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