Congratulations on your decision to build instead of buying already built homes. You see with this decision, you have joined the select group of homeowners that are involved right from start to finish in seeing their home built.
But, while custom building your home is exciting, it can also be overwhelming – there are many decisions to make, plenty of rules and regulations to comply with and of course, the issue of keeping costs within budget.
To try to ensure a smooth, hassle-free experience, here are six things you must consider when building your first new home.
Where do you want to live?
Every other decision you make will flow from here. The place you choose to build will determine in most cases, the size, design, cost and type of home allowed in the community.
So, you may want to first, identify the essential amenities you need in the neighbourhood – do you have or plan to raise a family in the new home? Are you comfortable commuting long distances to work every day? Are there any nearby medical and entertainment centres?
After considering these question your will then be in a better position to choose and buy a property in a neighbourhood that meets your requirements.
Who will build for you?
Choosing an architect and builder is probably the most important decision when building your new home.
An experienced, professional architect and builder who knows and does what is expected is a great asset that would make the whole building process hassle-free.
When researching builders, the first place to start is to talk to others in your area who have recently built a house. Listen to their experiences working with a local architect and builder. Read online forums and reviews also to learn more about specific architects and builders.
At this point, you should have shortlisted some professional up to the task of designing and building your new home.
Narrow down on your research by visiting the builder’s website and industry bodies like the Housing Industry Association to make sure they are licensed and have all the relevant qualifications.
How do you plan to finance the construction?
Are you able to use cash or equity to fund the new home or would you be applying for a construction loan?
If you are planning to take out a construction loan, which is quite different from the regular home loan for existing properties, you will need to understand how the funding process works and what you need to get approved.
Most lenders will request for a detailed cost estimate of the construction, the building plan and approval for construction from local authorities – so you will need to get all the documents ready before applying for a loan.
Once the loan has been approved, you do not get a lump sum, but instead, the payment is staggered to coincide with the level of construction work completed. You only draw down the approved amounts as you need them.
As a first-time home builder, you may be eligible for some grants. So, you may want to check the rules in your Territory or State to see if there is a concession available for home building you can take advantage of.
Plan for unexpected delays
Just as with anything in life, unexpected events can occur that would delay the progress of the construction. A tradesperson may fall ill, and a freak weather condition may hinder supplies from getting delivered on time, a crucial permit you need to continue building might be held up.
You get the drift; anything can happen that could potentially delay completing the project on time – so it is advisable to work in some wiggle room to cater for unexpected delays.
Do you plan to sell the property in the future?
While you are excited about the prospect of adding any feature and design you want to your home, you may want to consider what popular features are with other homeowners.
You do not want to end up with a home you love, which no other person wants or is willing to buy.
Also, be sure the total amount you finally spend to build your home is on the same range as other properties in your neighbourhood. So, you can make a profit when selling.
Ask any tradie or builder you know, and they will tell you theft at construction sites is quite rampant. While nothing much can be done to safeguard supplies especially if the construction has not reached the lock-up stage, you can at least install CCTV cameras around your property.
With CCTV security and recording equipment probably offsite, you can rest easy knowing no one can pitch supplies, tamper with fittings, wirings and plumbing work without getting caught.