Hicaliber Team

First Home Owners’ Grant New South Wales

Rising house prices and a shortage of affordable homes means that getting onto the property ladder in NSW can be a challenge. To make it easier for local people to get onto the property ladder, the NSW government has introduced a number of different measures designed to ease the financial burden of buying your first home, as well as increasing the supply of lower cost housing.

One of the main methods of helping out first-time buyers is the first home owners’ grant. Designed to give prospective homeowners a boost, government grants for first home buyers can enable individuals to save thousands on the cost of their first property.

Read on to find out more about the first home owners’ grant NSW residents can apply for.

Quick Links

About the First Home Owners’ Grant

How Does The First Home Owners’ Grant Work?

As the name suggests, first time home buyers grants are available for individuals or couples who haven’t bought a home previously. A first time home buyer can apply for a first home grant of $10,000 towards the cost of a new-build property. The property must be one that hasn’t been owned or lived in before. It can be purchased from a developer or built on the individual’s land by an independent contractor. In some circumstances, a new home owner’s grant can be paid to individuals who have purchased an existing property which has been extensively modified or brought back into use. Note that these applications are judged on an individual basis: in general, the grant isn’t available for the purchase of existing properties.

Can you get a First Home Owners’ Grant on existing homes?

Usually, the New South Wales First Home Owners’ Grant isn’t available towards the purchase of an existing home. If a property has been remodelled or significantly refurbished, it may be eligible. Circumstances where this might happen include where a derelict property has been brought back into use or where a building has changed use from non-residential to residential (for example, the conversion of an old warehouse into apartments).

How much is the First Home Owners’ Grant in NSW?

In NSW, the First Home Owners’ Grant is $10,000. This could change in the future, as the NSW government sets its annual budget. In other states, decreases in the government grant for first home buyers have occurred in the past.

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant get paid to successful applicants?

If you are purchasing a new property from a developer, the grant is paid once the transaction is complete. For people who are commissioning their own new-build property, the grant is paid once building work is in progress – usually once the foundations have been laid.

Eligibility

What would make me ineligible for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

The eligibility criteria for the first home owners grant in New South Wales can vary depending on specific circumstances and the details can be found here. Some important general criteria that needs to be satisfied includes:

  • Applicant(s) must be over 18 years old.
  • Applicant(s) must be Australian residents, have leave to remain or be covered under a specific agreement which Australia has with another country (for example, some New Zealand nationals are eligible).
  • The grant must be for a first property. For joint applications, both applicants must not have been previous homeowners.
  • The grant must be to purchase a home, rather than an office, factory or home-to-let.
  • Grants are only paid out for new-build properties that have not been lived in or owned before. Properties may be commissioned on an individual basis, or purchased from a developer.
  • You will need to live in your home for at least twelve months and move in within twelve months of completing the purchase.
  • To receive the grant, the purchase price of the home must be less than $600,000. If you are building your own property, it must be valued at less than $750,000 in order to receive the $10,000 grant.

Applying for The First Home Owners’ Grant

How do I apply for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

In the first instance, potential grant beneficiaries need to fill in the First Home Owners’ Grant application. The First Home Owners’ Grant application form captures everything needed for the government to make a decision regarding eligibility.
If you believe that you are eligible for the home owners’ grant, it’s important to apply as soon as possible. In other states, the grant levels have been reduced in recent years and there is no guarantee that that won’t happen in NSW in future. For this reason, it makes sense to apply as soon as you have decided to build your own home or purchase a new property from a developer. Particularly if you are buying on a budget, the home owners’ grant can make a real difference to your home purchasing power.

Is the First Home Owners’ Grant still available in NSW?

Yes! At the time of writing the new home owners grant is still available.

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant end in NSW?

At the moment there are no plans to end the grant. That said, as fresh government budgets are set in subsequent years, there may be changes to the grant amounts, or it may end at a future date.

FAQS

Does the First Home Owners’ Grant count towards a deposit?

