Anyone who’s built a house, or even looked into it, will tell you the whole process can get overwhelming. Most builders offer a range of new house and land packages as a more streamlined option, which is especially tempting for the first home buyer. But are they as simple as they appear and, if so, does this simplicity come at a cost? In today’s article, we’re going to give you a rundown of what house and land packages are. Not sure if this is the option for your new home? We’re also going to discuss some of the advantages and drawbacks of house and land packages.
For starters, here’s a brief list of what we like and don’t like about house and land packages.
- Cost-Effective compare to buying a pre-existing home
- Convenient – only have to deal with one person
- Easy to secure finance
- Lack of Choice and options
- Hidden Costs
- Limited choice of location
- Lots are often small
What is a House and Land Package?
House and land packages tend to come in two varieties. First, is what’s known as a ‘turnkey’ package, in which you purchase land and then choose from a designated selection of house designs. The downside is you’re limited in what you can choose and changes tend to be frowned upon by the builders. You’re also handing over all the leverage to the builder which, depending on the builder, could spell all sorts of trouble.
The second type is a house and land package where you purchase the vacant lot first and are then offered a set range of builders and designs to choose from. This is a common option in development sites, like estates.
Home and land packages come in a range of home designs and most builders offer house and land packages, especially volume and established companies.
Advantages of a House and Land Package
This obviously depends on what you’re comparing, but a house and land package is often a more cost-effective option than buying a pre-existing home. There are certain factors like location, house design and land size that will determine your price. However, house and land packages are more expensive than purchasing a vacant lot and then building a house outside of a bundle deal. A lot can be saved by taking the steps yourself, and what comes across as convenience may actually be you losing out on options.
The big selling point developers will often highlight is that house and land packages are more convenient. Unlike other projects, where you’ll need to work with a variety of different people, with a house and land package you’ll only deal with a developer. Working through one individual will either appeal to you or it won’t. You’ll want to have trust in the person who’s your channel of communication. On the other side of the coin, if you don’t like your point of contact or find them unhelpful, it will be a long build for everyone.
Securing financing for a house and land package is much simpler since you don’t need to obtain a mortgage to buy part of the land. These packages tend to be clearer in their prices, which financial institutions prefer, which in turn means you’re more likely to get that loan.
Drawbacks to House and Land Packages
House and land packages will be pitched to you as an easy solution to the hectic process of building a home, but there can be drawbacks that you need to consider. The important thing to remember is that this is your home, not the builders’. This isn’t to say you should disregard the builder’s suggestions, rather there should be open communication where you feel heard and trust the builder has your best interest in mind. With all this in mind, carefully consider what you want in a house and whether this is achievable through a home and land package.
One of the appeals of a house and land package is how straightforward it seems, but make sure you get all the information on what is included in your price. Ask your builder for a detailed breakdown of what is and isn’t included in your quoted price. This gives you both a better idea of whether you’re getting value for money and also helps you keep track once the build commences. Your builder should be more than happy to offer this information to you. If they aren’t, consider it a red flag. Buildi can help look over any contracts or quotes and let you know if anything seems fishy.
Something we tell everyone building a home, whether it’s a house and land package or not, is that you’re pretty much guaranteed to spend more than the advertised prices you find when you browse the internet. There’s a reason these prices tend to have the words ‘from’ or ‘starting at’ in front of them. It’s best to be prepared for your final quote to be higher than the quoted price.
Be clear on what you’re signing up for
A house isn’t a cheap investment. In fact, it’s likely to be one of, if not the biggest purchase of your life. Therefore, you should understand exactly what you’re paying for. This includes what services the builder will offer, and what inclusions will come with your home. A quick example: driveways are more often than not, not part of a builder’s standard inclusions, meaning you’ll need to adjust your budget to factor this in. Making assumptions instead of asking is a surefire way of ending up disappointed.
Because of the simplified process, it is possible to buy a house and land package without doing an independent soil check. This is not something we’d recommend skipping just to save a few dollars because if your land turns out to have problems down the line, it will be an expensive proposition to fix. You’ll also need to check if site costs are covered in your quoted price.
Lack of Choice
Building a house can leave you feeling like you have to make a million decisions, a lot of them at the same time. It can feel overwhelming. This is totally natural, but this feeling can lead people to look at house and land packages because they’re sick of the stress. A good strategy is to take a breather from your build and when you come back, think about this in the long term. Though it may not feel like it, your building process will end one day and what you’ll be left with is your home.
While fewer choices may make things simpler, they won’t suit everyone. For example, you will be locked into using specific contractors and will have limited say. You’ll most likely have a limited range of floorplans to choose from. On top of that, design changes are a lot more difficult with these types of deals and can be expensive.
Choice also means having more say in the building process. While you may not need the leeway with your builder all the time, it’s good to know it’s there if you need it. A lack of choice can make you feel like another box that needs to be ticked, rather than a valued customer.
For anyone wanting to design a brand new house or who has a very distinct dream home in mind (this could be for style or functionality reasons), a house and land package isn’t the option for you. These packages are very assembly line and don’t really cater for anything distinct.
Any changes you make could be expensive.
House and Land Packages do sometimes offer the chance to make changes to the design. However, the odds are the builder will be reluctant to do so. The catch however is that any deviation will be expensive. If you have some specific design choices in mind, it might be better to create your own design rather than work with a house and land package.
Small land size
Leading developers often have house and land packages for sale are often part of estate communities, which usually include small lots of land which are very close together. This could be great if you’re after a suburban, community feel but not so great if your space is your priority. Estates often have a lot of parks and outdoor areas, so if you
Lower Resale Value
As an investment property to sell down the line, house and land packages can be a mixed bag. Their price tends to rise slower, especially if they’re part of a newer estate.
