Everybody dreams of creating their own dream home. Yet we feel it’s an expensive experience out of our reach and fraught with stress and disappointment.
One self-builder that’s taken on seven building projects herself across South Africa believes it is possible and easier than you think. SA Bauhaus is a new website created for the first time home builder needing sensible and practical advice on every step of the process.
Although not as simple as buying a ready-made home, sensible investment, step by step process and careful budgeting can get you your ideal home within a year or two.
Creator, Kirstin Lund, has learnt the ropes along the way having completed three new houses and a number of renovations over the last 20 years. As she could not afford architects to project manage the builds, she learnt on the job and now feels she has much advice to offer.
“If you want your project to be on a budget and finish on time you will have to have absolute control yourself as no one cares about these things as much as you do!” says Kirstin.
She will be the first to tell you it’s not always easy, but if you are prepared for some delays and setbacks along the journey and plan very carefully, dreams can be made into reality.
Finding a viable and good building location is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you want your investment to grow. The estate agent mantra certainly rings true – location, location, location.
“I’m always hearing people say it’s more expensive to buy than build. This might be true if you build in a low return location. If you want to have a build that grows exponentially in value, spend most of your money on the site or find the cheapest piece of land in the most expensive suburb.
And new houses don’t always have to be in housing estates in the city outskirts either. As the cities are under pressure to accommodate the growing population, much older, traditionally expensive suburbs have changed their by-laws to accommodate subdivisions. These can often provide great locations for new, contemporary builds.
“See what houses around you are selling for and carefully budget your plot, fee, holding and building costs around that. Ideally, you want to spend less than the average house prices around you. As building costs are relatively stable, it becomes apparent very quickly where in the city that same structure will be worth much more.”
“My last build was completed on a previous tennis court that had been sold as a new plot. It’s very surprising what you can fit in on 800m”, says Kirstin.
The site provides advice on planning, design, building and finishing stages of a build-in South Africa. It might seem overwhelming at first, but it is possible and you’ll never regret it!