FOR many the process of buying a new home and land package is a mix of joy and trepidation.
There is joy because the buyers are on the verge of realising their life-long dream of owning their own patch of dirt and a brand new home to go with it. The trepidation comes from their fear that they may botch what is probably the biggest financial decision of their lives.
But the Housing Industry Association says potential purchasers can take a few steps to reduce the possibility of costly mistakes.
HIA Victorian executive director Gil King says one of the major pre-purchase moves is to arrange finance by approaching a bank or other lending institution.
“You should check that you are eligible to get the funds to buy a home before venturing down that path,’’ Mr King said. “If you intend to borrow from a bank work out if you can meet the repayments. You have to have a budget and stick to it. And don’t get lured into buying something more expensive because ultimately you will suffer mortgage stress.
“When choosing a home you have to look down the track. And, if you are having children and going from two incomes to one, decide whether one income will be sufficient to meet home repayments and other expenses involved in raising a growing family.’’
The HIA chief says it is also important for first homebuyers to do a reasonable amount of research before selecting a house and land combination.
Mr King advises that these buyers visit the websites of builders and residential land developers before journeying to display villages and land estates. Some major builders such as Metricon conduct regular seminars to help first-timers negotiate the home-buying journey.
“Online research is good but you need the on-the-spot physical examination,’’ Mr King said. “Ensure the home you choose suits the block you have chosen, so it is able to fit on that block. Visit the block of land you intend to buy at different times of the day to assess what traffic in the area is like. It’s not going to be the same at 2pm as it is at 6pm.’’
The HIA spokesman says if the builder does not have displays ask to see examples of his work, and if possible quiz the homeowners about their experience with that builder.
Gil says several volume builders offer house and packages which aim to streamline the whole home-buying process, making it quicker and easier for
Metricon has a division – HomeSolution – which is geared to making home ownership “more affordable, faster and simpler than ever before’’.
HomeSolution general manager Darren Mehl says the builder has
ready-to-move-in house and land pairings at estates across the major growth corridors.
“HomeSolution cuts the complexities surrounding home loan approval and land selection and offers a simple pricing structure. All packages are fixed price, so (there are) no nasty surprises.’’ Mr Mehl adds that the HomeSolution combinations are “turn key’’ products which have a range of standard internal features included. So, all buyers have to do is “move in’’, he says.
By Andrew Brasier
AT A GLANCE
- Ensure you have adequate finance and a budget you adhere to.
- Do your research by perusing builders/developers websites and then visiting display home villages and land estates. If the builder is not a display builder check out examples of its work, and ask owners about their experience with that builder.
- When choosing your home and land factor in site costs which can add several thousand dollars to the purchase price.
- Ensure your builder is a registered building practitioner as well as member of either the HIA or the Master Builders Association of Victoria or both.
- Ensure you obtain a standard building contract and get your solicitor to look at it before signing it.
Published in The Indian Weekly (First Weekly Indian news Magazine in Melbourne, Australia)