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  • Writer's pictureAlison Wong

What You Need to Know About Buying House and Land Packages in Australia

Updated: 6 days ago

Introduction

In Australia, purchasing and investing in real estate includes various options such as apartments, houses, townhouses, and land investments. Another investment method that is particularly popular among Australian investors is the House and Land Package. On the surface, it seems straightforward—buying land and a house together—but how does this differ from traditional investment types?


What exactly is a House and Land Package? What is the process of purchasing one? How does the cost compare to buying an existing house? What are the advantages of this type of investment? This article will explore these questions in detail.


1、What is a House and Land Package?

A House and Land Package is a method of selling a house and land together as a package. This approach is not only very popular in the Australian market but also highly favoured by overseas investors.


For many buyers, building a house is a challenging process that requires coordination with designers, builders, plumbers, and other professionals. It involves numerous complex steps, including planning approval, design, building permits, and construction. This complexity makes purchasing a house quite daunting. Therefore, many sellers offer packaged services to simplify this process. As the House and Land Package model gains popularity, these services have become more comprehensive. By providing House and Land Packages, buyers only need to choose their preferred plot and house design, significantly simplifying the process. This approach greatly benefits buyers and represents a win-win solution.


So, what is the process for purchasing a House and Land Package in Australia? What should we pay attention to during this process?


2. The Process and Considerations for Buying Land and Building a House in Australia

The process for buying land and building a house in Australia can be summarised in the following steps:


Reserve a house design and select the land.

  • Sign two separate contracts.

  • Contract terms become effective.

  • If a loan is needed, apply for it three months before the land settlement.

  • The government issues the land title certificate and the land settlement is completed.

  • Prepare for construction to begin.

  • Pay construction costs in stages.

  • Upon completion, pay the final construction cost.

  • Conduct a pre-handover inspection.

  • Official handover.


This process requires significant buyer involvement. Based on years of experience in the real estate industry, here are some important considerations:


2.1. Find a Developer Offering Suitable House and Land Packages

Look for a developer who offers house and land packages that meet your budget and requirements. When choosing, pay attention to the land's location, topography, size, shape, width, and length. Also, consider the distribution of underground pipelines and the fire hazard rating index.


It's essential to understand what is included or excluded in the package, as all builders and packages vary. Standard inclusions for new homes generally encompass a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom, doors and windows, built-in wardrobes, power outlets, TV and phone sockets, fans, stairs, and tiles. However, interior designs, driveways, landscaping, and fencing often incur additional costs. Depending on the price and style of the house, builders may offer extra features such as carpets, tiles, stone kitchen benchtops, or stainless steel appliances.


When making a selection, ensure you know which facilities are included and which require extra payment to avoid unnecessary expenses and budget overruns.


2. 2 Pay the Deposit and Sign Contracts

Once you have selected your house and land package, have a lawyer draft the purchase contracts. Typically, there are two separate contracts for house and land packages: one for the land purchase with the landowner and another for the house construction with the builder. These contracts are entirely independent of each other.


2.3 Permit-Related Checks: Obtain Building Permits and Related Documents

Before engaging a builder for a house and land package, verify their licences and builder's insurance certificates. This step ensures that the builder is legally permitted to carry out the construction and that you are protected against potential liabilities.


2.4. House Design and Construction Plan

The most crucial step is to choose a reputable builder and collaboratively select an appropriate house design plan. Here are some key questions to ask the builder:


  • What is included and excluded in the building contract? The price of a display home might include premium fixtures, finishes, and appliances, which might not be part of the standard package.

  • Layout: If you want to change the layout of the rooms, discuss this with the builder in advance. Making changes on the fly can cause issues for the builder.

  • Construction timeline: Discuss when construction will begin and how long it will take.

  • Environmental features: The costs of utilities such as electricity, water, and gas might rise, so it's essential to discuss and inquire about any potential risks associated with your land's infrastructure.


This is the most time-consuming and critical step, requiring the buyer to closely follow the builder's progress and monitor the project constantly. Failing to do so might result in dissatisfaction with the final product. During this phase, focus on selecting a high-quality, reputable builder, adhering to building regulations, ensuring the land width matches the building width, finalising the interior layout, and confirming the handover standards with the builder.


2.5  Monitoring the Construction

After signing the house and land package contracts, buyers typically know the new home's appearance, floor plan, and features. However, this doesn't mean things can't go wrong or be misunderstood by the builder. Buyers need to regularly check their building to monitor progress and ensure it meets their expectations.


This doesn't mean buyers can enter the construction site at will. Entering the site without the builder's permission or when the builder is not present is not only forbidden but also dangerous.


2.6 Signing and Moving In

Congratulations! Your house is ready! Before moving in, you need to sign various legal documents, and it is advisable to hire a professional lawyer to oversee this process.


