Study to save sanity – consider all the hidden charges. If building, allow $50,000 for floor coverings, curtains, landscaping etc but remember new homes need less maintenance. Consider any government grants and whether an investment will have tax benefits.
Look at the landscape – every market is different. Compare the price of vacant land and building with buying an established home. Building can be cheaper, unless you buy an existing property at the bottom of the market. Do your sums carefully.
Get organised – being well prepared can stop the financial headaches. When building, your lender will want a copy of your fixed-price building contract – any changes that cause costs to go up may need to come from your own funds.
Use your head – building a house means you design exactly what you want but, as will renovating an existing property, it’s important to consider the re-sale value. Do not overcapitalise or go too way out.
Consult an expert – the building process can be daunting and complicated. Build strategically and talk to experts, including your mortgage broker, to end up with a better product.