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Helpful Hints: 4 Tips for Building a New Home from Aussies Who’ve Done It Successfully

So many factors go into building a house. No matter how well-prepared you think you are, something entirely unpredictable almost always crops up. For example, you may have found the most reputable local builder has to offer, but if the Surf Coast is hit with a massive storm, your project could still be set back by weeks.

While you can’t prepare for every obstacle and challenge that may come your way, you can learn from the experiences of home builders who’ve gone before you. To that end, we’ve gathered four helpful hints from Aussies who’ve recently built a new home.

1. Deep research and exploration are the order of the day
It’s crucial to have a good understanding of any area in which you consider building a house. That idyllic beachside location may not seem so paradisiacal once you learn that the area is prone to storms and bushfires, and locals are constantly battling rust on their vehicles and home fixtures. So, research the area, go through old news stories and weather reports, get out on foot to explore it, and chat with locals – this is the best way to get a true lay of the land.

2. A blueprint is not a plan
Okay, so a blueprint most certainly is the physical plan for your new home. However, it is far from the only plan you need. It’s crucial to also be strategic about when you start your build, factoring in the weather and other local conditions and events. From here, you also need to set a timeline, complete with milestones that should be completed by certain dates. While you’ll likely stray from your plan at some point, it is crucial to have one in place, as this is how you’ll keep your builders and contractors accountable.

3. Banks can be liberal with the term “afford”
Once you’ve been offered a price for the house and land package you want, you can look at loan options and calculate your mortgage repayments. At this stage, it’s crucial to factor in more than just the down payment and repayments. You also need to consider stamp duty, loan establishment fees, mortgage insurance, and a host of other potential fees and costs. You also need to understand that your bank’s definition of what you can afford may differ from your own. This is especially true as inflation looms and interest rates keep going up.

Many new homeowners are currently operating under immense pressure due to their mortgages, and you don’t want to find yourself struggling to pay for basic living expenses. So before you commit to an ambitious build, be sure you have enough wiggle room to genuinely afford all the fees and related expenses plus living costs. Then, add some more wiggle room for the unexpected.

4. Be clear with your builder
When entering into a contract with a builder, it’s crucial to have every inclusion itemised. You wouldn’t believe the number of Australians who’ve been left slack-jawed after discovering that basic features they assumed would be part of the build are going to cost them extra. Learn from their mistakes, and ensure you know what you want and that every element is itemised on paper.

Creating your dream home from scratch is an exciting time. To keep that sense of excitement alive, follow the tips above, and always expect the unexpected! This will give you your best chance of making it through the building process with as little stress as possible.

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