Build, don’t buy; an industry expert’s top tips for first homebuyers in 2013

Date Wednesday, 23 January 2013 12:00 AM


Would-be first homebuyers should be thinking seriously about building their home instead of buying in 2013, a leading international homebuilder has said. 
Darren Wallis, CEO of homebuilding company, G.J. Gardner Homes, said a combination of record low interest rates and financial incentives for first homebuyers who build instead of buy should see an increase in Australians taking the plunge into the property market. 
To stimulate building and boost demand for new homes, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia state governments offer up to $15,000 as a first-homebuyer construction or new home grant for people who are building a new home. 
“In addition to state government incentives, newer homes are easier to rent and more energy efficient, repair bills are few and far between and typically there are better tax benefits for depreciation on newer homes when compared to existing older properties,” Mr Wallis said. 
“Another attractive aspect of building a home is that homebuyers can design the perfect home that is modern and matched to their budget.” 
But before making the decision to build a new home, Wallis said it is essential for first homebuyers to do their research and talk to the right people.
“The process of building a home can be daunting and complicated, even if you have built a home before, but by talking and consulting with experts you will be able to make an informed and strategic decision,” Mr Wallis said.
“It’s important to know your local property market, research the area where you would like to build and know the ins and outs of building a property—including timeframes, potential additional costs and choosing the right block of land.
“First homebuyers often rule out building a new home because the process seems overwhelming, complicated and expensive—but working with an experienced and trusted homebuilding company makes it easy and could save you thousands,” Wallis said. 
“If you want to talk to an experienced and trusted company about building a home that suits your taste and budget, my team are more than happy to have a chat to help you decide whether home building is for you.
“We have more than 100 franchises in Australia, New Zealand and the United States,” Wallis said. 
Darren Wallis’ top tips for first homebuyers deciding to build: 
  • Before buying land it’s a good idea to take a registered builder to see it. They can point out potential problems with the block that may increase the cost of building. 
  • Choose a local builder, someone who knows the land, is conveniently located and has a reputation to uphold in the community.
  • Has your builder won awards? This is a good indication of quality of work and of someone who prides themselves in their craftsmanship. 
  • Meet the registered builder to talk about your home as well as the admin, estimating and construction team who will be responsible for the day-to-day happenings while your home is under construction.
  • Check that your builder has a diverse range of plans so that you have a better chance of finding a style and design to suit your budget. 
  • Ask if you will be allowed to make changes to the plan to custom design your home.
  • Ensure your contract includes certainty of a fixed price on all possible items, particularly foundation and slab costs.
  • Discuss suitable times for onsite inspections while your home is under construction. 
More helpful hints and tips about building a home can be found in the ‘Get the Facts Upfront’ website and free booklet:
To learn more about first homebuyer construction and new home grants in your state, visit the below state government websites: 
South Australia
New South Wales
To find a G.J. Gardner Homes builder near you visit their website:

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