New Home Building and
Investment Property Tips and News
We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas in our brand new home!! I am looking forward to helping more people achieve their dream of being in a brand new home for Christmas this year!!
I have just realised it has been a while since I have posted a blog about our house. Our house is nearly completed....yay!! Our PCI date(Practical Completion Inspection) where we walk through the home with the supervisor and a building inspector is in a a couple of weeks. After this inspection the builder has 10 working days to fix any defects that are noted at the PCI. During this time the bank will send out a valuer to look at the home to make sure it is completed as per the building contract. So around 2-3 weeks from the PCI handover occurs...we get the keys!!very exciting!!
I am very excited about our Insulation!! We have had a lot of hold ups with the building of our house...things that I warn my clients may happen have happened to us!
Anyway our building journey continues...we now have insulation in our walls..the internal and external walls and between the ground and top floor.
The standard insulation is normally a wall wrap with the external walls , sarking under the roof (if in a bushfire area) and batts in the roof cavity.
We paid extra for a thick blanket under the roof(it looks wool wrapped in foil), insulation in the walls(pink fluffy batts) and the floor and some extra acoustic insulation(pink compact batts with mesh) for the bathroom, ensuite and rumpus walls.
We will be toasty warm in Winter and Cool in Summer and our son and his friends won't bother us when they are in the rumpus playing video games!!
The gyprockers have started and the next step will be the carpenter finishing the trimmings around the doors and the skirting boards.
It 's definitely looking like a house now...yay!!
Last week I flew to the Gold Coast to have a look at a couple of land estates and builders.I have not promoted this area before due to thinking you should invest locally but due to the current property market I wanted to look at the Queensland market yet again.I say yet again because my husband and I brought a house off the plan over 20 years ago near the Gold Coast and it is still a sore point that we sold it too early.
Investing in property should be a long term plan not a quick fix...the longer you hang on to a property the more you reap the benefits....values may dip and dive like a rollercoaster but in the long term property prices always go up!
The Gold Coast has that dream like quality!! Endless sunshine and relaxed vibes! however the first day I was there I was told I brought the rain with me...I got drenched several times!!
The estates I visited were in Coomera and Pimpama about 15 mins from Surfers Paradise and around 35 mins from Brisbane.
The first thing I noticed was the amount of infrastructure around these estates.Not like here where a signs stays for years and years stating a school or shopping centre will be built on the site and the residents are still waiting!
In these estate there are large shopping centres actually built just a few minutes drive away ,as well as schools and hospitals.It is great that the Councils and local government recognise that people love living in these estates and provide everything they need on their doorstep. My husband and I went to the new Westfield at Coomera...it was wonderful to walk into a shopping centre that was sparkling new,the shops were so clean ,the toilets were zen like with soothing music and spotless!! and the restaurants were amazing!!This Westfield opened in October last year and there are a couple more stages to complete...it will be huge!
People who live in Coomera and Pimpama mainly work in retail, hospitality, the theme parks and large industrial estates. ...driving around.. these land estates were buzzing!!
Packages start from $489,980 which is a good price point for investing...Buying property in Coomera and Pimpama is a solid investment and while they might not set the world on fire there will always be tenants wanting to live the dream....a couple of locals told me that Coomera is the place to watch they reckon it is about to boom!
It was just a quick trip and I would have loved to have stayed more,considering the sun came out on the day I left... but I was pleasantly surprised by what Gold Coast has to offer investors,it may be a good choice for your investment portfolio or even for your self managed super fund.
Give me a call if you would like some further information.
What your builder isn’t telling you
We all love looking at the display homes and being dazzled by all the shiny tiles, huge rooms with high ceilings and gorgeous outdoor BBQ areas.
But are all these inclusions and the display home plan exactly what you are getting when you sign on the dotted line?.
More often than not No.
With some of the big building companies the display home Inclusions are anything but standard.
You want downlights? No... you only receive the baton, you want carpet and tiles…no they are not included in the standard price and a driveway …well who needs that??
Before you sign any building contract you need to ask your builder about their standard inclusions and these items as well:
*BASIX The Building Sustainability Index-this accesses the energy efficiency of the home and is a requirement of NSW Councils…is the correct Water tank and the right water saving taps included.
*BUSHFIRE Requirements-most blocks of land have a Bushfire Rating…a BAL rating, if the home does not have the correct Bal requirements for example gutter guards then the home will not be approved by Council.
*CORRECT SLAB rating-all soil has a specific type and classification and the slab thickness depends on this classification …has the correct slab type been included?
*ROCK-has rock removal been included in the price? This not only applies to when the builder is excavating but when the plumber is digging for the drainage.
*WATER/SEWER CONNECTION-is there enough allowance for the water/sewer to be connected to your home-have they allowed enough linear metres?
*SOIL and SPOIL REMOVAL-if the builder has to dig out the block for the foundations, where does the extra dirt go? is this included if he needs to take it away to the tip?
