House and land packages can be highly appealing, thanks to their affordable prices and quick turnaround times. For first home buyers in particular, house and land packages can be a great way to get your foot in the door when it comes to Australia’s increasingly competitive housing market.
House and land packages generally can be bought in two different ways: turnkey or standard packages. Turnkey means that you’re buying an already completed house and land package, ready and waiting for you to move into. The standard package involves you buying the land and then designing and building the home to fit your preferences.
When it comes to financing your house and land package, turnkey homes can be approached traditionally with a home loan and a 20% deposit. For a standard package, you have two different components to think about: the land and the construction. This means you’ll have to finance your block of land with a land loan and then cover the construction costs with a construction loan. These can both work quite differently from traditional home loans, so make sure you discuss the details with a finance professional.
Unfortunately, not all house and land packages are as good as they seem. Before making any decisions, it’s important that you do your due diligence and make sure you get a package with no nasty surprises and constricting contracts. To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of everything you need to know about house and land packages before you make any commitments you may regret.
The type of subdivision
When it comes to house and land packages, you’ll generally be buying into a subdivision or “land estate” that the new home builders have bought. Smaller subdivisions of around 10-20 blocks of land are usually built in already established areas, with amenities already in place. Master-planned subdivisions can consist of over 1,000 homes and are expansive projects that generally also include building new amenities such as schools, shops and parks.
With medium subdivisions of around 100 blocks of land, there is a chance that there are no existing amenities nearby and none being constructed. This can be a dealbreaker for many people, so make sure you know what type of subdivision you’re buying into and what the available amenities will be.
Many house and land packages come with prices that seem almost too good to be true, and this is often the case. Many companies will advertise amazingly affordable packages, only for areas such as landscaping, flooring and fencing to not be included in the advertised price.
These additional costs can come as a surprise to many buyers, and inflate their budgets greatly. Always make sure you know what’s included in the advertised price and assess just how much bang you’re getting for your buck.
House and land packages can vary greatly in their proposed building timelines. Some home builders will have all relevant building permits and approvals already in place, and you’ll be able to head straight into construction.
Other packages may be selling land that still needs preparation before construction can begin, such as sewerage infrastructure and roadwork. While these may be more affordable in some cases, some buyers won’t be willing to wait the months or even years it can take for construction to be able to begin.
Some subdivisions, especially larger ones, can have restrictions on design options you can make and builders you can use. This is generally to maintain a cohesive look throughout the neighbourhood, and you could be limited to a certain design style.
If you’re very particular about how you want your home to look and the features it has, you may want to avoid a house and land package with these restrictions in place.
If you buy a turnkey house and land package, it can be very costly and complicated to make any major modifications. Seeing as construction has already been completed, making additions such as a swimming pool or a granny flat come with considerably more challenges than if you were involved in the building process from the get-go.
While it’s faster and often cheaper to buy an already completed home, if you plan on making a large amount of money on modifications it may end up costing more than a standard package. Make sure you’re happy with the home you’re buying or are fully aware of the costs involved with tweaking it to fit your taste and standards.
House and land packages can be a dream come true for many Australians, offering spacious homes and modern living at an affordable price. Just make sure you do your research and know all there is to know in order to protect yourself and your assets.