If you’re about to build or renovate, ask a Home Loan Specialist for help with your loan.
Watch our video on upgrading your home: a step by step guide.
Thinking about moving or improving your home?
With quite a few factors to consider, the process can seem overwhelming.
But it doesn't have to be.
Watch our short video for the top 3 steps to keep in mind when upgrading your home.
- Move or improve?
- How much do you need to borrow?
- What type of loan?
So you have decided to build a home
Finally you will be able to design your house, your way. Discover some of the ins and outs of building, so you are well prepared to build your dream home.
Discover your renovation potential
There are more changes you can do to improve your home than you might know. Even a few small changes can turn a house into a home.
What to consider when building
Figure out where you’d like to build.
You could choose a block in an established suburb, a newly developed area or even a combined house and land package offered by developers. If you are choosing to build in a new area, check out the council website to see if there are any plans for commercial development (such as shopping centres) which may boost your property value down the track.
Look into sub-division.
If you buy the right sized block and are eligible for subdivision, you could build more than one home and really start to develop your property portfolio. You could save time and money by building more than one home at once, or plan your home building in a certain position on your block to allow for future development. Each council will have their own rules and regulations about subdivision, so make sure you do your homework.
Determine the type of home you want to build.
Consider the room types, size and the amount of land you would like. Also think about what you could use extra rooms for in the future. An extra bedroom could also be useful as a study.
Understand the financial implications of building?
For help to work out how much you can afford, try our borrowing calculator. Knowing exactly how much you can borrow and having the loan amount pre-approved helps when putting in offers, which can save you time and worry. Our Home Loan Specialists can help you get pre-approved for your construction loan.
Choose your builder.
Visit a range of display homes and make sure you do your own research into each builder's quality of work, service and reputation. Calling the Master Builders’ Association is also a good idea before you choose your builder. It’s a good idea to chat to a few different builders before you decide on one, to ensure you are getting value for money.
Finalise and sign your building contracts.
Always read the fine print and if you’re not sure about something, ask your builder to clarify or seek independent professional advice on what it means before you sign. You may be charged if you need to make changes during your build, so it is best to be certain before you sign.
Building your home is a major investment so once the construction process has begun, it's important to monitor the building at every stage. At Bankwest, we'll do the same, making sure that the building work is being completed to match what you’re paying for. To learn more about building your own home, find out some tips for success or read more about construction loans.
Making sense of construction loans
There are usually five different stages of construction. These are known in the building industry as slab down, plate height, roofing, fittings and lockup. As your builder completes each stage, they will issue you with an invoice.
With a Bankwest construction loan in place, all you need to do is pass the invoice on to us. We’ll make payments on your behalf from your home loan to pay your builder. These payments are called progress payments, as the funds are drawn down in stages at your request as the building progresses.
As each progress payment is made from your construction loan, you only need to pay interest until construction is finished. You can then change to principal and interest repayments or you can continue paying interest only for a period of up to five years.
We can help you to use any of our Bankwest variable home loans as a construction loan. Learn more tips for success when building, to get your home build off to a great start.
Before you build: tips for success
Set a budget
Work out how much you want to spend - and remember it's not just the home itself that you'll have to have in your budget. You might have demolition fees, council fees and may need to pay rent for somewhere to live while you build. Your builder can normally give you an idea of what it will cost to finish your home and remember to allow some money in your budget for unexpected costs discovered in the initial site preparation, or dealing with issues not covered in your building contract. You should also budget for items such as landscaping, appliances, window fittings and furniture. To save money, you might like to do some of the work yourself, such as painting or putting down your floor coverings.
Plan for the future
Think carefully about the number and types of rooms you'll need and how you want to use these spaces for living and leisure. Make sure that the features you choose to build into your house will suit your lifestyle and add value to your home. For example, while you might not have kids now, including a bath tub in one of your bathrooms might save you the hassle of adding one in later, or improve your potential re-sale value if selling to a family with young kids.
Follow the rules
Some local councils and government authorities have certain requirements or regulations that may impact your home design or landscaping choices. Making sure you’re aware of the rules and abide by council regulations to save you money and hassles later.
Pick the right builder
Before you sign up to your chosen builder, do your research. Make sure they are licensed and accredited and have an excellent reputation for workmanship and service. Your choice of builder has a huge impact on your overall building experience, so make a careful decision. To help make the decision-making process easier, you might like to speak with a building broker who can help you find the best value for money.
Just as you'll need strong foundations underneath your house, you'll also need to spend time on thorough planning before you begin. This will set you up for success when it’s actually time to build your home.
4 reasons to build your next home
Here are four other great reasons to build, rather than simply buy, your next home.
You can choose your own floor plan.
After walking through a display home you love, you may choose to build that design exactly as is. If you want to make your own changes to existing plans or even design your own home from scratch, you can do that too. The choices are endless and you have the chance to create exactly the kind of home you and your family need.
You can finish with your own flair.
When you look through older homes for sale, there are usually at least one or two finishes that aren't to your taste. If you buy an older home, you might need to invest in renovations or put up with elements of your home you're not that happy about. When you build your own home, it's all up to you: the style of bricks, tiles and carpets, taps and door handles – even where your power points and lights are placed!
Less maintenance to do means more leisure time.
When everything is new, that means less repairs and maintenance around your home. Once you have everything set up the way you want it, your free time can be spent doing the things you like to do.
You can build as an investment.