Potentially, yes! There is no reason why the grant can’t be used towards a deposit, but remember that it’s not paid until the sales transaction is complete. Some mortgage providers may want to see cash up front, rather than wait until completion before receiving the deposit money. Different mortgage providers have different policies on this: your provider will be best placed to advise.

Can you use the First Home Owners’ Grant to buy land?

No! Land can’t be purchased using the government grant for first home buyers. If you are a first-time buyer who intends to purchase land on which to build a home, the sale will be exempt from stamp duty provided it is less than $350,000. You will also enjoy a rebate on a percentage of stamp duty on land valued at between $350,000 and $450,000.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant if you’re married?

Yes! Provided you and your spouse both meet the relevant eligibility criteria, you can then apply for the grant.

Can permanent residents get the First Home Owners’ Grant?

Yes! Permanent residents are eligible to apply.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant twice?

No! The grant is only available on a one-off basis for the first property purchase made. A joint application isn’t valid if one of the parties has already benefited from a grant.

Do first home buyers pay stamp duty in NSW?

The amount of stamp duty paid by first home buyers depends on the value of the property purchase. If a property costs less than $650,000 (or is valued at less than $750,000 if the property is built for the home buyer), full duty relief is granted. Purchases above this amount incur an increasing amount of stamp duty, calculated according to the sale price.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant on existing homes?

The eligibility criteria when it comes to the first home buyers’ grant existing property options are quite complex. Generally, existing homes aren’t eligible (although first home buyers still enjoy stamp duty exemption if they buy an existing property). That said, where extensive remodelling or restructuring has taken place, there may be a case for an existing structure to be eligible. Examples of this include where buildings have been converted from non-residential to residential use or where a derelict building has been brought back into commission.

About The 2020 First Home Loan deposit scheme

The 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which began on January 1st 2020, encourages new home buyers through financial incentive. The scheme allows you to enter a mortgage with significantly lower fees, and only requires a deposit totalling 5% of the value of the property being purchased. While banks and lenders usually require 20% of the property’s value as part of a deposit to be exempt from extra fees, while under this scheme this number is lowered to just 5%.

The federal government will act as your guarantor and underwrite your loan and so that Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) fees do not apply. The scheme aims to provide financial assistance to new home buyers, making it far easier to take the next step into home ownership.

Read more about this national scheme here.

About The HomeBuilder Grant program

The HomeBuilder Grant is a nationwide stimulus package that has been formulated as a response to the economic hardship from COVID-19. The grant will apply to both renovations and new homes, and will total $25,000.

For new homes, the property value cannot exceed $750,000. Renovations cannot exceed $150,000 and cannot include pools or tennis courts. Singles must be earning $125,000 or less based on their tax return, and couples must have a combined income of less than $200,000.

Read more about this national scheme here.

The information contained in this article is not legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. Consumers should make their own independent inquiries and consider the need to obtain any professional advice relevant to their circumstances. Further information about the First Home Owners Grant is available at http://www.firsthome.gov.au/.

What’s Old is New Again: Vintage Home Design Ideas

Do you picture musty furniture, doilies, and potpourri when someone says ‘vintage’? If so, it’s time to think again. Vintage doesn’t have to look outdated or unstylish. In fact, when you get the balance right between old and new, it can look elegant and charming. Here are some vintage home design ideas to bring a sense of romance and tradition into your home – without feeling like you’ve time warped into your granny’s house.

What is vintage, exactly?

There’s no strict definition for ‘vintage’ when it comes to interior design but, generally, ‘vintage’ furniture pieces are between 30 and 100 years old. Any older than this, and they’re classed as antique. A vintage style doesn’t exclusively refer to furniture, and can include fabrics, knick-knacks, colours and patterns. Embroidery hoop art, decorative plates, and claw foot baths all complement the aesthetic. Colours tend to be soft, with splashes of creamy yellow, pale blue, lavender, and mint green. You can achieve the look by mixing patterns, especially those featuring birds, butterflies, and botanical prints.

You might recognise items from your grandparents’ house in this list, but that’s because interior design trends are cyclical: what was trendy in that generation is again surging in popularity. You call the shots though, as to how much or how little of this style you bring into your home.

