Choosing and buying the right section for your new home

new home section
new home section

One of the first steps to building a new home is choosing the right section, but there are lots of things to consider. When you search for a section, we recommend jumping in early, doing your research, and consulting your building team as early as possible to support you through the process  – it’s likely to save you time, money and unexpected issues in the long run.

Here’s a helpful three-step guide that will make your journey to choosing and buying a section easier.

1. Know what you’re looking for and what you can afford

Have a clear idea of what you’re looking for before you start hunting for a section. Think about where you want to build and the distance to local amenities, whether sun and views are important, and how much space you need. 

Then research the cost of sections in the area you’d like to build by checking online property listings on sites like Trade Me Property and Realestate.co.nz. Think about how long you’ll be holding the property for and whether the location provides good prospects for capital value increase.

If you’re looking to build in a hilly area, bear in mind what it means for building costs and insurance premiums. Houses on hills can be susceptible to high winds which may increase insurance costs. Likewise, if your preferred location is in an earthquake zone, you may need to take safety precautions into account, such as reinforcing your foundations.

At this point, we also recommend talking to a bank or other financial provider about home loan pre-approval, if you need it. Getting pre-approval lets you know exactly what you can spend and saves you time when you’re ready to buy.

 
2. Inspect the site before making an offer

Before you make an offer on a section, we recommend getting a professional builder or architect to inspect the site, organise a survey of the land, and obtain a geotech report. It’s also important to review the district or unitary plan for your region to check for any planned changes or restrictions to the area. This is for your own peace of mind, but also helps when it comes to securing lending.

Your local EasyBuild team can help. Once you have a site in mind, we’ll conduct a site visit to assess site specific requirements and ensure your preferred EasyBuild modular home design is a good fit. We look at factors such as site aspect, wind zone and proximity to the sea, site access and elevation. At this point, we’ll discuss with you any site-specific requirements and whether any extra costs should be factored in for additional time and materials.

At this point, we also recommend getting in touch with your lawyer so they’re ready to check important documents before you make an offer.

 
3. Make an offer

Once you’ve done your homework and you’ve got your finance sorted, you’ll be ready to make an offer! Your lawyer will either check the Tile and Land Information Memorandum (LIM) for your site in advance of you making an offer, or will assist you in making a conditional offer subject to checking the Title, LIM and any other conditions you choose.

Building a new home is exciting, but not something most of us do every day. We’re here to guide you through the process and make sure you feel supported every step of the way, from assessing your site through to completing your brand new home.

We’d love to chat with you about your new build plans. We can help align your site options and your preferred EasyBuild modular home design with your budget and timeline. Get in touch today.

Q&A: Putting the ‘Easy’ into building

Mike Fox and Scott Matthews, EasyBuild Factory
Mike Fox and Scott Matthews, EasyBuild Factory
Mike Fox (Director) and Scott Matthews (CEO) of EasyBuild Homes.

This article was originally published on NZBusiness.co.nz.

EasyBuild is a Hutt Valley business helping transform New Zealand’s residential building industry. NZBusiness sat down with CEO Scott Matthews to determine their competitive advantage.

 

NZB: Why does it make sense to buy a modular house?

Scott: Most of us dream of home ownership, in fact most people would argue that it’s a human right. We have all been raised in an environment where you commonly design your own home, and every home is different. The building industry advertise this all the time, but then customers wonder why the house is often poorly insulated, expensive and requires lots of heating.

This is very different to many parts of the world where people by a house off plan and it is one of perhaps 30 in the same location that looks similar. I often make the analogy that if you want a good, reliable and fairly priced car, you would buy a Toyota Corolla. However if you want something different you would drive a custom build or a Ferrari. 

Looking at a modular home vs. a custom designed home, the pricing difference is similar, but you’ll get better bang for your buck with a modular home in terms of build time, thermal efficiency, environmental friendliness, and other benefits, when compared to a standard construction house of the same price.

Modular homes are normally quick to build, well insulated and built, minimise waste and are normally priced the same as a similar sized home, but superior quality.

NZB: Where did the concept come from for your company?

Scott: The concept is relatively old, with the original inventor using this method some 30 years ago. However, the designs were brought up to date and the business was launched in its own right five years ago. We have a simple but enduring purpose. We want to provide Kiwis with warm, robust, and affordable housing because we believe everyone should enjoy living in their own EasyBuild home.

NZB: Tell us a bit more about your point of difference?

