What Costs Can You Expect to Pay When Building a House?

Building your home in Cairns is a huge undertaking and will most likely be one of your biggest financial assets. Construction is an endeavour which entails a wide variety of different costs. In this post, we will investigate the expected expenses.

The Land

Unfortunately, you can’t just pitch a spot for you house as a bird does a tree for its nest. Buying the site is one of the main costs of your house building project. The location, size, features of the land and what will need doing to it to make it safe all make up the price. You may have to complete soil tests, have it surveyed, cleared etc.

The Building Process

Along with the land, the building itself will make up a massive proportion of the costs. You can read up on averages of prices per square metre and see variations per state and for type of home you prefer. Once you have a firm idea of the size and storeys you’d like, you can then approach Cairns home building companies and start to calculate specifics.

Be prepared for additional costs for design/architectural work. Labour is also a hefty cost, but you’ll reap the rewards of a professional job. Try and figure out where you draw both your practical and creative lines. Accept what you’re capable of DIYing and leave the rest to the experts. Taking on more than you can or cutting corners could financially damage you in the long run. 

Fitting, Fixtures & Materials

Houses require an array of facilities and comforts in order to function as a modern home. This is where quality level and aesthetics come into play. You’ll select what materials, brands and business to use for key fittings and fixtures around your home. As well as the sources and materials, installation will have a price – plumbing, electrical and carpentry work are all expected costs.

Other Extras

Once you have the basics down then the fun really begins! The above are most definitely the priorities but to transform a house into a home you must be prepared to add in your dreams and desires. Maybe you long for features like the ones below …

  • Double garage
  • Al fresco area
  • Pool
  • 3 storeys
  • Ensuite
  • Media/cinema room
  • Open living
  • Smart technology


Along with these amazing embellishments you will have to think about the interior design and whether you want to add unique flourishes to your spaces.

Expectations vs Reality

We’ve all seen the memes – but they couldn’t be more applicable to a house building project. After all, remember that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.’ That’s not to say that anything will necessarily go wrong, but it’s better safe than sorry. Or it could be that you really want that gorgeous winding staircase or top of the range induction hob top. So, after you’ve calculated all the costs you’ve thought of for now, make one more section. Label it ‘just in case costs.’ Simply because nothing is more expected than the unexpected and you never know what you could end up wanting.

There is no doubting that building a home will cost a lot. You may have already anticipated many of the expenditures or still not really be sure about the true cost of it all. No matter what stage of the financial planning you’re at, always bear in mind that each homebuilder is different and therefore, will have their own personal set of costs. Always ask questions, always get all the information you need, do your homework and don’t be afraid to search around for quotes. There are also several schemes you can check out to help you with the costs such as the First Home Buyer and Homebuilder Grants.

If you have any further queries, why not get in touch with us here at Cairns Quality Homes? We’ll happily talk you through our processes and iron out any creases of confusion surrounding house building expenses.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House – 2021?

There are several reasons as to why you’d want to build a house rather than buy a pre-existing one. With your own space you can bring your visions to life and have a home that is truly yours. You may wonder what costs are involved in such an enormous undertaking, which is why in this post we’ll explore financing a home construction in 2021.

Can We Really Answer This Question?

Building a house has several costs to take into consideration such as the land, design, the building work, planning permits and landscaping. Moreover, on top of such factors, we now have a vast range of modern amenities, materials, fittings, furnishings, technology and outdoor accessories to choose from. There are endless looks we could achieve and limitless incredible spaces we could create.

Every build is unique, and you could add, take away, extend, minimise and change as you go along! As well as these manageable aspects you must also be mindful of current circumstances that are beyond your control. So, really, there is no on answer to this question. Therefore, in this post, a guideline will be offered with some useful information and tips so that you can undertake further research in a more informed manner.

2021 in a Nutshell

Each year you’ll be able to find a set of average figures and percentages for each state in Australia. This will impact some of the major costs of your build. 

For example, at the moment, the average cost to build a home in Queensland is priced at $289,000. Although, the national figure for 2021 is at $320,000. Other states have everything in between and more, so these are rough ballpark figures. If you wanted to look at building costs in more detail, you’ll find average numbers for cost per square metre. Once you’ve decided how many square metres you want, you’ll then be able select an appropriate site and work out the house price in Cairns.

