Avoid The Traps When Buying a New Home | Berstan Homes

Avoid The Common Traps

It is a sad fact that there are builders that try to take advantage by some of the following practices. The following list shows a few things that you as a new house buyer should look out for.

Insufficient Allowances

The builder’s selling price is kept low by quoting insufficient allowances. When the customer goes to make selections, there isn’t enough money to get what he/she expected. The customer must then pay for upgrades or accept lower quality components. Make sure you are clear on what you are getting.

Incomplete Plans

Many builders work with less than complete plans. The advantages (to them of course!) are three-fold. The plan costs less to complete. It can be completed more quickly. Finally, almost everything omitted from the plan is not included in the house price, it gets added later at the customer’s expense. At Berstan Homes you will get your own full set of working drawings for your reference. You can see what is and isn’t there and that everything is what you wanted.


The builder sells you a basic version of the house you like. Unfortunately, some of the options you thought you were getting haven’t been included. Once construction starts you realise what’s missing and ask the builder to add them. The builder then issues you with a Variation Notice, and with each Variation Notice comes a price, often a big price.

Show/Display Homes

You loved the builder’s display home! … beautiful artwork, new fine  furniture, all the latest styles and finishes, awesome window coverings, incredible landscaping. The only problem is the display home does not represent the builder’s standard home. Builders spend tens of thousands of dollars extra on their display homes to make them sizzle. Go ahead, carefully check out the nuts and bolts. Ask questions. Look behind the sizzle and ask just what this  display home as is would cost with all of the inclusions (you most probably wont get an answer). If you do get an answer then get up off the floor and call Berstan Homes and be pleasantly surprised.

Land size

It may sound simple but your house must fit your land, this is a mistake that has been made and may result in either a smaller than required house or the sale of your land then the purchase of another block to suit your home size. Resulting in a potential huge loss of money and time.

Land selection

When selecting land there are several simply items that may be observed. On the estate are there piles of rock around, also have a look for rock fencing and if these items are on the land this could mean that your lot has rock which could cost a considerable amount in extra site works.

Another item that is a bit harder to check are site works involving fill the land you are looking at could be loaded with fill. The best way to check this item is to ask the selling agent for a copy of the engineering for your chosen lot this will show you what has been filled and by how much. Filled sites can cost a considerable amount in extra site work due to the preparation of your slab/foundations.

Fill is a term used for material soil/clay bought to your lot from another area and placed on your lot to make it level. Once grass grows on your lot visually you could not tell the difference so it is very important to see the engineering report.  

Slopping Sites

You may find a cheaper site on many estates but take a long hard look at the site prior to purchase. Talk to Berstan Homes and make sure that the excavation and build costs don’t outweigh the money you could save on the land. Many people get caught with this and end up paying a lot more, the reason why is the levelling of the site and the possible need for retaining walls with most requiring engineering.  

Over commitment

The buyer must be aware of financial over commitment put simply don’t over spend on your home and land stay within your budget. Over commitment is a major cause of mental health, stress, marriage breakdown just to name a few. At Berstan we work with our chosen finance brokers and will create building/finance packages that will stay within your budget therefore limiting the aforementioned problems.

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