In a previous article, we covered 7 Questions Every Home Buyer Needs To Ask When Looking To Build A New Home. We have put together a list of 6 further questions to ask when looking to build a new home.
1. How Much Does It Cost To Build A New Home?
Location, block and house size, complexity and site considerations are all things that make up the cost of new build homes. To give a clearer idea of just how you can expect to pay, these are the costs to consider:
It’s worth reading up on your state’s land costs in the 2021 State of The Land report published by The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). These latest official figures place the median lot prices across the country as follows:
- Sydney: $490,000
- Melbourne: $319,000
- South East Queensland: $260,500
- Perth: $215,000
- Adelaide: $183,460
In other words, Sydney land costs an average of $1285 per sqm, compared to Perth’s $573 per sqm.
When it comes to the pricing of newly built apartments, flats, units, townhouses and other multi-unit buildings, the UDIA report again offers some valuable insights on median sales prices across Australia:
- Sydney: $721,350
- Melbourne: $630,000
- South East Queensland: $459,975
- Perth: $401,210
- Adelaide: $450,100
Preparing your block for construction can start from as much as $12,000 for a fairly flat surface to $25,000 for a block that sits on a slope.
As mentioned before, there are a fair few hidden extras that you’ll want to factor in, like a driveway ($2600-$2800), flooring($20-$130/sqm, plus labour) and landscaping (5%-10% of your home’s value). No two builds are the same, however, so it’s best to do some research into the specific requirements of your land and home.
2. How Long Does It Take To Build A Home?
Second perhaps only to the cost factor is the curiosity of how long a new home build can take. Much like the price, the length of construction depends heavily on size, site and complexity of the house designs. Timeframes can range from a speedy 4 months for a small three bedroom project home on a flat plot, to a 16 month wait for an intricate custom-designed affair on a sloping block. The Australian average, however, places the construction process somewhere between 4 to 12 months.
3. How Do I Make Sure Construction Is Going According To Plan?
Particularly if you’ve taken out a construction loan and are making staggered payments to your builder, you want to make sure that each stage of the building process has been completed to the standard that you set out in the contract. Hiring an independent building consultant to conduct a thorough building inspection at each stage of construction, especially at completion, will ensure that your builder has stuck to the terms of the contract and built you the home you agreed to.
At iBuildNew we highly recommend that owners building a new home consult with Landmark Inspections throughout the construction process. With an inspection guarantee and fully qualified inspectors, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you are in the best hands in the industry.
4. What If There Are Delays?
Less than ideal weather conditions, building issues, problems with subcontractor scheduling and even the stalled shipment of building materials can stretch out the construction phase. In these kinds of situations it’s important to revert back to the terms of the contract. Often the building contract outlines a date for Practical Completion.
Should a delay occur, the builder may choose to provide you with a notice of extension of time. This is done to prevent home builders from having to pay damages for failing to complete the build by the specified date. However, if you believe the builder’s request is not reasonable, you may dispute the notice (within 7 days of receiving it) at which point it becomes a matter for your state or territory’s administrative tribunal. This is rare, and in these types of situations it’s always best to seek the advice of a lawyer who specialises in new home construction.
5. How Do I Finance A New Build Home?
Because building from scratch is essentially a two step process – buying the land and building the house – it’s common practice to take out two loans which are often bundled together. Your land loan runs very much along the same lines as a traditional mortgage, with the common upside that you aren’t expected to build straightaway.
Your loan for building a home – known as a construction loan, works a bit differently to the standard mortgage. Rather than receiving a lump sum, a construction loan staggers the amount of money you get so that you can only draw down the loan in line with the building process. These are known as progress payments and they’re made to your builder each time they complete one of the 5-6 stages of construction. It’s important to understand this process by discussing the ins and outs with your lender.
6. What Should I Consider When Designing My Home?
Taking to Instagram, Pinterest, Home & Design magazine or the online pages of Architectural Digest can be quite a thrill when building your inspiration board.
Just be sure to factor in the fundamentals that can really take your new build to the next level.
This is where location can really make a difference. Snagging yourself a plot where you can build a north-facing house will mean that sunlight can illuminate your home for most of the day, making for a brighter and more radiant living space. But don’t fret if you can’t lock-down a block with the perfect aspect. Clever window placement and skylights can go a long way in brightening up your home.
With all the excitement of finally getting to design and build a home of your very own, the thought of selling it might be the furthest thing from your mind. But it’s still an important thing to consider nonetheless. So, if one day you do decide to pop your property on the market, you’ll have a home that people will want.
No Dead Space
A good house design will be attuned to the functionality of spaces. Gratuitously large rooms where it becomes a struggle to place furnishings might not be as appealing to the eye as generously sized rooms where all of the available space is well-utilised.
Don’t Skimp On The Bedrooms
Believe it or not, spacious bedrooms can sometimes pique buyer interest better than a house with more bedrooms that are perhaps on the smaller side. Quality over quantity, right?
Plan For Your Lifestyle
The way you like to lead your life should be at the forefront of your mind when designing your home. Big, open-plan spaces for those that enjoy entertaining, a generously-sized kitchen for the Jamie Olivers out there, or even tagging on a few extra bedrooms if you see children in your future. At the end of the day this is your home and your design, your big chance to build something that you’ll absolutely love. So, why not put yourself first, and create a home that’s tailored entirely to you!
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