Building your first home will be one of the biggest and most exciting experiences in your life. Compared to purchasing an already complete house, building a new house will ensure you get exactly what you want and how you want it. You can decide on the layout, the fixtures and interior finishes of your home to ensure you get the perfect place for your family and your lifestyle. No compromises on the design of your home, if you can dream it, chances are your builder can build it.
However, it’s important to keep certain things in mind when it comes to building your first home to ensure you don’t go overboard and end up in a risky financial situation. Research and knowledge are two important aspects when deciding on all the components involved with building a new home. Here are 6 top tips to help you successfully build your first house.
1. Set A Clear Budget and Stick to It
Everyone has a budget, and everyone’s budget is different. Consider the price you can afford to spend on your first home while keeping in mind the likelihood that there will be unexpected costs down the road. Setting a clear budget before starting your project will ensure you don’t go overboard and risk financial instability throughout the process.
A great free online tool you can use is Money Smart’s budget planner. Money Smart has a bunch of great calculators to help you understand your current financial situation and what you can afford to spend. Have a look at some of their great tools online and use them to help set out a clear budget for your first home.
It’s also a great idea to have a look at different finance options such as low deposit lenders to find out which form of finance suits your situation. If you’re ever unsure of the best option, it may be worth meeting with an experienced mortgage broker who can guide you in the right direction.
2. Research the Location
Location is one of the most important considerations when it comes to building a new home. The population base and growth in each suburb can help dictate how your property value will likely grow. Deciding on the area you want to build before researching multiple different areas can often lead you to have a skewed and locked-in vision. This can lead to some poor decisions, so it’s important to have an open mind before locking down where you would like to build.
It is important to thoroughly research the areas you are most interested in. Make sure you choose an area that best suits your needs, as it will likely be your home for many years to come. Some important things to consider include the proximity to:
- Transport links
- Parks and open spaces
- The closest river or beach
- Local amenities and shopping complexes
3. Research the Market
It’s vital to research the current property market and projected land value growth over a 5-year period. This becomes even more important if you are planning to move home after only a few years. Value growth is one of the main factors that should direct your decision, even if you are planning to live in your new home for the long-term, as you still want to see strong growth in the price.
A great place to start your research is on Domain’s online home price guide which gives you a good estimation of the current value of properties in the area. This will give you a base idea before going into more detailed research. Knowing the price of properties similar to the one you want to build will help you understand whether or not you’re making a smart and informed decision.
4. Find the Right Builder
Deciding on which builder is right for you can often become quite a long and strenuous task. With hundreds of different single storey and 2-storey home builders in Perth, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable builder who best meets your requirements. You shouldn’t rush into choosing the first builder you contact; shop around and organise meetings with different companies and make a list of questions to ask each one. A few great questions to ask when deciding on a builder include:
- Can you provide me with a fixed timeline?
- Are you a licensed builder?
- What sets your company apart from your competition?
- How much in total will it cost me to build the house I want?
Builders often have a range of special offers and deals which are quite enticing to first home builders such as “triple the grant for first home builders.” While many of these offers can provide some great benefits and added extras to your new home, it’s important to research the overall costs and benefits of going with that builder before making your decision.
5. Consider Different Designs and Floorplans
It’s important to spend some time researching different home designs and floor plans. You want to find a design that is aesthetically pleasing with a floorplan that is both practical and utilises the space you have. Everyone has their own view of the perfect house, so match your ideas with the lifestyle and flow you want from your house. Although they do cost a bit more, two-storey homes are a great way to maximise your floor space on smaller blocks of land.
6. Don’t Overspend on Fixtures and Fittings
It’s important not to assume everything is included in the price of your first home. Although some first home builders may include some added extras such as granite bench tops or air-conditioning, most additional fixtures and fittings will attract an additional cost. Some fixtures often go unnoticed, such as electronic garage doors and special light fittings, so it’s important to ask your builder prior to beginning your project exactly what is and what is not included in the price.
Once you’ve worked out what is or isn’t included, it’s important that you don’t overcapitalise on your fixtures and fittings. Don’t overspend; make sure the amount you do spend is proportionate to the value of your new home.
There is a lot of risk and reward associated with building your first home. The best way to minimise the risk is to move slowly and spend your time over-researching everything about the location, the housing market, different builders and ensuring you have the financial capabilities to afford the right home.