Another cost to look at is the Stamp Duty Fees – they vary by state and can be subject to change.

The People Behind the Project

Another massive cost component is the companies or teams of people you choose to work with. This will depend on the type of home and plans you have in mind.

For instance, here at Cairns Quality Homes builders, we’re all about creating stunning one-off homes instead of blocks of projects. We care about quality and are committed to your needs.

Of course, enlisting the help of professionals incurs its own set of costs. Nevertheless, it limits risks as you can trust in their expertise. Going it alone without adequate knowledge or trying to do something sophisticated and complex on the cheap could not only be dangerous but also lead to disastrous, costly setbacks.

The COVID-19 Impact

The worldwide pandemic has affected every industry and even the Stamp Duty Fees. You will notice discounts and shifts in costs due to the complications of the Coronavirus. Consequently, it’s important to be aware of these fluctuations.

So, as for the final cost- there is no one rounded final figure we can provide. The best thing to do to work out a concrete number is to make a thorough budget plan and include as much detail as possible. Take average land and building costs into account for a foundation and work up from there with any desired extras.

Always remember that we work so hard to be able to afford the place where we really live. No matter how far we venture, how many wild adventures, city breaks and staycations we go on; there’s no place like home.

Think of cherished family moments, nostalgic magic and lifelong memories. Sick days, PJ days, pool days, cleaning days and absolutely nothing days. BBQs, swanky dinners, burnt toast breakfasts, lunches, brunches, snacks and take-aways in front of movies. The laughter of your family and friends, bouquets of flowers on the table, reading a book by the window, finding the perfect tool in the junk drawer, sitting and enjoying just being together…. When you take a moment to really think about it, the building of the house is all completely and totally worth it, whatever your final budget reads, because the real cost of a home is priceless.

Seven Reasons Why the Northern Beaches are the Perfect Place to Build Your Home

Most people like to be on holiday and have happy memories of the places they’ve been. Having a home in the Northern Beaches area can be like being on holiday all the time and there are plenty of other benefits to be gained from living there. So buy a house in Cairns or the surrounding area and you’ll never regret it.

1. Location

Northern Beaches is one of the most beautiful areas in the country with wonderful sea and coastal views as well as inland outlooks to the rain forests and hills. It’s the ideal place for builders in Palm Cove and similar areas to create wonderful homes that really blend in with their surroundings. Being away from city centres, it’s also a safe and secure place to bring up your children and for families to be.

2. Lifestyle

Living within the Northern Beaches, as many builders in Trinity Beach realise, is almost like being on holiday all the time. It’s a great laid back, outdoor lifestyle with plenty of amazing walks, access to the beach for swimming, surfing and boating, and the chance to enjoy the wonderful weather.

3. Culture

The Northern Beaches area has a unique cultural feel and plenty of opportunities for exploring and trying new things. There is a wide range of restaurants serving local and international cuisine plus lots of other places for an exciting social life.

4. Value for Money

Being away from the main city centres, the area offers great value for money in terms of property values. Large and impressive houses often go for prices no higher than some city centre apartments but offer so much more. But with the attraction of the area and builders in Kuranda and other Northern Beach areas offering such great value, that may not last much longer.

5. Changing Preferences

The Covid pandemic has increased the trend for home working and made people realise that daily commuting is not essential. As a result, there’s a reduced need for city centre living to be near work and an increased opportunity to live in much nicer places, such as the Northern Beaches. It’s a chance to swap travelling time for increased leisure time and has changed the emphasis from city centre and suburban buying to more remote properties.

6. Investment

Increased demand and a lack of availability have meant that desirable housing and building plots are in short supply. This has pushed up sales prices and also improved rental yields, which are on average going up 7% each year. Property and holiday accommodation searches are increasing as interest grows so capital growth and rental yield increases are likely to continue.

