Should You Build Your House? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself First
Everyone has a dream home. We can all picture that ‘perfect home’ we want to live in forever. And sometimes we think if we built that home ourselves, we could make it exactly how we’d want it.
But it’s a bit more complicated than that.
There is a lot involved in building your own house. And if you’ve never done it before, you may not anticipate some of the surprises you encounter along the way.
At the same time, there is a huge need for more houses to be built!
We can’t say whether building a house is right or wrong for you, because everyone’s situation is different. It depends on the individual. But we can give you the five essential questions you should ask yourself before you start building your house.
For specific advice for your situation, please contact one of our real estate agents at Pursuit Real Estate for a consultation.
Question 1: What Grants Are You Eligible For?
There are three grants that you could be eligible for if you choose to build your home. In short summary, these are:
- The First Home Owners Grant – If you’ve never owned a home before, you can get $15,000 towards buying it.
- Regional Home Building Boost Grant – design to assist regional communities in Queensland affected by Covid. If eligible, you’ll receive $5000 on the completion of your property.
- Home Builder’s Grant – If you are building a house that you intend to live in, you can receive between $15,000 and $25,000 depending on when you signed your contract.
There are several terms and conditions for all of these grants. To see if you’re eligible, you can look on the Queensland Government website. https://www.treasury.qld.gov.au/programs-and-policies/queensland-first-home-owner-grant/
Just keep in mind, a grant is a limited sum of money. Many buyers get so excited about receiving a grant that they overextend themselves. This is where you should ask yourself this second question:
Question 2: Can You Afford All The Hidden Costs?
When you get a builder’s quote for building a house, read it carefully. The final price will not include certain features.
Many builders consider items like a driveway, fences, or security screens to be optional. These won’t be included in the final quote. Please note; this is not because the builder is being dishonest. The builder will simply not include something unless you specify you want it.
So if you want these features in your house, it will cost you extra. Unfortunately, many first home buyers don’t realise this until the house is near completion and they see that something is missing. Then they are forced to overextend themselves financially.
The solution is to do a bit of research. Speak with someone familiar with building a house and get an idea of what you need. Talk to different builders about their inclusions, and what they consider 'extra'. Then when you work with the builder, ask them upfront about these costs.
Question 3: Are You Building In the Right Suburb?
You cannot build in every suburb. Only certain locations have the space for development, and that can limit where you may choose live.
Developing suburbs move further away from Brisbane city each year. You should consider if this will affect your workplace commute or taking children to school.
You should also consider how long the suburb has been in development. A completely new suburb may not have many facilities, like supermarkets, public transport, developed parklands, schools, or workplaces. You may prefer a more established suburb that already has these things available.
Weigh the pros and cons of building in a new land estate that won't have extra amenities for some years against your desired location and plans for the premises. Before you decide to build, ask yourself if the location is right for you and your timeframe. Are you going to live in the property long-term and can comfortably wait for the area to develop infrastructure around you? Or will you need to leave before the suburb has finished its development.
Question 4: Can You Live On A Building Site for 12 - 24 Months?
Construction is a noisy job. If you’re building a new house, chances are that other people on your street are building too. Chances are that you may build in a land estate that is still developing new stages.
If you finish your house and move in first, you may have to listen to other houses still being built for up to 12 months. And builders often start at 6:30am.
In many new estates, you are also forced to begin construction of your home as part of the contract. It pays to read the fine print so you know exactly when your home will be completed, and when you are expected to occupy it.
This is something to be aware of when considering where to build. You may wish to wait until your street, or even your desired land estate, is more completed to avoid this inconvenience.
Question 5: Could You Afford a Delay in Construction?
Even the best building company can be caught by delays. Sometimes delays happen because of changes in the industry, or employees leaving unexpectedly. Or the delays can occur on other projects the construction company is working on, and it causes a flow-on affect for you.
And of course, the elephant in the room is Covid. There is a certain amount of unpredictability surrounding lockdown. If one construction employee is impacted by Covid, then the whole company will have to shuffle work rosters around to account for the changes.
So ask yourself. If you do face a delay with your house’s completion, how would that affect you?
Could you afford to continue to live where you are for an extra six months? Could you pay for two residences at once?
While a construction loan may have its benefits, any delay risks changing circumstances and the final loan itself, for which the bank will have watchful eyes on.
Some delays might last an extra few weeks. Some can take months, especially on very large projects. You have to prepare for the worst when building a house.
If you are spending every last cent you have to build your property, then you won’t have breathing room if something doesn’t go to plan. Don’t overextend yourself.
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We hope this has given you something to think on. If you are considering building a property for living or investing, we would welcome your call. Pursuit Real Estate can give you up-to-date advice and guidance to make sure you are safe and secure while building such an important project.