Deciding on and buying a house as a first-time homeowner can be tricky and expensive. With only a single contract to sign, fewer decisions to make and a reasonably quicker build time, house and land packages may be something you’d find more appealing for your first home. Here’s a checklist of things to consider to get the best house and land package for you:
It’s best to find a location that suitably meets your lifestyle and needs so we suggest scouting out several neighbourhoods before making your choice. A suitable area should generally have great access to public transportation and medical care, good roads and sufficient infrastructure. However, depending on your situation, being close to schools, family and friends, shopping and dining precincts or parks may be ideal. Location is also very important if you’re looking to sell or rent out the property in the long run. Finding out if there are upcoming projects in the neighbourhood can boost resale value for when/if the time comes for you to move on.
Be prepared with your finances
Let’s be real, house and land package or not, you need to have your finances in check before buying your first home. Firstly, figure out your budget as having a fixed budget will keep you in check to negotiate prices better and be realistic with any inclusions you’d like to have in your first home. Your budget should include:
- A deposit
- Service fees of professional builders and developers
- Legal fees
- Taxes and stamp duty
- Registration fees
- Connections (power, water, gas, internet)
- Any potential extra costs during the building process (driveways, fencing and landscaping are often not included and can incur extra costs)
- Costs of staying elsewhere while the house is being built
Remember to check if you’re eligible for a home loan, land loan or construction loan and approach lenders to get pre-approval of how much you can borrow if you require financial assistance. Alternatively, find out if there’s a fixed-price package or contract that suits your needs as this will minimise risks of racked up added costs in the future building process. Don’t forget to check what is included in the package, if it’s advertised for a bare minimum price, it’s likely there will be minimal inclusions as well.
Thoroughly research your builders
Most developers of house and land packages work closely with a list of builders and it is very important to do a background check of your builder before signing any contract or starting any work. A trustworthy builder will provide detailed prefabrication materials, an after-sale or build warranty, and a comprehensive portfolio that clients can refer to, showing the quality of their work. If possible, contact a previous client and see if you could get insight into the process and how satisfied they are with the builder’s work. Remember to also discuss costs and approximated build time as they will be dependent on a variety of factors including weather, the complexity of design and build, how long councils take to give permits, and how busy the industry or developer is at any given time, etc.
To summarise, here’s a checklist to make sure you’re working with credible builders:
- Are they licensed?
- Do they have builder’s insurance and an appropriate warranty?
- Have they checked the lot for suitability?
- Have you visited their recent projects?
- Do they have good referrals?
Once these are answered, you can check specific home designs with your hired builder.
Visit display homes
Now that you’ve got your finances in check and a builder to work with, it’s time to find inspiration by exploring display homes. As with locations, we recommend visiting as many display homes as possible to get a feel of different home designs and in essence, find out what it is you’re looking for. After all, you want your house to communicate your personal taste. As you look at display homes, we recommend choosing timeless designs that are flexible to make changes to in the future. It’s also worth thinking about which spaces you spend most of your time in and prioritising them.
Often, display homes show a variety of appliances, features and fittings that might not be included in your house and land package so it’s important to ask the sales consultant on-site about the specifics of what’s included in your package and ultimately, how to purchase one.
Check the contract
As with every process, finalising your house and land package will include signing a contract. Bring a lawyer or solicitor on the day of signing as contracts are generally written to protect the builder. They will check if your documents are normal and legal for purchasing a real estate property. They will accurately check the contract for workmanship warranties, builders insurance, plans, specifications, hidden costs and cost differences that may arise. It’s important at this stage to do a final check of what is included in your house and land package and what isn’t before signing any paperwork.
Now you know all the required steps and tips to find the right house and land package for you. If you’re looking for a house and land package or display homes in Clyde North, chat to the expert team at perchclydenorth.com.au.