7. Potential

The value of living in the Northern Beaches area is well-known but other factors mean this is now realised by even more people. As a result, the area’s potential is growing quickly and demand is increasing as well as an improved infrastructure that will support a larger population. Consequently, the popularity of the area can only increase, emphasising even more the many reasons for building a home in the area.

Five House Buying Tips You Need to Know

Buying a new house is an exciting prospect but also a challenging one, especially for a first-time buyer. But there are plenty of new construction homes available so here are some tips to help you get the right one.

1. Plan and Prepare

The benefits of proper research and preparation cannot be over-emphasised to buy a house in Cairns. Leaping into something without planning can cause much heartache as well as unnecessary expense.

You need to be ready for the commitment, which normally means having a stable lifestyle and a secure job to support the investment. Decide on the type of property you need, which will not only be based on the style and location but also the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and the overall space you require.

2. Sorting your Finances

This is exceedingly important because it will determine the type and size of house you can afford. Start by looking at your credit file to find your credit rating, which will determine how much you are able to borrow. If the rating is bad, improve it by paying off credit cards and other debts, reducing credit card limits and terminating unused cards.

Consult a financial adviser or lender to find out what you can borrow and the terms of the loan. This will be better and cheaper if you provide a minimum 20% deposit since this will avoid the need for Lender’s Mortgage Insurance, which is an additional cost. Allow for other costs, such as stamp duty, legal fees, insurance, moving costs and building and pest inspections so you have enough money to pay for everything. If so, get pre-approval for a suitable loan so you’re in a position to move quickly once you find the house you want.

3. Choose your Property

If buying a new home, there are many house and land packages in Cairns to choose the exact combination you need. This is often cheaper than buying an established property and gives you more flexibility.

Always be practical so you’re not carried away by emotions and buy something unsuitable. The most important factors are that you buy a home you really like and which works for you in terms of the number and size of rooms as well as the overall plot. Don’t go over your budget and be aware of ongoing costs you’ll have after buying the house.

4. Ensure it’s the Right House

Once you’ve found an affordable property you like, do some checks before finalising the deal. Make sure it’s a good location with suitable amenities, infrastructure and transport links.

For an established property, it’s essential you pay for structural and pest inspections to ensure you’re not buying problems that will cost you a lot of money in the long-term. If you’re choosing new houses to buy, however, they’ll be covered by a ten-year warranty so you’ll avoid that expense.

5. Sealing the Deal

If buying an established property, you may be able to make an offer but need to be realistic. Going too low may lose you the deal to a higher bid while too high will mean you’re paying over the odds. Get a professional valuation and look at other local properties for a proper idea and, if you’re bid’s accepted, it’s just a matter of completing the legalities and moving in.

As Cairns builders, we’ll always have plenty of suitable properties in good areas at the best prices. That takes many complexities out of the process so you can find the home you want.

Five Mistakes to Avoid when Buying a Property

Buying a property is one of the most expensive investments you’ll make but also one of the most challenging. Because of this, many people make mistakes, especially when buying their first property. Here are the most common ones so you can hopefully avoid them.

1. Lack of Preparation

Wrong buying decisions are often made because people don’t plan and prepare. Before starting to look for a property, decide what you really need, select some suitable neighbourhoods and get finance pre-approved so you’re in a good position to negotiate. Only then start to look at properties in neighbourhoods you’ve chosen.

Some people buy a house in Cairns based only on their view of the house itself. They forget they’re likely to be living there for a number of years and so, if the location’s wrong, they’ll almost certainly regret their decision for a long time. Check the transport links, local schools and amenities, that you’re not moving into a high crime neighbourhood and that there are no plans for the area that will alter its character.

2. Exceeding the Budget

Many people are so keen to buy a particular house they pay more than they can afford. That stretches their finances and they can suffer for many years as a result.

Before you start to look for new build homes or anything else, work out how much you can afford to pay. Take everything into account and then, once you’ve established a figure, resist all temptations to go above it. Just because a finance company offers you a particular level of mortgage doesn’t mean you have to take it.

3. Underestimating Costs

If they bother to set a budget, many people don’t take account of everything they have to spend. In addition to moving costs, allow for stamp duty, conveyancing and legal fees, bank charges and building and pest inspections. For ongoing costs in addition to the mortgage, allow for insurance, rates and maintenance costs that are extra to those incurred when renting.

