Owner Builders

If you were not aware, you can apply to be the builder on your own home. In Queensland anyway, I’m not sure about the rules in other states. We have a few of these projects on the go at the moment. A few simple and small dwellings and one very large home that comes to mind. 

Everyone’s journey is a little different. Some are still building after many years, others put the time in to get the house finished. Sometimes, sub-contractors are engaged to do everything.

Our experience in liaising between the banks and the project plans has allowed us to gain some knowledge around the conditions in which the banks and the local governments allow an owner to build their own home. Please note that these are general rules only and it is best to check with your own bank and your local government to be sure.

As far as the building regulations go, you obviously need to do an Owner Builder’s course. When the course if completed, you can apply for an Owner Builder’s license. We haven’t checked for a while, however it lasts for about six years. The license forms part of your submission to the approval process. You will not be permitted to install the electricity or the plumbing. These items must be sub-contracted to a qualified tradesperson. Probably the case for block/brick laying as well.

We are a little more versed in how the banks view these projects. Firstly, not all banks will be interested, but there are a few. The Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) is lower than normally offered for residential properties. 65% is the rate for the bank that we are most familiar with. It may be a good option if you can keep your costs down. This would mean doing a lot of the work yourself. The banks will require some deep information about the project. Very detailed and itemized costings, formal quotes from every sub-contractor is also required.

It is our job as the Valuer to show the bank that the costs itemized by the owner results in a completed dwelling. If you are considering going down this path when building your new home, just know that it is very involved, but can be rewarding if you like that sort of thing.

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