Build the good life in Maitland

Super Admin

Maitland in the NSW Hunter Valley is a vibrant and growing city with a huge heart situated on Wonnarua country. With a growing population and increased public and private investment, now is a great time to make a tree change and be a part of that growth. Maitland can be an affordable and easy choice for any family or first-time buyer looking for a block of land to build their dream home.

Hamptions style new home facade

Well connected

When you’re living in Maitland you’re never far from wherever you need to be and the great news is, you don’t have to endure city traffic. Maitland has always been well connected since the early 1800s when the Hunter River was a crucial trade and transport link. These days you’re more likely to see kayaking or paddle boarding on the Hunter while trains and buses provide easy and reliable travel. By car, Newcastle and its airport are 30 mins away, Sydney is only 2hrs down the M1 Freeway and the Hunter Expressway provides easy access to the vineyards.

Well serviced

Families are especially lured to Maitland with the abundance of choice when it comes to learning and education as well as plenty of sports grounds and aquatic centres for active kids and grown-ups. The shared pathway along the Hunter is another way to enjoy the outdoors.

There are also great healthcare facilities with the new Maitland Hospital and Maitland Private Hospital as well as the Lower Hunter Community Health Service and other healthcare providers.

Cultural riches

Steeped in its colonial heritage, Maitland boasts architectural beauty throughout its historic city centre and nearby suburbs such as Morpeth, Lorn and Bolwarra where you’ll find magnificent examples of Victoria and Georgian buildings as well as Art Deco design. 

Maitland also a thriving business hub, and The Levee precinct has a huge variety of speciality shops, eateries and services as well as being home to the best art gallery in the region. Maitland Regional Art Gallery’s exhibitions and programs are welcoming and inclusive so whether you’re an artist, an art expert or novice you’ll find something of interest.

And Maitland knows how to have fun with festivals galore to keep things interesting. From beer at the ‘Bitter and Twisted’ or the ‘Bar and BBQ’ Festival, to coffee and chocolate at the Aroma Festival as well as multicultural diversity at Riverlights and the infamous Steamfest, attracting hoards of train and vintage enthusiasts from near and far.

Images credit: Maitland City Council

Heritage home facade - new build

Image credit: Maitland City Council

Get to know the suburbs

The Maitland region extends from Woodberry in the East to Lochinvar in the West and in-between there are over 50 suburbs to suit every budget and lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a complete breath of fresh air Lochinvar and Farley are great places to buy a block of land. Now is a great time to make the most of what’s on offer to build your own home.

Close to Heddon Greta and its historic drive-in is Cliftleigh, only a 10 minute drive from Maitland and with easy access to the Hunter Expressway. This area is great option for first time buyers to build a new home. 

Tenambit and family friendly Chisolm are suburbs that are also experiencing growth and if you’re looking for a block of land, you’ll find a huge variety to choose from. 

Greenhills boasts a huge shopping precinct and nearby it’s still possible to find a block of land in East Maitland and Ashtonfield. Family friendly Metford and Thornton on the East side of Maitland are also popular with easy access to Newcastle.

Build with the best in Maitland

With every good reason to build a new home in Maitland, choose a reliable builder you can trust to help create your dream home. It’s important to find a builder who is well established and has developed local supplier relationships. This is especially crucial while the building industry is experiencing supply challenges and disruptions due to both local and global issues. Working with local suppliers reduces transport costs and risks associated with long haul freight. It also helps support and build the local economy. Supporting the locals is a big factor in Maitland where community is everything.

If you were to walk around Maitland and ask for word-of-mouth recommendations for a Maitland Home Builder, Valley Homes would be the name you’d hear. Not only has Valley Homes been building in Maitland and the Hunter Valley for over 50 years, we also proudly support local trades and have well established supplier relationships. The reviews from our happy customers say it all.

So, you can see why living in Maitland is such a great option to build a new home for established and first time buyers alike. Valley Homes is your expert Maitland Home Builder committed to excellence in design and service, get in touch with us today.

Cover image credit: NSW Government

Adamstown multi unit development Valley Homes

The right process counts when it comes to property development

Super Admin

The world of property development is both exciting and overwhelming depending on how you plan. Preparation is everything so this month we’re providing a snapshot of what’s involved when developing property. While you don’t need to be an expert before you start it’s helpful to understand the various stages before you speak with a builder.

Finance and feasibility

There’s great potential for turning a profit with a property development but unless you can fund the project, as well as any unexpected costs, your investment dream will become a nightmare.

Carefully factor in all costs related to each stage of the development from architect’s fees and council applications to the construction itself and then allow for a safeguard should you face any construction cost blow outs. With increasing interest rates it’s important to have enough capital to prepare for higher loan repayments as well. The wise developer is aware of the risks and prepares for them. This is especially important as we continue to move through the COVID19 pandemic and face unexpected delays to projects.

Creating a business plan is essential to determine whether your property development is going to be profitable. Educate yourself on marketing real estate. You may want to consult a buyer’s agent and negotiate prices for each unit. Remember, your objective as a property developer is to turn a profit.


Location is everything when it comes to any build but there’s a lot of additional factors to consider before purchasing land for a multi-unit property development. Even if your plan is to increase the equity of the block that your current house sits on by subdividing for dual occupancy, you need to be sure you will have a buyer or tenants for it. Do a bit of research: what are the selling points of the area? Are there good transport links to services, schools and recreational facilities?

What’s the local property market demand for duplex or triplex developments? Is your block of land in a suburb zoned for multi-unit property developments? Understand the specific requirements and limitations in relation to property development in your residential zone.

Design and Documentation

Having settled on your site, choose an architect or draftsperson to design your multi-unit property development. An engineer will also be required. Once the drawings are done they need to be submitted to council for Development Approval.

Are you ready for construction?

You need to find a builder you can trust and then agree on a contract. Be sure that your builder can demonstrate to you how they are managing the current challenges in the construction industry. Does this builder have the experience to manage the extended build times and construction costs?

Now is also the time to question whether you want to act as project manager or enlist a professional. You need to ensure the site is prepared, oversee progress and obtain certification at every stage of the build. Don’t underestimate the responsibility and stress that comes with this job!

How do the experts approach property development?

Maitland-based builder, Valley Homes has their own efficient process to offer to potential property developers.


Architectural design and drafting service


Accurate cost estimating to deliver a fixed price tender


Obtain all relevant approvals from council and relevant authorities


In-house custom inclusions & colour consultant


‘Concept to Occupation’ project management


Turn key delivery of residential construction project


Starting with their design team, Valley Homes offers architectural designs and drafting services to work with your vision as well as your particular block of land. They know how to position your multi-unit development so as to get the most out of your land.


Accurate cost estimating to deliver a fixed price tender is the next step Valley Homes takes. We appreciate the current challenges facing the construction industry and we factor in all costs so that there are no unpleasant surprises. Having long-standing relationships with our local suppliers is an added security for our customers and minimizes transportation of supplies thereby reducing costs. Every cent counts in property development!

Valley Homes townhouse development builder Wallsend


Council bureaucracy is what many new property developers dread most. Fortunately, Valley Homes can obtain all necessary approvals from council and relevant authorities. As a Newcastle and Maitland builder, Valley Homes has a thorough understanding of the local councils’ planning regulations and requirements. That knowledge is put to good use to make the process of property development so much easier for our customers.


Having settled on the design of your multi-unit property development, secured costings and ticked all the boxes for council, the Valley Homes in-house team helps select inclusions including top quality products, materials, finishes and colour schemes. We work closely with local suppliers to provide competitive prices for our customers.

Manage and build

Valley Homes offers project management to ensure every stage is completed without a hitch from concept through to construction and onto completion.  We deliver with confidence so that your investment property can bring in those anticipated returns.

Don’t leave the process to chance, choose a builder with solid experience

For all of these reasons, experienced and novice property developers alike choose to work with Valley Homes. Why struggle to manage a project alone when you can take advantage of the expertise of the company that’s been building in Maitland and Hunter Valley for over 50 years? It’s what we love to do. Call us today.

Valley Homes Duplex

Build an economical family home in NSW

Super Admin

Consider this an antidote to the seemingly endless talk of rising inflation, concern about the state of the economy, the cost of living and a housing market that seems inaccessible for the first time builder or buyer.

Despite the doom and gloom, there are still reasons to feel optimistic about building a family home economically. This month we’re here to share some great family home designs to suit your budget, some more affordable NSW locations worth considering and a few handy tips to get the most out of your home loan. First time builders can also be heartened by the NSW government’s grants and concessions, read on to learn more….

Get a leg up to the property ladder

First time builders and buyers with their sights set on their very own family home are getting a great hand up with the First Home Buyers Assistance scheme (FHBAS).

When buying property or land in NSW you’re required to pay transfer duty – once known as stamp duty. As a first home buyer in NSW, you may be eligible for a duty exemption, concession and/or a grant. 

If you buy a new home valued at less than $650,000, you can apply for a full exemption, and pay no transfer duty.  A concessional rate is also available on new homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.

Should you choose to buy a vacant block to build your own home you won’t pay transfer duty on that land if it is valued at less than $350,000. For land valued between $350,000 and $450,000, you’ll receive a concessional rate.

These discounts are determined by a number of factors so it’s worth taking a look at the NSWgovernment website which also has a First Home Buyers Assistance calculator.

If you’ve never previously received the First Home Owner Grant of $10,000 you can apply for it when purchasing a new home up to the value of $600,000. This includes homes bought ‘off the plan’.

The first time builder wanting to purchase land and build a brand new home can also apply for the First Home Owner Grant as long as the combined cost of land and building doesn’t exceed $750,000.

To determine eligibility, and to find out further details we recommend you head to and see what best applies to your situation.