4. Getting Too Emotional

Some people buy a house because they fall in love with it and forget about practicalities. At the other extreme, frustrated buyers who have failed to buy a suitable property despite several attempts often buy one because they’re fed up with looking and just want to end the process.

The rule when buying a house, whether from a 3 bedroom plan design, 4 bedroom house plans or whatever, is not to let your heart rule your head. Instead, look at the practical aspects of a property and only buy it if it truly suits your needs.

5. Getting the Wrong Loan

The situation with home loans can be extremely confusing, especially for first-time buyers. There are fixed and variable rate loans, split home loans, ones where you pay off only the interest or principal and interest repayment versions. If you’re not careful, you may end up paying more than you expect or have a residual amount to repay at the end of the loan period, which you need to finance separately. Use a professional home loan specialist to help you choose correctly.

At Cairns Quality Homes, we can help you avoid a lot of the basic mistakes because, as experienced Cairns builders, we know the problems. It isn’t as easy as just looking at 2 bedroom house plans in QLD and then making a choice. We have display homes in Cairns plus plenty of plans and ideas as well as a wealth of experience to guide and support you.

Building versus Buying a New Home: Pros & Cons You Need to Know

A home generally means a lot to the people who live in it so it’s important you make the right choices when moving. Those choices can include whether to buy a house or have one specially built and there are arguments either way.

1. Cost

Building means purchasing a plot and then paying for a house to be built on it while buying involves only one transaction. Depending on what you do, there may not be much difference between the two Cairns house prices but there are other factors to take into account.

Buying a house incurs stamp duty on the whole deal while, when building, you only pay stamp duty on the plot of land, not the house itself, so there is a saving there. You may also be eligible for a First Home Buyers Grant of several thousand dollars when building a house but only get this for new houses to buy, not for established properties.

As well as purchase costs, there are also on-going ones to consider. If you buy a house in Cairns that’s already occupied, there will be a certain amount of wear and tear from previous owners that will ensure maintenance costs are higher than for new build homes. You can insist on high-quality fittings for a house you build to ensure they last longer and can also install insulation, double glazing, solar panels and other energy-saving measures. These will add to initial costs but will reduce running expenses.

2. Time

Looking at display homes in Cairns will mean you’ll know what you’re getting while buying a house that’s already built means you can move in quickly. Indeed, some lenders confirm they can process applications for loans within a day so getting your new home can be a very speedy process. This, of course, depends on everything working well, which doesn’t always happen.

Building your own home can take anything up to a year or even longer and so you may have the cost of renting and paying for a relatively expensive construction loan during this period. Schedules can also be extended by delays caused by the weather, labour shortages or other reasons, so you need to be patient. However, if you have the time, the results should be worth it.

3. Personalisation

Building your own home in Cairns means you should get exactly the property you want, providing you can afford it. You can choose the perfect plot, decide on the building style and layout, and fit it out exactly as you wish. You must, however, keep your ambitions in check to avoid going over the top with spending.

Buying an existing property requires that you take what’s available for the house. Although you can search extensively to find a home that meets most of your needs, you will inevitably have to compromise on some areas unless you’re extremely lucky.

4. Convenience

Buying an existing house is much easier than building one. Search websites for properties in areas where you want to live, view suitable ones, do your research and buy the one that seems best for you. As long as you’re willing to be flexible, that can often work.

Building the house you want is obviously more complicated but can be very rewarding in many ways. As established Cairns builders, we can provide all the guidance and support you need to plan your ideal property, whether with 2 bedroom floor plans or 3 and 4 bedroom floor plans, and will deliver the finished house quickly, reliably, affordably and without fuss.

Five Benefits of Owning Your Own Home

Australia has one of the highest rates of home ownership in the world with, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 69% of households being owner-occupiers. There are many good reasons for this and you should join the majority by enjoying the benefits that new build homes can bring.

1. Stability

When you own a property, providing you keep up with mortgage payments, you can choose how long you want to stay there. This contrasts with the experience of tenants who may be on relatively short rental agreements and may have to move out earlier than they would like.

