How to save money when building a brand new house

by Genius Homes

There is no denying that New Zealand is currently in the grips of a housing crisis. With more people looking for a home than ever before, and a limited number of houses on the market, more people are turning their attention to the possibility of buying a newly built home, or building a new home from scratch. This approach gives you the benefit of creating a home that fits your personal aesthetic, being brand new and also the likelihood of this being a more affordable route than buying a used home.

Median house prices across New Zealand increased by 16.4% in August 2020 to $675,000, up from $580,000 in August 2019 and up from $659,000 in July 2020 (a 2.4% lift). Every region in the country has seen an annual increase in median house prices, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ). This presents a limited view of the problem, however, as it purely looks at the median values. According to the average asking price nationwide has increased to $824,702 while the same report suggests the country is experiencing a 13-year low in the housing stock.

While the cost of buying a home the traditional way is higher than ever and availability makes this harder than ever, how does building a new home stack up?

According to Canstar, nationally the average cost per sqm sits at $2,238, and the average price of building a new home is $428,791. Otago is the most expensive place to build a new home. In all, it boasts the biggest homes and the highest construction costs per sqm with the average new build home costing $547,672. If you would like to check out a region by region break down then click here. It’s interesting to note that the floor area of a newly consented home has shrunk by just over a fifth over time. This is partly as cities "densify" in response to the housing crisis, with the average floor area of homes consented in 2019 being 42sqm smaller than during the peak of 200sqm in 2010, according to Stats NZ.

So how much does it cost to build a prefab home and what additional extras need to be considered before signing the contract? A three-bedroom home sitting at 86.2sqm can cost anywhere from $195,000 to a 140sqm home only $290,000 plus transport costs depending on the added extras. It does pay to note that every building project is different, so no one will be able to give you a 100% accurate estimate without your plans being drafted first. This will enable you to understand what you could get for your money and might start some great conversations around additional budgeting factors you may not have considered. 

With a prefab home, the costs are less likely to spiral out of control. Because of the controlled building environment, bulk ordering of materials and the reduced travel for contractors the pricing can be quite competitive when compared even with a traditional building company.

What is the best way to prevent going over-budget on a new build project? The main piece of advice is choosing the right building company. One of the easiest costs to expand when it comes to building are the construction costs, if you can cut back here you'll really save. There are two ways to achieve this, one is to build the house yourself, and the second option is to consider a building method which reduces the amount of wasted construction time. If you’re not very handy on the building front then the second option might be more realistic. Luckily prefab homes do just that, not only do they reduce the extra time it takes to build the structure but the other benefit with homes that are factory built is there are also no weather delays. In fact, some of the most common causes of onsite construction delays are weather, locating and setting up equipment and overbooked building staff. All of which factory-built homes can help avoid. 

Here are a couple of extra tips to consider before you start the build of your new home to help you save money:

Research the land you intend to build your home on

You may have found the perfect section to build on, at the perfect price situated in the perfect location, however, there are a few important things to consider. If a property has an uphill or downhill slope (depending which way you look at it) buildings can often require additional earthworks such as retaining walls and piling. This can add thousands of dollars to the construction costs of your new home. For some more information around how to prepare check out these five checks to make before buying land to build a house on.

Choose a stock plan

Building a house from stock plans is much cheaper and more convenient than making alterations and customisations. Not only do stock plans take less time to build, which is a huge cost saver, but contractors already know the designs and will take less time in building a house from these plans. Also, stock plans are stock plans for a reason. Homebuilders already know that they will not have issues during the building process and many of the challenges that could increase the cost have been ironed out.

When building a home with Genius Homes, there are a range of different house plan options to choose from. Ranging from 1 bedroom dwellings to larger 5 bedroom homes these designs are well thought out and the costings are already allocated. They also feature standard inclusions such as carpet, paint, curtains and fixtures. Of course like all homes, the designs can be customisable but it’s worth bearing in mind that custom designs can increase the time and the cost so it’s worth deciding on your budget, timeframe and priorities before going down the route of a tailored design. 

If you’ve been struggling to find a home that suits you and you are thinking that a new build home would better suit you, all while getting the most bang for your buck, then check out the Genius Homes range of prefabricated homes. You can explore your options by downloading the product catalogue by using the button below. The friendly team would be happy to supply a no-obligation quote, which can include transportation and site costs so you’re getting an accurate idea of how far your budget needs to go. Download your free brochure today by clicking here or on the link below.
2021 Genius Homes Brochure download now

filed under Building Options

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