If you’re also wrestling with the build vs buy home question then determining which of these discounts and grants apply to you might also help answer.

Home investment property development goals

Finding the best deals on home loans

In the face of rising inflation, and the inevitable increase on variable rates, it’s a good idea to shop around for a home loan that not only suits your budget but also your ethical standpoint.

For the first time builder or buyer fixed rate home loans can provide certainty and are useful for organizing your budget. It’s also worth investigating a split loan which still provides protection from sudden rate hikes but allows you to take advantage of variable rates as well.

If reducing your carbon footprint is a priority then it’s worth considering a green home loan, exclusive to homes that qualify certain environmentally friendly criteria stipulated by the lender. Ensuring your home has a Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHER) 7 star rating can assist in getting the best ‘green deal’. This will however require you to spend more on insulation and efficient glazing.

Urban Homes: economy of size with all the essentials.

For house designs that meet every requirement for the perfect family home look no further than the Urban Homes series. These versatile designs are ideal for the smaller block of land and make an affordable choice for the first time builder in search of the three or four bedroom family home. With Urban Homes being more compact the build times are reduced which can also provide additional cost reductions.

An energy efficient design ensures greater comfortable and can reduce energy bills which is a priority with rising cost of living and inflation a current concern. The Urban Homes series is designed so that the alfresco and main living areas can benefit from a northern aspect for solar gain in winter to also help reduce heating costs.

Duplex House Builders
winery hunter valley

Choosing an affordable NSW location

One of the big issues for the first time builder or buyer is finding affordable land. So what do we suggest? If you want value for money plus huge options on block sizes, Maitland is a great place to explore.

Maitland is the gem of the Hunter Valley offering something for everyone. There’s ample community and sports facilities, a superb Art Gallery and thriving creative sector, good public transport links and easy access to the vineyards or Newcastle and the coast. 

There are blocks of land, in a multitude of sizes, now on sale in and around Maitland and further into the Hunter Valley. They provide exciting options for the first time builder eager to create an affordable family home.

Make it happen

For the first time builder or buyer, with a deposit ready to go, the dream to build your own home might just be possible by making some wise choices and getting the right support. Do the research, explore your options and let Valley Homes help make your home building dreams a reality.

The Carrington Urban home design

Valley Homes townhouse development Wallsend

Location is key when building a townhouse

Super Admin

The Hunter Valley region offers something for every possible lifestyle: wide open spaces to breathe and grow, world class vineyards, close proximity to the coast, the vibrant university city of Newcastle and it’s beaches, diverse and expanding opportunities for employment, plus an easy two hour expressway drive to Sydney. The appeal of the Hunter Valley is huge and it’s no surprise that savvy investors and property developers are seeking land here for a multi unit developments

If property development is something you’ve also been considering, whether it’s a townhouse or triplex in an urban or regional setting, then this month’s blog is for you. It’s packed full of great tips on how to select the right location in the Hunter Valley.

Location is everything!

Big, bold plans like a multi unit development are something to get excited about and the wise property developer must have a clear vision about the project. Whether your goal is to sell or rent your properties, it’s important to consider who you’re building for and ensure that this is compatible with the demographics of the area in which your block of land is located.

If you’re yet to buy land for your multi unit development then take the time to visit several suburbs to determine which area meets your requirements. Here are some questions to consider as you look around:

Is there a demand for multi unit developments or are they in over-supply? Does the area offer good public transport services? If you choose to build in a rural area is there a reliable train service as an alternative to long distance driving?

Consider amenities and services: are supermarkets and health services within relatively close proximity? What sort of recreational facilities does the area offer? Is there easy access to open or green spaces? Does the neighbourhood have a friendly atmosphere? Remember, your aim is to ensure your multi unit development is marketable. 

It’s also worth considering the micro-climate of the area. By chatting to residents you can discover whether there’s a history of flooding, bushfire and drought. How has town planning responded to this, as well as mitigating the potential impact of climate change.

Are there any local sources of smells or pollution? Check for any development applications for industrial projects that could impact the area.

Valley Homes Port Stephens Newcastle Maitland builder
Home investment property development goals
Best Home Builders Hunter Valley

Research the local council regulations

Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred area educate yourself about the local council’s planning controls. The NSW Planning Portal will help you identify a property and access the relevant council planning controls to assist you in preparing a development application. Some councils also offer pre development application assistance. It’s worth taking a look at the relevant council website and make the most of all they have on offer.

Each council has specific guidelines on the minimum size of land for subdivision, restrictions on building heights, environmental protection and zoning.

Many councils have developed character studies of suburbs, particularly older, inner city suburbs. Is your design sympathetic to the character of the neighbourhood? You have a better chance of receiving approval from both council and your neighbours by taking this into consideration.

Newcastle council has placed a large focus of its Housing Strategy on creating more diverse and affordable housing in medium density suburbs. The council recognises a need for apartments, duplexes, triplexes and townhouses in identified growth corridors and has facilitated the growth in Developments Applications accordingly. 

Does your dream match your block of land?

Once you have a clear understanding of council regulations take a realistic look at your prospective block of land. Evaluate the site for aspect, drainage, views and climate. Determine utilities accessibility and whether your land contains easements? Consider how to best maximise the land to increase it’s value. Is it better to build two three bedroom townhouses or a triplex of two bedroom units?

Consider how each dwelling can be orientated on the land to achieve effective solar access or cooling breezes. Will there be enough space for setbacks, parking, driveways and private open space?

Remember to take a look over the fence and consider if there’s potential for future development that could impact your property.

Does it add up?

Perhaps the most important point is to ensure your multi unit development is a feasible investment. After all, this is the reason you’re building in the first place. This will be determined by calculating building costs, your loan structure, the number of properties and resale value of each property. Doing your homework on the financials can potentially save you thousands in the long-term, so it’s worth doing right. In the current environment of rising interest rates and inflationary pressures on building materials, it’s crucial to consider this into your budget equation – you’ll find further information about this in our article Factoring all costs when building a new home or investment.

Get the right support

Valley Homes is in the business of designing and building top quality multi unit developments – but we can also work with any plans you may already have. We’ve been working with councils in the Hunter Valley for over 50 years and pride ourselves on keeping abreast with council processes to reduce the stress for you. Take advantage of the expertise on offer with Valley Homes and let us transform your multi unit development vision into a reality. Call us today.

Passive design principles: a win for you and the environment

Super Admin

Imagine you could build a new house, so well designed that it didn’t require much in the way of artificial heating or cooling thereby making it affordable to run and perfectly comfortable all year round. Sounds ideal, right? The cost to build a new home is a big enough outlay so reducing running costs would certainly be a bonus. Such an energy efficient home is not only possible but it’s encouraged with the use of passive design principles.

Passive design principles are about careful design and quality construction as well as working with the local climate. It’s ‘passive’ in that the building envelope does most of the work to maintain comfortable temperatures so there’s less reliance on air conditioners in the summer and heating units in the winter. This of course means cheaper power bills – and we all like that!

Passive design principles incorporate building features such as:

  • orientation
  • thermal mass
  • insulation
  • glazing

These work together to take advantage of natural sources of heating and cooling, such as sun and breezes, and to minimise unwanted heat gain and loss.

Let’s take a closer look at these features in relation to the Valley Series house designs.


When you build a new house one of the most important decision is where it will be positioned on your block of land. Let’s be clear, aspect isn’t just about finding a good view. Good orientation can be achieved on almost any block of land, even small blocks, with careful design. In the southern hemisphere, making the most of that northern aspect is a key factor with passive design principles. The ideal is to optimize the orientation of the home for solar gain in winter with appropriate shading for summer.

Comfortable living

Valley Homes created the Valley Series to provide clients with the style of an architectural home, the flexibility of modular home design and the advantages of passive design principles.

The six Valley Series floor plans all include generous living areas that create a sense of space and openness connecting to the alfresco area. If orientated to the north, these house designs also ensure passive solar gain for the rooms that most need it. Living areas and the kitchen are usually the most important locations for passive heating because they are used day and evening. Polished concrete or tiling across the floors can create a thermal mass to absorb the winter sun and continue radiating that heat once the sun has gone down.

The Valley Series offers great flexibility with a variety of front and rear designs to choose from. The rear designs each have covered outdoor areas. By choosing a northern orientation, the deep verandahs create ample shade in the summer but allow the area to be bathed in the low-hanging winter sun so that outdoor entertaining can be enjoyed all year round. The Valley Series house designs are well suited to the climate of the Newcastle and Hunter Valley region.

Passive design principles also take advantage of variable cool breezes. In Newcastle and the Hunter Valley we all know what a difference it makes when a Southerly blows in after a hot Summer day. It’s a relief to feel that cool air blow through house, shifting the stale and oppressive heat of the day. With the Valley Series good ventilation is evident in each of the floor plans as the flow of air can be channeled through the house from the front to the back. Louvre windows can also be strategically incorporated into the house design to draw cool air through the home.

In contrast, it’s just as important to minimize unwelcome draughts in cooler months. Valley Homes uses only high quality doors and windows that meet the mandatory minimum specification ( AS 2047) which means they have been tested for maximum deflection under wind pressure, air leakage, and water penetration resistance. Top quality glazing and insulation contributes to an energy efficient home.

Climate matters

One of the key factors in applying passive design principles is understanding the local climate. Australia has eight main climate zones specified by the National Construction Code and it’s important to understand that different passive design strategies suit different climates. When you build a new house ensure it’s designed to suit your climate zone.

Choose a local builder that ‘gets it’

This is a great reason to choose a Newcastle builder like Valley Homes. Working in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley for over 50 years, we know the local climate and we’re aware of the ways in which it’s changing. We know that great architecture and passive design principles can make a huge difference to the quality of construction as well as quality of living. We also understand that when clients choose to build a new house they expect it to also be an energy efficient home. Valley Homes is the local home builder with the experience to meet all these needs and your expectations – contact us today to find out more.

