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Cost of building a new home! Free budget advice! - Property Unravelled

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What is the cost of building a new home?   Are you trying to put together a initial budget but don’t know where to start?

What do you include in your budget when building a new home?

Here’s a quick checklist we’ve put together for our Property Unravellers to make sure you include everything as well as all the little extras, in your new home build budget.

  • Buying the land costs
  • Legal Costs
  • Bank Fees and insurance
  • Architecture or Designer costs
  • Council Costs
  • Building Costs
  • Renting costs
  • New furniture
  • Contingency

Buying the Land

When budgeting for your land ensure that it is suitable for the type of home you would like to build.  You can do this by checking with builders and visiting your local council.  Your local council can also advise you on any extra costs that is associated on your block of land.   It is important that you always budget for soil testing and geo-technical reports.  Remember in some states and territories check to see if you get any stamp duty concessions if you are a first home buyer.

Buying the Land

Legal fees

There are a number of legal costs involved in purchasing land so contact a local conveyancer in your area to get a quote. They will do a variety of things including researching the property, title searches, depositing money in a trust account, calculate adjustment of rates and settle the property.

Bank Fees

Getting help from your accountant, mortgage broker or bank can also help you identify the different costs that you might incur at each stage of the home buying process.  One of the costs that a bank may charge is a Loan Approval fee which is the cost for setting up the loan.  If you need to borrow more than 80% of your mortgage you may also need to pay for Lender’s Mortgage Insurance.
A photo by Alejandro Escamilla

Architecture or Designer costs

Custom built home – If you are building a custom home then you will need to get quotes on architect or design costs.  Every quote is different, but some of the costs of building a new home will include concept plans, surveys and engineering costs. Make sure you check to see if there are administrative charges  for any changes you make to the original plans.   You will also want to check to see if they manage the council costs including development applications.

Project built home – Most of the architecture costs are included in the price for project homes however there will be fees for changes to the plan and council costs.  You will need to investigate what is included in all these costs.

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Council Costs

Again I cannot stress how important it is to see council before even purchasing the land.  They can provide you with a number of details which  include council contributions, zoning and extensions to services.   Some services may not be run through your local council so it is a good idea to check with your water and sewer providers as well.  Ask Council if there are any issues with vegetation, flooding or endangered species on the land as this may also incur more costs.  You may also need to get a arborist if you have to remove trees, which is also an extra cost to include. If you are building near a airport in a flight path then ask about aircraft noise requirements. These can add 50k to the build within

The cost of building

Custom home builds – When you are first preparing your budget, you can check the cost per square metre for building a home in your local area. It is also a good idea to visit display homes to get a idea of the size of home you would like. To get an estimate of how much it may cost to build the size home you want, you simply multiply the cost per square metre by the number of square metres of your home and this will give you an estimate of costs.

The cost of building

When you start getting quotes from builders you will notice a huge variance from one quote to another.  My tip is to provide each builder with the same specifications so it is easy to compare.  Also check what the exclusions are as you will need to add these into your budget. When doing a custom build speak to builders before submitting plans to council as they may have some better ideas for the design that will reduce costs. It will save having to lodge a section 96 later on.

Project home builds – Most of the costs associated with building a project home are included in the quote however there are always hidden costs which need to be checked.  Some examples of excluded costs will include council fees, fencing, curb replacment, boundary fencing that needs replacing.

It is worth including a cost for a dilapidation report in the budget this is to make sure that all the work completed at crucial stages is done in accordance with the plans, and to check that the materials and workmanship compliant with Australian Standards and meet Australian Building Codes.


If you are renting whilst you are building make sure you include this in your budget.  I would also allow a extra month in case there are any delays in your home build due to poor weather or lack of available trades.

New furniture

If you can afford this then budget for new furniture.  There is nothing worse than moving into a brand spanking new home and having your old hand me downs from your parents. We sold all our furniture before hand which gave us a bit more budget to play with. Check out our E-Homewares partners who have some great bargains!



This is also called the “Rainy Day Fund”. Even planning down to the last cent, there can still be unforeseen factors that might impact your build or budget. That is why I think it is really important to ensure you add in a 10% contingency plan of the total budget just in case. From personal experience, I can guarantee that you will use it.

There are many variables on the cost of building a new home and every project is so different but download our free budget template below.

Cost of building a new home! Free budget advice!