Very pleased to have been asked by Fairfax newspapers to comment on the growth of masterplanned communities.
If you have decided that you going to build within a new planned estate you then need to be careful in selecting which block to purchase and whether you wish to use a home builder or build yourself. You need to consider how you live today and then try and envision how you would like to be living in the future; do you need a large outdoor space, are your parents likely to move in, how big do you really need the house – remember the larger the house, the larger the utility bills.
When building in an estate there is an extra level of approval that you must go through before your building plans can be submitted to council. The plans must be approved by the estate to confirm that they comply with the estate’s design guidelines. If you choose to purchase through a home builder, check the fine print and understand exactly what you are getting, right down to the number of power points and where they are located. If you want to vary the design of the house in any way, obtain a cost for those changes before you sign a contract as you may find that there is a more cost effective house from a different supplier.
Make sure you consider the orientation of your block of land and how the house will sit on it. You want a northerly orientation to get plenty of sunlight into your garden areas and to flood into your living spaces. Without good access to the sun, your new house may feel dark and cold.
Most importantly, make sure you understand what you are buying. If you are not sure of the terminology, or if you are not comfortable reading plans, ask for help either from the building company or from a professional. Have a solicitor go through the contract with you. Read all of the fine print. Remember this is a very large purchase and you want to make sure that you have dotted the i’s and crossed all the t’s.