Tenants may be asked to move for several reasons, typically because the property is being sold, because major repairs are needed or due to a change of use by the owner. As a result, the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute found that 39% of renting households moved three or more times in the five years to 2008. This not only causes stress and disruption but incurs significant moving costs.

2. Freedom and Independence

People who rent properties are generally governed by tenancy agreements that restrict what they can do. If you own your own home, however, you’re only limited by local council regulations.

You’ll be able to keep pets and make the place look exactly as you want it so it’s a real home. You can also renovate and extend the property so you’re adding to its value. This will ultimately benefit you rather than your landlord.

3. A Valuable Asset

Any improvements you make to the home you own will be reflected in an increase in its value. This will be in addition to the normal increase in property values that are generally reckoned to double Cairns house prices every ten years.

If you choose new houses to buy wisely, look after your property and move selectively to progressively better houses, you can expect to make an appreciable profit over several years. This then gives you the opportunity to take some of that money later in life by downsizing to a smaller and cheaper property so that you can have something for retirement or other spending.

4. Avoiding Wasted Money

Although some people believe renting is cheaper than buying, this doesn’t always take into account the full financial picture. Any money you pay in rent is effectively helping the landlord to buy the property and is dead money to you. Property ownership, even taking into account interest on the mortgage and maintenance costs, is a positive investment and will always show a profit if done correctly.

5. Other Financial Benefits

If you’re a first-time buyer, you may be eligible for a first-time owner grant if purchasing a new property. This can be worth up to $15,000 tax free and so makes a significant contribution to your costs.

When you come to sell your house and move on, there will be no capital gains tax to pay providing it’s always been your primary residence. So any profit you make is totally tax free.

As established Cairns builders, we have a wide range of properties for all types of buyers. So you can take advantage of all the benefits of home ownership.

New Construction Homes For Under 200k

With house prices in Cairns on the increase, and first-time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder in Queensland, the idea of getting new homes for under $200k seems like a pipe dream.

However, what if you could build? New construction homes for under $200k is something that you can achieve when you build with Cairns Quality Homes.

Can I Get A New Home For Under $200k?

Cairns Quality Homes have been helping Queenslanders just like you to build the perfect new construction homes, and we know exactly how to make the most of any budget to ensure that our clients get the home they really want. Our experts have years of experience in building, construction, design, and maintenance that we can use to help you create the perfect new construction house for under $200k.

What To Look For In A House Builder

When we first started as building designers in Cairns, we realised that there was a real need for luxury homes in Cairns – and that is what we offer. We create aspirational and practical homes that offer a surprisingly affordable way to not only own a home, but also to make it perfectly personalised.

If you are considering new construction homes for under $200k, here are our top tips on what to look for:

  • Previous Builds
  • Find out if your chosen construction company has completed a home like yours already. It is important that you can see these in person if possible, to fully assess the build and the quality of the finish. Your are welcome to book an appointment with CQH to visit our display homes near Cairns.

  • What Services do they Offer?
  • Some construction companies may not offer a full service, end-to-end process. Be sure to find out if you will need to hire other experts or contractors (for example, architects, inspectors or even builders).

  • Client Satisfaction
  • Looking for reviews of the company will help you decide on whether their customer service is good enough. You want to be sure that you are choosing a company that is client-focused and will go above and beyond for your satisfaction.

  • Design and Build?
  • If you are looking for a cleverly designed, pre-planned property, can your construction company provide a choice of designs? Are they able to create a design from your ideas?

  • Land Purchase?
  • When you are building a home, you might have already purchased some land before you approach a company. Make sure they can adapt their designs to suit the topography and orientation. CQH can alternatively offer you a convenient House and Land packag in Cairns to help you with both matters.

  • Standard Inclusions
  • Be sure to understand exactly what comes with your build. Are they going to complete it, including fixtures and fittings, flooring, and landscaping? Some construction companies have limited standard inclusions and will charge more for the ‘finishing touches.

