How to Find Your Ideal House and Land Package
Everyone has different wants, needs and priorities and all of these ought to be addressed if your new home is going to live up to your expectations. Homes and blocks of land come in a variety of shapes and sizes; many fit together seamlessly but what happens when your perfect match on paper doesn’t work in the real world?
It’s really just a case of tweaking the design, says Lendlease State Sales Manager for New South Wales Holly Brennan. “A lot of our builders will actually adjust standard designs and do a custom job to meet the needs of the customer,” she says. “[They] will work with you to help you through your buying and building journey; by speaking to one of our design consultants and also working with the builder you’ll find there is a solution for every block of land.” Here are her top tips for matching your house and land together to create the ultimate oasis.
Before you fall in love with any designs you need to make a list of what you want out of your dream home.
"Things you’ll need to consider are single storey or double storey, what your budget is, how important the size of your yard is, the timeframe for building and how many bedrooms,” says Holly.
It’s also a good idea to future proof your home. Think about whether you are planning to have a family, get a pet, a pool or additional cars, and think about your ideal floorplan and how you can use solar orientation to help keep your home cool in summer and maximise natural light. Indoor–outdoor flow and sustainability are huge considerations for most buyers, she says. Adding, “Most designs now do incorporate good open plan living. It’s the way we live in Australia and it’s what we want in homes so most builders have adopted that into their designs.”
Buy what’s best for you
It’s always good to explore the options available to you. Sitting with a consultant and understanding the different ways to buy in masterplanned communities will help you avoid mistakes. “There are three different ways to buy within a Lendlease community,” says Holly. “You can purchase land, a split contract house and land package or a single contract house and land package. Identify which one is going to be best for you. If you are choosing land as the best option, before committing to a block of land actually have a chat with a few builders and look at designs.” Buying a block of land first is a great option if you’re after flexibility, as it means you can choose your own builder. “This gives you a lot of choice in the different designs you can potentially use on that block of land,” says Holly. “The great thing about a split contract package is that you buy the house and land together, so you’re guaranteed that the home is going to fit on that block of land. A single contract package is where you enter into a contract directly with the builder and pay a deposit up front and pay the rest when the home is complete.” Make sure you compare the benefits of choosing your own builder, a split contract package or an extended payment plan and always go with the option that best suits your needs rather than what’s easiest.
Don’t break the budget
As with every large purchase, it’s important to know your limits. Holly recommends getting financing in place as soon as possible. “That’s going to give you a really good idea of what budget you have to play with,” says Holly. “And then it’s about matching the land costs and the build costs and making sure that fits within your budget.” Also be sure to consider other variables and inclusions when buying to keep your building foundation costs under control. For example, consider elevation. A flat block of land will be cheaper and easier to build on than a block with a slope. A split contract house and land package will often include these extras, whereas a land-only contract won’t.
When looking at houses and land, how wide the block is, or the amount of street frontage, will dictate the home designs available. “It’s the first thing you need to consider when you’re looking to purchase a home and wanting a certain design to fit on the land,” Holly explains.
"Depending on the frontage, it will determine the kind of design you can get on that particular block; the depth of the block is really about what sort of back yard you’re going to have."
Blocks with wide frontage and shallow depth are ideal for two-storey homes, while an innovative way to work around a long, narrow block is to rearrange your double garage to give it a smaller width but double length, giving you more space for front-facing windows.
Use your builder’s expertise
Work collaboratively with your builder – they have loads of experience and insight. “It’s a great solution for families wanting to get the most out of their block,” Holly says. “We recently had a customer that had purchased a block of land and really wanted a prayer room in his home. The builder worked really hard with him to adjust the size of some of the bedrooms so he could get that extra space into his home. There are some really innovative designs from builders.”
So what’s the key to getting the best result for your family?
Step 1: Figure out what you want for your ideal house and land package.
Step 2: Make sure you understand the options available for house and land packages.
Step 3: Stick to your budget for your new home and block of land.
Step 4: Be mindful of how the size of your block will impact your home’s size and shape.
Step 4: Always work collaboratively with your builder to get the most out of your house and land package.
Follow these simple steps to matching your land and house together and you’ll be able to find your perfect match.