Building your first home


You would have dealt with Corey down in Warrnambool. Good fella.


Good bloke…except for that Tiger stuff. Batting way above his average on the marital front too.


Really? 1 screwdriver and about 5 minutes to change door hardware, most of them are standard fittings. Cost anywhere from $20 a set upwards. I reckon that’s one of those areas you could cheap out at initial build, and change down the track.



We looked at an offset acct…

Then realised we could just stick our savings in the loan… at standard variable interest rate… and withdraw any time we wanted (minimum $500… but you can put $499 of that back in if you want).

The offset acct was going to be something like 0.5% higher interest - plus $600 a year extra in fees. Because they’re counting the interest in that acct over there instead of that one here - rort.

So my advice is check the details and inclusion in your loan. The bog standard basic one from at least CWealth and AMP give you this feature included and I believe others are similar.

Oh and where practicable, do all your other banking with the bank you’ve got the loan with. Make ‘em waive fees (you’re paying them $10k - $30k of interest per year, least they can do).


I used to get charged a bit for withdrawal from a CBA home loan account, but they recently removed that fee. Seems to be no point to an offset account there now.


Just on loans, I’m interested in knowing everyone’s opinions…is it better to wait a few more years to really build that deposit/back up cash, or go for it now before the First Home Owners possibly reduces back to $10,000 etc in 2020 and possibly makes things a little tight in the short term with the possibility of a kid sometime in the short term (1-3 years?) I just don’t want our impatience to get our own property make things a struggle for a bit but on the other hand I’m sure property prices will only continue to increase (despite it apparently being in a bubble). I guess the time is never right, both my older sisters got houses in their 30’s and with kids whilst I’m still 26 (wife 24) and far younger. We’re both on mediocre salaries (definitley not 120k plus super) but are both extraordinary savers for the most part and I have open offers from both sets of parents to live there rent free whilst our house we build gets done.


Thanks mate. Hopefully not too stressful when we start, but all the comments in this thread have helped. I want to consume as much knowledge as I can. Both of us never really considered doing our own house as we focused on a wedding for just under 2 years and last year was the first time we thought about it seriously.


Thanks for the advice. Yep, will definitely be getting a broker when the time comes, and definitely don’t want interest only loan.


Carpe Diem


Every time.
I was very hesitant to sign the life away.
Now I wish I’d done it a year or three earlier.

Actually, no. I wish I’d bought a ■■■■■■ little rural investment rental property for $150k. On our salaries could’ve knocked a big chunk of the loan over in 3 years and moved on with buying “our” house, with the investment property working for us.


True, my only issue is if we have a kid and are trying to survive on the one wage which is were having a ton of backup cash comes into it. Every 40+ year old has told me “you’re supposed to have the kid first, then house!”


Child care has been more expensive than our mortgage. Thankfully it is the final year of child care for our kids.

I think factoring in the cost of kids is a very sensible idea.


It’s just something we have to factor in, we both want kids and when it happens it happens (so no real plans). My parents literally live 10 minutes down the road with my Dad about 1 year away from retiring and my mother works night shift only, so there’s potentially some child care savings to be made from their generous minding (hehe).


Dont hand over final payments unless your are happy with everything.

We had paint splattered on windows, lattice on roof trimmings had newspaper stuck under and the wooden spikes on our roof were painted facing the road but unpainted the other side.

The builder kept saying its minor touch jobs. You cant hold us up for this.

I said if you want the cheque you better. I want display quality finishes. If that means the painter takes down trimmings and re paints the lot so be it.

We arrived and watched them fix the lot. Poor painter had to do it in the rain too… wrecked 2 lattices… was a 2 day job.

They also had to replace to ceiling fans in our bathroom which broke down after 1 month and fix the carpet guards that seperate the carpet area from the floorboards as they used ones for tiles…


You sound similarly cautious to me.
Once you get into a mortgage it really becomes about being in front or not. (If you go interest only, you can also gp behind. Bad option). Once you’re in front, the ratio of what you’re paying off vs interest they’re taking starts to slowly tilt in your favour. And once you see the estimated finish date creep from 30yr to 28yr to 25yr, you start to breathe a bit. And if life does go up the ■■■■■■■ for whatever reason, you can switch to interest only for a period, if you have to.

We were chucking in roughly 25% more than the minimum. With bub (now 8.5 months) that stayed where it was (you’d be amazed how much you save when you rarely leave the house!) whilst Mrs P was getting her 6 months of mat leave pay. We’ve had to wind it down a little now, but when she goes back to work in March we’ll crank it back to where it was.


Did people buy land, then build later, or mostly do house/land packages? Are there any advantages/disadvantages to either or both the same more or less?


One advantage that I know of when it comes to house/land packages, is that at least you know your builder can / will build on the land.

A mate of mine lives on a new estate in Diamond Creek, and there is an alarming amount of empty blocks behind him that people have bought, but can’t get a builder to build on due to some difficult access issues.


I bought land then picked my builder.

I got lucky though as the house next door was also being built by the same company.


I am starting the process of building but it is not my first home. We have our house in the city bought and paid for — and what a relief that is!!! — and the children are now independent and settled, and I have bought a vacant block in Beech Forest in the Otways that I will build on. Cost is of course a primary consideration. I have never done anything like this before so I will no doubt make many mistakes but I am trying to be logical about everything.

I have decided on a type of kit home, through a company called (very originally) Kitome. I looked online and they seemed to provide the best combination of cost, ability to customise, and good customer satisfaction. They have a large range of designs in 3 classes (budget, standard, premium), and you can either select one of those and make modifications, or you can do your own basic floor plan which they will turn into plans suitable for getting a building permit. I started with my own design, and I have been working with them on various forms of it for about 6 weeks and settled on the final one on Thursday.

They design and they supply the kit, ie the materials (which they pass on at cost), but they do not build. I wouldn’t have attempted to build myself even 30 years ago and I certainly won’t now. I will find a local builder. Kitome recommend one in Colac and I will ask him to quote but I will get at least one other.

I am waiting now for Kitome’s quote for the cost of the kit. They provide 3 quotes. One is basically for the frame and exterior walls, one is for internal layout as well, and one is for the whole thing including kitchen, bathroom, etc.

The site has got things to be worked around. There’s no sewer and the requirements for septics are strict and expensive. The only service is electricity; no gas or water. It’s a mild bushfire zone (BAL 19) and it’s a high rainfall area (so very green, which is why I chose it). All the houses there have Coonaras or equivalent as their main form of heating; wood is reasonably cheap.

There is already a planning permit to build within a certain envelope and to a certain design. I will have to get an amendment; I will stay within the envelope but I want my own design. For that I will need an update to the waste water treatment plan and the soil report, and also agreement from the CFA. There should not be problems about those but no doubt there will be.

Anyway it’s interesting. My brother already has a house there so I can go down as often as I like and have somewhere comfortable to stay.


Get someone else to do it.
Make sure it’s not a mate.