24 June 2016 5 min read

When it comes to building your first home, it’s easy to get caught up in the exciting elements that come much later in the process. First, you have to consider all those boring-but-actually-really-important basics. The biggest one? Setting your budget and finding a design to fit your block. What do you need to know about the building stages? The information here should help you answer some of the difficult questions you may not have considered, as well as some others you might have already come across on your journey.

How do I choose a suitable block of land?

Your block of land is the foundation for your new home, and buying your own piece of Australia can be an exciting experience. It's important that you make the decision with your feet literally on the ground. When looking for the ideal home site there are a number of important points to consider. 

Start by making sure the size of the block suits your needs and budget. Consider carefully how much space you really need. If you are building in a community with access to an outdoor recreation area, a smaller block with less lawn mowing and maintenance might be more appealing and affordable. 

Also, make sure you consider the aspect and zoning for each block. Choosing a block of land that is well situated could potentially save you money on your energy bills. Builders use different methods to design and build homes for a wide variety of land shapes and styles. It is important to decide on a design that will maximise the features of your chosen block.

How do I decide on the layout of a room?

In the very early stages of the design process, you have to figure out how much space you need or want. Knowing the future function of each room helps to minimise wasted space: think about where you’ll be having meals, where your kids can play or do homework, where you’d like to relax and how you can maximise on hidden storage to create more living space. With an innovative new home designs, a smaller, more affordable lot size can seem enormous.

Is it OK to mix and match styles?

A cohesive style is a must for any home. If you love the ease and sleek minimalist lines of a modern kitchen but want a Queenslander look for the rest of your house, it might seem impossible to make the two styles work together. But these days it seems like people are getting more innovative by the minute and you may find the perfect way to incorporate everything seamlessly.

Make sure you check out display homes for new and interesting ideas that you could incorporate into your own build. With a little research and creative thinking, you’ll be able to sift through the positives and negatives and explore all of your affordable options.

Where do I draw the line about pricey inclusions? 

Many people start their build ready to spend every cent of their savings (and more) on creating the perfect home. But how perfect will it be if you put yourself in unnecessary debt? Think carefully about the things you really need in your home, not just about the things that you want. If you budget carefully, those extra bells and whistles can be added in towards the end. Think of it as a reward for being able to plan so well! 

Should I spend now so I can save later? 

Consider whether or not this will be your “forever home”. If not, how much time do you want to spend here? Are you interested in long-term savings? While making your home energy-efficient can cost more money at the beginning, it will save you money on future power bills. Do you want to invest in a water tank and install solar panels? Knowing the answers to these questions in the early stages of building will help with your overall budget and eventual resale value.

What are some things I should consider for the future? 

If you know that you will be selling this house at some point in the future, it’s good to think of how it might work for the next owners. Is a wine cellar the best use for the space? Could you do with less permanent wine storage and more space for an extra bedroom or living area? While you have the freedom to design a house that suits your unique needs, make sure it doesn’t hinder your resale value. 

Pay attention to the design guidelines of the community where you are building. Design essentials help protect your investment and enhance the potential future capital growth by ensuring that all the homes built within your community are of a similar high quality. 

Above all, go into your build knowing your expectations and requirements for each part of your home. This will help to ensure that you’re using the space practically and spending your money wisely.

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