The Blank Canvas – Your Dream Home Starts Here

The Blank Canvas

Your dream home starts here

Having the ability to design and build a family home is one that many Australians desire. Being able to live the “great Australian dream” is something all Australians strive towards. With interest rates at a record low 2.5% and developers willing to negotiate land prices with lower than expected sales, there has never been a better time to design and build your dream home. First home owners first home

Depending on the state you live in, those new to the market are eligible to receive various government incentives. For example, the Queensland Government is offering a $15,000 grant to first home owners building or buying property. Also, in many instances stamp duty savings are also available. These incentives offered by the Queensland Government could be what is need to ensure the purchase and construction of a new home is less of a financial burden to Queensland residents. With financial incentives such as this, the dream has become so much more within reach.

After reading this article first time home owners will know the benefits of constructing a new dwelling (compared to buying an existing property), how to get started, choosing the right block of land and what to look for.


Benefits of building a new home

Your decision to design and build your new home may be for an array of reasons. Regardless, those lucky enough to have the opportunity to build a new home, owners can benefit from:

  • having the opportunity to design a new home for you and your needs; both present and future
  • new homes require no repairs or maintenance needed compared to that of an existing dwelling
  • lower operating costs (such as water and electricity) compared to that of an older, less efficient home
  • A newly constructed home will have home warranty insurance to ensure that everything is in working order after the completion of construction (usually 6-12 months)
  • living in a newer home designed and built to the current building codes and construction standards with modern, up-to-date building products
  • having the ability to work with a “blank canvas”; choosing your own colours, features, materials and finishes
  • no waiting times for previous owners to vacate

Before even considering building, it pays to know your financial status. Speak to an accountant, mortgage broker or financial advisor and know your financial position and borrowing capacity. Financial institutes have different policies for different property types and/or locations so making yourself aware of these conditions can only be advantageous.

Getting started

After confirming the amount that can be borrowed, explore what is available within your budget. In order to build your home, you will need a canvas to build your dream home; that canvas is your block of land.

The cost of retaining walls and extensive earthworks of sloping sites can add up quickly

The cost of retaining walls and extensive earthworks of sloping sites can add up quickly…

but with an elevated building footprint associated with these sites, spectacular views can be had

…but with an elevated building footprint associated with these sites, spectacular views can be had.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right block. The most important factor and one that will ultimately decipher where and/or which block is bought, is cost.

Developers may set higher prices for blocks with better aspect and a lower price for blocks with a worse off aspect. Ideally, living areas and day time areas are best positioned north or north east. Keep this in mind when looking at a potential block. Large flat blocks with northern aspect are ideal, although can have a higher price tag for this reason.

If your preferred block is out of reach, other sites that may not be as appealing still have as much; if not more potential when utilizing smart design and clever building.

Choosing the right block

Less than ideal sites with obvious disadvantages can be cheaper and savings can be had. But beware. Less than ideal sites are cheaper for a reason. The common myth is to stay away from difficult blocks but when coupled with a smart designer and knowledgeable builder can have advantageous outcomes, both financially and aesthetically. Blocks with slope or fall generally are cheaper but the cost of retaining and extensive earthworks can add up quickly into the thousands. But don’t be fooled! Sloping blocks with cheaper price tags can have as much architectural merit (if not more) compared to that of a flat site. Keep in mind that sloping blocks generally mean a higher building footprint which in turn can offer potential views.

Standard site plan

Standard site plan

Irregularly shaped blocks can also be had for cheaper but again beware of unforeseen costs. Lots of this natures usually require an increased building setback which can sometimes mean extending your services further than outlined in the builders contract. It also means extra costs for a longer driveway and fencing as well as potentially smaller backyards. Irregularly shaped blocks may also require less than ideal building footprints; closer to neighbouring boundaries and hampering valuable privacy. To compensate this, irregularly shaped blocks tend to be larger in size and offer better value per square metre. A smart designer can design to the irregular shape of the block and utilize the site to maximize the potential of the lot to overcome these common disadvantages associated with irregularly shaped blocks.

Irregular shaped block

Irregular shaped block

Another major factor to consider when choosing a block of land is location. Ask yourself what you would like out of your possible new home and its surroundings. Whether it be parks, schools, existing and planned infrastructure, shopping centres or public transport. Looking for a community area that caters for you and your needs will ultimately have a bearing on live-ability and comfort. Looking for a community or estate with set covenants is also advantageous. Covenants vary depending on the requirements of the developer. Not only do covenants set design guidelines for all homes constructed but also keep the quality of newly built homes high, upholding quality living and rewarding home owners by protecting their investment.

It pays to do your research. Get to know the area by studying median prices and growth, employment figures, local area demographics, rental figures and sales records. It’s a good idea to also consider the disadvantages. For example, is the block close to major roads, highways or workshops? If so, will noise be an issue? Doing your research will help to understand your potential area and assist your decision in making a safe investment.

The next step

Before considering the purchase of your dream block, it is a wise idea to talk your local builder to discuss the unforeseen potential costs of your chosen block as well as what builders can construct to suit your budget. Using a plan supplied by the builder is cheaper compared to designing and building a custom home. Project builders have plans costed ready for construction at a fixed cost. But beware, ensure you understand what is included in the build price. Some builders may not include specific items in the build price (such as turf, garden beds or concrete pathways). Also be aware if you wish to modify a specific plan, extra charges may occur. Speak to a variety of builders and thoroughly examine their inclusions and plans to find a builder that meets your needs and requirements.

Designing and building a home is a fulfilling, rewarding experience. Witnessing a design evolve from pen and paper to a physical structure is truly gratifying; creating a space in which treasured memories and unforgettable moments will be created with the ones you love. With government incentives available for potential home owners, there has never been a better time to build your dream home.

Building design construction drawingsHere at Sketched Drafting and Design, we  provide assistance, helpful advice and obligation free quotes to anyone wanting to design and/or build their dream home.

Having a comprehensive knowledge base of the building industry and its requirements, we can supply construction drawings and many other building design services at a competitive price in a prompt and professional manner.

We strive in providing an easy to understand competitive pricing structure with easy to read quotes with no hidden costs. Whether you are a first home owner, investor, owner occupier, builder or developer; Sketched Drafting and Design can help. Call us today on 07 5660 9692 or via email; We look forward to meeting you shortly.

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