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First home buyer – tips

Buying a first home can be a daunting experience. To make this process enjoyable, think about the following tips:

1.     Read the contract carefully
Make sure that you understand all the terms and conditions. If not, ask!!
2.     Allow extra time for delays
Despite the best intentions projects can run late. Make sure that your have flexibility in your rental lease or other living arrangements.
3.     Plan carefully
Variations to a building contract during construction can be expensive. Spend sufficient time planning things like – number of power points, tile and grout selection etc.
4.     Understand Provisional Sums and Prime Cost Items
These are estimates based on reasonable knowledge and can vary. This applies particularly to site costs.
5.     Get it in Writing
Make sure that any “special arrangements” made with the salesperson or builder are in writing. Do not rely on a handshake or word of mouth.
6.     Deposits
For houses under $500k the maximum deposit under the Home Building Contracts Act is 6½ per cent.
7.     Exclusions
If you wish to do some building work yourself or supply some items, check with the builder as to who will be responsible for theft, damage or defective work.
8.     Insurances
Ensure that the builder has sufficient indemnity insurance cover (and an insurance certificate is issued).
Make sure that you arrange household insurance from the date of practical completion.
9.     Communicate
Make sure that you are comfortable with the salesperson, builder and/or supervisor. Direct your concerns through them.

10. Find a Master Builder

       Visit the free Find a Master Builder Member service at and search for a builder in your location and price range.

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