Skip to Content Skip to Navigation Skip to Search


Key People Involved in the Building Process

Industry News 11 Nov 2019
Young couple going through the buying and building process
Key players explained in the building process

Building a new home is a dream come true. No matter if you’re a first homebuyer or a fourth, watching your very own home take shape is an incredible experience.

For many, it’s a huge financial commitment built on years of hard work and persistence.

“When they’re building a new home, people are passing over all of their life savings so it’s a big decision and they want to feel secure and comfortable that their home is going to be built on time and in good quality,” explains Nigel Satterley, CEO and founder of Satterley.

“The blood sweat and tears that it takes to put a deposit together is so important and is to be respected.”

Unlike an established home, a new home is personalised to suit your lifestyle. There are less compromises and more choices. Everything from the size of the land to the colour of the kitchen tiles is up to you.

Building a new home involves a series of steps that must be followed to ensure a quality build. At every stage of your new build you will meet professionals to guide you through local government laws, conveyancing, building approvals and financing.

Building a new home is a unique process for everyone – no two builds are ever the same. Blocks of land differ in shape, size and slope, while rules and regulations vary across shires and states, and of course, your home’s exterior and interior will be customised to your needs.

Buying a house and land package is a popular option for many homebuyers. And for good reason – buying a house and land package from a quality developer like Satterley means living in a masterplanned community with a vibrant and well connected neighbourhood.

Choosing a house and land package is a simple process, but it helps to know exactly which parties you’ll be engaging with along your new home journey.

Here, we introduce you to the key players involved in the process of building a new home and what they actually do.

What does a property developer do?

A property developer buys large parcels of land, commonly former agricultural sites, and prepares them for residential construction. This typically involves converting the land from open fields to housing lots.

To do this, a property developer must apply for local government approval and work in partnership with authorities to arrange roadworks and local infrastructure. They must also supervise earthworks to level the land and remove any debris.

A property developer names the community, often in consultation with local residents already living in the area. The developer also installs a sales office so potential buyers can visit the site and talk to sales people about the community’s features and planned amenities. In collaboration with builders, developers also construct display houses on the site so purchasers can get a real feel the homes on offer.

To ensure a sustainable community for decades to come, Satterley builds masterplanned communities. These communities are typically found in outer-suburban areas and offer a variety of land sizes to achieve a mixture of housing types, from small townhouses to large family homes.

Blocks of land are released for sale in stages by the developer. Before a land release, you can usually register your interest in buying land or a house and land package at a pre-sale stage. A deposit is needed to secure your block and the balance of the money must be paid at settlement.

Satterley’s masterplanned communities are designed to meet a wide variety of lifestyle needs. They commonly include places where residents can be active including parks and playgrounds, along with easy access to shops, schools and transport.

Masterplanned communities are highly social places to live. Satterley’s communities include many facilities designed to bring people together such as picnic and barbecue areas, walking and cycling trails, sporting grounds and landscaped reserves.

“When building a new home, people are passing over their life savings and they want to feel secure that their home is going to be built on time and in good quality,” explains Nigel Satterley, CEO and founder of Satterley.

What is a mortgage broker?

You’ve got a budget in mind and you’ve been saving hard, so the next step is to consult a mortgage broker. The mortgage broker provides advice on the many types of loans available from a range of lenders.

But before you see a mortgage broker, it’s a good idea to have a clear list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ so you know the difference between what you need from a loan and what you can do without.

A good mortgage broker will ask about your needs and goals to work out what you can afford to borrow. You will need to supply recent payslips and bank statements, your ID, and statements showing savings and any debts (including credit cards).

The broker will create a shortlist of suitable loans and explain the different features of each one. This may include variable or fixed interest rates, establishment and exit fees, redraw and offset facilities.

Generally, if you borrow more than 80 per cent of the property value you will need to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI). The LMI amount will depend on how much you are borrowing and the size of your deposit.

Compare the loans your broker offers thoroughly and make sure you understand the differences.

The broker will help you apply for the loan, initially seeking pre-approval so you can shop for your new home with a clear budget in mind.

What is the bank’s role?

