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Why house and land packages are best for first home buyers

Market insights 05 April 2019 Read time: 3 minutes

A house and land package delivers the Australian dream – your own home, your own backyard and your own fence line. And first home buyers are getting value, savings and certainty by choosing to take the house and land package journey. Here’s why.


New Everything

The house is brand-new, guaranteed, and just the way you want it. And, it is most likely a lot cheaper than buying an established home, especially in a major city.

House and land packages are usually offered in new estates where the developers subdivide the land, install roads, water and sewerage and then sell the properties in one of two ways.

The developer might build homes on the land and then sell them complete. This is called a “turnkey” package. The other way is for the developer to offer a choice of house designs by teaming up with a range of builders. You select the land you want and the home you want to be built on it.


Financing

If you are keen on the latter option, then financing consists of two parts – buying the land and building the house. The land component is a regular mortgage. The building component requires a construction loan whereby you draw down an amount to pay for each stage as the home is built. These stages are usually when the concrete slab is being poured; when the walls and roof are going up; when the house has reached “lock-up” stage; and on completion of the project.

There are excellent savings to be had with a house and land package. You save on stamp duty as it only applies to the land, whereas you pay the full amount when buying an established house. And maintenance costs are low because it’s a new home and it also comes with a warranty.

You may be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant. Eligibility and the amount varies from state to state, so check what’s happening where you are buying.

As with any real estate purchase, you need to pay for conveyancing costs, legal fees and bank fees.


Home Designs

The developer will show you a range of home designs that can usually be customised for you. There will also likely be the option to add on extras such as soaker baths, stone benchtops, next-level kitchen fittings, and larger doors and windows. Be a little bit careful here, because the extras can hike up the cost quite significantly.

Keep in mind that the display home you love is fitted out with the upgrades and extras, so if you opt for the basic model, it may not look exactly the same. But the beauty is, you can totally build your dream home exactly as you’d like.

Being new, the homes are up to date with sustainability requirements and most builders seem proud of their environmental inclusions. This is good news for you – more sustainability in the build means lower energy costs for you.


What is included?

A house and land package shouldn’t give you any nasty surprises. They are advertised for a single fixed price with all the costs known up front and a time frame given for the build. The peace of mind is very appealing for first-time buyers as it makes planning and financial organisation so much easier.

Remember, inclusions vary from developer to developer, so ask about things like landscaping, fencing, clothesline, letterbox and the driveway. These items are often not included in the price.

Read expert tips on how to find the right builder here.

Hero image: Botania, Victoria