Putting up a new home can be both one of the most exciting and one of the most stressful experiences of your life. It's easy to get distracted by all the model homes when you're house hunting for the first time, which is especially common for first-time buyers. As part of the process, you should prepare to have your jaw drop when you see the stunning houses, the thoughtfully designed floor plans, and the house-and-land packages. However, you should approach your investment with caution and give careful consideration to both the positives and negatives of the situation.
It's funny how many details of your new home design can be easily missed when you're looking at the big picture of it all. When the house is actually built, minor flaws in the design that may have seemed insignificant at first can become a significant source of frustration.
When constructing a home of any kind, a certain number of errors are practically inevitable. However, if you have the appropriate information and tools at your disposal, you can solve many of these problems.
Here are the essential tips for those building their first home:
- Consider the local services you'll need, such as shopping, transportation, education, and childcare, as well as things that can improve your quality of life, such as sporting, recreation, and entertainment facilities, when deciding where to live.
- When selecting a block, ensure that its size is appropriate for both your budget and the house design you envision. Check for any height or setback restrictions, and think about how much money you can save on energy by choosing the right solar orientation.
- Make as much research as possible to find a reputable builder you can rely on. Visit display villages to see what designs are available, and if you have any friends or relatives who have recently built a home, ask them for advice and recommendations.
Common Mistakes People Make When Building a New Home
Sales reps under-estimating site works costs
Before you sign your contract, the builder estimates costs as a Provisional Sum item. Some builder sales reps in the industry under-estimate site works costs to win the deal. After the contract is signed, site works are properly quoted, and the buyer must pay thousands more than allowed. Always ask for a breakdown of the site works provisional sum and get a second opinion.
Unrealistic construction time-frames
Many large construction companies overwork their supervisors, asking them to oversee 30-40 projects at once. Supervisors lack time to manage quality and trades effectively. This causes projects to take much longer than the 5 or 6 months promised. Ask about build times, supervisors' workloads, and client references. You don't want to be told your house will take 6 months but take 2 years.
Misunderstanding dimensions on plans
Builders often indicate floor areas to make their design appear larger than competitors'. Total room dimensions may or may not include areas under the eaves. This makes it hard for buyers to compare builders' designs. Compare designs carefully.
Shop around for finance
People compare builders, but not mortgage brokers. Some lenders offer cheaper home loans than others. Mortgage brokers have access to many lenders, so speak to your bank and a few brokers to learn about your options. Builders can suggest brokers.
‘Turnkey’ doesn’t always mean ‘Turnkey’
A 'turnkey' house package includes a TV antenna, clothesline, floor coverings, wall paint, window treatments, and rear landscaping. Some building companies advertise turnkey products without these items. Check that the turnkey package includes everything you need.
Understand the area you are buying in
If you want to get a good return on your investment when you sell or rent out the property, selecting a location with low growth and rental yields is not the best choice. RP-Data is a reliable and objective source of data and information. Spend some time researching the average weekly rent, rental yield percentages, and population growth of the suburb you are considering purchasing a home in before making a decision. It is expected that a good Builder's Sales Rep will be able to assist you in comprehending the information presented here.
Over-spending on fittings
Try not to give in to the temptation of spending more money on the fit-out than is absolutely required. Instead, you should try to approach the situation from the perspective of an investor and refrain from upgrading any features of the home unless doing so will either increase the property's value, make it more resistant to wear and tear, or make it more desirable as a rental.
Be aware of comparing apples to oranges when shopping for house designs
Comparing homes produced by various builders to establish which offers better value for the money can be a challenging endeavour. When getting a quote for a house from a different builder, you can expect to find a wide variety of differences, including those pertaining to the specifications, materials, method of construction, and roof beams. At the end of the day, choose a layout that you enjoy that fits within your financial constraints and meets as many of your requirements as possible, and then get to work on it.
Display home inclusions
Ask what is included and what is not included in the price that is displayed when you go to look at display homes; the floors, wall paint, air conditioning, and high ceilings may not be included in the price. Pay special attention to the spec sheet, and don't be afraid to ask about the overall cost of the item.
Don’t get emotionally attached to an investment property
When purchasing an investment property, we frequently come across buyers who want to spend excessively on fixtures, appliances, structural changes, and upgrades. You should limit your selection of improvements to only those that either increase the value of your property or the amount of money you make from renting it out.
