Everybody has a dream home. Perhaps yours has a master bedroom overlooking the garden….a modern, open-plan kitchen….spa-like features in the bathroom…or a huge patio for summer cocktail parties. It's all well and good to have a property wish list but these comforts are always easier said than done. A lot of practicalities and costs go into stepping onto the property ladder, not the least of which is the decision to buy or custom build from scratch.
Many prospective home owners choose to purchase property because it is usually quicker and cheaper to buy an existing home. But, the merits of building a home make it an equally attractive option. And in the end, the joy of knowing that your home was built specifically for your family is worth all the time, energy and money that you have spent.
According to an article, Building vs Buying published by Private Property, one of the advantages of building a new home is that you have complete control over your property from blueprint to completion. In terms of property value, the article mentions that properties in the neighbourhood are usually also new and well-maintained so the value of your home will also increase (for a complete list of the pros and cons of building and buying, read the article on Private Property's website).
If you're convinced that creating your own haven is a better deal, here are some tips, written in collaboration with Private Property, to help you get the most of the home building process.
- Before buying a plot, do a survey of the neighbourhood, including crime rate, noise levels, the proximity to the freeway, schools, shopping malls and restaurants.
- You must obtain approval of your building plans from your local municipal council first to ensure that all your construction plans comply with the plans and related regulations. Contacting the City Planning and Development division also provides a perfect opportunity to ask for advice and gain valuable knowledge about the building process.
- Before hiring an architect and builder, do a background check on them. Be certain that they are experienced and have no complaints on their record at the National Home Builders Registration Council. You can also visit homes they have completed and ask the owner if they are satisfied with the work done.
- When designing your home, there are a few important things you need to consider such as what you can actually afford, how your home will match the surrounding landscape, its safety and security features, and eco-friendly measures.
- Think of your home as a symbol of a long-term future for you and your family. That's why it's important that your house's layout represents how you might live in a few years. For example, leaving a shaft that could one day become an elevator or a building a guest room next to the master bedroom that could be converted into a nursery.
- There's a lot of documentation associated with building a new house. To avoid issues, make sure you have read, understood and signed the relevant contracts and that all warranties and insurances have been set up. While your builder may have builders risk insurance, they are not liable for your losses, therefore, it's vital that you have your own policy in place.
- Keep a close eye on the progress of the construction to make sure you'renot exceeding budgets and deadlines. If you cannot visit the construction site at least once a week, get your own property development expert or install site monitoring technologies.
Owning a home is one of the most reliable investments you can make in your lifetime. But, like any other investment, you need money to seal the deal. Having the finance in place is crucial in getting everything to go smoothly, whether you’ll be building or buying a house.
If looking for funding from your bank, it’s worth noting that a building loan is not the same as a home loan. With a building loan, the loan provider pays funds to the developer/builder in a series of progress payments. Repayments on a building loan only become payable when construction is complete.
A home loan is for the specific purpose of purchasing property. The house you are buying is used as collateral should you not meet your repayment obligations. The financial service provider usually makes a bond repayment calculator available to prospective home buyers, for them to assess if they will be able to afford a home loan.
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