Knowing the questions to ask when choosing your home
Having project managed the construction of hundreds of new homes and investment properties for our clients, over the last decade, we have seen a trend in the types of questions our clients ask regularly.
Perhaps you’ve asked yourself some of the same questions. If not, they should certainly be sparking some thoughts that you should be having when engaging a team to build your own home.
Building a new home or investment property is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make, so it’s very important that you ensure that the builder you’re wanting to sign a contract with, ticks several boxes.
Firstly, you must ensure that they have the relevant builder’s licence. Without this, they are not able to hold the correct insurances and your money and rights may not be protected.
Secondly, the terms of their build contract need to be considered. These days, there are all sorts of special conditions that are added as an annexure to the standard contract. These may include clauses relating to construction delays due to Covid and extensions of time as a result. Also very common, are clauses relating to the fixed price term of the contract. Fixed price does not necessarily mean fixed price indefinitely, with most builders opting to reserve the right to increase prices if construction commencement is delayed for any reason outside of their control and increases in trade and supply occur.
Thirdly, it’s important to know what their build timeframes are like – How long is it taking them to get from contract signed, to obtaining building approval and starting on site? How many days do they allow themselves in their build contract?
These are just a few of the MANY questions that the Strike Property team have the answers to BEFORE we consider working with any builder. We do all the due diligence on any builder who wants to work with us.
Believe it or not, most clients we have get truly overwhelmed by all the options that are at their disposal when building a home. After all, just how many shades of white paint can there possibly be!?
To help out, our builders have colour consultants who have developed a range of internal and external colour schemes for clients to choose from. Often, you will have a choice of both internal and external colours, however there are some instances where the builder will choose the external but allow you to choose from the options available for your internals. The main reason you sometimes won’t have a choice when it comes to external, is there will be design guidelines (covenants) as well as street scape requirements that need to be met.
The schemes are generally fairly neutral, so they will suit the décor of any tenant or owner living there – This is important for the rentability and also resale down the track if that’s what you choose to do.
The builders that Strike Property work with provide full turnkey packages, which means the day the house is handed over, it’s ready to have the owner or tenants move in and call the house their home.
You may notice in the market that there are ads on realestate.com and other sites, advertising properties in the same location or estate as what’s been offered to you, that are much cheaper. This is because builders in the retail space provide a base price, then you have to add window coverings, letter box, clothesline, fencing, gardens and turf… you get the picture.
This type of marketing makes it very difficult for the consumer, as you can never be sure you’re comparing ‘apples with apples’. For you as a buyer, the word ‘allowance’ should be a flag that a package isn’t truly turnkey, as there could be extra costs coming your way in the future!
When you are purchasing land through an estate agent, you will often find that the blocks being offered for sale at the land sales office are different to those for sale directly with builders. This is because some builders acquire exclusive rights to sell the land… with one of their houses on it.
For Strike Property clients, we make sure that you can get the best of both worlds – accessing the blocks available directly with from a builder & also helping you source a block directly with the developer. When a block is gained directly with a developer, we can provide a panel of builders and their designs to meet your brief. If you source a block of land directly through a builder, usually it means that you will need to work with their standard designs and inclusions.
Every contract must have an end date. Construction contracts are no different and will include a build period, which allows us to calculate the end date as soon as we have a start of construction or commencement date.
IF the builder does not issue extension of time notifications to you within the required timeframe and your build does not reach practical completion by the contract end date, you may be able to claim liquidated damages (LDs). The standard is $50 per day, which should help cover the holding costs associated with building a new property.
The process of building a home can be a daunting one, particularly if it is your first time. Knowing the industry standards, the processes that you need to follow and the different processes that builders use to lure you in can set you up for success but at the end of the day there is no replacement for experience.
Given this is such a huge decision (financially and emotionally) your time is often best spent finding a team that is going to work with you to achieve your goals. A great team will have the right builders, right mortgage brokers, right conveyancers and supporting agencies to make sure your new home is everything that you dream about.
For more information you can visit: www.strikeproperty.com.au