Dual Occupancy Newcastle

Factoring all costs building a new home or investment

Super Admin

How does the construction boom effect my home build?

Let’s start with the good news: Australia is going through a construction boom. As of February 2022 there were 18,448 applications for the HomeBuilder grant that the Australian Government had established during the pandemic to encourage confidence in residential construction.

As a result of this encouraged construction, there’s now a lot of competition for labour and building supplies. That’s the not-so-good news. There are a variety of factors that have created this shortage of building materials and increased construction costs:

  • the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires of early 2020 saw the destruction of vast quantities of local hardwood and softwood
  • associated costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic including supply chain delays as well as labour shortages because of travel restrictions
  • constraints on international freight costs as well as production shortages resulted in a decrease in imported building materials such as steel, timber and electrical products

What’s the word across the housing industry?

There’s been ongoing concern over recent years about the challenge of building price rises and the housing industry is in agreement: costs are high and it’s hard to say when they’ll halt.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics, Producer Price Index for the period December 2021 recorded that input and output prices of construction industries had risen dramatically across the previous year. “Input prices to house construction rose 12.0%, due to Timber, board and joinery (+18.4%) and other metal products (+13.2%). Investment in the residential sector and strong activity due to government funding in infrastructure is driving demand for labour. Supply shortages and rising freight costs have resulted in upward price pressure for materials.”

In 2021, Tim Reardon, the Housing Industry Association chief economist advised that there would be ongoing delays to home building across the country due to a shortage of building materials.

Core Logic, leading provider of property data and analytics in Australia and New Zealand observed that, across Australia last year, building costs rose 7.3%. Core Logic’s research director, Tim Lawless recently shared these insights.

“With some materials such as timber and metal products reportedly remaining in short supply, there is the possibility some residential projects will be delayed or run over budget.

“With such a large rise in construction costs over the year, we could see this translating into more expensive new homes and bigger renovation costs.”

Weathering the storm

With rain from this month’s East Coast low hammering Queensland and NSW, a weather analogy might be quite appropriate: If you were to sail out of port knowing there may be storms ahead, you’d listen to the shipping news, take necessary precautions such as life jackets and most importantly you’d ensure you had an experienced skipper on board. 

A way forward

We’ve been through tough times before and the reality is: the construction of houses never stops. So, how does the home builder navigate these seemingly dark times and forge ahead? Our advice is first, arm yourself with knowledge – get informed. Reading this article is a great start! Understand the variety of current issues affecting construction costs related to building a new home to ensure you’re informed and you’re aware of the risks. 

Secondly, seek out a trustworthy and experienced builder who will communicate clearly with you and be sure you agree to a building contract that will protect all parties. It’s the life jacket for everyone.

Keeping it real

While you’re investigating it’s important to be wary of builders who are tendering on jobs at a preliminary stage without factoring any known or anticipated supplier price rises, only to lump clients with these price increases at contract stage. This approach leaves clients in a position where potentially they cannot afford to build after going through the entire pre-construction planning process. 

Valley Homes takes a different approach. Our estimators are in constant communication with our long-term suppliers and any anticipated price increases are being factored into our preliminary pricing. We also explain to clients that our preliminary pricing is subject to supplier price rises – including frames, trusses and roofing. Once the job is repriced prior to contracts being issued this becomes a fixed price contract, with the difference of any provisional sum allowances reflected in the final invoice.

How are Valley Homes addressing supply shortages?

We know that a major concern this construction boom presents for home builders is the shortage of building materials that can potentially cause delays adding to build times. Valley Homes’ longevity in the industry and loyalty over the years to our local suppliers gives us priority for supply of materials. This is a real positive for our customers.

Enjoy the benefits of experience

Valley Homes is the Hunter Valley and Newcastle builder who has weathered industry storms and not only survived but continued to thrive because we seek the perfect balance between best design practices and cost efficiency ensured by working with our local suppliers

In this current environment Valley Homes is the builder you can trust to communicate clearly with you through every stage of the development.

If you have any further questions about the current building climate – Call us today and let Valley Homes help you navigate your way through the process of building a new home.

Find out more

Read the HIA guide on why your house is taking longer to build and is costing more

Download HIA guide on current build times and rising costs

BulBul duplex design Hunter Valley


Super Admin

It’s no surprise that when it comes to property development, so many investors choose to build a duplex for their first build. The main benefit of building a duplex is that it doubles the equity of your property without doubling the investment cost, so you can secure strong returns with a relatively lower risk.

The cost to build a duplex is usually cheaper than building two houses, the build duration is less and because both dwellings are on the same block, the land costs less than two separate lots. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to enjoy dual income should you choose to rent out your new properties, or benefit from the sale of one or both of the properties.

Understandably, first time investor builders have so many questions about the duplex build process so we’d like to alleviate unnecessary fears by stepping you through each stage.

1. Are you in a strong position to invest in property development?

Before embarking on any investment it’s essential to determine the state of your finances and calculate exactly how much money you may need to borrow. It’s important to arrange pre-approval on your finance or funding, potentially with a broker that has experience securing finance for residential construction.

2. Location, location, location!

With finances secure, now you need to buy the right block of land with the following specifics required to ensure that the duplex build process goes smoothly. The ideal block for a duplex will need to be a flat block or have a slight fall to the street (ideal for stormwater drainage) with at least a 17m wide frontage. Corner blocks offer dual frontage (one unit facing each street).
Before you hand over your deposit, check with council as to whether the block is zoned for a dual occupancy development.

3. Measuring up

Arrange a Contour & Detail survey of the block via a surveyor. This captures size, dimensions, fall and location of services to the block.

4. Sales Plan

If it’s a new residential lot, or unregistered land, a sales plan of the block is initially all that’s required to start planning the build.

5. Choose a reputable and experienced builder

Make sure you do extensive research to find a local, reputable and experienced builder who you can trust to build your investment property. It’s important to contract a builder that specialises in dual occupancy developments to commence the design process. An experienced dual occupancy builder will manage the design, planning, subdivision, lodgement of development application to council, new water and sewer connection points if applicable, and Construction Certificate prior to construction commencing.

6. Pre-construction phase

Your builder will issue a Preliminary Tender based on concept plans. Once you accept this tender and commit to your builder of choice, they will proceed with preparation of the DA (Development Approval) plans and lodgement to council.

Once the DA consent is received, your builder will begin preparation of CC (Construction Certificate) plans and documents for your CC application, including slab and structural engineering plans.

7. More official business

Now’s the time to finalise selections for the kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, paint colours and finishes. Minor works plumbing will have been completed (new water and sewer connection point to the proposed 2nd lot, if the development is a Torrens title subdivision), Construction Certificate approved by a private certifier and your lender will have issued an Authority to Commence Construction notice.

The Contract Tender & building contracts are prepared when the Construction Certificate is issued and your colour selections have been finalised.

8. Now for the fun part: the build commences!

At this stage clients will be notified of their site supervisor and the project construction gets underway. The contract period for construction commences and the progress schedule includes:

  • Installation of concrete slab
  • Timber frame & trusses
  • Brickwork, windows & roof covering
  • Interior linings and mouldings
  • Completion

Note: progress claims are made via your lender at each of these stages.

9. Final business

Depending on your investment strategy, once the build is complete, you may need to:

  • Implement your insurance cover
  • Refinance the loan to take out equity, purchase a property or pay down other debt
  • Line up a real estate agent to manage the property if one or both units will be leased, or make arrangements to sell
  • Arrange a depreciation report for your tax return (if you will be leasing)

We’re here to help you through the process

With such an extensive check list it’s understandable that many first-time investors feel overwhelmed and seek the support of Valley Homes, the Hunter Valley builder with over 50 years’ experience in the building industry.

We can provide a range of a range of duplex plans can be modified to suit your budget and your block of land. The Valley Homes team even liaise with Council, manage all paperwork and applications including your Strata or Torrens title subdivision, coordinate all trade contractors and everything else in the tender to take the stress away for you and reduce the duplex build cost.

If you’re keen to get started in investment property development and want to build a duplex in either the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle or Port Stephens regions, call the local specialist Valley Homes to take you through every step of the duplex build process. We look forward to helping you step onto the property development ladder.

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BulBul duplex design Hunter Valley

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Konara duplex design Hunter Valley Newcastle homes investment builder

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Home investment property development goals


Super Admin

Launch the new year by making inspired plans and property goals that set the tone for your financial future. The last few years have left us feeling like we’ve been living though the film, Groundhog Day – we all desperately need to press that re-set button and set our sights ahead.

For your benefit, our team has researched all the 2022 trends to provide you with a wealth of ideas and all the inspiration to make this year a time to refresh at home and plant the seeds for your building and investing ambitions.

Wellbeing – the key focus for 2022

Living in a time of COVID 19 has increased the need to sustain our mental and physical wellbeing, and as we’re still spending a vast majority of our time at home, we need to consider how best we can see this integrated into house design principles.

Biophilic design is all about incorporating nature into our homes. Think large windows opening to courtyard gardens and atriums, skylights to changing cloudscapes, flourishing indoor plants, green walls cascading with foliage. Views and vignettes that invite your eyes and mind to rest. Don’t worry if you’re not a green thumb – it’s not all about plants! Read on for more inspiration.

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Bring the outdoors in

With strict lockdowns having lifted, people have relished being in the great outdoors and, as a result of this, the trend is to surround ourselves with natural fibres and textures. Terracotta tiles from the patio and entertainment area will lead indoors to living spaces and kitchens. Stone benches and timber finishes are also set to feature more in this year’s new home designs. Be a little playful with textures by integrating organic shapes into your interior design from curves in furniture and benches to collections of shapely stones and shells.

