Buying Land at Somerfield

What does the “cooling off” period after contract exchange mean?
“Cooling off” refers to a buyer’s right to terminate a contract within 3 clear business days from the day the buyer signed. A buyer’s three-day cooling-off period on a sale of land contract is not affected if they have received legal advice about the contract before signing it.
What is a quantity surveyor report or depreciation schedule?
If you own a property for investment purposes, you can claim the depreciation of your property against your taxable income. Retaining a quantity surveyor to prepare a report or depreciation schedule allows you to determine the amount you can claim.
What is a construction loan?
A construction loan is designed to be drawn down in stages as your property is being built. This results in your monthly mortgage repayments gradually increasing as construction progresses until the building is finished, avoiding high home loan repayments upfront. Generally, borrowers must have council approved plans and a fixed price tender from a registered builder to qualify for a construction loan.
How do I get finance?
To obtain finance you need to follow several steps including preparation, knowing your finances and budget, making contact with various lenders or a mortgage broker to research lender products and submitting an application with your preferred lender. There are many online resources that can help you find out more about the process of obtaining finance.
How do I choose a mortgage broker?
There are several questions you can ask to help select a broker, including: – How many lenders does the broker deal with? – How does the broker get paid? – What fees do they charge you? – How does the broker identify the best solution? – The actual cost of the loan. – Is the broker a member of the Mortgage Industry Association of Australia?
What is the difference between a bank lender and a mortgage broker?
The main difference between a bank lender and mortgage broker is that a mortgage broker acts as a liaison between the home buyer and the bank lender, whereas the banks derive the loan from their employer. Mortgage brokers act as your advocate in negotiations with lenders.
When is a land contract deemed binding?
The contract is deemed binding once the Contract of Sale has been signed by the Purchaser and the Vendor, contracts have been exchanged between parties.
What does unconditional pre-approval from a lender before depositing on a block mean?
An unconditional pre-approval indicates a lender’s willingness to lend you a specific amount of money for a specific property given your personal situation. Unconditional pre-approval offers the most finance certainty if negotiating with the vendor.
Why do I need a solicitor or conveyancer?
A solicitor or conveyancer is required to complete the conveyancing transaction for property settlement. Prior to settlement your solicitor or conveyancer would prepare all necessary documents on your behalf. You may also want to consult a solicitor or conveyancer to assist you with understanding all of the paperwork involved in the transaction, including the contract of sale.
What is the meaning of ‘Settlement’?
Settlement is the process of transferring property from one owner to another.
What is the meaning of “Valuation”?
A valuation needs to be carried out when you borrow to buy a new property, when refinancing or when you want to access the equity in your home. Valuations are used to determine the security value of a property being offered to secure a home loan. To assess a property’s value, a valuer will measure the property and will take into account factors such as location, access and planning restrictions. A valuation is used for bank funding purposes only and in some cases may not reflect what you have paid for your house and land package. This is common, and has no bearing on the quality of your investment.
What is Lenders mortgage insurance?
Depending on your lender’s requirements, Lenders mortgage insurance allows you to borrow up to 95% of the purchase price of your home, with a lower deposit than is usually required. Lenders mortgage insurance protects the lender if you are unable to meet your mortgage repayments and the property has to be sold. Lenders mortgage insurance should not be confused with Mortgage Protection Insurance which covers your repayment in the event of death, sickness, unemployment or disability.
What is an easement?
An easement is a section of land registered on your property title which gives someone the right to use the land for a specific purpose even though they are not the land owner. An example is a shared driveway. There are also certain statutory easements which are not registered on your title, such as power or telephone lines, or drainage easements. If you wish to build over a statutory easement, you will need to get consent from your local council. For other easements, you will need to get consent from whoever the easement is vested in. An easement should have no effect on the day-to-day enjoyment of your land. The important thing about easements is to be aware of them, and know the terms of any which affect your property, so contact your legal advisor to be sure.
What is the First Home Owner Grant?
The First Home Owner Grant provides eligible first home buyers with a $7,000 grant. This grant is not means-tested but the grant is only payable where the price of the property or construction of the home does not exceed $750,000. Further information can be found at http://www.firsthome.gov.au.
How is land tax calculated?
The tax amount is based on the taxable value of the land which is the site value provided by the relevant municipal council. Under the Valuation of Land Act 1960, municipal councils are required to conduct general valuations for land in their municipality every two years. For details include land tax rates visit http://www.sro.vic.gov.au.
What is land tax?
Land tax is an annual tax levied on the owners of land in Victoria as at midnight on 31 December of the year preceding the year of assessment. For example, the 2013 assessment is based on land holdings as at midnight on 31 December 2012. In general, your principal place of residence (your home) is exempt from land tax. Exceptions may apply to this exemption if you own: • vacant land • a holiday house • one or more investment properties Land tax is assessed on a calendar year basis, and land tax assessment notices are mailed out to you between February and late May each year. Visit http://www.sro.vic.gov.au for more information.
What is stamp duty, who pays it, when is it paid, and what concessions are available?
Stamp duty is paid on the purchase of the land at the time of settlement. The amount to be paid depends on the dutiable value of the property which can depend on a number of factors, such as whether the property is an investment or owner-occupied. First home buyers are currently eligible for a duty reduction if the property is a principal place of residence valued at no more than $600,000. This reduction varies – please visit http://www.sro.vic.gov.au for full details about this or for full rate information.
What are the benefits of building a new home compared to buying established property?
The benefits of building a new home include both lifestyle and financial factors. Building new can provide significant stamp duty savings as stamp duty is paid only on the land, not the house. Further to this, by building new you can choose your home, or have one designed especially for you, and have it tailored to you and your lifestyle.
What are the benefits of buying land in a master planned community?
A master planned community, as the name suggests, is a community where every element and consideration is planned from the beginning of the project. This means that key aspects such as the road network, houses design criteria, and open spaces are integrated to bring together a cohesive community feel. Somerfield is designed and built to nurture a lifestyle that is geared to the needs of families with facilities such as parks, wetlands, and bike and foot paths, as well as accessibility to local services and transport options. Design guidelines in place protect your investment and offer improved value by enhancing and ensuring the overall character of the development. The like-minded nature of our residents also enhances the feeling of community, making Somerfield a place where people love to live.

