Building Your First Home: Where To Start
Building your first home can be a very daunting move; the decision-making process is time-consuming, and often the information just isn’t out there to assist you in taking the first steps. There are endless options to consider about where you want to live, what sort of house or unit you’re going to build, how much space you can afford, what sort of design you want, how much space you need, how many televisions you can fit in.
However, if you follow three simple steps before any bricks are laid down on your block, your process should run smoothly and you’ll have your dream home in no time.
1.Figure out your finances
This is the absolute key first step in the pre-building process. Before you make any plans, before you even make a list of suburbs or check out the housing magazines, work out your budget. Work out how much money you have in the bank, or how much you and your partner (or family) want to combine and spend. Take a look at your current debts and figure out if they are manageable on top of a potential mortgage, building fees, council fees, new furniture, and all the bits and pieces that end up being added on. It’s best to see a financial advisor at this point to ensure that you are fully aware of how much money you have to spend, how much money you can acquire via bank loan, and even how much you are entitled to from the government if you are, for example, a first home buyer in Australia.
Once the numbers are out of the way, the fun part starts. You and your partner, or family, need to do your research before deciding on any designs, or signing any contracts. This means not only looking through real estate magazines, Internet research, and checking out display homes, but also asking around about the best builders, contractors, advisors and even suburbs in your city. It’s integral that you ask friends and family about their experiences with home building to ensure that you find people to work with who will make your design, building and post-building process smooth and easy.
3.Be clear about what you want
When you’ve found a builder, agent, block, designed and have all the wheels in motion, it’s time to design your ideal home. By this stage you should have been through a number of different display homes and have at least a basic idea of what you want. Ensure that you are present for every step of the design process, and are diligent in working through your options before anything is set in concrete. Minor slip-ups at this point can mean more major problems when your house is complete; not enough room for the bath you wanted, not enough power plugs in your kitchen, a door won’t open all the way. Be clear about what it is you want, and communicate that to your designers and builders.
So, there you have it – three simple steps to stick to in your pre-building process. Remember: your budget is key, shopping around is important for ideas and finding the right people to work with, and this is your home – make sure you communicate your ideas effectively.
Chloe works on behalf of Affordable Living Homes, based in Perth, Western Australia. Affordable Living Homes specialise in building homes and providing house and land packages to first home buyers.