HOME BUILDING TIPS: FOR AN ARCHITECT DESIGNED HOME BUILT ON YOUR LAND
Whether you are looking to buy land, have recently inherited land or already own a block you can see yourself enjoying for many years to come, there are many design and financial benefits to building on land you own, as opposed to buying a finished home or a house and land package. Regardless of how you came to own the land however, if the type of home you hope to build requires architectural input we have a few tips to help you maximise your land value, build smart and be happy with the final result.
1. Ask your architect to carefully consider your unique landscape
One of the major reasons clients of Valley Homes seek out an architect to design their home is to have an optimal floor plan, an enhanced home lifestyle, as well as complement the surrounding landscape – we like to think of it as the trifecta of good home design. Good design will incorporate views and make the best use of the property aspects to allow the house to sit harmoniously in its surroundings.
We recommend you make sure your architect understands your vision of the entire home, including landscape and natural surrounds.
The appeal of your particular landscape may be it’s central location and nearby cafés. This may mean your landscape also includes towering apartment blocks or busy street fronts, which means it’s also likely that your home design will need to consider privacy, soundproofing and easy access for off-road parking. Alternatively, your landscape may be a sprawling acreage that may need some large trees incorporated (or cleared) and/or the property’s creeks, dams, or natural watercourses to be taken into consideration during the design process.
Basically it’s your land, so it has to work for you and when off the plan isn’t going to cut it, make sure your custom design does.
You’ve probably heard it before, but…
2. Get to know your surrounds and services well
Before you get swept up in building on a secluded parcel in the Hunter Valley or becoming a city-dweller and building in central Newcastle, research the services and facilities in the area and make sure they match up with your needs, now and ten years down the track. Schools and childcare facilities, retail and entertainment, cafés and restaurants, hospitals and GPs, plus community and recreational facilities are very important when deciding on whether your block is ideal for a family home or if it is more suitable as a duplex or dual occupancy.
Also, it pays to understand the costs involved in connecting water, electricity, gas, telephone, internet and sewerage. City builds, such as in Newcastle, will usually have little problems or additional costs (above standard) for any of these services. However, move out to the country and the connections may incur substantial additional fees.
With this is mind you also need to know if your land is in a flood zone or a fire danger area. All of these factors will affect your overall budget, the type of house you will be able to build, as well as ongoing costs, such as insurance.
It really pays to have all of these factors clear in your mind, because if you inherited the land and/or are not tied to building in this particular spot, if the land you own isn’t measuring up to your needs it might be better to sell at this early stage and look at building somewhere more appropriate.
3. Save on stamp duty if you can
Buying an empty block of land with the intention to build can make great financial sense as stamp duty is only payable on the land, saving you a considerable amount of money as the house component is essentially exempt.
While it may be tempting to seek a builder who can offer a ‘buy on completion’ arrangement, with the builder essentially taking on the land value and you paying one single payment on completion, this essentially becomes what is traditionally known as a ‘house and land package’. This means you will then be required to pay stamp duty on the entire home. But it your already own the land outright then you don’t need to worry about stamp duty at all – happy days.
4. Know when and when not to compromise
For most people, building a home is a real balancing act. Throughout the design and building process you will be faced with many, many decisions relating to your finished home. This will most likely start with the building orientation and size, bedrooms and living spaces, and whether or not there are council regulations. Extending all the way through to the types of windows, doors and even external finishes.
All of these decisions have associated price tags and while you may have a strong vision you may also have a finite budget. Try and decide early on what elements are critically important to you and what features can go if they have to. This will help you avoid being put on the spot and making decisions you may regret later.
Valley Homes specialises in building your plans and have great relationships with many Newcastle and Hunter Valley based architects. So if you have architects plans that need expert builders on the job or want a recommendation for a local architect with a proven track record, talk to us.
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