When it comes to the paintwork, 2022 paint trends favour warmer, earthy tones of soft creams and pale blushes instead of the previously popular greys and whites. Blue has been bumped from star palette position with green now the trending colour for 2022. That’s every shade from deep, restful jade to energising lime, sophisticated emerald, Tuscan olive and fresh mint.

There’s a beneficial association with the colour green because it’s predominant in the natural environment. Green brings to mind all the positives we associate with nature: growth, Spring, freshness and renewal which in turn evokes a sense of peace and calm.

Whether we’re working or playing at home, biophilic principles help reduce stress, create a sense of restful ease and wellbeing.

green palette nature interior

Sustainability is key

More than a trend, sustainability is a priority, and this is not only reflected in the choice of materials used in new home designs. For many looking to build a new home there’s a strong desire is to contract a local builder who works with local suppliers thus reducing transport and creating a smaller carbon footprint. Throughout Newcastle and the Hunter Valley region, Valley Homes has long standing supplier connections and a reputation for experience and expertise in designing and building energy efficient homes.

Multi-functional spaces

Working from home continues to be a big part of our lives in 2022. After establishing offices and study zones throughout our houses, there’s now an increased demand for designing more adaptable spaces. People want to feel like they can escape the office – at home – and so we’re seeing more visual separation in shared spaces. Divider tactics are making good use of vertical space with shelving and ladders around doors and within the room. Library nooks, music hubs and quiet spaces to nurture the soul are also 2022 trends.

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Get the ball rolling on your property goals

Big ideas like these require the right builder who really understands the cost to a build house or build an investment property. Whatever your budget, nothing excites the team at Valley Homes more than working with a customer’s new home designs to create the house of their dreams. Valley Homes have been building across the Hunter Valley, Port Stephens and Newcastle and we have 50 years of experience and expertise to share.

With wellbeing the top theme for 2022 – let Valley Homes take every care of you and your New Year home and property development goals.

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Super Admin

As we race to the end of another year, working our way through those gift lists, handing round the mince pies and hanging out for that much needed holiday, it’s time to pause and reflect on 2021 – we’ve had plenty to celebrate!

Despite the ongoing challenges of a second year with Covid, Valley Homes has come through looking pretty fresh – as you’ve probably noticed with our new website and brand rollout! What’s more, this year has been full of inspiring new ideas from our Acreage designs to our new Valley Series. And if that wasn’t enough, we also celebrated our half century – 50 years building the Hunter!

We’ve had plenty of great insights to share with you so let’s review the highlights of 2021 as we count down our five most popular articles… 

Digger demolishing a house knockdown rebuild Valley Homes

5. We asked the big question: to demolish or not? Then we offered you a range of answers…

There are a multitude of benefits that come with a knockdown rebuild. With a blank canvas, or in this case, a clear block of land, you are free to design your dream home as well as address the issue of energy efficiency which is more economically achieved with a new house than by attempting to renovate or retro-fit an old weatherboard. With the right team, a knockdown can be a straightforward solution to the limitations of an existing property.

A knockdown rebuild also creates the opportunity to fully maximise the potential of your property with the option of subdividing and the construction of a duplex or dual occupancy. Which leads us onto our next hot topic!

Backyard dual occupancy build sub divide

4. It’s all about perspective

Sometimes it’s worth looking at the ‘everyday’ through a different lens before you can see its full potential. So, in our fourth most popular article, we asked the question: Are you sitting on your own buried treasure? This had readers thinking about the untapped value of their property and whether it was possible to sub divide. To build on your own land may involve a major development such as dual occupancy or a more modest construction such as a granny flat. Either way, having a rent-paying tenant provides a great return on the investment.

As you try and keep the lawn green this summer, maybe ask yourself if you could be making better use of the space to increase your land value. Valley Homes’ team of experts can provide great designs and ensure any development is economical and meets with council regulations. We have a wealth of inspiring and practical ideas if you want to invest in your own backyard!

Finding the right builder bring your own plans

3. Trust: finding the right builder

Asking all the right questions and coming up with an abundance of really great answers, our third most popular article focused on finding the right builder for your house design. While Valley Homes has a diverse range of awesome home plans and pricing, we also have extensive experience working with local architects. So, if you want to find the right builder to work alongside your chosen draftsman or architect to build your dream home, call Valley Homes.

The Valley Series modular flexible home designs

2. Designs to Inspire: The Valley Series

For the house builder seeking inspiration in 2021 they found it in our Valley Series featuring a range of modular floor plans with modern and heritage facades. The beauty of the Valley Series is the option to mix and match facades and rear designs to create a unique home design to suit your lifestyle. Valley Homes appreciate that the cost build a new home needs to match every budget. That’s why our house plans and pricing are the answer for every home builder.

Drum role please for Number 1…

BulBul duplex design Hunter Valley

It’s no surprise that our most popular article of 2021 was ‘Double the Value with a Duplex’. In fact, it’s the third year running that the subject of duplexes has come in at number one. The idea of maximising the potential of a single block of land as well as creating regular income, from an investment property has broad appeal with first time buyers, investor builders, and developers. Duplex builders are also making the most of councils’ enthusiasm for developments that create affordable housing in response to increasing urban density across New South Wales.

This article will take you through the benefits of duplexes as well as a great list to consider before you embark on the build, including the issues of council laws and duplex build costs.

When it comes to finding a great duplex builder, look no further than Valley Homes. Our duplex plans and prices are second to none and our team can take you through every step of the process from the design to council applications.

What’s on your Wish list?

So, raise a glass (or mince pie) to 2021 and celebrate the fact that we made it! Through all the lockdowns and the delays we’ve got every reason to look to 2022 with renewed optimism. Valley Homes will have more inspiration, great design and service in store for the new year – don’t forget to put us on your home and investing wish list and get in touch!

Kitchen design open plan Valley Homes


The kitchen: the heart and hub of your home

For as long as humanity has sought shelter, the kitchen has been the gathering point, the hub and heart of every home.

It’s the space where we are nurtured physically and emotionally. That’s why the best designs focus on making the kitchen not only functional but an inviting place to be.

Get inspired

When it comes to planning your own kitchen start by imagining yourself there. Picture yourself in that space, surrounded by the colours and textures you enjoy. Like the rest of your home, your kitchen is a reflection of you and your family.

Are you really a country kitchen type or are you more suited to modern urban chic? Don’t feel limited to the designs you see in magazines. Combine them with a signature feature such as a marine in-spired splash-back for your beach loving, surf-obsessed family. There’s no reason why you can’t combine the practical with the unique.

Valley Homes custom design kitchen
Acreage build Joseph House Valley Homes kitchen open plan
Valley Homes Acreage design builder Hunter Valley kitchen

Let’s get practical

While it’s great fun to dream about your ideal kitchen, it’s even more important to consider functionality. Here’s a few ideas to help you plan the perfect kitchen for your dream home.

Firstly, consider the golden triangle – that sacred balance of space between the sink, the stove and the fridge. So many miles are walked between these three points and the ideal is to keep them within close proximity to maintain efficient use of the kitchen. You’ll also want to create enough freedom of movement around high traffic areas such as the fridge and the pantry. A good design will avoid your kitchen becoming a congested thoroughfare.

An open plan living area has the kitchen as one of the focal points and it’s common to include a breakfast bar. For smaller homes, some contemporary custom designs actually remove the need for a dining table by extending the bench top into the open space where stools can be placed on both sides of the bench. It’s a little bit different!

Drawers are a must! They have revolutionised the convenience of kitchen storage, think big with soft closing sliders – gone are the days of only using cupboards to stack your crockery and heavy pots. While on the topic of convenience, ensure you plan storage close to your dishwasher so that when unloading, it’s just one easy movement to transfer contents from machine to adjacent drawers.

KISS – Keep it Streamlined and Simple!

If you want to reduce the time spent cleaning your kitchen – and who doesn’t?! – then streamline everything! Select an easy-to-clean induction stove top, integrated appliances and cabinetry without details. Cabinetry with matt finishes also helps reduce obvious fingerprints. Choosing a stainless steel or glass splash back instead of tiles removes the issue of grubby grout. Otherwise, opt for a dark-coloured grout.

Timber bench tops can bring a warmth to your kitchen but keep in mind the ongoing maintenance to prevent water damage. The high functionality of stone and laminate bench tops in a wide variety of colours make them a popular choice.

Lastly, plan for those annoying but everyday realities – where to put the school notices, the box of tissues, the sunscreen, the insect repellent, the medical kit, the water bottles and lunchboxes, the compost bin and the recycling.

Can you allocate specific bench space or a cupboard with extra power points for charging devices? If you consider a place for everything, then everything will have a place – make Marie Kondo proud and prevent your kitchen table or bench from becoming a dumping ground!

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You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties…

There are those for whom the kitchen is their performance space, where they enjoy cooking culinary master-pieces and entertaining friends and family. Their needs can take custom design to another level and might include a butler’s pantry, a designated barista bench, a servery, additional appliances such as a wine storage cabinet or a bar fridge. They’ll want storage for large appliances such as a food processor, a multi-cooker or a bread-maker. There might also be a need for extra cupboard or drawer space for dinnerware including large bowls and platters.

Ready to begin? Call on the experts in kitchens

Yes, there’s a lot to consider! Whether you want to build your own home or renovate, the kitchen is usually the most expensive part of the build so it’s essential to work with a builder that can ensure your design not only meets your needs practically and aesthetically but also budget-wise.

Valley Homes has over 50 years of experience in creating custom designed homes. With our long-term partners and local specialists, Valley Kitchens, we offer our customers the very best the industry has to offer. Valley Kitchens provide exceptional design, manufacture and installation. Their decades of experience shine through in their customer service and attention to detail from the tiling to the fixtures. If you’re in Newcastle or the Hunter Valley, make the most of this great partnership to have your dream kitchen in your dream home built by the experts: call us today.