*TREE REMOVAL-Often a block needs a good tidy up before building can commence, is the removal of trees and site clearing of overgrown grass and shrubs included? Are you expected to have the block completely cleared?
*EASEMENTS-check if there are any sewer or water easements on your block this can affect how your house is positioned…if the house needs to be moved will it affect the cost
*ALFRESCO-this area is a must nowadays but check if the roof and flooring are included in the price
*LANDSCAPING-although most people feel they can do this themselves…some estates require landscaping to be completed within 3 months of moving in..Does your builder provide turf and fencing?
All these items if not included can cost up to $50,000 extra…and most of the time people do not find this out till they are half way through the build, or at their colour selection appointment.
Having a fixed priced turn-key builder..and I mean a proper fixed priced builder (not a builder who says Fixed Priced with a huge asterix next to the price)…all these worries are eliminated…all these items are included and the home is completed inside and out…so all you need to do is move your furniture in!!
So when you are visiting that display home that is your dream...and you ask for a quote, make sure you ask for all these items to be included so you won’t receive any nasty surprises!
I recently did some research for some clients who were looking for a good place to invest and wanted equity in the home once it was built.
One of my builders has some House and Land packages for $565,000 for a 4 bedroom design with a double garage and covered alfresco at Hamlyn Terrace.
Looking at the resales and rents in this area, I discovered it is an awesome place to invest!
The equity in the home once built would be around $50,000 and the rents in this area are around $530 a week with a very low vacancy rate.
The estate is near Wyong Hospital ,the M1 around 10 minutes drive away, Coles and Woolworths are 2 minutes down the road,there are several schools around and Warnervale Train station is only around 10 minutes away....and the beach is about 15 minutes away!!
The estate has alot of first home owners so it isn't all investment homes which is great and I can see why the vacancy rate is so low...it is a fantastic place for those working in Sydney ...who don't mind the commute so they can have their own home and their own turf!!
Definitely an area to consider!!
When the frame goes up it starts to look like a house!!
This is when it starts to get real and our house looks bigger than we thought!!
Next will be the scaffolding,if you have a double storey, the builder needs to put this in place so the fascia,gutter,roofing and any cladding can be installed.
When the roof is on the builder will start with the insulation wrap around the frame. Alot of insulation is needed nowadays for BASIX requirements.This is to do with the heating and cooling of the home and being energy efficient.
We are looking forward to the roof going on with the fascia and gutter and seeing our colour choices of greys and blues coming together!!
It is always super exciting for my clients when they see their slab of their house has been poured...and we experienced that excitement this week!!
We are building a two storey home...so the footprint isn't as long as the standard single storey home...but it is so exciting to see where the garage will be,the downstairs rooms and the alfresco!! We can also see where the pipes for the kitchen,laundry and powder room will be..as well as the drains for the guttering and downpipes.
We have had great weather for the pouring of concrete(not great for our farmers I know)...the concrete will cure in no time and the builder will hopefully start on the frames later this week.
With most homes we are having a termite mesh ,this is normally a green or blue material, placed around the edges of the slab as protection against termites...the termite protection has a lifetime warranty but this is based on our home being checked every year by a pest inspector to make sure no termites are munching away!
Next stage Frame...this is where it starts to look like a house!!
Our plans have been approved and work has begun!!
Like everyone who decides to go on the building journey knows...one of the most frustrating parts of the build is actually waiting for the plans to be approved by Council or the Certifier.
But our wait is over!Our plans have been stamped and our builder G Developments has cut the block...yay!!
The next stage is the plumbing,the pipes need to go in before the slab and then after that the concreter will form up for the slab and pour it.
From when the block is cut to when the slab is down,this can take up to 2 weeks, depending on the weather conditions and if the builder needs to carry out any further work on the block, for example a retaining wall needing to be built prior to the slab being poured.
I will post another update when the slab has been poured...it is very exciting!!
Our plans are now with the certifier who guides the plans through the Council process...so this is the stage we need to have patience...it is a waiting game for plans to be approved...this could take 4 weeks or 12 weeks we just don't know!
If you are at this stage as well you may be starting to get to know your neighbours, you might see them out at your block of land or you might receive a phonecall from them,introducing themselves.
One of the main issues at this stage with neighbours is paying for the fencing on your boundaries.
If you are with a builder like us who offers a turn-key package then fencing is included in the build price and the builder reimburses the neighbour.
However there are generally a few rules with this,mainly that the neighbour cannot organise a fence without the builders approval or put the fence up and then demand payment.The builder generally requires a few quotes from the neighbours and the bill may not be paid until later on in the build of your home. The colour of the fence can also be an issue,with all parties having to agree.
It is best to explain the above to your neighbours as soon as possible if fencing is included in your build contract,otherwise things can get a bit heated!
If fencing is not included in your build contract and you have to pay for it yourself,your neighbours still have to abide by the fencing act and give you notice of the fence they are proposing with a few quotes.
Hopefully it all works out and there are no tensions!!
Opinions expressed in this blog are personal opinions and are not to be taken as financial or investment advice.
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