Making expensive structural changes
When you make alterations to the standard house design provided by a builder, you may incur additional costs for drafting and construction. Shopping around until you find a design that you like as it is, or that only requires minimal changes or additions, is the most effective strategy for reducing the cost of the project. Keep in mind that the only expense associated with research is your time.
Taking advantage of developer bonus items
Why should you spend money on something if you don't have to? Free items like landscaping and fencing, rebates on solar power systems, and discounts off the purchase price of the lot are among the perks that are offered by the developers of some new land estates. It is in your best interest to investigate the various development estates in the neighbourhood in which you are interested in buying a home so that you can see what options are available.
Check out our extensive range of home designs at Hitch Constructions.
A tip for saving money
The margin that a builder adds on top of the cost of each material and tradie that is hired to complete a job is called a markup. If you want to save some money, you could try organising the painting, landscaping, installing carpets and flooring, and installing blinds on your own. This would allow you to save money.
However, keep in mind that these things can only be done after the builder has completed construction and handed over the keys, so the additional time it takes to get these items completed will mean that it will be longer before your house will be ready for you to move into it.
What to pay more attention to and what to avoid as a new owner builder?
Land selection is key
When constructing a brand-new house, location is undeniably one of the most important factors to take into account. Always take into account the travel time and mode of transportation involved in getting to work, shopping, and any other personal location considerations you may have.
Before you even begin the search for land or considering the structure of the house itself, you should first make a list of the aspects of the location that are the most important to you. It may be challenging to find suitable land in the suburbs that are closer to the city, but there are also locations within easy reach of public transportation that are just a little further out that should be considered.
Hire a good builder
If you've never built a home before but want to be an owner-builder, hire a reputable builder to supervise you for a lower fee. The builder/supervisor will manage subcontractors "as needed." Call the supervisor if one of your contractors gets out of hand or you need help. When technical inspector issues arise, the builder/supervisor can help.
If you hire a builder to do everything, hire a reputable one with good references. If you keep hearing the same name from friends, you've found a good builder. Building inspectors can recommend reputable builders. Shop around until you find a trustworthy builder. Find a builder with three to five years' experience in your area.
Finding the right home constructions company Melbourne is an important decision. Check out our range of the best home design constructions at Hitch Property Constructions.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a Builder:
- Credentials: Make sure your builder is adequately licensed and insured and if they are a member of Master Builders or the Housing Industry Association (HIA)
- References: Check the Builder’s past work. Were previous clients satisfied? Don’t be afraid to ask the builder for references before you sign a contract. Contact the Department of Fair Trading to ensure there are no complaints against the builder you choose. Also, ask what warranty and service they offer.
- Past work: Have a close look at some of the houses the builder has constructed in the past. Make sure the level of quality is high. Also, look into resale data on some of the houses the builder has previously constructed.
- Style: In looking into the builder’s past work, see that it suits your design style. A Builder might be very accomplished at constructing a particular style of home, but if what you want is outside their area of expertise, you might be wise to look elsewhere.
- Personality: As mentioned, you’ll be working with your builder for a number of months. Make sure you’re comfortable with them and their communication style. If a Builder doesn’t communicate well with you, it’s likely they don’t communicate well with their contractors either
Set Your Expectations
If this is your first time constructing a house, you should prepare yourself for a number of rude awakenings along the way. The experience of building your new home can be extremely overwhelming. Adjusting your expectations in this way will allow you to be better prepared for what is going to actually take place. Do this before you begin. You can lessen your chances of experiencing both stress and disappointment by maintaining reasonable expectations. Remember, planning is king.
The first thing you need to do is sit down and do some accurate calculations on the costs that you will have to deal with in the following years, in addition to the realities of the present. This may require taking into consideration a variety of aspects, including everything from rising tuition costs for the children to long-term travel arrangements.
There is also the question of whether it is best to buy the land first, then look for a suitable house design. This is known as the "chicken-or-egg" question. It is wise to make your land selection first. By doing so, one can avoid falling into the trap of selecting a plan that is inappropriate for the available land.
Being an owner-builder should primarily be pursued with the intention of achieving financial savings. If they do it the right way, certain individuals can end up saving quite a bit of money. However, not everyone is cut out to be an owner-builder because having the personality traits necessary to manage contractors doesn't come naturally to everyone. Maintain a grounded perspective regarding your capabilities, but don't be too hard on yourself either.