View some of our best kitchens

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Super Admin

With zoning allowing for more multi-dwelling housing we’ve seen a shift away from the traditional ‘one house per block’ as builders take advantage of opportunities to subdivide blocks into townhouses, duplex and triplex developments, and multiple house projects.

It’s no surprise that regional areas in NSW are experiencing growth with more people being forced out of the Sydney housing market and looking for the ease of living that comes with relocating to regions such as the Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie. Councils are planning for this population growth and their housing strategies are focused on ways to accommodate housing density. Their goal is to have an increase in diverse, affordable and adaptable housing. This is why savvy property developers and investors are looking to these coastal and rural areas for their next property development.

A multi unit property investment is not solely for the professionals.

You might have a generous block of land and fresh ideas to build a multiple house project – and why wouldn’t you? Many property owners are looking at ways of maximising the potential of their land. In many situations it can be more economical to build a dual occupancy or duplex than go through a major renovation. Using existing land for multiple dwellings can provide income and rental returns if done with careful consideration and reliable advice.

If you’ve made the decision to subdivide, build a townhouse, a multi-unit block or anything in the property development realm, you need to understand which  council you’ll be dealing with first to know what is and isn’t possible – and profitable. Doing your research will ensure you get council approval.

Council considerations

Council will consider a number of important factors when determining whether a block of land is suitable for subdivision. Each council has their own list which may include the following:

  • Zoning and land use objectives. For example, City of Newcastle has Renewal corridors in the suburbs of Islington, Mayfield, Hamilton, Broadmeadow and Adamstown. These are zoned for increased diverse, affordable and adaptable housing, so we’re seeing an increase in council approvals for property developments similar to inner-city areas with a mix of terraced, detached and semi-detached houses and low-rise apartment blocks.
  • Lot configuration. Councils need to ensure that the lot is physically capable of development, and will achieve the most effective use of the land. Allotment orientation helps determine solar efficiency, and there is a preference for lots to be oriented to the north to reduce overshadowing. It’s worth knowing that site conditions such as slope can also increase lot sizes and constrain future development.
  • Physical constraints need to be assessed for flooding, sea level rise, bushfires and geotechnical issues. In the Newcastle and The Hunter Valley, in particular, mine subsidence is an area of concern and requires additional approval from Subsidence Advisory NSW. So too, bushfire prone land also requires approval from the NSW Rural Fire Service.
  • Availability of public utilities (water, sewer, electricity, gas, telecommunications and roads)
  • Loss of environmental quality including the removal of vegetation or impact on watercourses.

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So what else does subdivision involve?

The process of subdividing land creates new lots of land or changes the size of the existing allotment. There are different types of subdivision and it’s worth understanding which one is applicable to your property development.

Boundary adjustment is when boundaries are changed between two or more lots of land without creating a new lot.

Torrens Title involves creating new allotments from an existing allotment. The land is divided into single lots which are individually owned by the land owner. Each newly created Torrens title will have separate utilities including water and sewer services.

Strata Title is the most commonly used form of subdivision for residential apartments, dual occupancies, townhouses, and  multi-unit developments. Strata subdivision gives ownership to individual portions of a larger property and a share of common property such as gardens and driveways.

Community Title usually refers to very large estates and involves the subdivision of land so that every lot has a separate title but also shares a common piece of land such as pool, BBQs, driveway and gardens.

Feeling bamboozled? Valley Homes can make the process easier for you

Subdivision can seem like an overwhelming undertaking and that’s why a lot of smart investors and developers take advantage of Valley Homes’ expertise and experience. The Valley Homes management team works with highly experienced support staff and draws on essential relationships with local surveyors, certifiers, town planners and engineers. Valley Homes builds only in the Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie, and we know council regulations inside out! Engaging a well- established, local project builder is a sure way to obtain relevant council approval and guarantee that the subdivision of your property goes smoothly.

Call Valley Homes and let us help you activate your property development.

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A place to expand and breathe

While we’re in a state of seemingly endless lockdowns and uncertainty, now is a great time to dream of an antidote to pandemic living.

And what are we craving? Space: personal space, space to gather with family and friends, space to play. Where better to envisage that space than in country NSW were the sky is huge, the horizon far and the cleansing scent of eucalyptus hangs in the air. Perhaps a tree change has been calling and a complete break from urban living is on your mind. Whether you’re a growing family or retirees, acreage home designs allow you to imagine that rural lifestyle, savouring the fresh country air of regional NSW where there’s room to breathe and enjoy life.

Inspiring new designs

Valley Homes is renowned throughout the Hunter Valley for excellence in acreage designs and their new acreage series is a great reason to get even more excited about visualising your rural dream home. If you’re keen to build a new home but need inspiration, take a look at their four new house plans: Osterley, Windermere, Paterson and Paterson Deluxe. These designs capture the essence of the Australian lifestyle with ample space, indoor-outdoor entertainment, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and double garage. Each has their own unique style so there’s certain to be something for every home builder.


Osterley is a design that promotes peace and calm. The key to this house plan lies in the four bedrooms being located away from the living area thereby creating a sense of retreat. The Main bedroom with ensuite also has a walk-in wardrobe in addition to the built-in. While peaceful retreats are ensured, Osterley still provides ample room to entertain in the large open-planned living area which opens out to the generous alfresco space via stacking slider doors. Osterley is more than just a weekend retreat.


Grand style is what comes to mind with Windermere and you get a sense of it soon as you come in from the portico to the spacious entry where you are greeted by a view of the atrium garden. This garden courtyard can also be enjoyed from the main bedroom as well as the main living area inducing an air of peace and calm. Without a doubt this home speaks effortless style and space.

Indoor and alfresco entertaining is ensured with this design and the connoisseur will love the butler’s pantry off the gourmet kitchen. The separate lounge room located near the main room also serves as a parents’ retreat or a home cinema. Windermere is country living at its most grand.


With its wrap-around verandah, Paterson delivers traditional country style. Relaxing out under the verandah, watching a sunset turn into a star-studded night sky is a country-living perk. Paterson invites you to make the most of it.

There’s no need for anyone in the family to compete for space with Paterson Deluxe; this design meets all the family’s additional needs. As the name suggests, Paterson Deluxe has everything the Paterson offers and more. With a rumpus room for the young ones and separate living area to serve as either a parents’ retreat or the ever popular entertainment space/home cinema this is living-it-large! The spacious garage allows for two cars but also offers a workshop for the tinkerer, mechanic or creative. There’s a home office or study as well. Paterson Deluxe ticks all the boxes.

One particularly delightful feature of the Paterson Deluxe is the window seat in the main bedroom. Imagine watching the sunrise as you sit back enjoying your first cuppa of the day. Close your eyes and picture yourself basking in the winter sun with your favourite book; or watching a storm roll by from that window seat. It’s the perfect place to savour the majesty of your rural surroundings. Time to breath is what we seek and features such as this encourage you to take time out and relax.

Activate your acreage aspirations

The beauty of these Valley Homes designs is that they can be fully customised to suit your needs and desires. If you’d like to take aspect of any of these house plans and add it to another, no problem! As the trusted Hunter Valley builder, Valley Homes has the experience and expertise to work with you to create your ideal acreage home design. We create house plans that take advantage of the specific features of your land as well as the best aspect to increase the energy efficiency of your dream home.

So, cure your lockdown blues with dreams of a post Covid tree-change. While restrictions may still be in place your mind is free to wander, so take a look at our plans, get inspired and get in touch.

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Envision a duplex for your block

When is your block of land like a Tardis? When you build a duplex, of course!

Any die-hard Doctor Who fan should get it, but for those unfamiliar – please hear us out – The Tardis, said to be an acronym of ‘time and relative dimensions in space’, is the name of a time machine which had the exterior of a police telephone box in the British TV science fiction series, ‘Doctor Who’. It was renowned for being so much larger on the inside than it appeared on the outside. So, let’s consider your block of land in the same way: by building a duplex you maximise the potential of that space.

Our duplex plans

Any of our designs can be modified to suit. Contact us to find out more about any of the designs in our duplex range. Pricing for our new duplex designs is available on application. If you already have land please call our sales team to discuss your project.

You may be pleasantly surprised to realise just how much you can fit into your block. What’s more, you’ll be amazed at how much can be included in a duplex design. Valley Homes offer attached dual occupancy designs that are compact, and like the Tardis, they’re incredibly generous inside.

There are a multitude of reasons to consider building a duplex on your block of land. Let’s explore the options presented with duplexes and look at a some inspirational new duplex designs on offer.

Something for everyone

Whether you’re a first time buyer, an investor or you’d like to downsize but don’t want to leave your area, duplexes are definitely worth considering. By creating two properties on the one block of land you’re essentially doubling the equity without doubling the building costs. You’re also creating a number of great choices: rent out both, be a live-in investor or sell both.

With the urbanisation of regional NSW there’s an increasing demand for diverse and affordable homes. We’ve seen this in Newcastle with the Council’s housing strategy highlighting the need for a variety of dwellings to suit the growing number of smaller households. It’s no wonder clever investors are buying up old houses and reimagining the block’s potential as a duplex investment property.

Working with duplex builders like Valley Homes, investors are making the most of great design and prices on offer to create an excellent investment. As a dual income property, the rental income  means the return on investment is assured offsetting the duplex build costs. This is a great place for first-time buyers to start as they benefit from having both a home and creating an investment which pays for itself.