Building your Home at Somerfield

What is the Developer required to do before Land Settlement?
The Developer is required to obtain titles, install and maintain nature strips until sufficiently established, and provide all infrastructures to the allotment including crossover and pegs bordering the property before settlement only.
What, as the Purchaser, are my responsibilities after land Settlement?
You are responsible for the maintenance of the allotment, including removal of any rubbish and the mowing of the allotment to ensure it is safe and not a fire hazard.
What, as the Purchaser, are my responsibilities before land Settlement?
You are required to ensure that the boundary pegs are in place bordering your property and measure the allotment.
How do I arrange developer fencing (if applicable)?
Please contact the Design Assessment Panel at dap@somerfield.com.au when you are ready to have the developer fence installed. Please note that you will be required to contribute $1500 to the cost of the fence as stipulated in your contract of sale at this time. Installation of the developer fence may take 4-6 weeks depending on availability of our contractor and materials, so please provide advance notice where possible.
Who do I contact for neighbours details for fencing?
Please contact Greater Dandenong Council for fencing enquiries. Due to privacy reasons, and as contact details change, Somerfield is unable to provide details directly.
How do I arrange fencing?
Fencing is to be arranged through your builder, if applicable, or through an independent fence contractor.
What is recycled water and what can it be used for?
Recycled water is water taken from any waste stream and treated to a high standard so it can be used again, usually for irrigation, watering parks and gardens and domestic uses such as toilet flushing and garden watering. All homes at Somerfield are connected to the South East Water “Third Pipe” recycled water system.
What is a Level 1 compaction report?
A Level 1 compaction report details testing, preparation and placement of engineered fill for a land development stage and includes a statement of compliance that the fill works complies with Australian standards. A report is only required if more than 300mm depth of fill was placed on a lot. It is important to note that the report only covers the depth of fill carried out during the stage construction, and does not investigate all soil conditions beneath that depth. Your builder will carry out detailed geotechnical testing prior to the commencement of construction.
Who can I contact regarding queries on designs for my property or concerns about another property within Somerfield Estate?
Queries about property designs should be sent to our Design Assessment Panel at dap@somerfield.com.au.
What is a BAL and what does this mean?
Bushfire Attack Level – the requirements for the house to ensure it meets the standard for the BAL advised.
What happens if I do not submit plans or start building within the timeframe required under the Design Guidelines?
The developer is legally able to purchase the allotment back at the original purchase price or may force the property to go to auction.
How long from Settlement am I required to submit Building Plans?
Your Building Plan must be submitted and approved within 12 months of your Settlement Date, remembering construction needs to be completed within 18 months of Settlement.
How long do I have from Settlement until I am required to complete construction?
Under your contract with Somerfield, your home needs to be completed within 18 months of the Settlement Date. This makes sure that homes are built and stops untidy vacant blocks, minimising inconvenience for neighbours.

