At Berstan Homes, we are often asked for a base price for a new home build. But we don’t have a base price. We find out exactly what the client wants in a house and then we will give them a detailed quote, with no hidden extras.
Many large volume building companies give what we call a “teaser price”. This is a very low, too-good-to-be-true price designed to attract clients. They are then hit with huge price increases for extras, which really should be included as standard in the overall price.
Berstan Homes director, Mark Bryson, says some initial quotes for a $300,000 build are as low as half the finished price in some cases.
“These prices don’t include basics such as permits, driveways, the slab, site costs, lights or even a garage door.”
“Choices for finishes may be basic unattractive colours and any changes from those colours cost more.”
Mark says a couple who chose a large building company were so distraught over the price continually increasing that they nearly sold their land and bought an existing house.
“The quote at their first meeting was $190,000,” he says, “By the second meeting, it was $230,000, then it jumped to $305,000 and by the fourth meeting, they were quoted $355,000.”
“They said there was no way they were going ahead and walked away. But they had owned the land for 12 months, and were paying interest on it, while no progress was being made.”
The couple came to Berstan Homes after reading the blog on the company website. Mark first reassured them that he was not a salesperson, he is a registered building practioner, and he knew the exact costs of a new home build. They decided what they wanted on site at Berstan Homes selection centre which is conveniently located at their display homes site, and when he presented them with the plans, they were so emotional and relieved, they couldn’t talk.
When a prospective client approaches Berstan Homes, Mark meets them at one of the company’s three display homes in Doreen. He asks them what they want in their home, considers a company design, or their own plans, and discusses fitting and finishes in the display showroom. He then produces a detailed quote, reflecting those requests, within seven days.
The quote includes permits, basic earthworks and slab, health and safety requirements, the driveway and alfresco areas, flooring, paint, appliances and heating/cooling.
Mark says the only major finishing not included is curtains and blinds, although that can be priced if required.
Standard exclusions are rare, but are usually for difficult sites, which may need major earthworks or retaining walls or rocks.
Mark finds the base price practice used by major building companies, which is not realistic of the overall cost of building a new house, frustrating. He says as a builder it’s difficult to compete when it’s not a level playing field with such low teaser base prices being quoted.
However, Berstan Homes will always treat clients with honesty and integrity and continue to give detailed new build quotes with no hidden extras.
“Otherwise, it’s like buying a car, only to discover the wheels and engine aren’t included in the initial quote,” Mark says.