10 things to look out for when inspecting a display home

10 things to look out for when inspecting a display home

If you’re looking into house and land package options, then inspecting display homes is an exciting next step.

But before you jump in feet first, some industry insiders share their top tips and how to prepare so you get the most out of your visit.

1. Know your budget

Before the fun of looking for your dream home begins, first know how much you can afford to spend.

“Be really clear about that before you enter and know what your repayments will be and make sure you’re comfortable with that before you go out there shopping,” advises general manager of the Homebuyers Centre, Simon Mongan.

In the same way you are going to shop around for your house and land, shop around for finance, too.

“Not all banks are created equal and not all brokers are created equal,” he warns. “Someone who specialises in construction finance is usually the best because there’s a lot of moving parts when there’s a block of land and a building contract. Deal with someone who does it daily.”

2. Research your builders

“Choose your builder before you choose your home,” says Mongan. “Tap into online forums, tap into your own networks, friends and family. Everyone knows someone who has built, or knows of a friend who has built. Those kind of barbecue stories are pretty powerful because they are actually talking about an end-to-end experience,” he says.

The types of things you’re looking for: years in the business, build quality, range, customer service, warranties and guarantees.

3. Determine your needs

Draw up a checklist of what you need and want in your home, now and in the future, as that will make choosing the right design easier. How long do you expect to live in this house? What lifestyle changes do you anticipate happening in that time? Will you have kids or an elderly relative moving in?

“Thinking that through may have implications, whether you want a single or double storey; a second master bedroom with en suite if you have guests staying with you; the master at the front or rear. Making those decisions before you go in will stop you wasting a lot of time,” says Langfelder.

4. Bring the basics

Once you’ve researched your builders and narrowed down a list of designs you might like, it’s time to actually visit the display homes.

“It can be daunting. There’s lots of choice and options,” says Langfelder.

Be sure to note down the name of the designs you like, as well as the builder’s details. Also, take plenty of photos on your phone or camera.

“Those two things combined will really help you collect the information you’re after,” he says. Expect to take your time, too; this is a big decision you’re making and you want to learn as much as you can.”

5. Ask questions

Display homes are builders presenting their best work and the highlights of what they can offer, so chances are you’re looking at upgrades and extras. Mongan cautions you should “not assume what you see on display is what’s included.” So ask!

Langfelder’s advice is to spend a lot of time with the sales consultant, “understanding what comes standard with the home and what are the extras that have been added to the display home so you can make a very informed decision about what you want to include and what works within your budget.”

6. Keep your budget front of mind

“Be careful about being swept away with the emotional attachment of a display home,” says Mongan. They look great and it’s easy to start getting excited and adding upgrades, but “$10,000-$15,000 of items of upgrades could actually mean you can’t obtain the finance and the whole thing could be over. It could potentially end the whole project… So err on the side of caution when you want to upgrade.”

Having said that, display homes are also a great way to show you what’s possible and inspire new ideas. They are a good reminder that you can modify, customise, extend and upgrade to really create your dream home, if your budget allows…

This is article is from Domain, and you can read the full article here: