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Building your own new home can be a cost effective way of breaking the rental cycle and getting into your own place for the first time. But regardless of whether you’re a first timer or not, the budget is important. 

With realistic expectations and a careful approach to managing your money, getting your brand new place to match the one in your dreams could be achievable for you.

Set Your Budget

Start at the start and establish exactly what you can afford to spend. This helps you ensure that you can meet your mortgage repayments when they kick in. It’s essential to factor in contingency funds for those additional expenses that often arise. They include things like council rates, insurances, taxes and landscaping.

It’s important to keep this manageable and achievable by keeping costs within the loan amount that you have pre-approved. On top of that, it’s a good idea to put a little bit more cash to one side to cover the things that none of us can anticipate.

Write a checklist

Sit down and have a think about the rooms, finishes, features and fixtures that are your ‘must haves’. When you have them down and saved on your laptop, start a new list for your ‘nice to haves’. That way you can clearly see what is essential and what are the luxuries. If your funds are not stretching quite as far as you'd hoped, then it's the luxuries that have to go.

Apply costs to them all and then refer back to your budget and work out what will and won’t make the final list of included features for your new home.

Full Drawings & Inspection

The quote you get from your builder will be more accurate if you can organise a complete set of drawings and plans and an inspection of the site.

It’s better for you and your builder to be working on a mutual understanding and maximum clarity from the start and this is a good way to make that happen.

Plans and drawings can be provided by a draughts person or architect and many builders provide these services themselves too, so make sure you talk to your builder about this.

Get Multiple Quotes

This might seem obvious but many people don’t bother. Once you’ve established the spec and style of your new home and your budget, get quotes from three different builders.

Price isn’t everything and even the lowest quote could end up costing you more in the long run. It is definitely worth investing a little more to get a great builder and honest advice about the home you’re planning.

Good builders will give you the benefit of their experience on the whole process, choosing the right materials and the way your new home can function for you and your family.

Compare Carefully

Take the time to double check and compare the quotes carefully. Check the allowance for provisional sums and the cost of big ticket items like stoves, baths and appliances.

Make sure your quotes are fully detailed and include the make, model and colour. These items can be subject to change and can vary dramatically from brand to brand, builder to builder and quote to quote.

Do some research into the builder, the individuals and the company and make sure you have a good understanding of how they operate before you accept their quote.

If you take the time to step through these stages, you can really increase your ability to make your budget go further and end up with a finished new home that is the best it can be for your budget.

Good luck!