Building a home can be a cost-effective way of getting into your own place. With realistic expectations and a careful approach to managing your budget, building a brand new place exactly as you’d like it could be within reach.

To help you head in the right direction, HomeStart Chief Executive Andrew Mills has some tips to share; 
1.  Set a budget

Establish what you can afford to spend and make sure you can meet your repayments when they start. Remember to include funds for additional expenses such as council rates, insurances, taxes, fittings and even landscaping.

Create a budget to help keep costs within your pre-approved loan amount. It’s also a good idea to set aside a little extra to cover any other unplanned expenses that may arise.
2.  Write a checklist
Write a list of features you think your home really ‘must have’ to function effectively. Then write another list of things that may not be essential, but are features you would like your new home to have.

Then all you have to do is look at your budget to see what you can afford to include or not. 
3.  Obtain a complete set of drawings and a full inspection
If you can organise a set of drawings and an inspection of the site, builders will be able to provide you with a more accurate quote. 

It's worth engaging the services of a draughtsperson or architect for accurate drawings.  Many builders also provide these services for you, so speak with any of the builders you may be considering to see if they can assist.
4. Get three builders to provide a quote
Once you’ve decided on the style and look you’re after, obtain quotes from three different builders.  Remember price is not everything and the lowest quote may even end up costing you more in the long run. There have also been significantly long delays in building since COVID-19, so be wary about builders promising quick builds. It’s definitely worth paying a little extra to get the right builder and the right advice.
A good builder will not only offer you the benefit of their experience in relation to the entire building process, but also in relation to material selection and the functionality of your new home. 
Compare the quotes carefully.
  • Check the allowance for provisional sums and prime cost items such as stoves, baths and electrical goods. 
  • Check the quote includes full details like make, model and colour, because these items can be subject to alteration and can vary significantly from quote to quote.
Never accept the quote until you’ve checked the builder or his company’s background as well. If you were taking on an employee you would check their referees – and this is no different.

If you think that you are ready to start the home building journey, contact HomeStart today and take the first step towards getting into your own home, sooner.