First Home Buyers
The House Building Process: Advice For First Time Buyers
Building a house is one of life’s biggest projects and it’s incredibly rewarding to see your beautiful dream home take shape.
Not many people do it more than once in their lifetime, and it can be a very daunting process, particularly if you are not familiar with the process of building a house.
If you’re a first time buyer, it’s important to stay on top of things. You need to be fully briefed so you’re ‘in the know’ with the process of building a house, and not flying blind.
What Are the Steps to Building a New Home?
Generally, the house building process can be split into seven steps. These include:
- Finding Finance
- Locating Your Land
- Create Your Dream Design
- Contracts and Approvals
- Constructing Your Home
- The Finishes
- Final Sign Offs
Keep reading to find out in more depth what each step involves and you will be well and truly on your way to building your dream home!
Step 1. Finding Finance
Designing your dream walk-in wardrobe might be the fun part, however understanding your finances must come first. Having a clear budget from the very beginning helps to avoid blow-outs and unmet expectations.
To work out what you can afford, research home loan options so that you can make informed decisions on land and design. You may want to speak to your bank or work with a financial adviser or mortgage broker to help with this stage.
Step 2. Locate Your Land
Finding a location you love is a critical step. Location is a lifestyle decision, as you must consider things like your neighbourhood, commute and schooling options.
Your chosen location will also affect your home design and budget. The results of your soil test, site survey and detailed property report will inform the foundations needed on that land, fill/scrape recommendations, home design, aspect, and more.
Listed below are three major options for locating your land. A good lawyer/conveyancer is a must—they will help with the contract and conveyance, ensuring you’re ticking all the right legal boxes before proceeding with creating your dream design.
Buy the land separately
You can buy the land separately and then engage a builder to build your dream house. Once you have found the perfect block of land, you will need to negotiate the right price (where you can) and complete the purchase. It’s a good idea to talk to your likely builder as they will know of available land and likely cost associated with building on the land.
Choose a house and land package
Another option for locating land is to find a house and land package, where the builder will give you an end to end or turn key cost that includes land and home build. If you choose house and land option, you may be required to enter two contracts one for land and one for the building.
Keep in mind that your land doesn’t have to be a blank canvas—knock down rebuilds are also popular ways of building a new house, particularly in metro areas.
Step 3. Create Your Dream Design
Designing your dream home is an exciting, yet sometimes overwhelming, part of the home building process. The best first step is to start collecting inspiration. Instagram and Pinterest are a great first step, combined with looking at home designs online add in link. If you can, you should also visit display homes to see, feel, touch and experience the home design for yourself.
When you’re ready to select a design that suits, it’s best to meet with a new home consultant as there are a significant number of things to consider. Should one of your builder’s available designs not fill the requirements, the best way to approach your home is to customise an ‘off the shelf’ plan in partnership with your new home consultant or builder. This way, you will get all the benefits of a tried and tested design, and still be able to customise certain elements. Learn more about our approach to custom home designs.
Alternatively, you can bring your own plan or concept sketches.
Step 4. The Fine Print (Contracts and Approvals)
After you have decided on your dream home design, you’ll need to start the paperwork. Your builder should handle the project end-to-end by dealing with all the council and building authority requirements, using expert staff who can streamline the process of building a house.
Throughout the contract and approvals process, we’d recommend that you work towards securing a fixed price quote. Fixed quotes, and subsequently fixed contracts, provide assurance around the timing and cost of your home. This means you avoid ongoing delays, the pain of paying extra rent or mortgage, and the surprise of unexpected variations.
Step 5. Kicking Off Construction
This is where the action in building your house happens. Seeing the foundations being laid means your home is officially “under construction”.
Once the frame goes up you’ll really see it come to life. This is one of the most exciting stages of building a house. Next, your builder will put a roof over your head and complete the exterior walls.
Step 6. The Finishes
And then the fun part starts, the interior fixtures and finishes. Painting, colours, floorings, kitchens, bathrooms, lighting, window furnishings, tapware—all the details you have been dreaming of start to take shape.
After this, the next steps to build a home are just the finishing touches. Painting external walls or trims where needed, landscaping, driveways and fencing (if included in the contract).
Step 7. The Final Sign Offs
Once all the steps in building your new home are complete, your builder will organise the building and council approvals. It’s then time for the bank to complete a final evaluation, finalise your mortgage and mortgage release. Then before you know it, you are ready to move in.