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5 things to look for when choosing a builder

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Our top tips can help you get the straight scoop on how to choose the best builder out there!

First home buyer’s assistance programs are opening up the real estate market to new, qualified buyers looking to settle into their dream home. You can take advantage of low deposit house and land packages that make it possible to build a brand new first home that meets your exacting standards.

It’s an exciting opportunity, but before you pick your layout and perfect your colour scheme, you need to choose the right builder. The following tips can help you find a builder that will ensure your building experience goes according to plan.

1. Credentials and reputation

When narrowing down your list of potential builders, start off by looking up their credentials and experience. Check out resources such as the Department of Fair Trading to confirm your candidates are properly licenced and qualified. Never consider an unlicensed, uninsured builder.

Look into their history, previous projects and designs to make sure their aesthetic suits your style. It’s worth asking if you can walk through some display homes to see their work first hand. Testimonials and reviews from previous clients can also be helpful. You’re looking for a builder who is dedicated to the market they work in, and someone who maintains a great reputation through quality work. 

2. Price

Price isn’t everything, but it is important. A common mistake that many home buyers commit is overextending themselves. This is especially true for first home buyers looking to construct their dream home at any cost.

It’s important to keep your expectations realistic and do your research.

Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few reputable builders, get some quotes. Ask for a clear breakdown of costs so that you can easily compare packages and inclusions. Make sure you understand what is included in each quote, and watch out for any major discrepancies.

 If you have any questions about terminology or costs, don’t be afraid to ask.

3. Support and communication

The building process can last a few months, so choose a builder who you’re confident you can work with.

Effective communication is key in ensuring your experience is a positive one. If you’re having problems communicating with your builder before you even get started, consider this a red flag. It will only get worse as the process goes on.

When vetting your building candidates, you’ll want to look for someone that offers the level of support you need. You should feel comfortable asking questions and trust they’re being upfront with you at every step of the way. This includes after the build is complete.

4. Inclusions

When viewing different designs and display homes, remember that some features may not come standard in all packages.

Go over your package with your builder before construction is underway. Some common inclusions you should check include flooring, finishes and paint. This will provide a clear understanding of what your finished home will look like. Remember that upgrades are almost always available, but make sure you know what costs will be involved.

You may also wish to make minor adjustments to the layout to suit your specific needs. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes it’s not. Double check if your builder can accommodate any adjustments you may be thinking about. 

5. Timeframes

A suitable timeframe is key in finding the right builder. Are you looking to move-in as soon as possible? Or do you have a bit of time up your sleeve? Either way, you need to find a builder that will be able to work with your schedule.

Ask your potential builder when construction can start and when will it finish. This will establish a schedule to work toward and help you plan your next few months. You’ll want this information settled so you can make a smooth transition into your new home.

Overall, when looking for a builder it’s important not to rush your decisions. Building a new home is a major milestone and a significant expense. It should be done right. If this means taking some extra time to find the right package, a great builder and the perfect location, that’s ok.

Do your research. Compare your options. Go with a builder that will put in the time and effort to help you through this process while constructing a home that meets your standards and your needs. 

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