You will receive the keys to your house, user manuals, appliance warranties, and other relevant documents from the builder. Like apartments, Australian houses are handed over fully furnished, with features such as a stove, range hood, oven, and dishwasher already installed.


3. Costs of Buying Land and Building a House in Australia (2024 Update)


Recently, many clients have been asking about the costs associated with buying property in Australia. In response, my team and I will be publishing a detailed article breaking down the costs of purchasing and holding property in Australia. Here, I will give you a quick overview to provide a basic understanding of the costs involved in a house and land package.


3.1 Legal Fees

Approximately AUD 2,500-3,000.


3.2 Stamp Duty

For house and land packages, stamp duty is only payable on the land component, not the house. Stamp duty rates and available concessions vary significantly across the country and can change over time. Therefore, we recommend consulting with an accountant or lawyer to get the latest information on stamp duty in your specific state or territory. Here are some general references for stamp duty charges in different states:


Victoria

South Australia


Queensland



South Australia


Western Australia


Tasmania

ACT

North Territory



3.3 Additional Stamp Duty for Foreign Buyers (Stamp Duty Surcharge)

For buyers from overseas who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents, there is usually an additional stamp duty surcharge of around 7%-8%, varying by state*.


It is important to note that the definition of a foreign buyer varies by state, so make sure to check the official state websites to determine if you are classified as a foreign buyer.


*For specific figures, please refer to the official state websites for the most up-to-date information.



Starting from April 9, 2024, the cost for foreign buyers to purchase second-hand properties will triple. However, buyers of house and land packages need not worry, as the application fee for new homes and vacant land remains unchanged. This is a significant advantage of buying a house and land package. 


*Please note that these fees are valid until June 30. We will provide updates on any changes that take effect after July 1.



3.5 Additional Costs

Additional costs for buying property in Australia include loan application fees, title transfer fees, and various other charges.


4.Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying House and Land Packages in Australia


Advantages:


a.Significant Stamp Duty Savings: Stamp duty is only applicable to the land component of house and land packages, making it an attractive option for overseas buyers. Additionally, there are subsidies and stamp duty exemptions for first-time homebuyers, further benefiting buyers.


b.Spacious Living Space in Detached Houses: Compared to the average size of dwellings in Hong Kong, detached houses in Australia offer larger living environments.


c.Design Freedom: Buying a house and land package allows buyers to choose their own architects and interior designers, enabling them to tailor the design, layout, and details of their home to their preferences.


d.Strong Appreciation Potential: The limited availability of land for detached houses in major cities like Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne has driven up the value of such properties, making them a potentially lucrative long-term investment.


e.Ample Financial Preparation Time: Payment for house and land packages is typically made in stages as construction progresses, providing buyers with ample time to prepare financially.


Disadvantages:


1.Location: Suitable land for house and land packages is usually located far from the CBD or in new development areas, as land in CBD areas may be scarce.


2.Hidden Costs: It is essential to carefully review contracts to understand which facilities incur additional charges. Many costs may only become apparent after signing the purchase contract, emphasising the need for careful contract examination.



Conclusion:


Buying property, whether a house or a house and land package, is a significant financial decision that requires a comprehensive evaluation of costs, risks, and investment returns. Before investing in the Australian property market, it is crucial to analyse property price trends thoroughly. 


Understanding the dynamics and trends of the Australian property market can help investors more accurately assess risks and potential returns. Therefore, before considering investing in the Australian property market, thorough market research and risk assessment are essential. This not only helps make informed investment decisions but also reduces investment risks and increases the chances of investment success.


Alison's channel provides weekly updates on the latest property price-related resources and references to help Australian property investors better understand market dynamics. Whether through professional property market reports, online resources, or expert opinions, they provide more comprehensive and accurate information support for investors. These resources not only help individuals better understand market trends but also guide them in formulating more effective investment strategies, thereby increasing the success rate and return on investment.


 

Alison’s Story

Born in Hong Kong an moved to Australia, I have been associated with real estate all my life. As the plane slowly landed on the runway of Melbourne Airport, my life and career also changed to another runway. I changed from a Hong Kong real estate agent to an Australian real estate agent, and successfully obtained the Australian lawyer qualification.


When I was working in a law firm, I was surrounded by highly educated professionals. Even though their wages are very well, and they are absolutely the elites in society, but their lives are full of hard labor, and it’s hard for them to get rich through buying properties.


So I spend all my time and effort on learning financial and real estate investment knowledge, hoping to achieve financial freedom as soon as possible, and let my parents who have worked hard for many years live a good life.


Now I will share with you the knowledge and experience of investing in Australian real estate, and embark on the road to financial freedom together.


Alison Australian real estate information platform


The original intention of Miss Alison to establish investwithalison.com is to provide neutral Australian real estate information through this platform and help investors establish the most suitable investment strategy.


👉Website: investwithalison.com

👉Email: hello@investwithalison.com

👉Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/alisonwongaustralia/



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