Perfect to sell

Taking on the responsibility of a rental property and dealing with tenants doesn’t appeal to everyone and that’s where duplexes provide great flexibility. These low maintenance, compact homes have broad market appeal and are perfect for first-time buyers, retirees, empty-nesters and families. If designed and presented well, they’re snapped up quickly, once again proving to be a great investment.  Duplex designs such as Valley Homes’ Wirripang have great street appeal with its fresh open facade. Its three bedrooms with generous bathroom and ensuite, as well as a focus on indoor and alfresco entertaining areas make it perfect for any household.

A flexible solution for downsizing

For those people keen to downsize but dread the idea of cramped apartment living, duplexes provide great solutions. Rather than relocating its worth considering the development of your existing block. Doing a knockdown rebuild with an energy efficient, beautifully designed duplex increases the equity of your property and gives you the option of selling and turning a quick profit or renting the second property for the long term rental income. This reassuringly counterbalances the cost to build a duplex.

Retirees who want the space for visiting family will love Valley Homes, Bulbul with three bedrooms, two living areas and alfresco entertaining. It’s such a great design, it equally appeals to first time buyers and families. Packing in all the essentials while creating a great sense of space it’s quite the Tardis. This compact gem has everything.

But I don’t want an identical house next door…

You value having individual style and don’t want you’re neighbours’ house to be a mirror image of yours? Valley Homes provides the perfect solution with their Konara duplex design. Each unit has a unique facade allowing you to present a more personalised look and feel to your own home. The Konara plan includes all the great features of Valley Homes duplex designs and can be modified to suit any particular needs. Konara is particularly ideal for  the live-in investor who wants to differentiate between their own home and their tenant’s.




We’ve got a duplex design for you

Whatever you have in mind, Valley Homes’ has a diverse range of duplex designs that are fully customisable. We’re keen to work with you to create the ideal investment. Explore our range and contact us to find out how we can help you make the most of your block of land. You don’t need to be Doctor Who to realise the potential of your property.


BulBul duplex design Hunter Valley

3 Bed | 2 Bath | 1 Car (each)

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3 Bed | 2 Bath | 1 Car (each)

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3 Bed | 2 Bath | 1 Car (each)

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The Valley Series modular flexible home designs


Introducing the Valley Series – flexible living modular floor plans and façades that employ passive design principles

Recognising the desire for new and innovative designs that allow for every taste, we are very proud to announce the launch of The Valley Series – an exciting new range of exclusive modular floor plans and façades that make it easy for you to build a new home.

The Valley Series showcases a winning formula capturing all the favourite contemporary features in a range of modern and heritage façades.

Choose an exterior that reflects your style

With the Valley Series you choose your exterior from a range of façades. This includes six stylish modern facades with clean lines, skillion roof and a large covered outdoor entertainment area for alfresco dining.

As a contrast, the five pitched roof front and rear facades offer an alternative for the home builder seeking something more traditional such as the Hamptons look. The Hamptons district of Long Island in the US is a popular destination for wealthy New Yorkers, and the source of inspiration for this popular style. Hamptons is all about indoor-outdoor living with large windows showering the home in light. To capture the classic Hamptons style choose a front and rear façade with a pitched roof veranda and weatherboard effect. Paint the fascia and timber posts white to complete the look. It’s a timeless style that comes across as effortless and calming.

If you’re a house builder based in the heritage surrounds of Maitland or the Hunter Valley the pitched roof can also suits a heritage themed home. Of course, not every regional home wants to go colonial and so the modern design with a skillion roof is a great alternative.

Mix and match

You’d like a heritage front with a contemporary rear façade? No problem! It’s possible to combine the best of both designs with Valley Homes new Valley Series range. With many Newcastle suburbs undergoing character studies, there’s a greater demand for designs to be more in keeping with the predominant architectural style. The beauty of the Valley Series modular design means you can select a traditional front façade, a floor plan that suits your family and team it with one of our more contemporary alfresco designs.

It’s about what works for you

The Valley Series makes it easy to create a unique home design to match your lifestyle. By selecting your chosen floorplan with any of our front and rear façade options you can have a stunning, architecturally inspired home at an affordable price.

Facade options

Rear options

Plan options

The Classic

The original floorplan in this modular series, The Classic provides all the essentials. As the name suggests – its a classic! At just under 270m2 this four bedroom home offers architectural passive design principles.

The Entertainer

Perhaps you and your family are big screen fans? The Entertainer is a design that offers everything you could want including a separate media room opening out to a private courtyard, a spacious open plan kitchen, dining and living area that spills out to an outdoor entertaining space with custom outdoor kitchen.

The Connoisseur

Fancy yourself as the next Masterchef? The Connoisseur is perfect for you! It’s the kitchen lover’s delight in this modular series. This design offers a large kitchen servery, an abundance of bench space and custom cabinetry to suit your culinary needs.  The design also includes the courtyard module as an extension to the separate living room – offering a second outdoor entertaining space to share your culinary creations.

The Sanctuary

If a parents’ retreat is a top priority in your new home then look no further than The Sanctuary. This design is the luxury lover’s choice within this modular series.  Like the Connoisseur, this design offers a large kitchen servery and an abundance of bench space plus a private courtyard off the master suite.  A sophisticated layout that offers you a place to relax and unwind.

The Executive

When working from home has become the norm, The Executive design offers a home office with private courtyard, contributing to a better work/life balance.

The Compact

The baby in this modular series and a great fit for first home buyers or investors. At just over 250m2 The Compact four bedroom home offers architectural passive design principles on a reduced scale to work on small blocks.

Quality and Affordable Innovation for all

Great design is a priority for Valley Homes but we appreciate that the cost to build a new home should be at a price that meets every budget. That’s why all our house plans and pricing have great appeal.

While the new Valley Series brings added flexibility to design, there’s no compromise on quality. After 50 years in the business, Valley Homes still promises excellent service and craftsmanship with every build. Speak with us about our house plans and pricing and let us help build a new home unique to you!

Pricing for our new designs is available on application.
If you already have land please call our sales team on 02 4044 1765 to discuss your project.

50 year anniversary Valley Homes


When it comes to quality housing Valley Homes is the respected name across Newcastle and the Hunter and we couldn’t be prouder of our reputation.

In celebrating our 50th anniversary we’d like to reflect on the Company’s evolution, and its contribution to development across NSW, specifically in the Hunter region – and look ahead to what’s next. Read on and celebrate with us!

Rewind to 1971…

Reliability and efficiency in construction was always a constant focus for Arne Baumann and Lindsay Hardy since they first started Mambare Pty Limited in 1971 and began constructing service stations for most of the major oil companies. During the period 1971 to 1982, the company carried out construction throughout New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland for clients including, Mobil Oil Australia Ltd, Shell company of Australia Ltd, Ampol Ltd, Esso Australia Ltd, Total Australia Ltd, Grace Brothers and Elcom (NSW).

As the Company’s reputation grew, so did the range of varied and far-reaching projects. The Company commissioned some forty-five service stations and seven truck stops as well as major renovations for the GUOOF Building in Castlereagh Street, SYDNEY, renovation of the Roselands Shopping centre and the construction of the Inverell Sub-station.

Mambare operated exclusively from its Sydney office until 1982 when Craig Baumann expanded its activities and established a residential arm of the company, Valley Homes in Maitland, Hunter Valley.

Valley Homes archive image

Expanding into the residential market 

It was in February 1982 that the Company established a construction office and display village at Raymond Terrace and Maitland in the Hunter Valley. Things got exciting when the company created, in conjunction with a large financier, a house and land package scheme that could be afforded by the first home buyer. The scheme was launched with Citicorp Australia Limited and led to the sale and construction of some 300 houses between 1982 and 1984. In the initial stages, the scheme was presented to the Minister for Housing, Hon C. Hurford and was supported by the Federal Minister for Housing Alan Morris and Federal & State member Arthur Wade.

In addition to constructing houses for all segments of the residential market the Company has been successful in tendering for contracts for Commonwealth and State Authorities. Some of these contracts include, twenty-four houses for the Commonwealth Department of Administrative Services in 1984, twenty houses for the Commonwealth Department of Housing in 1984 and since 1985 the Company has completed around 300 houses and units for the NSW Department of Housing.

Valley Homes has operated out of its premises in High Street, Maitland since 1986 and recently completed its fourth year with Defence Housing Australia, handing over its 178th house in September 2019.

Valley Homes Duplex builder house design Newcastle

We’re big believers in all things local

Valley Homes has built strong industry relationships with local trades and suppliers. We appreciate the benefits of working regionally and supporting the local economy. Of course, the added bonus for our customers is reduced costings as well as the ease of access to local showrooms where our local partners offer quality products and impeccable service. We're also proud of what we've been able to give back to the local community through sponsorships and charity donations. In the mid 90's we donated 5 houses to the NBN Telethon Art Union to give back to the community that supported us.


In an industry where companies come and go, we know trust is the cornerstone of a successful relationship between client and builder. In fact, it’s one of the biggest hurdles a builder faces when first liaising with a potential client. Having established a strong reputation as a family owned, local building company, still prospering after 50 years, Valley Homes has the edge over a national company entering a new market like the Hunter with little knowledge of the area. We’re proud to have made a commitment to the Hunter region and garnered the trust of its communities.

Offering something for everyone

In recent years the Company has constructed hundreds of residential homes, duplexes and multi-unit developments in the Maitland, Newcastle and Port Stephens areas. One of the secrets to our success is being able to offer a wide range of products to meet all our customers’ needs. Whether it’s a dream home or investment property our specialised design services offer unbeatable value for money. The Valley Homes team are also happy to work with customers’ own architectural designs and collaborate to get approvals and quality construction underway. Whatever you choose, you’re in expert hands throughout the entire building process.

Growing our passion: Tallowood Medowie

Valley Homes is also proud to be the exclusive builder of Tallowood Medowie, a resort styled multi-unit dwelling for the over 50s. Conveniently located in Port Stephens. Each home is architecturally designed, energy efficient, and features open-planned living making Tallowood Medowie is the perfect place to downsize and start living!

