Trying to decide which builder to go with: have narrowed it to two. Different reasons: Builder A have the financing (only 3000 down) and Builder B have the house design I love. Both seem to be reputable, have done my research.
Does anyone know if the builders would be willing to work on the plans from scratch? or what is the best option for me? given the two builders have the things I want, except not in the same package!
I would go with builder B - the house should always be the primary concern in the long run imo (personally I would rather handle my own financing for a house I love than have someone else handle it for me on a house I am "meh" about).
Also bear in mind that when it comes time for the lender the builder is going through to start handing over funds that they will also expect you to hand over your contribution (deposit) in full before the release of funds can happen (check your fine print on any of those "deals").
If it is a volume builder then you either are going to be charged a significant amount to make structural changes to an existing house design or you wont be able to make the changes at all - still it doesn't hurt to ask and get some costings done.
_________________ Some people apparently have nothing better to do than comment on other people's sigs.
Last edited by cmhamilton on Apr 10, 2012 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Joined: 09 Nov 2011 Posts: 783 Location: Oran Park
We were in a similar situation, Builder A cheaper (significantly) but Builder B had a layout that we loved. We chose Builder B because we figured we would rather be really happy with the design. Just means my next car will have to be cheaper or just stick with the one I have now
Hi! Thank you for your replies! I am afraid I was feeling that way too... I would like to start building soon before prices go up! (I have been going to display homes, and haven't seen so much traffic as in the last couple of weeks!) Better wait for something I would love
Hi All Kept on looking at websites and display homes... i think I found the combination between financing and the house I like! This is with Dale Alcock, has any one built a house that is not with display specs, rather with their "lifestyle" versions of the displays? What are your experiences, how different feel one has from the other (besides the obvious more expensive finishes, but in terms of the "shell",being with lower ceilings). Thanks!
We are building from Dale Alcock's Lifestyle range, but have opted to increase the height of the ceiling to 31c in living, dining, kitchen, entry and alfresco. I think it cost about $6500 to upgrade but was well worth it for the sense of spaciousness. The floorplan is esssentially the same as the display in terms of size of rooms - the main differences being fewer cabinets in the kitchen (but still plenty) and more limited and basic finishes. At the time when we were looking through all the flash display homes we felt like we were "settling" but now that it is almost complete and we have some breathing space from visiting all those extravagant displays we are happy with what we have got.
I understand that Dale Alcock has a really good promotion on at the moment which would make a house from the Lifestyle range more enticing.
I am actually thinking about the same, to increase the height to the same areas as you did. I visited DA Central and was impressed by the quality of fixtures for the lifestyle range.. so much better than other builders. And yes, at the moment they are including aircon, painting and flooring, so it def. makes a difference in the budget and on the decision of which builder to go with.
It is good to hear that you are happy with your selection! I think a lot of the things in the display homes could be easily added once you are settled in the house and with more time to think about things.. i.e. I loved the wall paper on the powder room, but very expensive, but down the road it is something that can be easily be added and give it that wow factor. Again, thank you for your reply! this really helps.
So builder is almost decided! I had set my mind in Meadow Springs or Lakelands in Mandurah - I used to work in Mandurah and quite like those. So when it came time to build, for me it was easy to decide on the location.
Now though, I am not so sure. I have been talking to people about this area, and getting mixed reviews amongs them:... bogan/ really nice and quiet / relaxed / too many young people who don't care/ good schools... uhm.. i am confused!
Does anyone live in/is familiar with Meadow Springs or Lakelands?
My family (parents and little sister, not me), lived in Mandurah after building their dream home on the beachfront in the Seascapes estate. They lived there from around 2002-2009. Then they moved back to Perth.
I loved visiting them in Mandurah as I think it is beautiful down there. But I'm afraid that's all I liked about it, visiting, because it's pretty.
Mandurah forum (or Centro Mandurah.... Or whatever it is now) can use a great deal of improvement.
There's not much to do there and I always felt that Mandurah had little character. It's very "country", which can be lovely, but my little sister didn't enjoy growing up there.
And then there's the housing market. I work in banking and customers with properties in Mandurah are finding it excruciatingly difficult to sell. Property values in Mandurah have absolutely plummeted. Maybe they'll go up again, but they've been down for at least 4 years now.... So....
And I cannot shake that old saying, that Mandurah is "god's waiting room". One of the first things I'd heard about Mandurah, and it's just awful. But it hasn't done a lot to prove that it's not.
But, like I said. I think Mandurah is beautiful. I actually wish it had grown more because the Mandurah foreshore is so beautiful and will always have a special place in my heart. It could be so vibrant.
That is all my personal opinion. Mum & Dad moved back to Perth because their friends just felt that it was so far away, they rarely visited. It became inconvenient.
