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BUYERS have several options when it comes buying land and building a new home.

Investa Land Victorian general manager Paul O’Brien said the first option was to buy land off the plan.

‘Buying off the plan means the land is not titled – they haven’t put the roads, the gas, water and services in,’ he said.

‘But you get in early to secure your preferred lots and use the settlement period to choose your builder and be ready to start on site as soon as the land is titled.’

Mr O’Brien said buyers who took this option were relying on the performance of the developer and their track record to deliver the estate infrastructure.

Another option is to buy titled land where all the connections and services are already in place.

Under both scenarios, buyers then choose a builder to build their home. They can go for a large building company that has many set designs, also known as a volume builder, or a custom builder that offers more individual designs.

House-and-land packages are another, popular choice.

This usually involves buying a block of land and a home design that has been packaged together by the estate developer and their building partners.

Master Builder Association Victoria chief executive Radley de Silva said house and land packages generally offered good value, especially for first-home buyers.

First-home buyers Daniel Gilbett and Catherine Calleja chose a house-and-land package because it was more affordable and gave them more say in their home’s design.

‘We could choose the design,’ Mr Gilbett, 25, said.

‘We selected all the interior colours, tiles, ceiling heights, the layout of the house, position of the windows.’

The couple hopes to move into their four-bedroom house in Investa’s Bloomdale estate in Diggers Rest later this month,

They stand to benefit from a stamp duty saving of about $10,000.

‘Buying a house-and-land package just seemed like a smarter move,’ Mr Gilbett said.

Choosing a builder

KEY QUESTIONS

???????????????????????? Is the builder registered?

???????????????????????? Can the builder provide references for homes they have recently completed?

???????????????????????? Have I read and understood the contract?

???????????????????????? Does the contract comply with all the requirements of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995?

???????????????????????? Are building permits and planning approvals needed and what is the cost?

DO’S

???????????????????????? Obtain at least three written quotes.

???????????????????????? Check recent projects completed by builders and if possible ask clients their opinion of workmanship.

???????????????????????? Check that the builder can provide warranty insurance for the building work.

???????????????????????? Determine whether the work requires a building and town planning permit.

DON’TS

???????????????????????? Sign the building contract before you read it thoroughly and ensure you understand it.

???????????????????????? Forget to gain knowledge of your site from council, such as sewerage or septic tanks, bushfire areas and termite zones etc.

Master Builders Association of Victoria chief Radley de Silva

Choosing a housing estate

CHECK TRAVEL TIME:Travel time to the places you regularly go is far more important than distance. Good access to highways is a major plus.

DRIVE AROUND:If the estate is established, get a feel for the area, its open spaces and the quality of the homes.

MEET THE NEIGHBOURS:Spend time in the parks and speak to existing residents about the area.

TEST THE AMENITIES:Are you close to schools and shopping? Also, look for childcare services, access to healthcare and sporting and recreational facilities.

ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS WHEN CONSIDERING BUYING IN A NEW DEVELOPMENT:

???????????????????????? Is it better value to buy new than buy an existing home and rebuild or renovate?

???????????????????????? Do you want a house with a big garden, or a smaller lot with a lower maintenance home?

???????????????????????? Are there plenty of open spaces like parks, walking and bike trails?


Posted by Neelima Choahan — Herald Sun on 11th October, 2014