This won’t be as much of an issue if this is a home you plan to spend the rest of your life in, or at least, the foreseeable future.
With a lot of people on the search for new homes, places in estates are in high demand. Even if you sign up to get regular updates about new land packages and releases, it can be tricky to nab a spot in such a competitive environment.
An issue with house and land packages is you don’t have any real say in the location. You have to buy these deals where they’re available. If you have a specific location in mind, we’d recommend considering a knock-down rebuild over a house and land package
The vast majority of house and land packages are found in outer suburbs so you’ll need to factor this in if you need to travel to the inner city for work. If you’re buying in a new development, public transport options may be limited, so travel costs could begin to add up. On the other hand, if you’re buying in an estate, there are often plans to build facilities such as schools, shops, and entertainment.
If the house and land package is part of a new development area, there will be a lot of interest from other homebuyers, meaning a lot of demand, meaning you’re more likely to miss out. If part of the appeal of a house and land package is the simplicity, this can be a frustrating, convoluted process to just get your foot in the door.
Are they a good choice for first home buyers?
Sometimes, but not necessarily. As we’ve mentioned, estates are commonplace for house and land packages and these areas tend to be pitched towards families, retirees, downsizers and generally people with a bit of money, which may or not include first home buyers. Some house and land packages are designed specifically for first home buyers and there may be government schemes you can apply for. Generally, you’ll need to put down at least a 5-10% deposit, but this could vary, so always check.
The nature of house and land packages means that you’re limited in your choice of location. Whether they’re a good option for someone on a budget, like most first home buyers are, will depend on what’s currently available.
Why build in Brisbane?
Brisbane is a large area and there is a lot of variety when it comes to suburbs, both in terms of affordability and temperament. For anyone looking to move to Queensland from down south, we’ve got some great news. Brisbane properties are significantly cheaper than those in either Sydney or Melbourne.
Properties will be more expensive in popular suburbs, which in Brisbane tend to be areas in the inner city and near facilities like schools, public transport and landmarks.
Builders in Brisbane
Ausmar Homes are a South-East Queensland Builder that has been operating in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast for nearly 30 years.
- Great for custom builds.
- Flexible with designs.
- Sometimes have delays with their builds.
Founded in 2018, Brighton Homes is one of the newer home builders in town. They’re part of the MJH Group and focus on building in South-East Queensland.
- Upfront about costs
- Are up to date with modern trends.
- 20-week timeframe for a build.
- It can be 2-3 months after you put down your $3000 deposit before you’ll receive a fixed price contract
When it comes to house and land package prices, expect to pay between $533,385-1,400,000, possibly more depending on inclusions and any changes. Below is an idea of some of the inclusions Brighton offers with its house and land packages (this varies depending on the house you’re buying):
Prices range between $460,000 and-1,200,00 but could cost more, depending on inclusions and location.
Metricon Homes is one of Australian home building’s biggest names. They build a large volume of homes on the Gold Coast. Metricon has house and land packages in a variety of areas of southeast Queensland locations including Jimboomba Woods and Yarrabilba, Springfield Lakes in South Ripley, and in southern suburbs such as Greenbank, Park Ridge and Spring Mountain.
The most affordable option is 451,998 for a Clara 15 Single Storey Home.
The most expensive is 1,349,852 for a double-storey Fintona 33.
Below are some of the inclusions for the Fintona.
Prices for Plantation Homes house and land packages range between 507,000-1,999,699
Plantation Homes is an award-winning builder that benefits from the financial backing of a major Victoria-based construction company. They have display homes in Harmony and Aura.
- Plantation Homes has won the Queensland Professional Major Builder Award several times.
- They have a wide range of designs but also have long waiting times.
- Some reviews suggest that Plantation’s communication can be lacklustre, sometimes taking 2-3 weeks to respond.
Simonds Homes is one of the largest builders in Australia with 50,000 builds to their name.
- The sales team provide a high standard of service
- The quality of their houses has received complaints.
- Post-build support leaves a lot to be desired. Without a dedicated post-build team to make sure their work stands the test of time, some customers end up being forgotten.
Popular home design options in Brisbane
Double Storeys designs are a great opportunity to get more house area on a smaller footprint. A good option for a larger family or anyone working with a narrow block of land who still wants more house area.
The single storey house design is the most common type of house you’ll see. Unlike multi-storey designs, a single storey home can be more flexible with its floor plan.
Acreage home designs are spacious single-storey houses most commonly found on larger, rural properties. They’re a popular choice for growing families due to their floor plans emphasising space. The minimum for an acreage block is around 4,000m2 but can be much larger
Book a Free Consultation Today
At Buildi, we help you find the right builder, save time, reduce stress and stay on budget.
How We Can Help You
Building a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. At Buildi, we’ll be there throughout the entire building process, guiding you step by step so you can avoid any pitfalls. We will help you by following these steps.
- Free Consultation – We will sit with you to understand what you are looking to accomplish.
- Due Diligence – We work with you to ensure you’re buying the right block of land at the right price without hidden problems.
- Builders tender – We will take your requirements out to the market of builders and they will bid to win your business.
- Present solutions – We will compile the top 3 options and present you with a comprehensive proposal on builders’ strengths & weaknesses along with prices and specifications.
- Contract Signing – We will work with you and your selected builder to ensure there is full transparency in what you are entering into.
- Building your home – We work closely with the builder to ensure all service levels are met and your project is on schedule.