Building / Step-by-Step Guide / Required Documents / Expenses

Step 1: Calculate your budget

You need to sit down and calculate your monthly income and expenses. Be honest with yourself and don't leave anything out. Remember that if you build your own property you might "save" in other places, e.g. you will not be paying rent anymore so you need to take that into account. But you will have to pay insurance, water and electricity, rates and taxes, etc and you need to take these "new" expenses into account.

All the major banks have calculators on their websites that will assist you in calculating the maximum bond you will qualify for. These calculators almost always include other costs associated with your bond as well. Remember that you need to have money available to pay bond registration fees, transfer duties, property evaluation fees and legal fees. See our section on Property Expenses for more information.

Step 2: Decide on a site

It is important to choose a site that you can afford to build on. If major excavations and specialists are required it might push your building costs up more than you can afford. You need to establish whether the property will be close to work, shopping centres, schools and whatever else might be important to you. Is there a municipality providing essential services? Are there building or zone restrictions on the property?

Step 3: Find an architect and builder:

A professional architect can design a house according your needs and budget. One advantage of having an architect is that they will take care of getting the plans approved at council. For a fee the architect may also manage the entire building process on your behalf.

You also need a well-qualified builder with a good reputation in the industry. The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) will be able to confirm whether the builder is register with them. It is always a good idea to inspect previous projects of the builder and speak to the owners to hear if they are satisfied. You need to sign a contract with the builder that specifies everything that was agreed to, e.g. the time frames, furnishings, type of finish, etc.

The builder is also responsible for enrolling your house with the NHBRC prior to the building process starting. Have a look at the NHBRC website to get the exact responsibilities of the builder.

Step 4: Beg for money

You might be in a position to have money available to pay for the building of the house. Alternatively you will have to approach an institution for finance. There is a lot of red-tape when building a property and the banks will need a lot of information from you - see our section on required documents for more information. Speak to your bank as soon as possible to ensure that you know what all the requirements are. The bank will do a full assessment and evaluation of the property before they grant the loan.

Step 5: Let the building begin!

You will be informed in writing that your bond has been approved. You will need to sign a lot of documentation and this usually takes place at the office of an attorney. The bank will pay the builder as the building progresses. Once the building is complete you will have to sign a letter of satisfaction before the bank will make the final payment to the builder. It is therefore important to ensure that you are 100% happy with the house.

Step 6: Ready to move?

You can now move in (see our section on moving for more help). You will start seeing bond repayments go off from your bank account as well. It is important to never get behind with your bond - at the first sign of repayment difficulties you need to speak to your bank. If you can afford it you will save a lot of money by paying a little bit extra each month.

Step 7: Want to change a few things?

Back on the homepage you will get more information on decorators, gardening, pools, furniture, appliances and everything else you will need to make this your dream home.

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