Create a budget buffer
Be realistic when creating a budget. It's pointless to look at extravagant homes if they'll put you in debt and strain your finances. You must anticipate hidden or additional costs. Before signing a contract, ask as many questions as possible.
Ask your builder about hidden costs and what may be added to the house price (i.e. site costs, fencing, stamp duty etc.). When possible, get a fixed price and itemised quote instead of an estimate. Avoid TBA-list contracts. After calculating your savings, create a budget buffer for unexpected costs. This is important for financial security and preparedness.
Someone with experience in the building industry must have been the one who first said "knowledge is power." It is considered to be one of the most important guidelines for home construction. Take classes, go to workshops, and watch videos on how to do things yourself. Your newly constructed home will turn out better if you have a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of its construction.
Maximise the space
When planning a new home, one of the most important things to take into consideration is not the total area of the home but rather how to make the most of the spaces within the home. A smaller house that is well-designed can give off the impression of having more space than a larger house that is poorly designed and feels more like a dark, cold dungeon.
In most cases, if you need more space, you can get it by adding more space; however, changing the layout or the functional space in an efficient manner can be difficult and expensive. Give the rooms in which you will be spending the majority of your time the utmost focus and consideration. Make sure that you leave enough space in these rooms so that you can continue to take advantage of them in the years to come.
Invest in energy efficiency
Rather than spending money on anything else, we would advise putting that money towards improving energy efficiency. It gives you a return on your investment over time, over and over again. These days, people are more aware of the importance of energy efficiency, and achieving it is simple; all it takes is selecting the appropriate insulation, windows, doors, and even appliances like tankless hot water heaters.
However, functionality and an aesthetically pleasing integration of energy efficiency into a space should always be a priority. Believe me when I say that you will not enjoy living in a box that is built into the side of a hill in order to maximise energy efficiency but has low ceilings, no windows, and no natural light.
Avoid the trendy finishes
Be wary of finishes that are currently popular. After a trend has passed, it is difficult and expensive to alter the finish of certain materials, such as wooden flooring and tiles. It is recommended that you keep this finish classic; however, if you feel the need to conform to current fashions, you should dress fashionably and personalise your space using finishes that are easily replaceable, such as light fixtures, appliances, and paint. This will enable you to keep up with the latest trends without putting you in a position where you will need to perform expensive renovations in the near or distant future.
Build to enjoy now and in the future
The concept of constructing a home that isn't suited to your way of life but will eventually fetch a higher price doesn't sit well with us. You should construct so that you can get the most out of the things you use and enjoy right now. Because life is so brief, each day should be lived to the fullest possible extent. You will have a house that has a good value to sell in the future if you safeguard your investment by taking advantage of the advice of seasoned local professionals, opting for a design that will stand the test of time, and locating it in a desirable area.
Building a home from the ground up is a common aspiration in Australia; however, most people are unfamiliar with the steps involved in the building process.
If you prepare yourself with the appropriate knowledge, it has the potential to be an exciting and even life-altering process. The majority of homeowners are in agreement about one thing: it is essential to plan ahead carefully. The people and resources I've mentioned can serve as a guide for you as you construct your own home.
FAQs About Home Construction
Ideally, to provide the best layout for your family, there should be one bathroom for every two bedrooms in the house. Homeowners who entertain frequently should choose a house layout that has a full or a half-guest bathroom near the living area. The guest bathroom should be downstairs in homes with multiple floors.
Ideally, your kitchen should connect to the outdoor entertaining area. That area could be located at the front, back or side of your house, but the best kitchen position will be close to it, so try to include it in this area on your house plans.
The fridge should always be located in close proximity to a bench with ample available space. This will allow grocery loading to be prompt, meaning the door is open for a lesser amount of time, and when gathering ingredients for food preparation one can easily grab what is required and place down promptly on the bench.
Less costly: In general, you'll likely find it cheaper overall to buy an existing home, but that also depends on the market. A home loan is less risky than a land loan, and typically comes with a lower down payment and better interest rate.
A home with a simple and concise layout is the cheapest type of house to build. Ranch homes are typically single-story structures with attached garages. They're easy to find construction plans for and highly customizable, so you can find a home that fits your needs and budget.