Scott: We’re a local business building affordable, quality, robust, and warm homes nationwide. We build quickly and efficiently whilst reducing waste and trying to source materials locally wherever possible. We also create opportunities to train and support those returning to work and looking to engage in the workforce. Available nationwide, we now have 10 licensee locations building houses in their local communities across the North Island from Northland to Wellington and are looking to expand into the South Island.

NZB: Describe your manufacturing process?

Scott: Essentially the skeleton of the house is produced as component pieces in a factory, so every piece required for the shell of the house is cut, marked, drilled and prepared for quick assembly on site.

All the external walls are constructed as super insulated panels, containing insulation suitable for any climate, conduits for power, a waterproof shell, and finally, the windows, rebates and window architraves are fitted before the house is sent to site in a shipping container.

NZB: How did covid and the pandemic impact your business’s progress?

Scott: The last 12 months have been interesting. Yes, we have faced challenges with the businesses – namely the hyperinflation and material shortages in the New Zealand market. However, despite the many challenges our business is growing.

We have also taken on more staff and now have 17 staff (11 in the factory and 6 in the office). Our commitment is to hire local where possible, and we recently committed to take on a student next year via the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Employment to Education programme.

We have also earned our stripes with social housing projects – a strategic move for us to diversify and future proof the business, developing social housing models, whilst still providing homes for families.

We have gained a solid reputation for building affordable, warm, and quick housing by social housing providers and iwi. Our projects over the next 12 months include working with Kainga Ora, Trust House and Wesleyan Community Action Group

In terms of materials, we have a good relationship with our merchants and a direct relationship with our local producers, particularly Kiwi Lumber and Juken. 

NZB: A major housing development dedicated to first home buyers is about to get underway, can you give us an update on where things are at in terms of the build?

Scott: We feel very privileged as a business to be working with Koru Kāinga and our own values align with the objectives of this development; to bring affordable, quality housing to local families and first home buyers.

We have worked with Koru Homes NZ founder Adrian Chooi to design 51 three-bedroom homes in Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt and provided a team of experts or a “dream team” to support the planning and resource consent application.  Developments of this nature don’t just happen, and we have really enjoyed supporting this development. We are proud to be part of New Zealand’s first private development dedicated to getting first home buyers on the property ladder.

All going well we hope to commence building in early February 2023 and the build will be phased with 51 units built over the next 18 months. 

NZB: How has being based in Upper Hutt benefitted your business?

Scott: We have been really pleased with the ongoing support provided by the Upper Hutt City Council and the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce. The council recently invited us to a job fair in which we received a few leads for potential workers. In fact, we have had no issues employing people in the area. Geographically we are in an ideal spot for operating our business – close to State Highway 1 and 2; close to our suppliers and licensees as well as all the projects we have lined up locally.  We know good commercial space is hard to come by, so we are grateful to be operating out of 880sqm of floor space and 400sqm of yard space.

Our work with social development housing providers is also benefiting the local economy. As we are in a commercial zone, we can operate 24 hours a day (subject to observing noise limits) which effectively means we have the opportunity to run a shift-based system across 7 days, expand and take on more local staff as we continue to grow.

NZB: What are the future plans for the business and where are you experiencing growth?

Scott: We are experiencing growth in not just social housing but from families seeking modular housing built on their own sections – from mum and dad’s wanting to build a smaller house for their children who can’t get on the housing ladder; to retirees wanting something smaller and easier to maintain and so on. Our houses range from 38sqm to 176sqm so we cater for all needs. The recent changes to the Building Act/RMA allows many people to build value by adding an additional dwelling on their existing section.

Get to know EasyBuild Waikato

EasyBuild Waikato team

Building a new home is an exciting process but not something most of us do every day.

Like anything new, jumping into the unknown can be pretty nerve-wracking, so it’s important to get to know the team who’ll be taking care of your build. Clear communication, trust and an upfront approach set the foundations for a positive, stress-free, committed relationship with your building team.

Get to know Jourdan Lee, Director of EasyBuild Waikato, and find out why EasyBuild Homes offers a smart solution to building new in the Waikato region.

EasyBuild Waikato team
EasyBuild Waikato team
Tell us about yourself

I’m a father to three energetic daughters and husband to the most beautiful and supportive wife. My career began in banking and finance in Fiji, before I realised my passion for building and I eventually traded the spreadsheets for a toolbelt.

Work is both hectic and fun; but we balance the ledger by dedicating time for family and our own hobbies. I’m into fishing, spearfishing and the occasional bowl of kava with my mates. I’m blessed to have a good bunch of family and friends nearby, so there’s always a gathering of some kind to look forward to.

