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6 tips when looking for a builder

Buying land and building can be a huge undertaking, especially if you are doing it for the first time! If you’ve decided to build new for your home, here are some tips to get you started:


Before you begin – lock in your land first

It’s tempting to jump into the fun part — looking at houses — but what rings true in all things property is still “location, location, location”. You can’t change your location, so avoid the disappointment of not being able to build your dream home on the lot you can afford, and look at buying your land first. Once you have a good idea of where, you can dive into the what.

Found your perfect piece of the world? It’s time to choose a builder for your new home. When there are so many choices in builders these days, we’ve compiled 5 top tips to help you assess your options.


#1 – Browse for home designs you love

Most reputable builders have their house design folios online, so start browsing and shortlist a few whose designs you can fall in love with. You probably know what kind of house you want to build, so find builders who have many options for your style of house.

Another great place to start would be the Home Design pages on where designs by some of the country’s most notable builders have been compiled.
After browsing online, find some time in the weekend to drive out to a display village so you can look at the options in person.


#2 – Get references on your chosen builders

Once you’ve narrowed down which builders you’d like to enquire with, it never hurts to get some intel from your family, friends or colleagues on who they’d recommend. Many reputable builders wouldn’t mind letting you speak to their past customers for a reference. Also, check online reviews from sites such as and Google Reviews. A home is a major investment, so there’s no such thing as being too careful.


#3 – Do your due diligence

Make sure you go into the build well researched on your chosen builder:

  • Has the builder got a good track record of delivering?
  • Have you seen any existing houses they’ve built?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is not right for you and your situation, and don’t be afraid to walk away if something is not right.


#4 – Price things up

Once you’ve found a lot, found a builder, found a house and ascertained their credibility, it’s time to quote up the cost of building your dream home. You should have an idea of your borrowing power from your finance provider when purchasing land, so make sure things still fall in line when it comes to the house build. Make sure you understand what is included and not included by the builder, and account for any costs that may creep up, such as landscaping and alterations to finishes.


#5 – Understand the timeframe

Aside from the cost, timeframes are also super important when it comes to building your home, as you will need to start paying for the land from settlement. Most people will also need to account for mortgage or rent while waiting for the house to be built.

Make sure you choose a builder who has a good track record of delivering on schedule. Anyone who has had a renovation or building project done understands that projects get delayed almost all of the time, so don’t get caught off guard and make sure you have budgeted enough of a safety net to cover any surprises.


#6 – Evaluate customer service

Finally, as you start to work with your chosen builder’s team, evaluate the customer service you get from their team.

  • Are they responding in a timely manner?
  • Are they answering all of your questions?

Be sure you get the best service out of them and be upfront about any concerns.

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