About to Build a New Home? Here’s What You Need to Know

House   Brett Rowley  | 17 March 2020

A rock-solid starting point for those who are interested in building a new home.

Whether you’re buying your first home, on the hunt for your next investment property, or downsizing, building a new home is one of the biggest financial investments you’ll ever make. 

If you’re a first home buyer I am sure you have hundreds of questions such as where do you even begin? Which home builder should you choose? What to research? What to lookout for and avoid? Are your finances in check? Construction plans, house specifications..

Building a new home can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. If you don’t do your homework and march straight in without a game plan and under an immense amount of stress, you could make emotional decisions you might regret later.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. 

Building a new home is a monumental moment in your life and with the right knowledge and questions, can be one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys you’ll ever experience.

Whether you’re building your first home, or it’s not your first rodeo (which I am sure you have a checklist that you vigorously run through), we have devised the ultimate guide to buying a new home in 2020. Covering everything from choosing a builder, understanding the costs and finances, to asking the right questions and what to lookout for once it has been built.

So if you’re stressing out wondering where to start, don’t stop reading because you’ve come to the right place.

House and land — what to look for and where to start looking

If you’re about to build a new home, there are two ways to go about it.

    1. You’ve already started researching where you want to live. The suburb, location, land and home packages, builders. 
      1. Are you buying land on its own?
      2. Are you buying a home and land package?
      3. Are you buying an established turnkey property solution?

                 2. Contact your local bank branch manager or see a trusted broker to see what your financial                                situation is like and how much money you can borrow.

In most circumstances, the land will come first. You find a nice piece of land in the Perth suburb you want to live in that suits yours and your family’s lifestyle. 

If you buy the land separately, you will receive a contract for your mortgage on the land and a construction loan for the build of the house. In some situations, these two can be joint together or kept separate.

Generally, the construction loan will be separated into stages of an agreed amount to be paid at each stage, which means you only pay interest on the amount as you use it.

These stages typically include:

  • Slab going down
  • Walls and roof going up
  • Securing the house, and
  • Completion of project

Additional site works may be required if the soil is hard like clay or if it’s on a slope and needs to be levelled.

Another important factor to consider is the surrounding infrastructure. Are there any future development plans that could potentially increase the value of your home? 

Consider local schools, parks and community centres, access to public transport, local supermarkets, telecommunication connections (fast internet speed is an essential these days), and oversupply and rental competition in the near future.

Budget — What are the fees, costs and finances involved to build a new home

Finding out how much you can borrow and where you want to build is a bit of a chicken and egg situation — what should come first?

There are no wrong answers here and it works both ways. However, we recommend finding out how much you can borrow first. Imagine you found your dream home and land package in the perfect suburb only to find out that you can’t afford it.

What we also found is that most real estate agents occupying display villages will usually ask you how much are you able to borrow or if you have spoken to a broker or a bank. If you’re unable to provide an answer they will be quick to dismiss you.

Often most people get quite a scare when it comes to discovering the costs and fees involved with purchasing a new home. To better prepare you, here’s what you can expect to pay:

  • A deposit 5% – 20%
  • Legal assistance or conveyancer to help complete the transfer of property sale ~$1000 to $3000
  • Stamp duty, government imposed tax on purchase of a home, varies by state Calculate Stamp Duty
  • Building inspection, pest inspection and report to confirm structural integrity and to identify any defects in the property ~$300 to $700
  • Mortgage establishment fees may apply when you sign up with a lender ~$600
  • Building insurance is a must for houses for the moment it is transferred over to your name ~$800 – $1000+
  • Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) for deposits less than 20% ~$1500+

Speak to your local bank branch manager or a trusted broker to find out how much you can borrow. 

You will need to prepare the following documents:

  • Last three payslips
  • Savings history to support your deposit
  • Most recent tax return

Do I qualify for a first home owner grant?

For those of you who are building your first home, the government offers the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) which varies from state to state. Find out if you qualify for First Home Owners Grant


Choose a builder you can trust

What to check before selecting a builder

Walking through a home display village is like a kid walking through a candy shop with only $5 to spend. Everything looks enticing, but how do you maximise your budget and get your money’s worth?

Here are 6 questions to ask before choosing a builder.

1. Are they experienced? 

Look for a builder who has completed a number of successful projects and has built a good reputation for themselves. Although some building companies are fairly new, they may be established by seasoned builders. It pays to do your homework — read reviews, ask around, look at completed projects, and if possible, talk to previous customers about their experiences.

2. Are they licensed and insured?

This may seem like a fairly standard question, but it’s one of the most important questions to ask to ensure you and your home builder are covered during the build process in the event that something goes wrong. Quality home builders will provide you with these details when requested.

3. Do they belong to a builder’s association?

Builders who are a part of a builder’s association means they are up to date with the latest in technology and education in the field, this means you will always get the latest best and safest practices in the construction of your home.

4. Do they have past satisfied clients?

A reliable and high quality home builder is one that has plenty of happy and satisfied clients saying wonderful things about them. This is why builders offer referral incentives for potential clients. Try and get in touch with past clients and ask them these 2 questions “If you were to build again, would you choose this builder again?” and “Would you recommend them to your family and friends?”

5. Will they communicate with you from start to finish?

Good home builders will provide complete transparency and keep you in the loop in a timely manner from start to finish about how the project is going and all the way through, right up until handover.

6. Do they provide a warranty?

Reliable and trustworthy home builders will stand by all their work with a 100% guarantee and will have no hesitation in providing a builders warranty.

For example, BGC Housing Group offers a 6 year warranty, dated from practical completion which covers structural items & faults of original workmanship.

Some builders will let you decide the garage door manufacturer or at least the type of door you can get installed. Furthermore, you can request a Gryphon. We supply and install all types of garage doors, from sturdy roller doors to easy on the eye sectional doors and custom made garage doors if your project is out of the ordinary.
Talk to our team if you have any questions about garage doors.

Brett Rowley

Brett is a garage door expert who also runs Gryphon Garage Doors. He strives for great customer service, excellent product knowledge and constant innovation.