Meeting the needs of the market…

We now focus our business on houses, dual occupancy and multi unit developments.

Valley Homes has cemented its reputation as a company that can meet the needs of all customers, from the developer to the first-time buyer wanting to build a new home.

With the increasing population growth in Newcastle and the Hunter, we know there’s a demand for more diverse dwellings, infill housing, and designs that maximise the full potential of each block of land. That’s where our investor builder options, sold at competitive prices with no hidden expenses, have great appeal, as do our fully customisable duplex and dual occupancy designs.

So what will the next 50 years bring?

Valley Homes will continue doing what we do best: offering a range of dynamic house designs, unit developments and building solutions to suit every need and budget.

We’re passionate about making your building dreams a reality so contact us to find out how you can become part of our success story.


Digger demolishing a house knockdown rebuild Valley Homes


For many homeowners the concept of a ‘knockdown rebuild’ sounds like an extreme measure conjuring up images of wrecking balls, piles of rubble, chaos and destruction.

To demolish your existing house can seem like a radical option but the reality is that with the right team a knockdown can be a straightforward solution to the limitations of an existing property.

The benefits of starting with a clean slate

Knockdown rebuild original valley homes maitland newcastle hunter

With a blank canvas, or in this case, a clear block of land, you are free to design your dream home. What’s more, it will be the ideal house for the shape and size of your block of land in a location you already love.

Let’s face it, for so many homeowners they bought the type of house they could afford at the time which meant they would need to renovate at some point in the future. After some basic renovations there may still have been the constant frustration about the aspect of the house. “If only it had been designed to make better use of the northern light; it gets so cold in Winter!” Or perhaps the house was positioned in such a way that it didn’t make best use of the view.

Perhaps you bought that little weatherboard house in that quirky suburb and you were glad you did because house prices are soaring in the Newcastle region.

First-time buyers usually step onto the property ladder buying in an area they can afford. As it turns out so many old, inner city suburbs in Newcastle have become boutique suburbs and the land value has appreciated exponentially. With the scarcity of land in sought after suburbs it makes sense to capitalise on it. Let’s explore some of the options to consider…

Knockdown and rebuild your home

Valley Homes Knockdown Rebuild Slab

If we’re brutally honest, that cute weatherboard is not energy efficient and the wall with the defunct fireplace and chimney blocks out the northern light; the toilet is at the back of the house miles away from the bedrooms; the kitchen and bathroom haven’t been upgraded since the 1970s and need a complete overhaul. These are very common and costly problems, and to maintain the cute weatherboard you need to be prepared to dedicate a lot of TLC and money.

It’s no surprise that many homeowners are interested in the alternative of a knockdown rebuild.  The cost to knockdown and rebuild a home are less than the combined costs to renovate and the following years of endless maintenance. There is also the cost-saving on bills that comes with having an energy efficient home. By contracting a local builder who can take care of every aspect of the project from demolition to construction, the overall costs of doing a knockdown rebuild can also be greatly reduced.

Twice as nice!

In choosing to do a knockdown rebuild, some homeowners take advantage of the size of their block by building a dual occupancy. This is a great way to further invest in your property and increase its value. With the urbanisation of Newcastle and the need for more diverse and affordable dwellings, its a great time to capitalise on your existing block of land. What’s more, you’ll skip the stamp duty you’d otherwise have to fork out when buying a new block of land.

Current estimations predict the population in the City of Newcastle is set to grow by 41,000 between 2016 and 2041 and that there will be an increased demand for smaller dwellings to suit one and two person households. That’s where you can make the most of what your current block of land can offer.

Valley homes, Maitland, Builder, Hunter valley, knockdown, home, development, property, investment, land, package

The option is there for you to sell or rent out one or both of the new properties or be a live-in investor. Duplex homes appeal to every sector across the market from first-homebuyers and small families to empty-nesters and retirees. It’s an investment to secure strong returns while being relatively low-risk. So, start imagining what you can create on your block of land with a knockdown rebuild.

It’s all possible with the right help

Whether you’d like to demolish your existing house and rebuild a luxury home or an investment property, Valley Homes construction and custom design service can meet your needs. Whatever your budget, the Valley Homes team have a knockdown rebuild solution to suit your property requirements and your vision. They have the local knowledge and expertise to ensure your project is stress-free because they take care of everything from council approvals, demolition, designs, project management and construction. Valley Homes knockdown rebuild projects are also backed by their fixed price and turn-key assurance. It comes complete with a new home warranty – without having to pay stamp duty – how good is that?!

Contact Valley Homes to find out how they can help you make the most of your property.


Backyard dual occupancy build sub divide


Take a look at your property through a different lens and ask yourself a few questions:

> How much land do we have and is it large enough to develop?
> Do I want to maintain the garden at the size it is?
> What’s the potential untapped value of my property?

At different stages of homeownership its can be a valuable exercise to appraise your most prized asset and explore whether there’s an opportunity to invest in your own backyard.

Let’s take a look at a few scenarios…

Lena and Stefan have lived in their old weatherboard since they migrated in the early 80’s. Now that their children have grown and had families of their own, the upkeep of the house and garden is getting to be a challenge. Lena and Stefan really don’t want to leave their neighbourhood so their family have suggested a dual occupancy as a solution. By sub-dividing the land they can rebuild an energy efficient home for themselves and utilise the excess space in the yard to build a secondary dwelling to provide either an income or a home for someone in the family. Most importantly they can stay living in their suburb surrounded by their friends.

Valley Homes Maitland Dual-Occupancy Investment Property Real Estate Before image

Ruth has four teenagers and is finding the house very cramped. Their block is large and she knows she could be making better use of it. In looking for a smart investment solution, she’s thinking about building a granny flat to create the perfect teen-space, and she’s also keen on a development that would allow her to later rent it out to a tenant.

Hayley and Arjun are really excited to build their first home but they’re wondering if they should sub divide their block to live in one property and rent out the other. They like the idea that this is a low-risk investment which will increase the land value at the same time.

Changing our perspectives

The old Australian dream of building a brick veneer house in the middle of a quarter acre block is fast becoming an outdated concept for number of reasons. Primarily, population growth means our suburbs are changing and councils across NSW are planning for increased housing density. Diverse housing options are what’s required so people can live in the same area across different life stages. Many older people for example would prefer to ‘age in place’ as opposed to downsizing into smaller dwellings or dedicated seniors housing, while first time buyers need more affordable options.

Dual occupancy builders Hunter Valley

Based on the projected population growth and the changing nature of household composition Newcastle Council estimates that there will be a demand for 19,450 new dwellings by 2041. The population is not only growing, it’s changing. City of Newcastle's Housing Strategy  has identified that there will be more people either living alone or with their partner so the demand for one and two bedroom dwellings is increasing. With a greater focus on the development of infill housing, councils across NSW are making it easier for people to realise the full potential of their block of land with fast tracked approvals for dual occupancies.

The Low Rise Housing Diversity Code shines a spotlight on housing alternatives to the usual options of either the freestanding house or an apartment:

It helps housing affordability by providing smaller homes on smaller lots that still provide all the amenities of a single dwelling and can accommodate a wide variety of lifestyles and needs, including growing families or empty nesters.

Dual occupancy, build, construction, develop, subdivide

What does this mean for you?

Perhaps you’ve realised the family home is now just too big or maybe you’re planning on a rebuild and thinking how best to use the land. Dual occupancy is a great option for both now and the future by providing a home and an income from the rent of the secondary property.

For the investor, now is a great time to be building affordable homes that fulfil the needs of the market. Research into housing preferences of Australians by both the Grattan Institute (2011) and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (2019), reveals that households generally prefer to live in detached homes with backyards but affordability is the issue. So the construction of a dual occupancy is a relatively low risk development that provides affordable housing for both tenants and home owners.

If you want to build on your land, whether you have a vacant block or an existing property in need of an upgrade, the Valley Homes team has the knowledge and experience to help you to create a dual occupancy solution to truly maximise the untapped value of your land.  We can guide you through every step of the process from the demolition of the existing home, surveying, subdividing and liaising with council, all the way through to the design and construction.

Realise the true value of your property and let Valley Homes help you access your hidden treasure. Contact us today to find out more.

Finding the right builder bring your own plans


There are plenty of reasons why you might choose to work with an architect or draftsman before you approach a builder or building company.

Your block of land might be a tricky shape or perhaps it presents a particular challenge when it comes to affording the best aspect or view. Maybe you’d like a design that incorporates unconventional materials or the architecture of a particular era. Perhaps you have an existing relationship with an architect or draftsman who knows your style and can translate your ideas into a design specifically for you. It’s crucial that you start your building project with a house design that satisfies all the basic requirements and includes all the unique features and details that will result in your dream home.

What's next after your plans are done

You’ve worked closely with your architect to design your dream home. It looks perfect on the plan but your architect isn’t a builder and you have a wealth of questions starting with: who’s going to bring this house design to life? Will they respect your architect’s ideas and work with them closely to make your dream a reality? How much does it cost to build a new house?

The benefits of a local builder

In the quest to find a builder, keep in mind the multitude of advantages that come with employing a local builder. Working with a Maitland builder, for example, reduces travel related risks such as annoying late starts. They’re also likely to work with local services and suppliers which increases reliability and reduces the costs associated with transporting materials. Local suppliers have a reputation to uphold within their community and know word of mouth recommendations are the best type of advertising. That means your happiness is their business. You’ll also have added peace of mind that you’re supporting the local economy as well as doing your bit to reduce your project’s carbon footprint.

Who can I rely on?

