House and Land Packages - Cost Expectations

I live in SA and am planning on building as I have a family of 4.

If I am looking at a house and land package and just wanted to understand some common pitfalls and expectations.

My family and I are prioritising school zoning, close to the city and quiet and safe neighbourhood.
With all this in mind, we are comfortable on a budget of $750k (which can be quite decent in SA from what I can see compared to other states).
For those living in SA, suburbs such as Nailsworth, Prospect, Broadview for North-East, as well as Hectorville, Glynde, Tranmere and surrounding are what we are eying.

My question is what kind of costs to expect.
I've done a fair few reading but without any experience, I was hoping to get some knowledge from experienced heads about this.

Through, we have found a few house and land packages from various builders, with an approx. land size of 340sqm, double storey.
This is something we are happy with.

The cost is something I'd like to understand more of as there seems to be a lot of other parts to consider (ie. stamp duty, first home builders grant, allowances etc.).
It can get quite daunting and I'd like to keep level headed with finances throughout the whole process.

Can anyone provide a glimpse of what to expect if for example, we come across a house and land package with the suggested price of $690k?

Thanks everyone who can help out!


  • +9

    House and land packages generally don’t include things like window coverings, driveways, fencing, landscaping. You need to factor in stamp duty, solicitor fees, insurance, moving costs, loan costs (possible valuations fees, mortgage registration costs, loan fees if any).

    • Not sure why you got negged, have a +

      • +3

        Thanks, I am saving up my positive internet votes to buy something nice :)

        • Always good to treat yourself!

    • Thanks for the insight.

      Seems as though there are a lot more costs involved than I thought based on everyone's input.

      I may have to re-evaluate my options.

  • I would avoid those areas

    Nailsworth, Prospect, Broadview for North-East; very close to 2 prisons and kilburn and Blair athol which are drug addiction central and housing SA houses

    I'd look closer to Glynde, Klemzig which are close to Norwood and paynhem which is better for investment value.

    Also the above are central to the CBD and close to the O-bahn

    • lol at O-bahn

      • It's a very good transport option in ADELAIDE

    • Redfern used to be a cheap drug dump. How times have change.

    • Yeh, I'm well aware our eastern suburbs provide far better security.

      I currently live north-east (renting in Windsor Gdns) so felt suburbs around the Prospect/Nailsworth area seems like a major step up for what we need.

      Thanks for your insight!

      • Windsor gardens area is better than prospect at least certain parts of prospect is bad it all depends

        • Depends if you're North or south of regency Rd. visible diff imo.

    • Prospect? Depends where. Trendy, lots of lovely old houses and many new builds for young professionals.

      The Inner western suburbs on the Grange line, and from Woodville to the city are great value. New land releases and opportunities for knock down and rebuild options. Consistent growth and gentrifying with incoming young families.

      I've lived in Dulwich, Unley, Brompton, Woodville, Grange, and prefer the west. Life's rich pageant, and lots of community activities.

  • +3

    I felt a bit like Al Bundy during our build… always had my hands in my wallet paying someone money.
    As well as the above great points, remember your basic house/land package is just that. Basic.
    You want an extra door, PowerPoints, upgraded features, ceiling fans, decent lawns and gardens? Be prepared to pay. Even the little things you take for granted like light bulbs, security screens, outdoor outlets for your Christmas lights, blinds and garden taps are all on you. If I built again I’d easily leave an extra 50- 80k aside for “extras”.

    • Definitely this. The basic package is… very basic. One powerpoint per room, plain short doors, low ceilings, the bare minimum. Absolutely nothing in the way of floor coverings (carpets/boards) or window coverings. Perfectly livable, but ask the builder for their complete list of options. Like buying a european car, you can add 25%+ in just options

    • This is definitely what I needed to know.

      I have an understanding that I should put aside around 10% but from reading a lot of comments here, I feel that allowance should increase, which may ultimately decrease my budget and choices.

      Thanks MsBin.

  • +1

    Upgrades to the standard inclusions can really add up to the total cost so be very aware of that as some have said. Each builder and house design is different so I would do research on what is and isn't included.

    • Thanks DannyC, I'll keep that in mind.

  • +1

    Keep an eye on Landscaping costs, especially on a sloping block. Our Block only had what I thought was a slight slope, but $30k worth of Retaining Walls later…………😨

    • Wow, I'll have to hope my future block is even to avoid retaining wall costs.
      That's so expensive!

  • +1

    Add 20% to the build price of your purchase and keep it aside for extras. For example if it is 400k for land and 300k for build - budget an extra 60k on your contract for the build. Then add another 20k for the finishes like driveway paths fencing landscaping etc.

    • This is great.
      I'm such a noob that I didn't even realise landscaping wasn't part of the house and land package.

      Thanks TheBilly.

  • +2

    Is this your very first house? Highly recommend buying established rather than the dream or nightmare that building can be.

    Established, what you see if what you go, your conveyancer and mortgagee can give you clear $$$ you will need to settle.

    • Yeh, this will be my first house.
      We've been renting up until this point.

      My family always envisioned moving overseas so property wasn't a priority however, covid has sort've made us realise staying put is the better choice.

      We were considering buying established but we've been renting since the beginning and haven't experienced living in a modern house so we have agreed that building our dream home would be so exciting and symbolic of a fresh start.

      Property value increase would be a bonus but we would just be happy as home owners.