Incorporate vintage with style

To pull together a vintage look, you could choose a specific time period and select pieces exclusively from that era. For an easier approach, combine pieces from different eras and tie the look together by using a similar colour palette. The look doesn’t have to be overwhelming: you could reserve the vintage aesthetic for just one room, or simply display a few well-chosen accessories.

Not everything has to be decades old either. You can evoke vintage style by adding contemporary pieces with a timeless feel, like furniture with distressed edges, floral wallpaper, or a chenille throw blanket.

Why embrace vintage?

Vintage can look quirky and romantic, and lets you unleash your creativity. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, so you can let your personality shine and be as eclectic as you’d like. The best part about vintage is that it’s great for your budget. By purchasing pieces at garage sales and antique shops, you generally pay far less than you would for contemporary, mass-produced furniture.

What’s more, choosing vintage pieces is great for the environment, as you’re saving older furniture and accessories from going to landfill. And if you enjoy getting crafty, you can rejuvenate well-loved items by giving old furniture a lick of colourful paint, re-upholstering vintage furniture, or framing antique prints.

Where to find it?

Finding great vintage pieces is like a never-ending treasure hunt. Your best bets are second-hand shops, antique stores, and the homes of older family members who are downsizing. You might also find hidden gems at fairs, markets, or garage sales.

Let’s break it down, room by room

Ok, you know what vintage is and where to find it, but how can you bring the aesthetic into your home without going overboard?

In the lounge and dining rooms, you could add a touch of yesteryear with:

    • vintage lamps
    • rugs
    • an accent chair in an iconic style
    • vintage suitcases stacked to make a side table
    • large trunk re-purposed as a coffee table
    • vintage tin signs
    • weathered mirrors
    • vintage globes.

The kitchen is probably one of the easiest rooms in the house to decorate in this aesthetic. Consider:

    • open shelves with vintage knick-knacks or crockery on display
    • pretty floral or botanical wallpaper
    • vintage salt and pepper shakers, bread boxes, and butter tins
    • canisters for coffee and tea
    • vintage aprons
    • antique cookbooks.

Create a vintage look in your bedroom with:

    • a charming dresser with vanity
    • four-poster or cast-iron bed
    • antique vases or sets of glassware
    • old trinkets
    • crocheted doona.

Just make sure you don’t use all these ideas at once. It’s best to add just a few touches for a charming yet quirky look.

A Final Word

Embracing vintage style doesn’t mean you have to forego modern luxuries. This style actually looks best when paired with the sleek backdrop of contemporary architecture. G.J. Gardner Homes has a range of modern and stylish home designs that would make a vintage look ‘pop’. Get in touch with your local team for more ideas and inspiration.

The 8 Best Ways to Save for a House Deposit

If you’ve long dreamed of owning your own home but feel overwhelmed by the first hurdle – saving for a deposit – you’re not alone. The good news is that some savvy tips and tricks can help you pull together a deposit in less time than you think. Read on to discover the eight best ways to save for a house deposit.

1. Be specific with your goal

Let’s be frank: for budgeting to be effective, you need to know exactly how much you need to save, and why. If you only have vague plans of wanting to buy a house ‘some day’, your goal won’t feel real or tangible and you probably won’t do much to make it happen. On the other hand, if you know what you’re working towards and how to get there, you’re more likely to make regular lifestyle concessions – like forgoing a coffee, a movie, or a dinner out.

2. Be realistic

Do your sums and identify how much you can realistically afford to spend on loan repayments. Make sure you set an achievable goal, finding a balance between what you want and what you can afford.

3. Set an end goal and work backwards

If you’ve calculated that you can afford repayments on a $500,000 house, how much deposit will you need?

  • Banks prefer you to have a 20% deposit as this means less risk for them. On a $500,000 property, this means a deposit of $100,000.
  • If you’ve saved less than 20% but are keen to jump into the property market, banks might still be willing to lend you money but will also charge Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

So, how do you get from your current position to save $100,000?