Building and then renting out a new home can be an effective way to invest. You can take advantage of better depreciation with a new home, as you can claim maximum costs. Choosing to build a home or investment property is really exciting. To find out more, read about what to consider when building a home.
Like with any home purchase, there are risks involved in building. Some of the risks may include (but are not limited to) the quality of the building not being to your standard and construction not completed on time. It is important to consider all your options, do you research and even seek professional advice before making a decision.
Options to finance your renovation
One of the main benefits of owning a home is taking advantage of any capital growth. Alongside paying your home loan off, you may potentially have some growth in the value of your property. Your usable equity is a portion of the gap between the value of your property and your outstanding loan amount. You can draw this usable equity out of your home loan (we can either include it in your current home loan or open a separate, smaller home loan) to finance your renovation. For a home loan top up, the minimum amount you can borrow is $20,000. Our Home Loan Specialists can arrange your home loan top up and potentially have the money in your account in as little as 2 weeks (provided you provide all necessary documentation).
Depending on the size of your renovation, you may be only wanting to borrow a smaller amount. We have great personal loan products available which you can use to finance your renovation. Keep in mind, the maximum loan size for an Unsecured Personal Loan or Flexible Personal Loan is $50,000. You may also be able to use your vehicle as security for a Secured Car Loan, which you can use the funds to finance your renovation. We can have the money in your account in as little as 24 hours (existing Bankwest customers only).
So you just want to put an air conditioner in your living room. A small purchase which you can have installed quite quickly. A credit card could be a good option and you can choose to pay it off gradually or in one lump sum – it is really up to you. Why not check out our rewards credit cards to earn points at the same time. Some of the points you earn could be used towards your next small project!
DIY or call the professionals?
Your final decision will probably depend on the type and scale of your renovation project, but here are some things to keep in mind about DIY versus contract renovations.
Hiring a specialist renovator or building company to undertake your home renovations has advantages and disadvantages too:
|PROS||You can save on materials and labour.|
|You choose your own tradespeople.|
|You are in control and can oversee the whole project.|
|You’ll have a great sense of achievement once the job is complete.|
|Managing a renovation is very time consuming.|
|The process could be stressful for you and your family.|
|Issues can arise and they will be your responsibility to resolve. Any issues need to be dealt with quickly and may carry unplanned costs.|
|You'll need to handle your own building and planning applications and licenses.|
|PROS||You get the benefit of their professional experience and ideas.|
|They organise the tradespeople required and have preferred contractors.|
|There’s less hassle for you with just one point of contact to follow up on.|
|They can deal with building and planning applications and licences.|
|It can be more expensive than DIY with markups on materials and labour.|
|Your job has to fit into their scheduling so completion will depend on their schedule.|
|Renovation issues can still arise.|
|You might want more control of the whole process.|
Plan ahead to avoid renovating stress
Plan the job and know your budget.
Make sure you work out exactly what you want to achieve and work within the budget you have set. Sometimes extra costs pop up during renovations, so you may need to be flexible with your budget.
Watch your labour costs.
When renovating you may need to hire qualified tradespeople for the job which can be costly. Make sure you shop around before you decide who to work with. Do your due diligence and ensure they are qualified and reputable.
Spend your dollars wisely.
Check that a large portion of your budget is going towards adding value to your home, such as new floor coverings and built-in cupboards. The smaller details such as feature tiles and door knobs may look amazing, but they may not necessarily add value to your home.
Follow the rules and regulations.
Always check that your renovations meet the building and planning requirements of your local council. Ensure you follow your council’s requirements to avoid unnecessary costs and issues when it’s time to sell.
For more information on renovating, check out the pros and cons of DIY versus contract renovations and discover some handy tips when renovating.
Easy ways to enjoy renovating
In your kitchen
If your cabinetry is in good condition but looks a bit tired, it’s amazing how a coat of fresh paint and modern handles can make a difference. Outdated kitchen bench tops can be resurfaced or replaced to improve your kitchen without the cost and trouble of a full renovation.
In your bathroom
If you need to make changes to any plumbing or electrical, you will need to hire a qualified tradesperson to help. Painting the walls and tiles can brighten up a bathroom quickly and easily, while a large mirror can make it appear more spacious and light.
In your living areas
The living area is very important because you are going to spend a lot of your time here. Small changes can have a big effect on the mood of the room, such as freshly painted walls. If you want to make the room appear larger and brighter, use neutral tones and add some personality with coloured artwork or accessories. It is much easier to change the colour theme of the room later with new artwork or cushions when you have neutral painted walls.
In your outdoor areas
Have a look through gardening books, magazines or online resources for easy and economical ideas to create an outdoor space. A nice outdoor area can be another living area that you can enjoy with family and friends.
To help plan your renovations, find out more information on how to finance your renovations or read about the pros and cons of DIY versus contract renovations.
Our tools can help with your building or renovating plans.
Popular building and renovating home loan options.
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Complete Home Loan Package: also referred to as 'package' and is available to individuals (including individual trustees of family trusts). Package must include an eligible home loan, credit card and (unless you hold only a Complete Equity Loan) an Offset Transaction Account. Minimum initial loan size $200,000. Under the package, only one Bankwest More MasterCard account or Bankwest Qantas MasterCard account is allowed per customer. The Complete Home Loan Package ends when all home loans included in the package are closed. Offset Transaction Account: Offset facility not available to companies, businesses and trading family trusts.
The information contained in any report is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should it be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in the report without first obtaining specific professional advice. Also to the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accept no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in the report.