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17/04/18

Building a house and land package

Trying to get your foot in the door of the Port Macquarie real estate market? Unsure if you should purchase an existing dwelling or take the plunge and plan a home from the ground up?

Whether it’s your first home, next home or an investment property, you’ve most likely encountered the term ‘house and land package’.

 

What is a house and land package?

At the Sovereign Hills Land Sales Centre, we’re often asked if our display village builders offer this service, at what stage of the construction process, and exactly what this includes.

The answer to the first part of the question is simple – ‘Yes, the Sovereign Hills Display Village builders offer a multitude of house and land packages, both within the Sovereign Hills community and throughout the Hastings’ various residential developments’.

As for what stage of the construction process – In many cases, the house and land packages available are ‘concepts only’. This means the builder has taken a specific block of land and paired it with a specific house design, finished to a specific level. The home has not been physically built yet, but the builder is presenting you with the total sum of the house and land price, and outlining exactly what’s included in the home to reach this figure.

This is particularly helpful if you are seeking finance, as it will allow you to present a total cost to your lender, and it will give you a target to work towards if you’re saving for a deposit.

The level of finish may differ from builder to builder, and here is where it’s important to ask for the complete list of inclusions attached to the house and land package you’re interested in.

 

What’s included in a house and land package?

Does the price include an undercover alfresco area? With a concrete base? Is it tiled, or is this an upgrade? Does the home feature 600mm or 900mm kitchen appliances? Is there a dishwasher? Are ceiling fans, landscaping and window furnishings included? What about a TV antenna?

When conducting your research, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you can’t see these, and anything on your wish list, itemised on the house and land package brochure.

Then there are the less obvious questions: Has an allocation been included for a bushfire attack level (BAL) which must be considered when building on bushfire prone land, has an adequate site works allowance been considered for a sloping site, what soil classification has the house and land package been based upon. Before signing a new home contract, a soil test will determine elements such as the strength, foundation load, soil index and moisture density on your building site. The outcome can affect the overall build cost.

 

The benefits of a house and land package

What house and land packages enable you to do is compare the cost of purchasing an existing home with building your own home, and, in the case of a ‘concept’ package, most builders will allow you to customise the home to suit your needs, and some will even let you change the entire house design.

There is also a number of ‘completed’ house and land packages available in the Sovereign Hills community, offering purchasers a finished product. For those of us who like to see, touch and walk through a home before making a commitment to sign on the dotted line, these offer a brand new home, without delay and without all of the planning.

Completed house and land packages can also be more attractive when you are separated from the building site by distance, and are unable to communicate regularly with your builder and keep an eye on the construction process. You will just need to check with the builder about the stamp duty requirements involved when buying the finished product.

 

Stamp duty requirements

The Sovereign Hills Land Sales Centre is frequently asked about how the house and land process works. At Sovereign Hills, unless the builder has already purchased and settled upon the block in question, you will be presented with two separate contracts. One from the land developer ‘Lewis Land Group’ and a separate home building contract from your preferred builder.

First-time purchasers buying a vacant block pay zero duty on land valued up to $350,000. They also receive concessions for vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.

If you’re not a first home buyer, the NSW Government offers more information about the stamp duty requirements involved with building a new home and purchasing an existing dwelling.

You can view the house and land packages available in the Sovereign Hills master planned community here.

And you can visit the 16-home Sovereign Hills Display Village, open 7 days between 10am and 4pm, on Sovereign Drive, Port Macquarie.

Prospective buyers should seek independent financial advice before purchasing a home and land package.