A bank or financial institution will lend you money to buy your new home on terms explained to you by your mortgage broker. Most house and land package purchasers will need a construction loan, which usually has a higher interest rate compared to a standard home loan for an established house, but this is only in place for the duration of the build.

A construction loan involves the lender paying parts of the loan to the builder in several stages of the construction process. These progress payments are paid as your builder achieves certain milestones, including when the foundation is complete, when brickwork is finished and when the roof is on.

Your lender may even send inspectors to your build site to ensure these works have finalised before releasing funds. Your home loan is drawn several times, which means you only pay interest on the outstanding balance, until the builder has been paid in full and your house is complete.

If you are building your first home for a value of $750,000 or less, you may be eligible to apply for the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG). In Victoria, if you’re a qualified first home buyer you’ll receive the FHOG of $10,000. You will also avoid having to pay stamp duty if the total value of your house and land is $600,000 or less. In Queensland, first home buyers who sign sales contracts will receive a $15,000 grant. Qld first home owners also pay no stamp duty if the total value of the home is under $550,000. And in Western Australia, the First Home Owner Grant is worth $10,000 for new builds.

What is a settlement agent or conveyancer?

Put simply, a settlement agent or conveyancer is a property lawyer who handles all the paperwork involved in buying your new home. And there’s a lot of paperwork! This includes house plans, building contracts and contract variations.

Hiring a settlement agent will cost you money, so be sure to obtain quotes from more than one firm. Before you engage a settlement agent, they must provide you with a quote that sets out the maximum amount, including all fees, commissions and charges, they will be charging for their services.

The conveyancing work is commonly time-consuming and complicated, so unless you are a qualified property lawyer, it’s not advisable to do it yourself.

After your loan has been approved, your settlement agent will liaise with the lender to arrange settlement. Settlement is the crucial last step in your buying experience and occurs when possession of the house is handed to you. Settlement of the land (with the developer) must occur prior to the house commencing construction.

Among the paperwork you will be required to sign a Transfer of Land document, which your settlement agent will send you. At settlement, the signed Transfer of Land document is lodged at the relevant state government department in your state to officially register you as the owner of the land.

Now we are ready to build!

When does the builder become involved?

After choosing the community you wish to live in, arranging your finance and selecting your block of land, it’s time to choose a builder.

Your choice of builder is an important part of your new home journey, so it’s wise to spend time researching and shopping for your builder. Satterley works with Australia’s most reputable home builders so you can find the most suitable home for your land.

Visit a variety of display homes so you can see the quality of the workmanship for yourself. Keep in mind that display homes feature many upgrades that cost more than the base price. Ask the salesperson at the display home what the base price of the house is and for an itemised list of the extras.

Your decision process should also factor in the reputation of the builder, which can easily be discovered by searching online reviews, and their experience.

Once you have selected a builder, the wheels on your building process will really start to turn!

Your builder will arrange a meeting to discuss any customisation requests you may have and schedule an appointment for you at their selection centre. At the selection centre you will spend an exciting day or two choosing fixtures such as tapware, tiles, flooring and kitchen cabinetry.

Your builder will begin lodging building approvals with the relevant local government, organise subcontractors and order materials.

The main role of a builder is to coordinate the building works. They act as a project manager to supervise and coordinate each trade and, most importantly, quality-assure the entire process.

The duration of your build will largely rest on the design and size of your home. Your builder will liaise with you throughout the build, including at lock up stage, right up through until the final inspection.

Lock up stage occurs when the interior fit out is complete and all of the external doors and windows, including garage doors, have been installed and locked up.

At the practical inspection, you will meet the builder at your new home and examine the building closely to make sure you are happy with the work. Before signing off on the inspection documents, crosscheck with your building contract to ensure all the standards outlined have been met.

When it comes to building, it’s worth noting that most build contracts include up to one year guarantee on workmanship which gives new home builders extra peace of mind even after they have moved into their home. This is an advantage over buying established.

With almost 40 years’ experience developing thriving new urban communities, Satterley understands how important the new home journey is for Australians. Satterley has developed 160 attractive residential communities across Western Australia and is now developing a further five in Victoria and three in Queensland.

Now the largest independent land developer in the country, Satterley’s skill and experience has been recognised with more than 100 industry awards and a strong reputation for excellence.