The Buying & Building Process – How Long Does It Take?

You may already be spending your weekends searching for property in Mackay, but how long does it actually take to buy and build a new house? It might take anywhere from 3 to 12 months to open the door to your new home, depending on a number of factors. Here’s a typical buying off the plan process and time frame to give you some idea.

Preparing to buy

Typical time frame: 2 months

Realistically, it can sometimes take a few months to get ready to sign on the dotted line when you’re planning to buy and/or build your first home. You’ll want to take the time to consider:

  • What size land you’lll want to build your home and how many bedrooms you’ll be looking for.
  • The area in which you want to build and live.
  • Your budget, and how much deposit you plan to save.

You may wish to gain pre-approval from your mortgage broker as this can speed up the Pre-approval usually takes a few business days to process and will generally be valid for 3- 6 months. From here, you can start to research house and land options to get a feel for where you’d like to live.

Selecting land and choosing your home

Typical time frame: 1 month

If you’re buying in a newly developed area, chances are you’ll be looking to buy your land and build a home. A house and land package will either include a single turnkey contract or separate contracts for buying land and building a house: this process can actually be simpler than it may seem. At Plantation Palms we can guide you through the process of buying land and building your new home, by first choosing your lot and then engaging your builder of choice to complete your preferred house design.

Buying your land, then building your new home has a number of advantages:

  • You’ll have the flexibility to choose the right home design for you.
  • If eligible, you’ll only pay stamp duty on the cost of your vacant land.
  • You can choose a house design suited to the lot.
  • You can make changes to the house design to suit you and your lifestyle.
  • You’ll be moving into a new home, eliminating the need to maintain an older property.
  • Your builder will arrange council and building approvals on your behalf.

Signing the contracts

Typical time frame: 1 week

Once you’re ready to sign your land contract, this must be reviewed and signed by both the vendor and yourself. Here’s where you will want to engage a solicitor or conveyor to check over the contracts and go over the fine print before you sign. You’ll typically have 14 or 21 days from the agreement date to arrange your unconditional home loan with your mortgage broker or lender. It will also be a smart idea to apply for the Queensland First Vacant Land Concession at this stage, if you are eligible.

Land Settlement

Typical time frame: 2 weeks

Settlement of your land generally occurs 2 weeks after you receive your unconditional approval from your lender. At this time the contracts are finalised and the land is yours to commence building.


The home building process

Typical time frame: 4-6 months

Once your home finance is arranged, building contracts are signed and building/council permits have been approved, the building process can begin. Build time will depend on the complexity of your home design and factors such as weather, but it will generally take at least six months for the builder to prepare the site, pour the slab, erect the frame, reach lock-up stage and then complete final touches such as tiling and painting. Your construction manager will be keeping an eye on the process so all you’ll need to do is relax and look forward to each site visit. There will be building inspections conducted throughout the building process and at the completion of the build, before a Certificate of Occupancy is then issued.

Handover (and adding finishing touches)

Time frame: no time limit

Before you know it, you’ll be turning the key and walking into your new home. Now the fun begins! As you move in you may wish to add air conditioning, landscaping, window coverings and extra interior touches to your home to make it completely yours – and obviously, there’s no rush to do this. From the date of completion, you’ll have one year from the new home being completed to apply for your Queensland First Home Buyers Grant if you haven’t already. Congratulations – your brand-new home is now yours to enjoy!

Have questions? The Plantation Palms team would be happy to guide you through the process.

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