Cheap doesn’t have to be nasty, but you can be caught out if you don’t know what to look for. Read on for more about budget builds and avoid the myths.
1. House prices will decline and cheap homes will be worth less.
Only true if everyone bought properties to live in as is, but people buy for all sorts of reasons. If you’re intending on selling in 5 or 10 years, a cheap build could be a better option and some investors favour low maintenance places to rent that can be easily repaired. Land is where the real value is, so although a luxury build can add value, a cheap home in Melbourne or Sydney as high demand areas for example, will still perform well.
2. Cheap homes use inferior materials
Although you might come across a build that has suffered due to use of inferior quality products, the devil is in the detail when it comes to luxury builds. The price tag of expensive homes lies in high end appliances, non-standard attributes like fixtures or asymmetrical design features and factors like tricky sites that are costly to prepare. Furthermore, these days new homes must meet minimum energy star requirements which are checked before a certificate of occupancy is issued. In comparison, you could buy an old house with 30+ year old insulation or none at all! Therefore, a standard build with average materials will make for a cheaper house but not one that will fall apart at the seams!
3. Cheap homes are ugly
Alas, ugliness is not specific to price, there are many ugly homes both cheap and expensive! Although beauty often falls to the eye of the beholder, basic things such as garden or facade maintenance will enhance a house, as well as the absence of clutter. Another factor that determines how a home is perceived is its context – we probably all know a street with an uber modern modular amongst a street of period homes. The modern box might not be too offensive as an individual design, but comparatively it’s an eyesore because it sticks out amongst the common style of a neighbourhood. Building a budget home to blend in with its surroundings will reduce the chance of it being memorable for the wrong reasons.
4. Cheap houses are small
The cost of a home is really much more than a price per square metre. Although generally you save some cash by reducing the floorplan, small builds can also be expensive due to factors such as site suitability, selection of finishes and designer choices (like for windows).The cost of labour and how intensive your build is will also impact on price, sometimes a small site with no margin for error (and tight planning regulations) can be more of an investment than a stand-alone dwelling in a less regulated location. However, don’t let this encourage you to build a McMansion, as over time their quality tends to impact their value if in a further flung location.