What to ask before you build a home
Before you start building your dream house, make sure everything is prepared - from cost to who will build it.
Eit. veryone dreams of the perfect home, and building one from scratch is a great way to achieve
But designing and building a home can also be one of the most challenging and rewarding projects imaginable, particularly because so much heart, soul, time and money is involved.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few questions you should always ask before embarking on a new build.
CAN WE AFFORD IT?
At face value, building a home might seem cheaper than buying one, but it all adds up – especially when the temptation to add those luxuries you’ve always dreamed of is too hard to resist.
Will you be able to comfortably meet your fortnightly mortgage repayments, or will you be struggling to put food on the table? What financial sacrifices can you make, and what areas of your life can you save on (like taking your lunch to work, or switching to a cheaper power company)? Make sure you’ve got enough cash available so any setbacks don’t blow your budget. Building your own home can be amazing, but if you can’t afford to live, it might be a good idea to hold off for a while.
WHO’S GOING TO BUILD IT?
‘‘Building your dream home will be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, and choosing the right builder will mean it’s an exciting and rewarding experience, so take your time and do your homework,’’ says CEO of Jennian Homes, Aidan Jury. ‘‘Be sure to ask about guarantees and make sure you’re dealing with qualified and experienced builders who have a great reputation.’’
WHAT ARE OUR ‘WANTS’ VERSUS OUR ‘NEEDS’?
The best part of building a new home is that you can design it exactly how you want it. But ‘wants’ are often more expensive than ‘needs’, so it’s important to establish your non-negotiables before the build starts.
You might need a big kitchen, a double garage and a bedroom for each of your kids, while you might want a butler’s pantry, a library and a lap pool. Be prepared to compromise where you need to, but make sure you’re happy with the final decision. There’s nothing worse than building your dream home, only to regret your decision to leave something out.
WHAT’S A GOOD DESIGN FOR OUR NEEDS?
You might love the idea of polished concrete floors, splitlevel living and a master bedroom ‘wing’, but you might also have small children who aren’t used to slippery floors or stairs, and need you to be near them at night. Be practical with your planning and look to the future too.
ARE WE IN A HURRY?
Building a new house takes time, and if council permits are required for various stages of your build, it can sometimes take even longer. Plan to stay with family, rent or house-sit while your home is being built. Keen to keep it local while you watch your dream home come true? Ask around on Neighbourly.
Aidan Jury, Jennian Homes CEO: ‘‘Building your dream home will be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make.’’