- Call in the experts. It’s important to know how much you can afford from the get-go before deciding on the scope of work. Frank suggests contacting a mortgage broker or bank to crunch the numbers, considering borrowing capacity and the cost of repayments. “This will help you work out your limitations,” says Frank.
- Plan to overspend. When drawing up your budget, don’t allocate every dollar you have upfront – you need an extra 15 to 20 percent up your sleeves for important splurges.
- Know the cost per square. The bigger the house, the more expensive it will be. Professional builders still use the imperial measurement of squares – one house square is equal to 100 square feet or about 9.2 square metres. So if the cost per square is between $10,000 and $20,000 the cost for a 40 square house (368 square metres) will between $400,000 and $800,000. A 42 square house, at this level, will cost between $420,000 and $840,000.
- Prioritise the wish list. Not every idea will fit into a realistic budget. “My advice is to put them into two categories: luxury items and non-negotiables,” says Frank. “If the prices start coming in a little bit too high you can always chip away at the luxury items until the price gets to where it needs to be,” he adds.
- Think about the final layer. After all the hard work of planning, researching and building a house, you will deserve a home that feels comfortable and finished so ensure to factor in the cost of landscaping and window furnishings. It's wise to focus a limited budget on fittings and anything else that is fixed in place. Still, try to spare some room in the budget for a few key furniture pieces and some fresh accessories and artworks.
Looking to renovate? Online mortgage calculators like this one from Qudos Bank, are a really simple tool when trying to figure out financing.