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Step 1 - How much can you spend?

There is no point setting your heart on a particular design only to find out that you can’t afford it. Equally, there’s no point settling for a design that you’re not really happy with just because you think you can’t afford anything better! It is therefore vital to establish which type of finance you qualify for and work out the repayment amount that fits with your budget.

Simply call us and make a time to sit down for a chat with one of our professional and experienced Mortgage Brokers. We excel at making sure that owning your own home doesn’t compromise your lifestyle. Once we understand your situation we will be able to tell you exactly how much you can borrow, how much you require for a deposit and what your repayments will be.

Step 2 - Choosing your land

Now that you know how much you can borrow it’s time to start the search for the location of your new home. It is important to take into consideration existing and future infrastructure that will potentially affect the value of your home over time. Facilities such as schools, shops and public transport are attractive to have nearby, so it’s good to know what is coming up in the area you’re looking to build in.

You may also want to look into capital growth rates, as well as a detailed suburb profile of existing residences in the area. This information is available from many land developers, local councils and industry websites. While you’re doing all of this we will be busy getting your finance arranged and ready for pre-approval!

Step 3 - Choosing your home

There are a number of factors to consider before choosing the design of your dream home. Given that a home is the biggest investment most people make in their lives, decisions you make now may have an impact in the future. Your builder or designer should be able to help you through this process, and give you information on what options are available to you.

When choosing a house design, it is worth taking the time to consider the following:

  • Building design guidelines and covenants set by the land developer
  • Local government regulations
  • Selling your home in the future
  • How you will use your home now and in the future – are you downsizing, or will you need room for a family? Will you live in your home for ten years, or are you planning on using it as an investment property down the track?

Step 4 - Your finance is pre-approved

You’ve chosen your block of land and a home design. The builder will now get busy making sure that the home meets all of your requirements. The builder’s estimating department reviews your house plans, and determines the house cost and any site work costs before assessing the overall contract price (this can be subject to change depending on what additions or changes you make later in the process).

Once you have approved the plans and costs you will need to sign a Preparation of Plans Agreement (PPA) as well as pay a deposit. The builder will then request a survey of your block and begin the process of preparing your working drawings. Preparing these and the contract documents can take from four to eight weeks, or longer if titles are not available.

Once the bank has received and processed your application you will receive a pre-approval. The pre-approval will come with a list of criteria that you need to meet and is usually subject to a satisfactory valuation on the security property. Once you have signed an ‘Offer & Acceptance’ to purchase the property you will forward this to your Mortgage Broker so that the valuation can be ordered.

Please note that it is important to you keep your financial circumstances consistent until the purchase of your property goes through. Do not take out any more financial commitments or change employment! If you have any questions don’t forget that your Mortgage Broker is available to help every step of the way.

Step 5 - Check the plans

As soon as the builder has their process completed your working drawings will be sent to you along with your building contract. A copy will also be sent to your Local Authorities for building and water approval. Please be aware that any structural or positioning changes that you make later might have to be resubmitted to the Local Authority for reassessment, which could result in weeks of delay and additional costs.

As soon as your building contract is signed we will then forward all the relevant information to your chosen lender for a valuation and formal approval.

Step 6 - Signing the building contract

Now that your contract is signed it’s time to finalise your colour and material selections. This takes place at a ‘pre-start’ meeting in your builder’s office and usually takes between three to five hours.

You will have already decided on materials (such as bricks, roof tiles, internal and external paint colours, floor and wall tiles, and laminates) as these would have been included in your final plans. You also need to be careful at your pre-start meeting as any variations made will not necessarily be able to be included with your finance. Always check with your Mortgage Broker first!

Step 7 - Congratulations, your finance is formally approved

Great news! Now that the valuation is complete your finance has been formally approved. We will notify the settlement agent, land developer and the builder on your behalf. Within a few days you will receive comprehensive loan documentation from the lender.

Please make sure you read this carefully before you sign and return it to the lender. This documentation can appear extremely complicated, so please remember, if there is anything you do not understand or are not completely satisfied with, we are always here to help.

Step 8 - Settlement

Your settlement agent will prepare a settlement statement and land transfer. These are normally sent to you to sign and return. The statement will confirm all the costs you are required to pay to secure the property. These costs do not include the loan establishment fees, which are outlined in the letter of offer you receive from the lender.

Your settlement agent will organise the settlement date and advise you when it has taken place. Normally you would need to advise your builder that settlement has taken place, but we will do this on your behalf!

Step 9 - Ready to start building

The contract, with any variations, has been signed and returned, colour selections have been made, the builder has proof of ownership of the land, and the availability of funds is confirmed. Your builder can now schedule the construction of your home (they should contact you with an approximate schedule within 5 to 10 working days).

All that’s left to do is chill the champagne and stand by the phone for the call from the builder to tell you when the slab is about to be poured!