Choosing your home is an exciting process, but make sure you are wary of any possible hidden costs mounting up. Picking an honest and upfront builder that will give you all the information you need from the beginning is key to keeping on top of your finances. The question you should ask before getting started – what’s standard and what are optional extras…
Inclusions are specific items or services that builders will include as standard – this will be within the price quoted. Inclusions vary from builder to builder, so make sure you get a specific list in writing – many developers include a list on their website, or you can request a list online. The last thing you want is to spend your entire budget to realise that the walls won’t be painted, floors bare and no additional extras have been included. You want to be able to enjoy your home and move in as soon as possible!
Choosing your builder
Not only does your builder need to be experienced, but they also need to start with the facts – when it comes to added costs or inclusions, it is best to find these out first. Many builders allow you to upgrade packages for a small cost if they don’t cover everything on your list. And remember, builders usually form partnerships with suppliers allowing them to purchase products in bulk, for less. Working with your builder to tick all your boxes is usually your best bet. Builders tend to combine everything into a handy package, and they will have negotiated prices with suppliers to offer you the best possible deal. This also means no shopping around, saving you time as well as money. Picking something straight off the plan might mean that your builder doesn’t specifically cater to your climate.
Why some and not others?
Builders tend to focus their inclusions on their target demographic, this could include an upgrade package costing the same value as the First Home Owners Grant, or with a strong family focus. So just bear this in mind when making your choice.
What you’re looking for
Ideally, as a buyer you want the builder with the most inclusions or that’s the most upfront about total price. If the total price is lower, then definitely consider this option, although having a home that is all ready to move into come handover, and letting your builder do all the hard work is more likely to save you in the long run.
Put together a list of must-haves and a wish list. Don’t get these two things confused. Prioritise features that cost less over the home’s life cycle, these will help in the long-run. For example, solar-panels, or reverse cycle air-conditioning.
Thinking of the future
Your opinions usually come from past experience. Although it is ok to think about other properties you have lived in, also make sure you align with your future goals too. Think of the future and what you and your family want from the home long-term. Certain things might not seem important right now, but might be far more cost effective to add to the build than later down the line.
Summer nights out on the alfresco
An alfresco might be your major focus, but outdoor elements are often not included in your build. Have a chat with your builder to see which elements they can add on, or whether it is better value to outsource your outdoor spaces.
Ready to sign on the dotted line?
Make sure you receive a full list of inclusions in writing before signing. The documentation when it comes to building a home is legally binding and will define the obligations of both parties. There is no harm in asking later, but it will depend what the change is whether your builder will be able to accommodate. Therefore it is important to know exactly what you are getting.
So remember to be wary – once you have signed, not only can it be harder to get any changes made, but it is often too late to make any deals. Any additions after this point will usually come at a higher price. Don’t forget to budget in additional costs for things such as landscaping, footpaths, fencing, sometimes air-conditioning and window furnishing if they are not included.
Relax knowing you’re in safe hands
Quality in every room – at Design Master Homes we provide the highest level of quality, inside and out. Each home we design and build is finished with the finesse you expect from some of the world’s best brands.
If you want a home that’s ready to move into – save yourself the hassle, while saving money in the long-run… Know exactly what you’re getting for your money and stick to your budget by going with a home builder that packs all your necessities and wishes into one neat package.