Turnkey, House and Land Package or Custom-Built Home: Which Should You Choose?

February 6, 2024

So you’ve decided that you don’t want to purchase an established home that someone else has already lived in and designed to suit someone else’s lifestyle – you want to be the first to enjoy your brand-new property. But did you know that there are lots of different options at your disposal?

We clarify the differences between turnkey homes, house and land packages and custom-built properties so you can make the right decision for your future.

Turnkey Constructed Gomes: Move-in Magic 

A turnkey home is also known as ‘move-in ready’ because unlike a typical new build, you can literally move into a turnkey home and start your new life. They include essentials that may be missed in other home builds like carpet and blinds, and it’s a great option for buyers who don’t want the stress of dealing with any missing items on move-in day – they just want to start enjoying their new home!

So if you don’t have the time – or the interest – in setting up your new home with specific designs, colours or layout, then a turnkey home could be the best option for you.

  • Pro: If you want a stress-free new home, this is the way to go. You won’t have to make any hard design choices or deal with all the administrative stress that can come with building a new home.
  • Con: Turnkey homes can be more expensive than a house and land package because it takes everything off your hands. You can simply make the purchase, turn the key and start living in your new property.

House and Land Packages: Get Exactly What You Want Without Any of The Hassle 

Buying a house and land package gives you the best of both worlds. On the one hand you’ll already have the designs and layouts to choose from – meaning you don’t need to have an architectural background to create your perfect home. It also means you have the opportunity to customise parts of the property according to your tastes.

Unlike a turnkey home that takes most of those decisions out of your hands, with a house and land package you’re encouraged to communicate with your builder to ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for.

  • Pro: You get all the benefits of a turnkey home – namely, all the design stress is taken care of already – with the added bonus of being able to customise certain items in the home. Plus you will only pay stamp duty on the land.
  • Con: Buying a house and land package means you’ll still have to wait for it to be built. If you want to move in straight away, an established home may be more to your liking. But remember: good things come to those who wait!

Custom-Built Homes: Your Property Dreams Realised

When building a home from scratch, all the choices are in your court. You get to create the design, you get to choose your architect, you get to select the builder for the job – in essence, you get to run the show.

This may not be what most people want when it comes to finding their ideal property, but for some it’s important to have total creative control over their build. You may also be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant, and you can make it as eco-friendly as you like.

  • Pro: Reality permitting, you really can build whatever type of home you like. Plus, you’ll only pay stamp duty on the land when you build, and you can take advantage of modern techniques like passive design to lower your overall energy consumption – cheaper bills are always a plus!
  • Con: It can be a time-consuming job and one that may pile a lot of stresses onto your plate. Building can also be a longer process and that may work against you with lenders. But arguably the biggest con is that unlike a house and land package, the costs aren’t fixed: it’s very easy for custom-build budgets to get blown out, and quickly.

So Which Should You Choose?

There’s no one-size-fits-all decision that will make every Australian homeowner happy. Instead, it depends on a number of factors like your budget, how long you can afford to wait before moving in, and where around the country you want to live.

The big positive is that if you choose to live in a master-planned community – such Waterford in the Hunter Region  – you will not only get the home of your dreams, but you will also be in a fantastic location that’s close to public transport, essential amenities and in a neighbourhood filled with friendly, like-minded homeowners.


Waterford is an exciting new development set to become one of the most enviable suburbs in Chisholm, East Maitland. Enjoy natural beauty and spacious surrounds with all the convenience of stylish village living.

Enquire today to find out more about land and house-and-land packages at Waterford.

Content originated from AVID.

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