You may have already decided builder, but I agree with above - go with the house you like. That is what you have to live in. Check the increase prices for upgrades and variations from the basic package. Sometimes if you have too many variations it can be cheaper to go custom (that is what happened to us). Good luck! ps: my cousins lived in Mandurah and similar to what caz said - while I think it is picturesque, not sure there is much else. Sorry!
Joined: 30 Oct 2011 Posts: 1478 Location: Mandurah, WA
Hi, MyHouseinOz. I am currently building in Meadow Springs/Lakelands. We are right behind the freeway/train line. I've lived in Mandurah for my entire life (26 years) and some areas are nicer than others - like most suburbs. Personally, I am still living here because the block cost was cheaper than other places in Perth, and my DP and I have family who live here. Yes, it has it's fair share of bogans and low lifes, but everywhere does. Would you walk across a dark oval after 9pm, no matter the town? Pretty much no. It has a few good events during the year, eg Crab Fest, Stretch Festival, etc. if you're like me and you're not social, you'd stay home anyway on these event weekends. But I've found Mandurah fulfills majority of my shopping needs when I want things, and it's nice between midway between Perth and Bunbury on the freeway. I love our block, it's close to an Adventure Playground, shops, walking paths, lakes and schools. Just thought i'd add my experience of living here.
Hi MyhouseinOz I also worked in Mandurah for many years and made the decision to commute to and from there each day instead of living there. Whilst parts of Mandurah are picturesque and there is still a "country" feel in parts, there are many parts which are under considerable stress. City of Mandurah documents highlight the high unemployment, poor educational outcomes, and challenges faced by a rapidly growing area (one of the nation's highest). Having said that, I know many people who live there and love the lifestyle.
Others have made some really valid points in relation to plummeting property prices. I guess you would need to weigh up whether you may want to or need to sell in the future.
I guess the other issue which springs to mind is where you work - if it is not local, you are up for an awful commute. My in-laws ended up selling at considerable loss so that they could move closer to their work places as they were spending hours in the car each day in stop-start traffic. As someone else pointed out, friends and family do see the distance as a barrier too.
It's such a tough decision, especially as you get less land for your buck as you move closer to Perth. Spend some time there at times when you would be likely to be out in the community if you were to move there (eg visit the shopping centres on the weekend; if there are established areas around where you're thinking of building, then walk around the neighbourhood and get a feel for it). You'll soon get a sense of whether this is somewhere you can live for the next 5-10+ years or whether you would regret the move. I'm sure residents in neighbouring estates would be willing to share their experiences too.
Ally - well said! My apologies if I caused any offence on my comments on Mandurah. You right - a place depends on the people living there and their needs (some people need to go out, others prefer to stay with family at home). We are like you in the latter category!
we lived in mand for 14 years.....saw it change HEAPS in that time. it certainly does not have a country feel anymore....but the infrastructure hasnt really progressed, but the population and demand for services certainly have. its true re prop values...they have plummetted. we sold our place in mand 2 years ago for $50000 less than what it was a year before that. [fortunately we were able to sell + settle within 6 months - i think coz we had a pool and it was on the market during a heatwave ] one of the reasons for selling was to get out of mandurah - although DH still works there - i avoid going if i have to. I hate the traffic, and its true - officially - it is Gods waiting room . the highest ratio of pensioners/self funded retirees per capita in wa. go to the forum on pension week....but be careful not to get run over by all the gophers zooming round in there.....
but on the other side of the coin, it is a good way to get on the property ladder without needing a huge mortgage if you think you'll be in your place for awhile. when we built our place in mand our final on the dot mortgage was for $92,000 - for a 4 x 2 on a 720 m2 block.......so it was great for us to be able to do what we are doing now. although cheaper than metro still, its not that great as it was back then.
Thank you for your replies! I think it comes down to personnal opinion and preferences at the end of the day. The times I have been now seemed quite nice (Meadow Springs) so I am driving to Mandurah and see how much the foreshore, shopping centre, etc have changed since i used to work there and will try to find out any infraestructure plans for the area. As it looks now, I still think it is good to get in the market, land there is very affordable, and then add to the cost of the actual building - which would have to be the other way if I were to decide to build closer to Perth. I actually would prefer to spend more money on the building rather than in the land, I like spending time relaxing at home after the stresses at work . Again, thank you all for your insights, it has given me a broader picture, and other points i need to look into.
Good luck with your decision. Sounds to me like you've pretty much decided that you'll be moving to Meadow Springs!
I do think that, in 5-10 years time you'll be laughing. You'll have a beautiful house in a beautiful place and your land value will probably have gone up in value! The demographic has changed a lot in Mandurah since the boom as well. I think you'll be in good company too, with daveandally1 for neighbours.
Enjoy the building journey and remember, homeone is always here if it's driving you crazy!
homeone.com.au logos, designs, layout, page headers and colour scheme are ® Copyright Homeone Australia & New Zealand 2001-2013 (v3.0)
homeone® is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. ABN 46 625 367 703.