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 when you may 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, it does not hurt to think ahead.

For more information regarding your home, contact your local Hotondo Homes builder here.

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