So you’ve finally decided it’s time to stop dreaming about the house you have always wanted and make it a reality.
As you search for the perfect block, you check out house designs, talk to builders and visit display homes. Before you know it, you are overwhelmed and questioning whether you’re actually willing to spend the next year or so stressed out.
Is it even worth it? Will you over-capitalise? Is the builder ripping you off? Will the work be up to scratch?
And before you know it, you’re buying tins of paint to start a makeover on your existing property because you’re “pretty sure you can spruce the place up and stay there for another five years”.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the help of a building broker, you can turn the whole experience of building – from locating a block right through to handover – into an exciting, rewarding and profitable experience.
Tristan Kirkham, of New Home Building Brokers (NHBB), is all about making sure his clients get the biggest bang for their buck with the least amount of stress possible.
Having spent the bulk of his working life in the residential building market, Tristan uses his insider knowledge to wheel, deal, assess and troubleshoot, all at no extra cost to his clients.
If you talk to the new owners he has worked with, they will tell you they’d never embark on the building journey again without him by their side.
There’s no question that building a new home is a minefield and Tristan knows how to navigate it.
Tristan recommends getting the right people involved in your project – including a registered builder on board as an inspector.
“At NHBB, we focus on choosing the right builder and getting people independent information to make informed decisions,” he says.
“Lining people up with the type of builder that suits each individual circumstance is absolutely critical. This enables everyone to deal with the hurdles that can come along in building.
“Price is important, don’t get me wrong, but choosing the right builder over price is the best way to have success in building a new home.”
Tristan says the most confusing thing about going into a new build is comparing different prices and inclusions from various builders. It is not unusual for quotes for the same job to vary widely.
“Comparing builders is not as simple as it may seem,” he says. “In this market, using an experienced professional to help explain the differences is important. For example, we had a client on a $450,000 build have differences of more than 50 per cent from three builders. You have to be very careful just focusing on price when comparing because cheaper contracts can sometimes result in more problems throughout the build.”
Tristan says alternative construction methods are becoming more widely accepted in Perth but he says people need to consider their options carefully before going down that path.
He also says that once a plan is settled on and the contract set in stone, it is a good idea to avoid making too many changes. “Constantly making changes puts the builder at risk of making mistakes and when that happens, no one wins,” he says.
Perth couple Sharene and Jarrad Till called on Tristan to help with their new build when they grew tired of looking for an off-the-plan home that suited their needs.
They wanted a five-bedroom, three-bathroom property but finding something they both loved was near impossible. They enlisted Tristan to help and say it is one of the best decisions they have ever made.
Not only were they confident about the standard of the construction, the job moved along at a cracking pace, with the build completed in time for the arrival of their third child.
“We can’t see why anyone would build without someone like Tristan by their side,” Jarrad says. “It has made a big difference every step of the way.”
And getting Tristan on board didn’t cost them a cent. NHBB is paid a commission by the builder.
“We expect we saved these guys tens of thousands of dollars,” Tristan says. “And we’ve been able to solve problems for them along the way and make sure everything stays on track.”
Tristan says building a new home can be the best solution for many people.
“For all the stories people hear, Perth does have some wonderful builders who deliver time and time again on outcomes set out by all parties,” he says. “So people really should be excited, rather than scared. At the moment it really is about better value, better building times and really good quality.”
STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS TO BUILDING A NEW HOME WITH A BROKER:
- Meet the broker. Can you work together?
- NHBB assess the block.
- NHBB work out the budget and timeframe.
- Discuss finance and understand how it will impact the builder tendering process.
- Choose a designer.
- Create an initial design.
- Cost check the design.
- Lodge planning applications.
- Finalise the addenda – sign off on items such as air-conditioning, retaining walls, subdivision quotes.
- Finalise the design, make changes needed to meet council requirements.
- Double check finance.
- Ask three builders to tender.
- Compare quotes.
- Interview builders and select one.
- Sign the contracts.
- NHBB will conduct regular site visits.
- NHBB will organise building inspections during the build process.
- Work through any issues that may arise.
- The property is handed over on time and on budget.
- Move in.