There’s no doubt that building a new home is exciting – it’s also likely to be one of the biggest investments you make in your life. There’s a lot at stake, so getting it right is a must.
With so many decisions to make along the way to pull it together, it can fast become overwhelming. But when you are well-prepared (and avoid some common pitfalls) you can pull it off and successfully build the home of your dreams.
So, read on to discover three mistakes to avoid when building a new modular home.
Buying a Block with Hidden Costs
When it comes to choosing a great block, it’s important to look for more than just the ideal location and price. The aspect, features and access will also impact your build, as will the BAL and any planning overlays that apply. If you’re looking at a sloping block, be aware that you may need to factor in some added costs in your budget such as excavation, retaining walls and balustrades. If there are no connections available, this will also add to your overall project cost, and if access is limited and a crane is required to install your home, this will be an extra expense. For land located in a bushfire prone area or where planning overlays apply, you may need to factor in a little extra for specific building materials or other items required to meet regulations.
To avoid going over budget before construction even starts, it’s a good idea to have a chat to your builder for advice before you finalise the sale. They can give you some tips on what to look for, make recommendations regarding the suitability of your land for your build, and in some cases, they may even be able to inspect the land for you to help you avoid buying a bad block.
Building A Home That’s Too Big… Or Too Small
With the huge array of house designs available, narrowing it down is a hard task. It can be easy to lose sight of what you really need, and get carried away with the possibilities, which can result in your home being too big, or over budget. On the other hand, if you’re looking to cut corners to save money wherever possible, there’s a chance you may go the other way, and end up with a house that is too small and lacks the features you need.
Striking a balance here is key – and the best way to do that is to have a clear list of priorities, that separates the non-negotiable must-have items from the things that are nice to have, but you can live without. When you’re clear on this, and on your budget, your builder can help you to find a design that is the right size for your family and lifestyle and includes as many items from your wish list as possible.
Choosing the Wrong Builder
One of the earliest – and most critical – decisions you’ll need to make is your choice of builder. So be sure to take your time and do your research so you find someone who is a good fit. When making your decision, it comes down to more than just nice designs and good value. It’s equally important to find a builder who you feel comfortable sharing your ideas with and who is willing to work with you to create a home that you love. If you’re talking to a builder and they don’t seem to ‘get’ where you’re coming from or are unwilling to offer flexibility, it should set off some warning bells. While there are always limitations, in most cases, the right builder will find a way to make your ideas happen.
Recommendations are always a good place to start, but you’ll still need to speak with the project consultants, visit display homes and compare inclusions, designs and prices carefully before you make a decision. Take your time, do your research and trust your instincts, because your choice of builder can be the difference between a smooth and successful project and a disaster.
Choose Wisely and Make Your Dream Home a Reality
Building a new home is a life-changing event and putting in the groundwork is a must to make it a success. Keep the big picture in mind and look beyond the price and location when choosing a block to avoid overlooking any potentially devasting hidden costs. Be realistic when selecting your design and seek advice to make sure you get the best value and don’t overcapitalise. And when comparing builders, remember, you are counting on them to deliver your dream home – so make your decision based on who you feel comfortable with and trust, rather than on price alone.
Over to You
Do you have a question for our team? Or do you know of another common mistake that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it – simply post a comment below or contact us on 03 5145 7110.