 
When and why did you join EasyBuild?

I joined in May 2022 following a series of exciting conversations with the team at EasyBuild, and after receiving some solid advice from my friend Simon at EasyBuild Manawatu.

My twin brother Bart, my cousin Dylan and I had been dreaming of teaming up to deliver quality projects for the people of Waikato, so joining EasyBuild presented the perfect opportunity to do so!

 
Who makes up the EasyBuild Waikato team?

Bart, Dylan and I are the Directors of EasyBuild Waikato. Together, we’re the three legs of a tripod. We each work to our individual strengths – Sales, Construction and Project Management – so we can support each other and the business.

Occasionally, I’m the ‘adult supervision’ for the other two (haha!).

 
What makes EasyBuild a great choice for building in Waikato?

It’s a smart new way to build, without compromising on quality. Not to mention the speed of build which is a huge bonus. With rising interest rates on lending, being able to start and complete your new build within a short period of time means less interest costs and more money in your pocket.

 
What EasyBuild home designs are your clients choosing for their Waikato builds and why?

We love our four-beddies here in the Mighty Waikato, so Glenorchy has been popular among families, investors and developers looking for more space. It’s one of our largest EasyBuild designs offering 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms inside a 136.6sqm footprint.

 
What’s your advice for anyone thinking about building new in Waikato right now?

Get in touch with us for a chat! We’d love to hear from you regardless of whether you’ve made the decision to build or you’re still toying with the idea. You might be more ready than you think!

The Interview: Scott Matthews, Chief Executive, EasyBuild Homes

Modern and spacious kitchen and dining

This article was originally published by Rebecca Reed, NZ Manufacturer.

 

We support local whenever possible, and we believe in providing housing solutions to Kiwis.

Scott Matthews, EasyBuild CEO

Why buy a modular house?

Most of us dream of home ownership, in fact most people would argue that it’s a human right.

We have all been raised in an environment in NZ where you commonly design your own home, and every home is different.

The building industry advertise this all the time, but then customers wonder why the house is often poorly insulated, expensive and requires lots of heating.

This is very different to many parts of the world where people buy a house off plan and it is one of perhaps 30 in the same location that looks similar.

I often make the analogy that if you want a good, reliable and fairly priced car, you would buy a Toyota Corolla, however if you want something different you would drive a custom build or a Ferrari.

Looking at a modular home vs. a custom designed home, the pricing difference is similar, but you’ll get better bang for your buck with a modular home in terms of build time, thermal efficiency, environmental friendliness, and other benefits, when compared to a standard construction house of the same price.

Modular homes are normally quick to build, well insulated and built, minimise waste and are normally priced the same as a similar sized home, but superior quality.

 

Where did the concept come from for your company?

The concept is relatively old, with the original inventor using this method some 30 years ago. However, the designs were brought up to date and the business was launched in its own right 5 years ago.

We have a simple but enduring purpose. We want to provide Kiwis with warm, robust, and affordable housing because we believe everyone should enjoy living in their own EasyBuild home.

 

What is your point of difference?

We’re a local business building affordable, quality, robust, and warm homes. We build quickly and efficiently whilst reducing waste and trying to source materials locally wherever possible.

We also create opportunities to train and support those returning to work and looking to engage in the workforce. Available nationwide, we now have 10 licensee locations building houses in their local communities across the North Island from Northland to Wellington and are looking to expand into the South Island.

Spacious Open Plan Living

What is the construction time from start to finish?

Excluding the time to create the pack in the factory, our homes on average are built and fully finished on-site in 12 weeks, but are closed in and weathertight within two weeks on-site.

 

Describe the manufacturing process

Essentially the skeleton of the house is produced as component pieces in a factory, so every piece required for the shell of the house is cut marked drilled and prepared for quick assembly on site.

All external walls are constructed as super insulated panels, containing insulation suitable for any NZ climate, conduits for power, a waterproof shell and finally the windows, rebates and window architraves are fitted before the house is sent to site in a shipping container.

 

Describe the work you are doing for Koru Kainga housing development?

We feel very privileged as a business to be working with Koru Kāinga and our own values align with the objectives of this development; to bring affordable, quality housing to local families and first home buyers.

We have worked with Koru Homes NZ founder Adrian Chooi to design 51 three-bedroom homes in Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt and provided a team of experts or a “dream team” to support the planning and resource consent application.

Developments of this nature don’t just happen, and we have really enjoyed supporting this development. We are proud to be part of New Zealand’s first private development dedicated to getting first home buyers on the property ladder.