4. Analyse your expenditure

First, track your expenditure for a month or two, making note of every dollar you spend. At the end of this period, work out how much you’re spending on rent, groceries, electricity, water, and so on. This might seem like a lot of effort but stick with it, as it can be hugely effective to understand where your money is going:

    • By categorising your expenditure, you’ll realise where your budget could be scaled back.
    • You might be surprised how quickly your non-essential purchases add up. Set a clear goal for cutting back on discretionary items, like lunches at work, coffee, or Friday night drinks.
    • Again, be realistic. There’s no point dispensing with a holiday budget for the foreseeable future when you’d be happier and more committed to saving if you choose to reduce holiday expenditure instead.
    • There are lots of finance apps that can help you manage your money and track expenses.

5. Set up a high-interest account

Research different banks and building societies, as some savings accounts are more generous than others. Check the fine print so you have a clear idea of any fees the bank will charge. Once you’ve chosen the best deal, open a separate, high-interest account. And here’s the key: automatically transfer your savings the day after payday. This way, you’re compelled to live off your salary after making your monthly savings.

6. Make a budget – and make it stick

Once you know where your salary is going, set a budget for each and every expense. Make sure you include incidentals like gifts, taxis, and meals out. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) offers both a budget planner and an app for tracking expenditure, which can help you stick to your budget.

7. Reduce your debts

If you have any debts, like car loans or credit cards, try to pay these off as a priority once you start your savings plan. Not only will you save on interest, but it will help with your credit rating and ability to borrow when you’re ready.

8. Do your research

Check to see if you’re eligible for a First Home Owners Grant. This can count towards your deposit, but it’s generally geared towards those buying or building a new home. You might also be eligible for concessions on stamp duty if you’re a first home buyer, a pensioner, or buying a property of lower value (generally less than $500,000 in most states).

A Final Word

If you have any questions about budgeting or how to secure financing, contact your local G.J. Gardner Homes office.

How To Subdivide Your Property for Maximum Profit

In recent years, the price of Australian property has skyrocketed. If you’re lucky enough to have a big backyard, your land could be ripe for subdivision. This post outlines how to subdivide your property, and what you need to know to potentially make a profit.

What is a subdivision?

Subdivision means dividing your property into two or more lots. To do this, you could:

    • Subdivide your land and sell the new lot for someone else to develop.
    • Build a house on the newly-created lot, which you could later sell or rent out.
    • Demolish your existing home and build three or four townhouses.

Why subdivide?

Over the past few decades, our overall population has increased, while the size of each family has decreased. This means:

    • There’s a shortage of available properties, especially in urban areas.
    • A high value is placed on houses – and vacant land – in established areas. It’s even better if you have access to public transport and communal green spaces.
    • A big block of land could become potential equity to make a profit.

How does subdivision work?

Before you go any further, there are some key questions to ask:

1. First, work out if a subdivision is possible

To be viable for subdivision, your block of land should:

    • Comply with local zoning laws. Check with your local council to see if your property is in an area that allows subdivisions.
    • Conform to your local council’s minimum lot size. This varies depending on where you live, but a good rule of thumb is to have at least 700 square metres of usable land.
    • Ideally be relatively flat, to reduce the costs of construction and access.
    • Have enough space to install another driveway.

2. Call in an expert

Once you’ve done your own assessment, call in an expert. You could speak to a surveyor, certified town planner, or an experienced builder. They can advise you about zoning, overlays, and minimum lot size. Planning overlays identify features of the environment that might be impacted by a new development. In some cases, subdivisions may not be permitted due to protected vegetation, flooding, bushfire risk, or the location of heritage buildings.

3. Apply for planning permission

With the help of your builder or surveyor, it’s time to put together a development proposal. You’ll need to outline how you suggest splitting the land and show plans for a proposed house, driveway, and car parks.

A Final Word

Subdividing your land is a complex endeavour but can be well worth the effort. As Australia’s number 1 rated national home builder, G.J. Gardner Homes has proven project experience coupled with local expertise and can help you through the process.

How’s the Serenity? Seven Minimalist Home Design Ideas

Love sleek lines, simplicity, and ample space? Want to cut the clutter and stop searching for your own stuff? Then a minimalist home may just be your perfect match. 