For 50 years, across Newcastle, Maitland, The Hunter Valley and Port Stephens, award winning builder, Valley Homes has built thousands of dream homes. We have extensive experience working with local architects and appreciate the importance of maintaining good relationships with the owners and architect throughout the building process.

architectural custom design home build valley newcastleArchitectural home design build custom

CASE STUDY: Driffield House 

Valley Homes worked in conjunction with local architect, Mark Lawler, on the fabulous dream home, Driffield House. In talking about this team effort, Lawler reflected on the ways in which they collaborated to adapt and adjust some details and selections and utilise Valley Homes’ preferred methods. This resulted in a reduction of costs and a delighted customer.

Valley Homes demands a high level of detail in all house designs, whether provided by an architect or from our in-house teams. Therefore, the costs outlined for construction in all our tenders to clients are incredibly reliable with very minimal chances of unpleasant surprises or variations occurring during the build.

What’s more, Valley Homes supports the region’s economy by working local, with locals.  By making the most of local suppliers, we increase the certainty of your project running on time and to budget. Our clients enjoy the ease of stepping into local showrooms to select everything from bathroom or patio tiles to kitchen cabinets. Having access to great customer service and expert knowledge makes the decision making process so much easier. What’s more, customers can collect product samples, receive firsthand insights into our partners wide selection of products and find out about what extras or upgrades are on offer.

What do our customers say?

We’re happy to share the word of satisfied customers who’ve experienced the quality of our work. Reassurance is a big theme. Valley Homes takes all the pressure off the customer. We liaise with Council, manage all paperwork and applications, coordinate all trade contractors and everything else in the tender, from driveways, to the lawns and washing line. With access to their own site supervisor, our customers feel supported through every step of the journey.

Read the testimonials to find out what sets Valley Homes apart from other builders. When you’re ready for us to build house plans that your architect has drawn up, give us a call.

Making the dream a reality

So let’s be clear, without a builder, your architectural designs are only drawings. A builder is essential to the process of turning those drawings into a real building. Valley Homes won’t just create a building, they’ll build your dream. Whether it is a stand-alone luxury home, a modern townhouse, a row of terraces, or even a much larger multi-unit development, you can be assured your project will be in expert hands throughout the entire building process.

Valley Homes offer competitive prices on home plans and pricing with no hidden costs so you know you’re in safe hands. Contact us to find out more about how we can bring your plans to life.


Valley Homes 2 storey duplex Newcastle builder


As a starting point you might want to know what exactly is a duplex. It might seem obvious but a duplex is a type of dual occupancy development - basically two homes built on the same block of land that share a central wall.

Duplexes are sometimes on one title, meaning both halves must be sold together (ie dual key), or if a duplex is subdivided into two separate titles – either Strata or Torrens, each home can be sold separately.

If there was ever a great time to be looking to build a duplex it’s now and here’s why:

Also known as attached dual occupancy each residence is a completely separate home, with its own entrance, parking and yard. There’s an increasing demand for affordable housing across New South Wales and most especially in fast-growing regional areas such as Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

Valley Homes builder newcastle hunter maitland duplexThe latest Department of Planning population projections show an additional 131,500 people living in the Hunter region by 2041.The Newcastle Local Housing Strategy also projects the population in the City of Newcastle to increase by around 41,000 people between 2016 and 2041, so they’re anticipating a demand for 19,450 new dwellings by 2041. With these sorts of increases, not everybody can expect to be living in a freestanding house on their own block of land.

In Newcastle, household sizes are expected to shrink over time as more people live alone or as a couple without children. Diversity is the key and that’s where the duplex builder slots right in!

Is a duplex a good investment?

Duplexes exist because they have such a great potential to make money. The cost to build a duplex is usually cheaper than building two houses, the build duration is less and because both dwellings are on the same block, the land costs less than two separate lots.

A duplex can be double or single story and there are a great variety of duplex designs to include any number of rooms. By researching the suburb in which you plan to build your investment property, you can determine whether the demand is for family homes, or smaller dwellings and build to meet that need. Duplexes have broad appeal being suitable for families, first time buyers with modest budgets or retirees looking for a low maintenance home.

Valley Homes duplex Wadalba builder

Building a duplex creates equity and at the same time renting out either or both the properties gives you an ongoing high-interest return. A lot of duplex builders choose to live in one property and rent the other out thus benefitting from a regular income. 

Whether you’re a developer or investor builder, the Hunter Valley is a great place to consider an investment property. According to the most recent report from NSW Government’s Annual Population Insights (Dec 2020) housing prices in regional NSW have risen by 3% since April 2020, outperforming those in Greater Sydney. There’s also a demand for more rental properties as increasing numbers of Sydney-siders, working from home due to the pandemic, are relocating to enjoy the benefits of regional living.

Two sides to every story

If building and investing in duplexes was simple then everyone would build them but there are numerous factors to consider regarding duplex build costs and regulations.

A duplex requires a large block of land. Blocks with existing approval can minimise the hassle, but generally cost more than a comparable site. If you decide to ‘knock down and rebuild’ on an existing property remember to add demolition fees to your budget.

Valley Homes Duplex builder house design NewcastleBecause you’re essentially building two houses the initial outlay is large. Some financial advisers suggest at least 20% deposit is necessary to build a duplex—a lower deposit would create a higher risk. It’s essential to develop a thorough financial strategy before building any investment property.

Everybody needs good neighbours…

If you decide to live in one unit your biggest concern will be your neighbours because you’re sharing a wall with them.   This is fine if they’re the quiet retiring types but you really don’t have much control over how noisy they’ll be. If you’re renting out the other duplex ask yourself if you’ll feel comfortable being in such close proximity to your tenants?

Location, location!

Be aware that all local councils have different zoning rules so it’s worth doing some research on local Council laws. The Low Rise Housing Diversity Design Guide provides specifics on duplex designs and regulations. Or you may call the town planner at Council and ask for the zoning and if dual occupancies are permissible on your land.

We can make it easier

If you’re looking to invest in either the Hunter Valley or Newcastle, Valley Homes can provide a range of duplex plans and prices to match your budget and your block of land. The Valley Homes team even liaise with Council, manage all paperwork and applications including your Strata or Torrens title subdivision, coordinate all trade contractors and everything else in the tender to take the stress away for you and reduce the duplex build cost.

Take a look at our diverse range of fully customisable plans and get in touch to see how we can help you realise your ideal investment property.

Valley Homes interior open plan living kitchen


2021 is the fresh start we’ve all been waiting for and after a year of ‘being on hold’ we’re ready to fulfil some bold resolutions! Whether your plan is to build a new home or an investment property here are some of our suggestions for activating those goals and dreams.

Define your big goals for the year

Goal setting creates clarity in your life so, start by asking yourself a few key questions: What do I want to achieve this year? What really excites me? Where do I see myself living? What financial goals do I want to set for myself?

For so many people, 2020 blurred the line between work and home. On top of that, the economic pressures of the pandemic have increased the desire for greater financial security. It’s no surprise that answers are being found in property. With the Government’s Home Builder grants, many are choosing to renovate their current home to increase its value. Your goal however, might be to build an investment property as part of your superannuation plan.

Or perhaps building a duplex on an existing property might have greater appeal as it could potentially double the equity without doubling the investment cost. With the options of selling or renting out one or both properties you’re assured of strong returns with relatively low risk. Exciting options!

Ensure your reality matches your dream.

It’s essential to set out exactly what the costs will entail and be sure you can budget for it.

A budget spreadsheet is a great tool for this. It’ll help you determine how much income you have, how your money is spent, whether the money is there for a big project or whether a loan needs to be arranged.

Whatever your project, it’s essential to calculate the costs and be sure you can budget for it.

Valley Homes can help fit your new home designs to your budget.

Now for the fun part!

At this time of year, designers from across the world are sharing their ideas to help set the trends for 2021. So make yourself a cuppa and start browsing magazines and websites for all those images that make your heart sing; the ones that evoke an “Ooh yes! I want that in my home!” response. But be sure to capture all those inspirations. There’s nothing worse than forgetting where you saw that perfect paint colour or kitchen layout. That’s where a scrap book or vision board is a great tool. Pinning images, words and catch phrases onto your vision board helps you clarify and maintain focus on what truly matters to you. In this case, your dream home!

Use all of your senses

Apply a multi-sensory approach to creating your dream home. Think textures - carpets underfoot, the cool of polished concrete or underfloor heating; the comfort of soft furnishings and fabrics.

Imagine the smells you want in your home - oiled timbers, fragrant courtyards, or perhaps a ‘living wall’ in your kitchen with the scent of fresh herbs.

Consider the acoustics of your new home. Large rooms and high ceiling can create echoey acoustics. Add kids and animals to the picture and you’ll want to find ways to reduce noise. An experienced house designer will help you achieve the right result.

Go digital

Of course, if this all reminds you too much of school craft projects, there are online websites such as Pinterest and Canva, one-stop spots to organize all the images you find appealing.

Downloading an app onto your phone allows you the opportunity to capture ideas while you’re out and on the go. Snap those pics and upload them straight into your app. Once your focus is on your new home design, you’ll find inspiration wherever you look.

Your vision board, whether physical or virtual will be unique to you. Be sure to include an image of yourself in amongst all those colour swatches. It’s all too easy to get swept up by the latest trends only to realise ‘boho’ or ‘coastal’ is not really your style. Strong themes and colour schemes will become more apparent as you select your sources of inspiration.

When you look at your vision board, it should evoke a real sense of delight as if you were in your home.The more detailed your vision board the easier it will to make decisions when you start building your home.

Build with the best team

From Newcastle to Port Stephens and across the Hunter Valley, Valley Homes will be working with home builders and investors to realize their 2021 vision.

Whatever your location or plan, we have the team, designs and experience to make your resolutions a reality in the New Year. Get in touch, we'd love to help you with your 2021 property goals!