If you need some inspiration to start picturing your new build home, you can browse our range of house plans online:

The Cairns Quality Homes Difference & How We Can Help You To Achieve Your Dream New Construction Home For Under 200k

From the first appointment to handing over the keys to your beautiful new property, here at Cairns Quality Homes we are committed to getting it right. We know how important the client-builder relationship is and that is why when we begin your build, you will have a dedicated project manager who will be available at any time for questions, will keep you updated on the progress, and be sure that if there are any problems or issues, they are solved quickly. With 59 standard inclusions on every property, architects, interior designers and other contractors on the team, and a wide range of off-the-shelf designs, we have a full-service process that takes you from planning to finished construction – so when we hand the keys over, the property is ready to be lived in.

Our service levels are the same, whether you are looking for new construction homes for under $200k or you are ready to spend millions – and that is why you need to speak to Cairns Quality Homes before you build.

House Prices in Cairns

Are The House Prices in Cairns Increasing?

Cairns is one of Queensland’s most popular destinations for those looking for a new start in a truly tropical home. Tourists visit for the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, but residents of the city have enjoyed the boon of increased investment in infrastructure, job creation and house building that have made Cairns a destination city for those who want to escape the ‘normal’ 9-5 but still be in reach of all the important things (like Gallo Dairyland).

Cairns house prices have been on the increase, while still being significantly lower than the bigger cities. With the current median house price in Cairns at $376,000 (according to Property Value), and a steady increase year on year, buying a house in Cairns is a good investment – whether as a family home, or as a rental property.

Here at Cairns Quality Homes we know that the savvy investor or first home buyer keeps an eye on Cairns house prices to judge the best time to buy or sell a property – and with our handy guide you can see for yourself why it is a great idea to get involved in property in Cairns right now.

What Is It Like To Live In Cairns?

The juxtaposition of city living with rainforest is what makes Cairns so desirable. All the convenience you need for your daily life, with entertainment, shopping, and schools on the doorstep – but a skyline of trees rather than faceless high rises. If you love the fresh air and being outdoors, the beach, parks and nature reserves across the city and the region will be perfect for you.

Glorious white sand beaches attract the sun worshippers, and the pace of life reflects the easy-going attitude that comes from a whole demographic of young, relaxed, and happy people.

Culture is growing in the area, with numerous theatres and museums available to suit all tastes. From art to ballet, and the $71 million Cairns Performing Arts Centre is not the only place for a slice of culture.

Quiet leafy suburbs can be found a bit further out from the CBD, with glorious, large homes surrounded by parkland and stunning views. Families love the great access to schools, with each suburb having access to well-regarded education. For those who love being in the centre of the action, units in the city are available – well-built and a good size to suit young couples or singletons.

Employment has grown in the area, with the increase in tourism offering more jobs – so there may not be a need for a long commute to one of the bigger cities for work. This inclusivity draws the residents together, and a sense of community is a popular draw for all residents in Cairns.

Of course, the tourists come to Cairns for the location – but that is also what makes it a great place to live. Even at the height of the tourist season, there are so many beautiful places and historical sites to visit that even the long-term residents can discover something new. Mountains, mangrove swamps and rainforests are all a short distance away.

Get On The Property Ladder With Cairns Quality Homes & Get The Best Price For Your New House

Cairns Quality Homes are the first choice in aspirational, practical, and affordable new build home design. With house prices in Cairns on the increase, buying a home through a real estate agent might not be the way for you to get all you need from a property – and that is why we are here. We can help you build the perfect home in Cairns, whether it is for you and your family, or a property for investment ready to rent out.

You can browse our range of house plans online to get inspired:

We also offer House and Land packages in Cairns for those who need an expert advise not only in building a dream home, but also in choosing the best area for you.

Contact us today to find out more about how Cairns Quality Homes can help you make the most out of house prices in Cairns.

Double win at Master Builders Awards

Cairns Quality Homes took home not one, but two prestigious awards at this year’s Housing and Construction Awards organised by Master Builders Queensland.

For the second year running, the high standard and finish of our homes were recognised with the Caitlyn winning the Display Home Award.

Our commitment to providing quality, luxury homes to Cairns and Far North Queensland, was further acknowledged with Cairns Quality Homes winning the President’s Award.

More pictures to follow.