There are many ways to achieve this home design style, which is why we have provided some helpful minimalist home design ideas to give your home a fresh, clean look – and achieve a less stressful lifestyle.

What is a minimalist home?

Quite simply, minimalism is the philosophy that “less is more”. In minimalist settings surfaces are clean and uncluttered, and the design is stripped back to the essentials. By removing these unnecessary items, spaces are often made to feel larger and more peaceful. 

Two key hallmarks of minimalist style are simplicity and functional design. This means every element needs to serve a dual purpose: it must be practical as well as look good, complementing the pared-back aesthetic. Interior design should be clean, featuring crisp whites, neutral colour palettes, and a variety of textures.

Minimalist homes need efficient floor plans with open spaces, minimal interior walls, large hidden storage areas, and a focus placed on natural light. These home designs avoid tucked away spaces, complex lines, and angled roof profiles.

Why choose minimalism?

Being surrounded by clutter can feel overwhelming and chaotic. On the flipside, research shows that an uncluttered and clean space inspires a sense of calm and can reduce stress. Minimalist environments can also remove unnecessary distractions and actually help you focus, whether it be on your work, study, or personal goals and mindfulness. 

Minimalism creates a soothing environment, but discipline is required to keep surfaces clear and maintain the clean aesthetic.

Minimalist home décor ideas

When creating a minimalist home design there are seven key tips you can follow:

  1. Streamline your furniture and choose high-quality pieces. If you remove unnecessary pieces or overly large furniture from your home, you will be able to create ‘negative space’ and open up the room. This creates an instant feeling of calm.

2. Experiment with texture. To prevent interiors from feeling stark, add layers of texture with items like simple throw pillows, light fixtures, and rugs. Wood and wool complement this aesthetic well and create contrast with neutral bases.

3. Assess each room with a critical eye. Remove clutter and eliminate anything that is not necessary. Ensure surfaces are clear and sparse while investing in hidden storage to keep everything tidy. In short, find a place for everything and commit to using it so things like keys, bills, and kitchen appliances are tucked out of sight.

4. Choose a minimalist home colour scheme. Choosing a neutral colour palette that uses whites, greys, and earth-coloured tones for a classic backdrop will help give your home a minimalist feel. This doesn’t mean you have to go monochromatic – in fact, a good rule of thumb is to combine colours that occur in nature and choose two or three colours at most. You could have one colour as the dominant base, a secondary colour layered on top of that, and a third colour reserved for accents.

5. Invest in modern storage. You can only part ways with so many of your belongings before you need to find a place for your remaining items to live. Investing in stylish storage allows for your little bits of clutter to live inside while still appearing tidy on the outside. This is a great solution for those who love the minimalist aesthetic but aren’t ready to let go of their collector ways.

6. Bring the outside in. Simple designs and open spaces are greatly complemented by the incorporation of natural elements and indoor-outdoor flow. Selecting a few succulents and pot plants as your chosen decoration can work to brighten up your space. To ensure optimal indoor-outdoor flow you can read our complete guide connecting indoor and outdoor spaces.

7. Forget about complex shapes. When choosing elements to include in your minimalist home design it is important think about flat, sharp, and clean surfaces that can reflect light. This will make your room appear more spacious, while conversely complex shapes will make your home feel cluttered.

Minimalist home design floor plans

Floor plans for minimalist home designs should focus on creating clean, open, light-filled spaces. They also maximise efficiency for function in as many areas as possible, for example stacking stairs alongside the wall, flanking closets, and load-bearing exterior walls to eliminate the need for obstructing open floor designs with interior structural support.

G.J. Gardner Homes are able to work with you to ensure your home design incorporates any and all minimalist home design elements you wish to include, all while being optimised for your personal needs. 

G.J. Gardner minimalist home designs

For more inspiration, get in touch with your local G.J. Gardner Homes office or explore our entire range of home designs. At G.J. Gardner, we can help you achieve your dream minimalist home.

