A new home may mean building because sometimes buying or renovating just isn’t the right solution for you. So if you want to ensure that your new home is perfectly built to your specifications, you may even want to buy a new block of land.

However, it’s not simply a case of planting a flag and getting to work. There are a lot of decisions to make, permits to obtain, and knots to straighten out.

Budget, budget, and budget

Budgeting for a new home purchase is essential. However, when it comes to building your own home, you have significantly more to budget for. Contractors, materials, permits, loan fees, legal costs, and more. Keep updating your budget in line with relevant discussions, such as with contractors, lawyers, and council representatives. A tight reign is required as you likely won’t be able to afford to go over budget.

Keep 10% – 25% of the budget aside as an emergency fund for the whole of the project.

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Know what you want

Before you start building plan out your needs. What is your lifestyle? How many people will live in the home? Do you need to be close to schools, shops, public transport?  Will your new home be single or double storey? Do you really need that extra bathroom? Or would money be better spent on a bigger living area? Is a parent’s retreat non-negotiable? Have an in-depth look at your lifestyle, and be honest. What are your needs, and your wants.

Those wants are going to be a factor in your land purchase decision. There may be Council or State restrictions on the use of the land and the topography may be a factor in choosing a contractor. For example, some Architects and Builders have excellent experience in sloping sites, others do not. So, make sure you have an agreed list of wants vs. needs before you start forking out funds.

Avoid legal headaches

Before you complete the purchase of land for your new home, ensure you have covered off all legal requirements of Council and State. This means development approvals and building permits for the area. You can even look up stats on how many permits have been given in a period of time. This will give you some idea of timeframes in getting answers back relating to permits and approvals.

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Is the land fit for purpose?

Unless you buy land as part of an approved development, you may need to investigate if a new home can be built. Even if the land is approved for residential, there may be ground preparations required.  If you’re building a large-scale project and even creating a community, then civil contractors can help with a lot of the land development. They can also assist with the vital implementation of utilities such as water infrastructure.

Get the right team on your side

When it comes to choosing contractors, the two most important elements of a good relationship with them are trust and reliability. They should be able to show you examples of past work, and even testimonials from past clients, to attest to their quality. You should also see just how transparent they are with details like their estimates on build costs and schedules. If they can’t provide the rationale for the information they give, they might not be the most trustworthy team.

Make sure you’re doing as much planning in both the construction and decision making as possible. Building a home is an even bigger investment than buying one, and you’ll be locked into it for quite some time. Don’t make any errors that will haunt you for the rest of your life in your new home.

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