06 February 2017 4 min read

Landing the right deal: what you need to do before building a house. Stockland’s expert Georgina Cihan takes you through her tips for building a first home.

Deciding to build your own house is the first step in an adventure, but it can be difficult to be sure which path to follow as you set off. At Stockland, we specialise in guiding you on your journey, providing that perfect plot at the heart of a welcoming neighbourhood. Georgina Cihan, our Sales Manager in Victoria, has guided hundreds of individuals, couples and families along the way – and seen them flourish in our many masterplanned communities. We asked her to outline the steps to building the right house.

Understanding budgeting
One of the trickiest tasks for any prospective builder is one of the very first: balancing the dream of the ideal home with the realities of the bank balance. “You might have an aspirational view of what you would like, but the reality is what you can actually afford,” says Georgina.

You can’t build a house without building a budget first, and it’s important to factor in the money which you might be spending in the future, as well as your out-goings today. Lots of young families need space for new arrivals. The extra costs of sending your kids to a great school, the new car you’ll need to get them there, and the holidays you want to take them on – they all add up, sometimes unexpectedly. Fortunately, help is at hand. Georgina recommends seeking advice from a bank or a broker – “because without a budget and having finance in place, you can’t really move to the next step."

Find a plot which suits you
Many aspiring builders have their perfect home in mind well before they decide where they want to construct it – right down to the last window frame or door handle. But, according to Georgina, it’s always best to find the right plot of land and then decide on the finer design points. After all, it can’t be perfect if it’s ill-suited to its surroundings. And that’s before you take into account your neigh-bourhood. It’s not just about angles, structures and terrain: there’s also local transport links, education, scenery, crime and security to be considered. Rushing this decision is one of the key mistakes to avoid when building. The ideal home needs an ideal community. 

“Because I have a building background I used to think the emotional attachment comes from the home,” says Georgina, “but since being at Stockland I’ve realised customers fall in love with a neighbourhood soon after they move in.”

“During the course of their search they might have looked at many display homes, but they drive through one of our masterplanned communities first and think this is where the really want to live. That’s where we come in and where our vision of creating wonderful communities to live in is so important.”

Because I have a building background I used to think the emotional attachment comes from the home but since being at Stockland I’ve realised customers fall in love with a neighbourhood soon after they move in

Choosing the right builder
Once you’ve found the right plot for you, your nearest and dearest, you’ll need the right builder to make your dreams a reality – and that can be tougher than it seems. Some of Stockland’s most beautiful plots are situated beside lakes or nestled in parkland, requiring high blocks or sloping foundations. That’s why we can help to match the right builder to the right project.

“Our customers can visit display villages within our communities, see the range of homes there, and the house and land packages we have with different builders,” says Georgina. “There are custom builders who can provide designs for that,” she adds. “So it’s a matter of finding the right block and the right builder for the kind of house you want.”

Land the Right Deal
Only once you’ve done your sums, located the right plot in a warm, welcoming community, and partnered with the right builders to get the job done, are you really ready to go. But that’s no easy task. If you’d like a hand along the way, we’ll be glad to show you around one of our display villages – at nearly all of our 64 residential sites around the country.

Whatever your balance sheet looks like, we’ll have the plot, the price and the practical experience to bring you together with the land which you can turn into the house which will become your home.