Home Office Workspace Design Ideas That Make You Want To Work

Forget cramped cubicles and noisy coworkers: the beauty of working from home is that you can create an office space that’s stylish, comfortable and inspiring. With these home office workspace design ideas, you’ll actually want to work!

A dedicated space

The advent of new technology has blurred the boundaries between home and work. This means we’re often ‘on call’ even after work hours but, on the flipside, workplaces are becoming more flexible in allowing you to work from home. If this sounds like you, it’s more important than ever to have a dedicated space set aside. For your home office to be productive, it should have:

    • Excellent wifi access that’s capable of downloading large files and videos.
    • Privacy, so you can shut yourself off from the rest of the house.
    • Plenty of natural light, to help reduce stress and connect you to the outside world.
    • Appropriate set-up. Do you require more than one screen? A colour printer and scanner? A spot away from the computer where you can review documents? Factor in all your requirements at the design phase.

Storage and organisation: the winning formula

To stay organised and clear-headed, you’ll need plenty of storage. Having a place for everything will keep your mind – and desk – free of clutter.

    • Use a filing cabinet to store important paperwork. If you’re dealing with sensitive information, make sure the cabinet can be locked.
    • Incorporate cupboards, shelves and drawers for items you don’t need every day, like books, spare paper, and ink cartridges.
    • Consider installing a bulletin board or chalkboard to display your daily to-do list.
    • Use desk accessories and a tray organiser to keep your workspace tidy.

Look after your wellbeing

Make your comfort a priority. After all, you can’t be productive if you’re suffering from wrist soreness or back pain.

    • Invest in an ergonomic chair with wheels, lumbar back support, and adjustable height.
    • Think about a desk that easily converts from sitting to standing.
    • Make sure all the resources you use regularly are within arm’s reach.

Add personal flair

The beauty of a home office is that you can put your own personal stamp on it and indulge your creativity. You could:

    • Incorporate personal touches like framed artworks, family photos, or a family calendar.
    • Add a splash of colour with a feature wall or interesting wallpaper.
    • Brighten up your environment with some indoor plants.

A Final Word

If a home office is a must-have in your new home, G.J. Gardner Homes has many house designs that fit the bill – or you can customise a design. Get in touch with your local office for more ideas and inspiration.

How To Make Paint Colour Work For You

Choosing paint colours and how to use those colours in interiors can be a daunting task for home owners. Often people will go one of two ways – either the process of choosing paint colours becomes all too much for them and they end up choosing one neutral colour for their entire house or they go crazy with contrasting feature walls. I always say to people that it’s important to educate yourself about how colours work in the home and you will then have the confidence to express yourself through colour.

There are some tried and true principles about using colour in interiors. One of the key things here is to understand the difference between dominant and recessive colours and how the application of colour can change the visual proportions of a room. Dominant colours like yellow and red will feel like they’re jumping forward, while recessive colours like purple and blue will feel like they’re going back.

Pairing dominant and recessive colours can be used to create focal points in a room, create an illusion of depth and space, or draw attention to statement pieces. Light colours don’t necessarily make a small space appear bigger. For example, even using dark colours such as charcoal on all four walls and using good lighting to highlight objects away from the walls can actually diminish the boundaries with the room, making it appear spacious. The best interiors use colour on walls to provide interest and contrast.

One of the classic mistakes people often make is to buy sample colour pots and paint them directly on their walls. However, the colour on your walls is influenced by the light that the room receives at any given time of the day, as well as your flooring colour, lighting and furnishings. Colour reflects all of these elements and will not stay the same throughout your house.

A clever trick is to paint your chosen colours on a piece of A3 cardboard and move the piece of cardboard throughout your house – place it on your walls, floors, window sills – and view it in all different aspects of your house.

Understanding the theory behind the use of colour in interiors and viewing your chosen colours in different aspects of your house will give you the confidence to make clever colour decisions. It’s about trusting yourself and ultimately, remembering that you can always paint again if the result is not what you had planned.

Have a look through my six exclusive house designs to see how I have used colour to provide interest and contrast in the G.J. Gardner Homes Tailored – Inspired Home Collections.

What Is A Split Level Home?

