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    No matter how wide you search or how many open homes you visit, you just can’t seem to find the perfect house. So, you’ve decided that a house and land package is more your style. If this is the case, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll come across the term ‘turnkey’.

    House-and-land-packages can take the stress out of building your own home. But, while you won’t have to start from scratch, there can still be some work involved. This is where turnkey homes take things a step further.

    ‘Turnkey’ means exactly what the name suggests. It’s a house-and-land-package where the completed house is move-in ready, and all you have to worry about is turning the front door key. While this option may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a simple way to enjoy living in a brand-new home – without the financial worry of blowing out a build budget.

    Like all real estate opportunities, there are pros and cons to consider before you pack your bags. Turnkey homes are a great option for busy professionals, families or as an investment property because they don’t require any additional work. However, there is limited scope for customisation, and what is included in the pricing package depends on the builder or property developer.

    Still interested? Read on to find out more about turnkey homes – and the four things you need to know before you walk through the front door.

    1. Understand the fine print – know what you are buying

    The first thing you need to know about turnkey homes is that they come as a fixed-price package – you can budget right down to the final dollar without worrying about any misunderstandings or nasty surprises.

    But while turnkey packages give you certainty over price, make sure you fully understand what is – and isn’t – included before signing on the dotted line.

    You’ll choose the home you want from a selection of house types with set floorplans and inclusions. The exact list of inclusions will depend on the builder, so it pays not to assume anything.

    While you’d expect things like blinds, paint and floor coverings to be sorted, some builders may or may not include external landscaping, paving, a clothesline or a TV antenna. These items can sometimes get left off the ‘standard’ inclusion list, so if you see anything missing, be sure to discuss your options with your property developer.

    2. Find the right fit – home, land, developer

    No matter how good the deal, the most important element to consider with turnkey homes is whether the home-and-land-package suits you, your family and your lifestyle.

    Research the area you’re buying in and check for key factors like public transport, school zoning, supermarkets and green spaces if you have a young family.

    Also, work with a developer who uses the style and aesthetics that you envision for your dream home. Because there’s little room for you to make customisations with turnkey homes, this is something you want to get sorted up-front.

    3. Smaller deposit – you only need 10%

    Current LVR restrictions don’t apply to new homes so you only need a 10% deposit to secure a turnkey package. This gets the project started and the rest you can pay when the build is complete. That means your mortgage repayments won’t start until after you move in – giving you time to save or pay your existing rent or mortgage.

    4. Speak up – ask lots of questions

    Lastly, investing in a fixed-price package doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to ask questions. Turnkey homes are designed to make the buying and building process simple, but there are still lots of things to watch out for, like hidden clauses for price increases or excluded items and fittings.

    It’s best to know right from the start what to expect to ensure there are no surprises along the way. Make sure you and your developer are on the same page – and if in doubt, speak up before it’s too late.

    Get everything sorted – right down to the letterbox

    Turnkey homes are undoubtedly a great option for both first-home buyers and property investors. They remove the aggravating – and sometimes overwhelming – processes of building a new home, leaving you with a move-in ready home that you can start living in straight away. But be sure to do your due diligence. Look for a turnkey package that fits your needs and house goals, triple-check all the essentials are included, and if elements of the build are missing, talk to your developer. Before you know it, you’ll be packing your bags, picking out furniture and making yourself at home in your new property.

    Want to know how finance works for turnkey packages? Get in touch with the team at Global Finance now.

    **These are general guidelines and are by no means a reflection of bank or lending policies