      • haven't experienced living in a modern house

        There's always 1-3 year old houses for sale. People jump into a mortgage and realise it isn't for them.

        Property value increase

        Won't happen for a long time. Why would anyone else buy an established house in your estate when they can build their own?

  • +1

    Have you seen a 350 square meter block with a house on it?

    • Yes?

      We're currently living in one that's just a bit bigger.
      The type of house and land packages we are seeing are around this size land.

      Are you implying something I'm not aware of?

      • -1

        It's a tiny piece of land? Just wasn't sure if you knew exactly how small it was, but as you've been living in one similar, all good. Some people just get excited at the thought of the house and land package, and don't actually realise what it is they are getting.

        • Oh ok.

          Yeh, unfortunately large sized land is hard to find unless you are uber rich.
          A lot of huge sized lands are usually subdivided and sold off individually for a profit.

          I grew up in a house where the land was around 850sqm so plenty of backyard to play in but nowadays, 350sqm seems like the norm.
          I feel sorry that my kids won't have the luxury of a massive backyard like I did but I guess that's why there are parks?

        • Pretty much every new build or estate is putting every house so close together using every single bit of the 300sqm that's how they make their money.

          I'm the same I miss the 800sqm blocks very hard to find unless you go out of the city into the country areas.

  • Don’t forget to factor in the costs for your water rates, council rates, and electricity and gas connections. Not to mention usage for gas and electricity during the build (unless it is in your contract that the builder pays)

    I’m building my first house (whilst renting) and I naively didn't realise that there was going to be so many bills.

    My package includes heater, blinds, fly screens and concrete for my driveway and porch. Things I need to add in later - cooling, more power points, solar, FTTP (OptiComm) lead in cable, front landscaping, rear landscaping, LED down lights, additional laundry cupboards and security doors. There is probably more I am forgetting but right now I just have a wish list of things to do once I save up some more money.

    Good lucky!

    • This is good to know.
      Do builders usually offer to pay or I am assuming it can be negotiated into the contract?

      Every comment here seems to suggest that the best way to estimate a more accurate cost is to add around 20% on top of the indicative price of the package.

      I'll need to go back to the drawing board and reconsider my options.

      Thanks for the insight Wickz.

  • +1

    700k will get you a pretty good established house in a good area, why would you spend that much on a house/land package out North (in Compton!).
    My partner and I both work in the city, and it takes us half hour to get to and from work, and live in a decent, safe suburb in the South where you can buy established for $400k.

    • I'm assuming you live in SA?
      I wouldn't consider the suburbs "out North, in Compton".

      We like the locations listed as they are equal distance from our respective parents houses plus, I also work in the CBD so travelling time would be shorter.

      We were considering buying established but we've been renting since the beginning and haven't experienced living in a modern house so we have agreed that building our dream home would be so exciting and symbolic of a fresh start.

      We figured based on the suburbs listed, $750k would be a safe figure to work around.

      • +1

        Building a house sucks, and new houses are generally rubbish. We had lots of issues, wouldn't choose to build again in a hurry. Only did it for the capital gains.

      • Unfortunately there are alot of low income areas all around the North where they have built these new "estates"; which is fine if you need leave your estate but as soon as you cross Hampstead or main North you're in the Bronx mate still tons of housing properties and tons of teen mother's & drug dealers all over,

      • +1

        $750K would get you a decent property in most areas of Adelaide it just depends how far you are able to be from the CBD!?

        Personally I actually prefer older houses with some history and character but also proof its been looked after.

        • Yeh, the more I think about it as well as reading the replies from my post, the more I am leaning towards the East.
          I'm currently 10 mins from the city so would like to keep that the same or better since I work in the CBD.

          Older houses have their benefits but we are pretty set on wanting a new build.

          • @Tandy001: 10 mins East could be like magill? Paynhem? Very nice areas.

  • Now that you have a list of costs that come with building, seriously consider searching for a newer established home to compare value. In the event of a change of circumstance, you will be unlikely to recover more of your money if you need to sell again soon. If you are looking for a brand new home perhaps consider purchasing an ex-display home.

  • If you really want to build, I’d get the block and your ideal location sorted FIRST.

    Buy the block.

    Then work out the plan of your house with ALL the options, bits and pieces you want included.

    I suggest a “turn key” price, with all the floor coverings, driveways, paths and landscaping all in the building price quote.

    Get a detailed plan of your intended new home with ALL your options and make 6 to 10 copies.

    Go to several builders and get their “fixed price quotes” based on YOUR requirements!

    You should also seek a good mortgage broker to go through all costs.

    You could also consult with a “Home Building Broker” to do the running around for you.

    Note: Adding on “extras” after the initial building quote can be VERY expensive, so make sure you have all your requirements in your first plan!

    Good luck 🍀

  • My hot tip is if there's anything you don't like from the basic package, delete it and you'll get a credit. For example, I hated the cooking package inc rangehood, deleted it and with the credit was able to purchase a more superior, better looking package. Also, add in features from the display home, don't be afraid to move windows, add niches etc. With power points, if you happen to know an electrician, you can easily piggy back power points on the other side of a wall, therefore place one on one side and one on opposite side of a room and piggyback for around $5-10. If I had my chance again, I'd also delete the included blinds as I hated them, everything you delete you get a credit for, and most things are usually priced with a hugely inflated cost😊. I'd also ask friends who have built for their tips as you learn a lot from your first build.

Login or Join to leave a comment