You may have heard that sloping blocks are difficult to build on, take more time, and cost more money. While sloping blocks can throw up extra challenges, don’t let that deter you. With a split level home, you can make the most of the gradient of your land to create a unique and stylish property. But first, what is a split level home?

Split level vs multi-storey: what’s the difference?

Split level homes are specifically designed for sloping blocks. They are built into the natural angle of the land to work with the landscape, rather than against it. Typically, they have staggered floor levels, short sets of stairs and up to four separate levels. With tri-level homes, the middle level is traditionally used for open-plan living areas, with bedrooms located upstairs and the downstairs reserved for a spare bedroom or additional living area. In contrast, a multi-storey home comprises two or more levels built directly on top of each other.

Give it to me straight: what do I need to know about split level?

Sloping blocks present their own challenges, which you’ll need to factor in during the building process:

    • Your builder will need to undertake an extensive site survey, paying special attention to drainage and soil stability. Site costs need to be factored into your budget.
    • Structural design is particularly important for sloping blocks.
    • Steep blocks will usually require major excavation to create a level slab, and retaining walls may be required.
    • Multiple stairs aren’t suitable for everyone: those who are unsteady on their feet would do better in a one-story home.

So is it worth it?

Despite these challenges, split level homes bring many advantages:

    • The separation of living and sleeping areas brings an element of privacy. You can create distinct zones for work, rest, play and meal times.
    • They maximise natural light and ventilation and offer abundant views.
    • By working with the natural contours of the land, the home fits harmoniously into its surrounding landscape.
    • Each home is tailored to the slope and size of the block, resulting in a unique yet practical design.
    • They offer plenty of space. By building vertically rather than horizontally, you can make the most of your land size.

In short, the end result is well worth it: you’ll have an elegant home that flows seamlessly into nature and makes the most of its aspect and views.

A Final Word

At G.J. Gardner Homes, we have home designs that are tailored to suit steep or sloping blocks. Be inspired by our Element Home Series or chat to our friendly team to talk through your options.

Buying a first home vs investment property

If you’ve been busy saving for a deposit, you might be wondering about the pros and cons of buying a first home vs an investment property. While owning your own home has long been considered an Australian dream, there are many advantages in purchasing an investment property to rent out to someone else. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each approach.

A home of your own: buying a first home

Buying a home to live in is appealing for many reasons:

    • First, living in a house you’re paying off is emotionally rewarding. You don’t need to ask permission to buy a dog, paint the walls, or hang a picture. This gives you freedom to infuse your personality into its styling, colour palette, and garden.
    • You might be eligible for a First Home Owner Grant. While the amount depends on where you live, one thing is consistent across all states and territories – the grant isn’t available for investment properties.
    • It offers you stability: you can choose how long you stay in your home, and won’t need to re-negotiate rent each year.
    • When you eventually sell, you won’t have to pay Capital Gains Tax.

On the flip side:

    • You can’t claim any tax deductions on your expenses.
    • Interest rates can fluctuate and impact your repayments.

The bottom line: purchasing an investment property

Buying an investment property requires objectivity and lots of research. On the plus side:

    • By renting out your property, you’ll generate cash flow that can help pay off your mortgage.
    • Your choice comes down to investment potential rather than emotions: that is, how much rent you’re likely to earn, and how much the property will increase in value.
    • You can claim a tax deduction on many expenses, such as interest on the loan and property maintenance.
    • You’ll have the flexibility to look at areas in which you may not want to live, but that have great investment potential.
    • If your property is negatively geared – or generating less income than it costs – you can reduce the amount of tax you pay on your earnings.

It’s also worth noting that:

    • It takes time and energy to manage the property and find the right tenants, so you might want to appoint a property manager.
    • If you sell your investment property and make a profit, you’ll need to pay Capital Gains Tax.
    • You’ll still need to pay rent on the property you live in.

A Final Word

Choosing whether to buy your first home or an investment property isn’t clear-cut. G.J. Gardner Homes can help you weigh up your options, and give you advice on building a dream home for your own use or partnering with us for your investment project.