 

Why do you think you were chosen owner Adrian as the preferred company to build these homes?

I think there are a couple of reasons why Adrian has chosen EasyBuild to partner with on this project and hopefully future ventures.

We provide a robust, warm, affordable housing solutions, we are experts in what we do, and we share common goals and values.

Like Adrian we support local whenever possible, and we believe in providing housing solutions to Kiwis.

 

How many staff in your company?

We currently have 15 staff based in our factory in Upper Hutt, but this is constantly increasing to keep up with demand.  In addition, we have 10 teams across the country who sell and build our homes in their regions.

We always try and hire locally and I’m proud that we have created jobs and opportunities in the Hutt Valley.

 

How are you currently finding the business climate?

The current environment is challenging but rewarding. Our business is growing, and we are currently negotiating contracts with housing providers and other developers similar to Adrian, whilst also developing relationships with Government. Finding good staff can be challenging and of course we want to support and keep them.

 

Is supply chain affecting your company at present?

The current supply chain and also the pricing changes have been a challenge for most builders in NZ, f not a global issue.

Materials are rising in cost on a regular basis and supplies have often been hard to secure.

Given our time in business we have some deep and established relationships with suppliers and merchants that are supplying us and all supporting us to the best of their abilities but even so it can be tough, and we spend lots of time on the phone calling in favours and chasing materials.

Ends

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Get to know EasyBuild Hawke’s Bay

EasyBuild Hawke's Bay team

Building a new home is an exciting process but not something most of us do every day.

Like anything new, jumping into the unknown can be pretty nerve-wracking, so it’s important to get to know the team who’ll be taking care of your build. Clear communication, trust and an upfront approach set the foundations for a positive, stress-free, committed relationship with your building team.

Get to know Hastings local James Rosenberg, Director of EasyBuild Hawke’s Bay, and find out why EasyBuild Homes is the smart solution to building in Hawke’s Bay.

EasyBuild Hawke's Bay
Tell us about yourself

I’m a Hawke’s Bay guy through and through. I was born and raised in Hastings and grew up playing rugby and cricket in ‘the bay.’ I was also lucky enough to play rugby for Derry in Northern Ireland and Benfica in Portugal. My family has lived here for four generations and they’ve built lifelong relationships with lots of people in the community.

Hawke’s Bay is a fantastic place to live, with its reliably warm climate and easy-going lifestyle. We’ve got great beaches close by, plenty of outdoor activities to get stuck into, award-winning food and wine, and beautiful landscapes. 

My passion for property has always been there, but it’s certainly ramped up a notch over the years! Over the past nine years, I’ve been involved in building a 66-villa lifestyle village in Hastings. I’m stoked to be able to combine my passion with my career.

 
Who makes up the EasyBuild Hawke’s Bay team?

There’s me and my colleague Matt. We joined the EasyBuild team about two years ago when we saw an opportunity to join a growing, NZ company that’s fully committed to building affordable homes for Kiwis.

Matt’s a qualified builder and has significant experience managing construction projects for national organisations. He takes care of the project management side of things, while I’m the first point of call for customers. Together, we make the building process easy and stress-free for our customers.

 
What makes EasyBuild a great choice for building in Hawke’s Bay?

Hawke’s Bay’s population is growing fast as more and more people are moving here for the lifestyle. There’s a real need for modular, affordable homes here, especially for first home buyers, downsizers, retirees and horticulture workers. EasyBuild’s unique modular construction method allows us to get Hawke’s Bay locals into quality homes, fast.

The region also boasts larger sections than some other parts of the country, so many Hawke’s Bay residents have the option to get more value from their land through subdivision. EasyBuild’s home designs are perfect for this!

 
What EasyBuild home designs are your clients choosing for their Hawke’s Bay builds and why?

So far, we’ve seen many of our clients opt for 2 and 3-bedroom designs as second dwellings on their existing properties, either for family members or for another income stream by renting it out via Airbnb. Easybuild’s designs are great for this with multiple size options to suit a range of sections.

 
What’s your advice for anyone thinking about building new in Hawke’s Bay right now?

If you’re looking at getting into an affordable, healthier home faster, EasyBuild is a great option in Hawke’s Bay! And with a lot less waste than your traditional build, EasyBuild homes are better for the environment. 

We’d love to hear your plans and help you decide on a design that suits your site, timeline and budget.

Get in touch with James and the team today, plan a visit to their stunning show home, or drop by their office at 944 Heretaunga Street West, Hastings.