When cutting corners is not what you need
By Amanda Scali

19/12/2018 11:05am

For many of us, building a new home is the most significant financial investment we will make in our lives, and the path to this investment is rarely simple.


Most people take a lot of care in choosing their home, and they often take a long time to commit and execute on this investment. It’s a big decision after all, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.


Once people have decided to jump in, human nature sets in and people find themselves rushing to get the project completed and move in as soon as possible.


This often leads to a propensity to try and reduce time and costs by cutting corners to get the project completed.


This is usually a fool’s errand, and as with any other major investment in people’s lives, things take time, and it never pays to cut corners.


So, what can you do?


Of course, affordability is always a determining factor, but the block of land you want and the dream house you want to build shouldn’t push you financially to the point that you need to cut corners to have it.


You might not be able to put a pool in now for example, but cutting corners in areas that affect your day to day life, like a kitchen that is too small, or not enough storage space in the house will end up costing you in the future.


Perhaps a better strategy would be to select that block of land which is just a bit smaller, or in a different location with a lower purchase cost.


Or putting that house on the block which is slightly smaller while still meeting your needs, as opposed to your wants.


Maybe you can put off adding the pergola to the house (for now) to buy the upgraded insulation to save you on energy costs?


Needs and Wants:


Fundamentally, people need shelter and security. A 3-bedroom home might fit their growing family, but instead, they want a 5-bedroom mansion in the best suburb because their friend has one when something far more modest will do.


When we understand the difference between needs and wants, we can prioritise the things we can and can’t do without when building our homes.


Prioritise where you need to spend the money at the time of building and make sure you get the fundamentals right.


The kitchen, the bathroom, the number of bedrooms, and the right size block of land will set you up well if you get them right. Focus the money you have on the things that are not easy to alter or add-on down the track.


People’s desires change over time, and so do their needs. Focusing on what’s right for you now is important to avoid making mistakes that will cost you in the future.