Building Your Own Home – Where To Start
Grand Designs, the inspiration behind many people sitting down and working out if they could build their own homes. And, for the most part, it is extremely possible. There are a few points that you will need to pay attention to unless you are having an accessory dwelling unit – which is a great way to move forward with your unique home plans.
Most of the designs that people create for building their own homes are pretty pared back. They include what people think are the things that they need. Then, the opposite end of the scale is the glass walls and self-washing windows. The more quirky the house, the more likely you are going to have to spend out on a professional project manager. And an architect.
If you are applying for a mortgage to cover the cost, you are going to need a really big deposit too. The home doesn’t have standard plans that can give them a good idea of the value in the end. So the more professionals you have onboard to support your case, the better.
Research all of the available materials to do the job, what are the eco options? What lasts the longest? How can you maximise your cash and house size?
Typically home builders will need a lot more money than people building any other house. They will usually have to buy the land and fund all of the planning permission before they will be considered for a loan of any kind. Mortgages for self-builders will tend to be interest-only too. The bank still needs to protect its investment.
On average, you are looking at around 6 months to get all of the finances set up. And during that time you can burn through your own cash pretty quickly.
You’ll need to consider insurance costs too. You will need to have self-built property insurance. Most policies won’t cover what you have built so far. So, you are going to need a structural warranty for a 10-year period, and one for defects in design. Then things like fires, public liability, theft and storm damage – which are all a risk when the property isn’t complete.
In general, you shouldn’t release any payments ahead of schedule either. You will probably be asked more than once, but this puts you in a position that you may lose your money, and the contracted companies might skip town or go bust.
You will still be liable for stamp duty too. So check your tax position.
If you really can’t see yourself spending months watching a house go up, then you might consider the ADU mentioned above (usually put on the same land/site as the main dwelling), or a prefabricated home. They work with clients closely to create what they are looking for and usually come in a lot cheaper than building from scratch.
When it comes to housing, there is no real one size fits all option if you are looking to branch out. It pays if you have a really good architect friend, though!