HOME BUILDER QUESTIONS PART 1
- Read and make sure you understand everything in your contract documents. Remember, it doesn’t matter how simple the question is, ask it. Because it is important to have peace of mind all the way through your build.
- Know your obligations, and know your home builder’s obligations. If you want to change anything, do it before signing the contract, or it could get costly. Changes need to be in writing, signed by you and the builder.
- Are you comfortable with progress payments at various stages of construction? Check that the amounts and timing will work for your finance provider.
- Note the start and finish dates of the fixed contract schedule. Ask about your rights if the building process runs over this time.
- How will the amounts you’re paying to your builder be calculated? See “Provisional Sums” and “Prime Cost Sums” in your contract to find out (these terms are more clearly defined at page 24 of this guide).
- Know your own rights and responsibilities as an owner. Make sure you read the ‘Notice to the Home Owner’ (it’s a document your builder will hand you to read if your project costs anywhere between $7,500 and $500,000).
- Also, find out your builders Home Indemnity Insurance details before paying your deposit.
- With your deposit, the max you should be asked to pay is 6.5% of the contract sum (for projects costing between $7,500 and $500,000).
- Finally (and importantly), make sure you’re happy with what you’re signing. It’s important to highlight that Western Australia offers no ‘cooling off period’ on building contracts.
For extra clarity when building your new home, also refer to this (government-supplied) checklist.
When it comes to building your dream home definitely ask questions and do your homework. If you do these two things, you’ll maintain your expectations and your home building experience is likely to be a breeze.
BEFORE YOU START
A HOT QUESTION YOU’RE SURELY ASKING IS
How do I work out what to spend on my new home?
Let me help answer you by first scoping out what you can afford.
Affordability and finance
One giant plus for first home buyers when you build a new home – as opposed to buying one that’s already built – is there is no stamp duty. This is a superb saving right off the bat.
And, with favourable interest rates, you will find that repayments when buying a house are comparable to what you are paying in rent or even less!
Now, let’s talk finance, because most people building a home need finance to get going…
One thing that a lender is concerned with is that you’re able to make your monthly mortgage repayments.
Blueprint Homes Mortgage Calculator can help you get clear on the monthly repayments you’re up for, which obviously depends on your loan amount. There are a heap of banks and lending institutions who provide home loans to people here in Australia, so the possibilities are endless. Each of these have their own lending criteria and deposit requirements.
Some require a large deposit, whereas others only a small deposit – or even no deposit at all. Some lenders accept
proof of consistent rental payments as the “genuine savings” which may mean you don’t have to have your deposit sitting in the bank doing nothing for three months! This allows you to get going sooner.
If you’re a First Home buyer, you may be entitled to the Government’s First Home Owner’s Grant. Not only that, but you’ll also receive the additional incentive of no stamp duty for your land purchase up to $300,000 or a reduced (discounted) duty between $300,000 and $400,000. This incentive only applies when you build, and can really help.
Finally, check if you’re eligible to access financial help from Government programs like Keystart (where the WA Government helps provide low-deposit or shared ownership home loans.