Perth Now: Mirvac launch Affordability Experiment with Bennett Springs home

For many people it is not just the price of a home that is a financial challenge, but the cost of living in it as well, particularly with rising power and water bills.

Mirvac’s Affordability Experiment aims to address these issues, building an affordable and sustainable home in its Iluma Private Estate, Bennett Springs.

The company is inviting family to live in it for a year while having their utility consumption, spending and saving patterns as well as lifestyle impacts monitored to help gain an understanding of the cost savings that could be achieved through living in an efficient home.

Jackson and Lisa Purcell were selected to take part and move into the two-storey residence opposite Pegasus Park today with their children Monroe and Christian.

They have been living in a similar-sized home on a big block with a pool in Warwick and Jackson said they were looking forward to seeing how much their lives changed with the savings and were excited to see how much of an impact they could make.

“I absolutely hated the cost of (the Warwick home) and the time it took as well,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time with the family instead of having to maintain the block and house.”

In a similar approach to its Rent to Buy initiative, Mirvac will work with the family to set financial goals and devise a savings plan during the 12-month period — the ‘rent’ they pay will be saved and refunded for use as a deposit on the home should they choose to purchase it at the end of the experiment.

Designed and built by Terrace, the two-storey home has solar panels and batteries, home automation, rainwater tank, water-efficient garden and energy and water efficient appliances, giving it a Nathers rating 9.1 stars, which general manager Paul Spadanuda said was unheard of in WA.

These changes only had a low impact on the price, with the initial cost of the house-and-land-package rising from $367,000 to $415,000.

“Our job here was to design and construct a home that was thermally efficient, would guarantee affordability, not just in the purchase price, but in the ongoing running costs of the home,” he said.

“This design can easily be replicated for future projects without costing an arm and a leg and making use of technology that is already available at an affordable price.”

Mirvac Affordability Experiment

Mirvac’s General Manager Residential WA, Paige Walker, said the Affordability Experiment and the Purcells would play a key role in the future delivery of net zero housing design concepts that had additional cost-efficiencies and livability measures ingrained in the final product.

“The experiment aims to showcase that medium density; high-quality terrace housing is a viable alternative that can deliver genuine lifestyle and financial benefits for purchasers across WA,” she said.

The experiment is a partnership between Mirvac, Terrace, Synergy and Keystart.

Over the next 12 months the areas of energy, water, landscaping, technology, automation and finances will be monitored, with the findings forming part of the development plans of future large-scale, energy and cost-efficient precincts.

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