Living at Somerfield

Who is the water supplier for Somerfield?
South East Water supplies Somerfield, in the instance of water outage or other problems, please contact South East Water directly. More information can be found at www.sewl.com.au
How do I connect my phone, internet, electricity and other services?
Connections can be arranged through the provider of your choice. Please contact suppliers directly for connection details and costs.
How do I report illegal activity?
Report any illegal activity within Somerfield promptly to Police.
How do I secure my vacant property?
Somerfield recommends that temporary fencing be installed around your vacant block to reduce the chance of rubbish dumping on your lot. This can be arranged directly by you from a number of suppliers, or through your builder. Anything dumped on a vacant lot after settlement is the responsibility of the Purchaser.
What are the local public and private schools within the area?
Private Schools Haileybury College (Primary & Secondary) Mt. Hira College (Primary & Secondary) Isik College (Prep, Primary & Secondary) Lighthouse Christian College (Prep, Primary & Secondary) Resurrection Primary School (Primary) Public Schools Chandler Primary School Chandler Secondary College Coomoora Primary Keysborough Primary School Kindergarten Chandler Kindergarten Lighthouse Early Learning Centre Bilbungra Kindergarten Centre Darren Reserve Kindergarten
Who is eligible for the Telstra Credit?
Certain lots within Somerfield, sold and settled prior to June 2012 are eligible for a one-off Telstra Credit. If you received a notification letter confirming your eligibility, you should be are eligible Please contact us at the Somerfield Land Sales and Information Centre if you have any queries.
How is the Telstra credit applied to my account? (if eligible)
You will be sent a cheque in favour of Telstra. This can be taken to Telstra, to a Post Office, or anywhere you can pay your Telstra bill, and will then sit as a credit on your Telstra Account.
How long until I receive my Telstra Credit? (if eligible)
Please allow approximately 4 weeks for your claim to be processed.
How do I claim my Telstra Credit? (if eligible)
Scan and send your first bill to info@somerfield.com.au, or bring it in to the Somerfield Land Sales and Information Centre. Please ensure your Lot number and mobile phone number are included for your claim to be processed.
Who is responsible for nature strip maintenance & mowing?
Maintenance, including mowing, of nature strips in front of residences is the responsibility of homeowners once the nature strip is established, or officially, 12 months from when the grass is installed. Prior to this time, nature strips are maintained by the Developer. It is recommended that residents water their nature strips regularly to ensure they look healthy throughout drier periods.
When will my nature strip be installed?
High building activity can cause a lot of damage to nature strips and plants during home construction. As a result, Somerfield waits until construction activity dies down before installing the trees and grasses in a stage. Trees will typically be installed around 9 months after settlement, and nature strips approximately 6 months later, however the exact timing will depend on the level of activity being experienced at the time. The establishment phase of the grasses can take anywhere from 4 to 12 months, depending on the seasons and weather conditions. Purchasers may install their nature strip turf at an earlier stage at their cost; however the turf specifications must be checked with council prior to installation. If an incorrect grass species is installed, it may need to be rectified at your cost.
Who is responsible for the footpaths within Somerfield?
Footpaths located in front of individual properties, including the crossover, are the relevant homeowners’ responsibility. Footpaths within a shared zone, including reserves, are maintained by local Council.
Who maintains Somerfield parks and public areas?
The Developer maintains these areas for 3 years after which their maintenance becomes the responsibility of the local Council.
Are there any community events held at Somerfield?
Occasionally community events such as Meet your Neighbour days are held at Somerfield. We encourage residents to also plan their own events with neighbours. To facilitate any events, the Somerfield Facebook page allows residents to post invites and updates. The Facebook page is also used by Somerfield to communicate updates and events happening within Somerfield and the local community. Please click here to view Grassing Practical Completion dates.