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Learn the A, B, C of building

Your essential A-Z glossary

Don’t know your fittings from your fixtures? No worries. With over 70 years in the business, we speak fluent ‘builder’ - and you can too. Let’s get you up to speed on the lingo with this handy list of all those construction terms used in the property industry.

ACT - Legally binding rules passed by the government. These can often relate to what you can and can’t do on your property throughout the construction and home ownership journey.

APPRAISAL VALUE - When you’re buying or selling, this is an expert valuation of the property. Will often differ from its MARKET VALUE.

BUILDING PERMIT – An official document issued by a local body. Once you have one of these, your builder can get started on construction.

CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY – A legal document that certifies a building is considered safe and suitable for occupation. This is usually issued by a local government body or a licensed certifying authority.

CONTRACT – A legal document that includes the terms and conditions, and formalises the purchase, sale, and exchange of real estate between various parties.

CONTRACTOR - This will most likely be your builder and/or architect. Anyone they then employ, such as bricklayers, electricians etc., are known as subcontractors.

DEPOSIT - When you take a mortgage with a bank or lender, this is the amount you pay upfront. Typically, this is a percentage of your new home’s purchase price and can vary.

DESIGN GUIDELINES - A set of standards and parameters that outline what is and isn’t possible when building a new home. Stockland communities have design guidelines to ensure every home is developed in harmony with its surroundings.

ENERGY EFFICIENT – The use of the least amount of energy possible to perform the same task or produce the same result, thus minimising waste. This is good for the environment and will save on costs.

FIRST HOME BUYER/OWNER GRANT - If you’re buying or building your first home, you might be able to receive a financial incentive from the government. These vary depending on the government jurisdiction e.g. federal, state and territory, so you’ll need to check your eligibility. Click here for more information.

FITTINGS - Items like washing machines and fridges that can be added to a home during construction. Different from FIXTURES, because fittings can normally be removed simply without causing damage to the property.

FIXED RATE HOME LOAN - When your interest rate stays the same over your loan, and your repayments will always be the same.

FIXTURES - These are items like built-in wardrobes and windows that are installed in your home during construction. Unlike FITTINGS, they can’t be removed very easily - so choose wisely!

HOUSE AND LAND PACKAGE – A tailored home design, planned in accordance with a specific lot of land and bundled to be sold in one process, but usually with two contracts.

INTEREST RATE - The percentage of extra money you’ll be paying on top of your loan to your bank or lender. The lower the better!

LOT SIZE - This refers to the size of a piece of land. In Australia, it’s generally measured in square metres.

MARKET VALUE – A formal valuation estimating the amount for which a property is expected to be exchanged on the valuation date, as determined by the market. Simply put - the highest price that a buyer is willing to pay, and a seller is willing to accept. This will often differ from its APPRAISAL VALUE.

MORTGAGE BROKER - A certified financial professional that connects home buyers with a bank or lender they represent. Their job is to help you get the best home loan for your needs.

PRE-APPROVAL - This is when your bank or lender approves you for a home loan up to a certain amount. It’s a very important step, as it’s proof to the seller that you’re a serious buyer.

PRE-START INTERVIEW - This is the final meeting with your builder before construction commences. It’s important to arrive prepared, as it’s your chance to make final selections on the home’s design, fixtures and fittings.

SETTLEMENT - The last part of purchasing a property, where the buyer fulfills the final payment of the contract price and becomes the legal owner of the home. After settlement, the new owner can legally move in.

SETTLEMENT PERIOD - The amount of time between exchanging contracts and property settlement. This begins the day the contract of sale is signed by the buyer and ends on the settlement day. It generally takes between one and four months and can be negotiated between buyer and seller as part of the contract terms.

SITE PREPARATION - Prior to commencing construction, site preparation involves a series of important steps, including analysing and testing a number of site attributes to ensure a solid foundation is set. E.g. soil testing, checking utility connections etc.

SITE WORKS - The work required to prepare the site your new home will be built on. This almost always involves the clearing, excavating and levelling of the land.

STAMP DUTY - This is a tax imposed by state and territory governments on certain transactions such as buying a home, land or investment property. Sometimes known as ‘Transfer Duty’.

TITLE - The official record of who owns a piece of land. Titled pieces of land are build-ready.

VARIABLE RATE HOME LOAN - Unliked a FIXED RATE HOME LOAN, this means that your interest rate (and your repayments) will vary over the course of your home loan.

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This website is supplied for the purpose of providing an impression of Stockland communities and the approximate location of existing and proposed third party infrastructure, facilities, amenities, services and destinations, and is not intended to be used for any other purpose. All details, images and statements are based on the intention of, and information available to, Stockland as at the time of publication (May 2024) and may change due to future circumstances. This website is not legally binding on Stockland. Stockland does not give any warrant in relation to any information contained in this website. Stockland does not accept any liability for loss or damage arising as a result of any reliance on this website or its contents.