Building your first home


I learnt that over the years.

You think it would be nice to have space to kick a footy in with the kids, but a) you usually end up having that kick in the park or in the street if there’s no traffic, and b) you’ll never have enough space for full-blooded kicks once the kids are over the age of about 8 or 10. What you want is a good-sized deck, a nice patch of grass and some flowering plants that look good and hide the fences. And a deciduous shade tree.


That’s the dimensions required by the Planning Scheme. So most won’t provide more (without prompting). Any doors (to the house, or to storage), should open away or be sliding so that space remains clear.


I forgot about Xmas. No doubt that will be having an impact.


Don’t get two puppy Labrador’s, they will destroy everything you have built!


And should market conditions factor into buying/building? Obviously projected downturn but it is it enough to have an negligible effect or wiser to wait for more downturn through the year? Will land prices be affected? Keep in mind I don’t live in Melbourne, I live around 2 hours away.


And for those wiser/have been through the process of building, what should I be looking for in a builder? I can go to 20 different ones that all spruik they"re “family and locally run and adhere to quality etc” but at the end of the day they’re just slightly different prices with different inclusions to me… Any specific inclusions one should target? Most common one is the upgrade from the laminate kitchen to the stone bench from what I can see so far early on in my hunt for a builder.


I have just received from Powercor what they describe as a Negotiated Connection Contract to bring power to my block at Beech Forest. The negotiation of this Negotiated Connection Contract consisted of them telling me that this was their price, that I couldn’t do the work myself and that nobody else could do it, so my only alternative was not to have power at all. It amounts to me paying them $5031.40 to dig a 20-metre trench from the pole to the corner of my block and drop a cable in it.


Yes, for sure I cant speak for your area but.

I live 3 hours from melbourne. With the price of building (something decent) at the moment it is well worth considering buying something already done (if you can find what you are after). The price of building has gone up heaps over the past 5 years. The industry has become way over-regulated which has pushed building prices up. The realestate market hasn’t caught up here yet. So second hand quality homes are snapped up pretty because of this. Mates of mine have been through the exercise and ended buying rather then building.

If I where you Id do the sums of building and make sure you include everything. Then see if you can find comparable homes in your area, and what prices they selling for. (you need to factor in stamp duty when buying)

Im not sure what will happen with the projected downturn, but suspect it will effect high to mid range homes in inflated Melbourne suburbs. Country areas tend to remain more static, and slowly go up in value over time.

My rule of thumb is if you build or buy quality, your house will be in demand when it comes time to sell.

Eg (around here only) no idea about elsewhere.
Around here we have very expensive slabs. But a quality home of around 28 square (260m2) will cost around 13,000 ps.

360 - 400 for build
125 for block
fences ?
paths driveways?


Well, you may not be authorised to lay electrical cable to your property, sure. But nothing can stop you digging a trench to the end of your block.

Oh - is the trench all out of your site?


Yes it is. That’s why I have no choice.


For PowerCor it is a specification issue, authorised contractors etc. Find who the local PowerCor contractor is and get him to do the whole trench.


I wouldn’t be waiting for any downturn. Especially if you’re away from Melbs. APRA has removed the cap for interest only loans which was one of the reasons for the projected downturn. I believe that even if there is a downturn the savings would be minimal, especially out of the Melb area.


No, you don’t have a choice, it’s the utility’s call.
This is the mains mains, they own it.

Silver lining is it’s effectively adding $5k of equity into your property.


Definitely check out GJ Gardiner Homes, they are a lot cheaper than most. Have reasonable plans and good service.

We have built four times now and done two make over reno’s. Bigger isn’t always better you spend it big time on heating and cooling costs. There is a move back toward smaller to cut down on costs.
Friends of ours bought a removable home and had it relocated onto their block. A great way to get into the housing market without the cost of building new straight up. They did most of the interior painting themselves and did bits and pieces as they could afford it. It is now a really substantial home on a reasonably big block. They live at Woodend. Catch the train to work rather than drive.
Get yourselves set up prior to having children it is much harder to save money once you have kids.

Save as much as you can rather than go into something with very little capital and borrow the lot.
Get what you can afford now and get what you want later. Exciting times good luck.


I’m not actually all that annoyed. I was treated well by the council over planning permission and the builder’s quote was lower than I feared so I can live with Powercor doing no more than I expected them to do


I reckon you got out of it cheap for 5k. Some of the quotes I have seen are absolutely ridiculous, clients have no choice but to pay it.


Lighting. These days you’d want to go for the smart lights if they’re not a standard inclusion I reckon.


Window coverings.

Heating and cooling. Make sure the models on your contract/inclusions will actually do the job for your floor plan.

And if you’re building in an estate I believe it’s your responsibility to pass on any developer guidelines/regulations to your builder? Check that out. The last thing you want is for your house to have to be redrafted and re-engineered because the aerial view of your house looks too flat along the front…for example.

I’m in holiday mode so I can’t really think of much else at the moment.


They have a choice, & I’d be threatening any overblown quotes with the prospect of putting that cash into a battery.

At about 8k now, … you’re just 3K off it at 5 grand. It would pay for itself in no time. Fk em.


I’d love to do it but the economics don’t really add up for me. I would need at least two if not three batteries to be completely self-sufficient, then there’s the panels themselves on top of that. It’s a lot more than $8K vs $5K.


Would depend on a zillion things, be cheaper with no footpath or made road that they have to dig up.