It’s a dream of many to own their own home. However, there are many ways to come to the same solution; you don’t have to own a home through traditional means. Meaning, rather than buy a ready-built home from a realtor, one can achieve ownership buying a plot of land and then leveraging an architect or property developer.
Homeownership: Building the Dream in Australia
Image via: Mr. Mitchell Designers & Decorators – Melbourne
Traditional or Bells and Whistles
Large contractors built homes for decades, perfecting processes to traditional specifications. However, today’s homeowners explore alternative buildings options such as inserting solar panels atop the roof, helping to lower energy bills and lessen stress on the environment. TheAustralian government is particularly interested in ways to improve the environment and may offer stimulus or incentives to homeowners who decide to construct environmentally friendly homes.
Owning in Australia
Those who are not natives of Australia must attain permission through the proper authorities; theForeign Investment Review Bureau (FIRB) is the place to start. Each state hosts individual rules. Though the sentiment of owning a home is exciting, a lot of preparation and paperwork await those at the start.
Couture or Cookie Cutter
Many young families like the idea of not just building a new home, but owning something truly unique. Some areas host scores of homes yet the exteriors and interiors differ very little. Alternatively, you can have your home built to customised specifications, needing to pay substantially more depending on your desires.
In addition, some builders, selling pre-made plans, allow you to use their specs with your own architect who makes alterations at your will. The Builders Regulation Board regulates Aussie builders and contractors who must be licensed within the state where you own property.
Turnkey or Drawn-out
Some suggest seeking the services of ‘turnkey’ outfits, services that handle just about every detail for to-be owners so the latter party does not have to concern themselves until the job is finished. Alternatively, those who would like to ensure things are done to exact specifications may seek services that allow owners to have a lot of input regarding each step of the building process.
Image via: Bagnato Architects
As in the UK, those who are buying land and/or property in Australia are subject to stamp duty. It is a tax amount affixed according to the value of the total property. There is a tax applied to the plot of land (if just buying land mass), but there is a tax applied to both the house and land for owners purchasing pre-existing homes. Stamp duty varies from state to state; so make sure you are up to speed with what is applicable in your area. See photos; learn about available resources; and, meet your neighbours.
There are a number of Australia-based incentives and possible grants for homebuyers, most of which apply only to first-time homeowners. For example, first-time buyers may be exempt from paying stamp duty, yet each state holds the right to host its own specifications. Contact your local government to find if any grants or incentives are applicable to your respective condition. While it may seem like an additional stress to build a new home in a completely new land, some loopholes and grants pique the interest of foreigners and Aussie natives alike.
Spencer Hastings is a property consultant and researcher. He enjoys keeping up with all the latest moves in the real estate and property investments scene. His articles mainly focus on home ownership issues. Visit The Rivergums website for more homeownership ideas and insights.
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