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Building your home

Live the dream you’ve built
There’s something extra special about building your dream home. Here’s what you need to do to make it happen.

Find out how much you can borrow

OK, this might be obvious but still worth saying upfront. Before you unleash your inner architect, you need to work out how much you can afford to borrow.

How much can I borrow?
What will my repayments be?

Don’t overlook additional upfront costs

While builders and suppliers will make up the lion’s share of your budget, you should ensure you have enough left over for additional upfront costs.

These are likely to include:

  • Rent while you’re building
  • Site inspections
  • Solicitors’ fees and conveyancing
  • Local council levies and permits
  • Legal and conveyancing fees
  • Stamp duty
  • Insurance
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Landscaping
Upfront costs calculator

Find out how a construction loan works

A construction loan is a fairly complex beast. We’ve broken it down into six easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1. Application

To apply for a construction loan, you will need copies of:

  • A signed building contract with the payment schedule and specifications of construction (this needs to be a contract signed by both you and your builder).
  • The construction plans to be lodged with your local council.
Step 2. Funds released

After your loan is approved, you will need to provide the following documents in order to pay your builder:

  • Council-approved construction plans
  • Evidence of your builder’s all-risk insurance
  • Your First Home Owner Grant approval (if applicable)
Step 3. Valuations

Three valuations will need to happen throughout the construction:

  1. Initial valuation – this is done at the loan application stage
  2. Lock-up stage valuation – when the home is about 50% complete
  3. Final valuation – when construction is fully completed

Each valuation will take about five to seven business days to complete.

Step 4. Payment stages

There are usually six stages of payments throughout the build:

  1. Deposit
  2. Slab
  3. Frame
  4. Lock-up
  5. Fixings
  6. Final completion
Step 5. Progress payments

Progress payments are made once we receive a valid invoice and a signed Progress Payment Request form.

Ask your builder to include the following on their invoice:

  • ABN and company details
  • Address of where renovation/construction is taking place
  • What stage they’re claiming for
  • GST amount
  • Invoice number and date
  • Builder’s bank account details, including BSB number
Step 6. Final payment

Once your house is built, the final progress payment will be made when we receive the following:

  • Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) & Use (provided by your builder)
  • Council Final Inspection Certificate/Final Occupation Certificate (not needed in Western Australia)
  • Copy of your building insurance noting Great Southern Bank as the financier
  • Valuation from a valuer confirming the work has been completed as per the contract (we will arrange your final valuation)

Questions to ask yourself

Can I get a First Home Owner Grant?

If you’re building your first home, you may be eligible for a First Home Owner Grant. The grant is administered and funded by the state and territories and can be accessed once the slab is down.

Find out more

Are there any other government grants I might be eligible for?

Possibly, if you're a first-time buyer. It's a good idea to thoroughly research which other federal or state government grants might be available to you.

Find out more

Have I thought about energy-efficient additions?

When building, you have a great opportunity to make your home more energy efficient. The design, floor plan, insulation, and appliances you choose can make your home more comfortable and reduce the cost to heat and cool your home.

Have I thoroughly researched my tradies?

Your builders and tradespeople can make all the difference to the success of a building project. Ask around for recommendations from family and friends and speak to people they've done work for in the past. Get at least three quotes from different contractors, and check they’re licensed.

Choose the right loan for you

A construction loan is an ideal option if you’re building or buying land to build on. It helps to reduce your interest payments during construction, as you draw down your loan in progress payments while you build.

Construction loans are variable interest-only for the first 12 months of the building phase. Once finished, you stay on the same loan but it transfers to principal and interest home loan.

Our Basic Variable and Offset Variable home loans are available for construction.

Basic Variable vs Offset Variable

Basic Variable Home Loan1

  • No monthly or annual fees
  • No frills variable home loan that generally has a lower rate due to its limited features
  • You have the ability to make unlimited additional repayments
  • You can access your additional repayments free of charge to cover the unexpected or whenever you need some breathing space2

Offset Variable Home Loan1

  • Save on interest and reduce your loan term with a free 100% Multi-Account Offset3
  • Generally has a higher interest rate due to the offset feature
  • You have the ability to make unlimited additional repayments
  • With free redraw you can access your additional repayments to cover the unexpected or whenever you need some breathing space2
Choose your own home loan
Get in touch
We are here to help.
Call 133 282
Mon - Fri: 8:00am - 6:00pm (AEST)
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Speak to one of our friendly staff at a branch near you.
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Important information

Please note that this is only intended as a general guide in relation to issues you may want to consider when buying your first home. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all relevant issues and you should take into account your own particular circumstances, and obtain independent expert advice where needed, before proceeding. Rates and savings quoted are indicative only for illustrative purposes.

Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 238317. Lending criteria, limits, conditions and fees apply. Applications are subject to credit approval.

1 Basic Variable and Offset Variable are available to (a) new home loans with a minimum application amount of $100,000; or (b) switching or restructuring of the home loan you already have with us when it includes new borrowing of at least $10,000.

2 A $200 minimum withdrawal amount applies for redraws conducted in-branch.

3 You must maintain a minimum balance of $500 in each offset account to obtain an offset benefit. You will also not receive any interest on the funds in your offset accounts.

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Applying for pre-approval allows you to know the maximum amount you can borrow while you look for a property.

Pre-approval means that a lender has agreed to lend you an amount of money in-principle, but the loan hasn't been proceeded to full or final approval.

While pre-approval is not a fully approved loan it can help you narrow your search, negotiate, and make an offer with certainty and confidence.

How much would you like to borrow?
If you are unsure, please enter an approximate amount.
The minimum amount you can borrow is $100,000
When would you like to borrow?
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Great Southern Bank was previously known as CUA.
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Great Southern Bank was previously known as CUA.
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First Home Guarantee
Family Home Guarantee
Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee

The Australian Government has introduced initiatives to support eligible Australians to build or purchase a new home sooner: the First Home Guarantee, Family Home Guarantee and Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee.

Thanks [Name], we'll speak to you soon
One of our Home Loan Specialists will call you on [0413 456 789] at your preferred time.
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  • Identification details
  • Details of your income and expenses
  • Financial details, including what you own and what you owe
In the meantime, if you have any questions, we’d be happy to help.
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