Building terminology

A handy reference for all those specific terms used in the property industry.

The language of home building 

When it comes to building your dream home, there’s a wealth of technical terms that you probably won’t understand right from the outset. That’s where this handy glossary comes in. Here we outline the basic terms you need to understand as you go through the home building and buying process.

A - C

Act –They are basically sets of rules that have been passed by the government and become law. They often relate to the things that you can and can’t do on your property.

Appraisal – an expert valuation of a property. You’ll get one of these if you’re buying or selling. This value is different to the market value.

Asset protection – a form of insurance that provides cover for any damage incurred to council assets during demolition and construction.

Building permit – this is official approval for work to commence. It is issued by a local body and allows you or your builder to proceed with the construction of a property.

Certificate of occupancy – this is approval from a licenced surveyor that a building is suitable for occupation.

Contract – a legally binding document that formalises the purchase, sale and exchange of real estate between parties.

Contractor – a contractor will be your builder or architect. These people then employ subcontractors like bricklayers, electricians and so on for the more technical elements of building your home.



D - L

Design guidelines – these are a set of parameters that explain what and what isn’t possible when building your first home. All Stockland communities have certain design guidelines to ensure homes are developed in harmony with the local surroundings.

Energy efficiency – The ratio of the level of services or functions provided to the energy used to provide that output.

Finance – the process of having money lent to you in order to build your dream home.

First home owner grant (FHOG) – a public scheme initiated in 2000 that aimed to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership. It is a sum of money given to first time home owners. Each state and territory has different rules and regulations so check yours before you build. Read about the grants in your state here

Fittings – a term used to describe items that are added to homes during their construction. Different to fixtures, fittings can be removed without damaging the property - things like washing machines and fridges.

Fixed rate home loan – a home loan where the interest rate remains the same over the term of the loan. That means your repayments are always the same.

Fixtures – a term used to describe items added to properties under construction that cannot be removed without damaging the property. Think things like built-in wardrobes and windows.

House and land package – a bespoke home design that has been planned in accordance with a specific lot of land. Stockland offers house and land packages at all 64 residential communities around Australia. Find out more about what’s on offer here.

Initial deposit – a deposit is an amount that you put down with the bank as you take out a mortgage. This can be anywhere from 5% of the purchase price or more. Find out more about deposits here.

Interest rate – the amount charged, as a percentage on top of the value of the loan, that is paid to the lender.

Stockland Liveability Index – a report produced by Stockland that profiles how liveable our communities are and how they compare to the rest of Australia. To find out more about the Liveability Index, click here.

Lot size – a reference to the size (generally in square metres) of a piece of land.

Sienna Wood

M - Z

Market value – different to an appraisal value, market value represents the amount that the seller is willing to pay for the property.

Mortgage broker – a financial professional who represents lenders and helps home buyers find the best home loan for their situation.

Pre-approval – this is conditional approval of a loan by your bank. It is proof to the seller that you’ve been approved for a loan up to a certain amount.

Prestart interview – in this meeting with your builder, you will go over fixtures, fittings and design of your premises. Within this meeting you will finalise any last minute details about the house you plan to build.

Settlement – final stage in the property sale process. Here the buyer completes the payment of the contract price to the seller and takes legal possession of the premises.

Settlement period – Amount of time between the exchanging of contracts and the property settlement.

Site preparation – the process, prior to building, whereby a surveyor determines the location of certain landmarks on the premises; fences, foundations and so on.

Site works – the process of clearing land before construction to ensure it is ready to be built upon.

Stamp duty – a state government tax that is paid on the value of the premises being purchased.

Title – official record of who owns a piece of land. If a piece of land is titled, permission has been granted to build on it.

Variable rate home loan – a home loan where the interest rate varies over the term of the loan.


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