Saturday, June 25, 2011

Would you buy an actual display home?

So, while browsing around, came across a Metricon display house for sale in Point Cook.

Asking 625-650k, on 512sqm, with immediate possession available.

Let's say you wanted to buy a new car, but was told it could be a 6-12 month wait. Not uncommon - the current Golf GTi apparently has a waiting list this long! But... you could grab an "executive driven demonstrator" model immediately, with a few thousand bucks off. In my eyes, certainly a good dealm as you avoid a long wait plus manage to avoid some of the immediate huge depreciation when buying a new car. I bought a new car, once upon a time... never again!

Anyway, this case is slightly different when buying a house. Let's think about some of the aspects of buying a ex-display home vs building from scratch.

  • Stamp duty will be considerable more on a completed house, compared to a vacant block of land.
  • The house is built - you can inspect it, walk around it, and move into it straight after settlement.... instead of waiting for land to be titled (and we've all heard horror stories about land titling 6-12 months later than it was meant to!)
  • It should come fully landscaped, with floor coverings, window coverings etc. A huge difference to when we moved in - with bare concrete floors, bare yellowtongue flooring upstairs, mud and crap everywhere and no driveway!
  • If you purchase an ex-display home while it's still functioning as a display home, often the vendor will give a decent return (7-8% not uncommon) while the house is being used.
  • All fittings and colours will be as displayed - if you don't like it, bad luck. Up to you to repaint or replace fittings after settlement. Display homes usually have had a lot of thought put into their interior design, and to be honest Metricon have some of the best display home interiors that we've checked out. Hopefully matches up with your own tastes.
  • Being a display house, there would've been some amount of wear and tear of the property due to stickybeaks opening, shutting and banging around everything possible. Buyer beware!
  • Usually display houses are optioned up hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the basic home - whether or not they're to your taste, and the price premium put on the sale price of the property is up to you to calculate.
  • The location of display homes is typically in the higher-traffic area of the development, simply because display home builders want more passing traffic to check them out. Could be in a noisier location than other homes - assess carefully.
Anyway, if you wanted to check out this particular Fairhaven for sale, click here.

Or here's another display home for sale, but from Porter Davis on the East side of town, asking $520-550k.


Friday, June 17, 2011

The Home Building Insurance SCAM.

Just a note - thanks for everyone for visiting, somehow this blog has clocked up 200,000 hits!

The Age recently published an article about the home building insurance scam.

In case you didn't know, if you're building a new house or doing a renovation, you're also paying an insurance premium on home building insurance. It doesn't show up as an item in your renovation quote or new home contract, but it's built into your building contract.

Anyway, it's basically money thrown away. The article states that in the last year, 53,000 Victorians paid up insurance premiums, but only 3 people made successful claims.

3 claims in 53,000. Almost makes the insurers refusing to pay out on Queensland flooding look good.

Anyway, this is one massive rort - its so corrupt from beginning to end, there's basically no way to even start to fix it. As "customers", we must pay the premium, like it or not, and there's stuff all chance of us ever seeing a cent of it, should any dodgy work be seen further down the track. "Government" will promise to fix things, but since their fingers are deep in the pie, there's no chance of that.

Hence, while all builders will proudly state there's a 7 year guarantee on their work, based on the existince of this so called home building insurance scheme, NONE will admit that this guarantee is a fraud.

Be an educated consumer. Don't accept any dodgy work from your builder, whoever it is. Spend the dollars to get an independent inspector to go through building stages - and of course, don't accept that the builder's "independent" inspector is anything but a stooge.

Yet another grumpy mood right now obviously - and if you're the moron in the right lane who decided to swerve into my lane outside of Doncaster Shoppingtown today at about 6pm, you're damn lucky I had the reflexes to avoid hitting you, 'cause one way or another I would've made sure you ended up in emergency with a broken neck, ya f'wit.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nothing to see here, move along...

Not much happened on the home front in the last month or two. Kresta finally showed up to replace the 2 blinds that fell down immediately after they first installed them. One of them is fine, the other one in the master bedroom... well, it's the wrong colour. So yet again, another 3-99 week wait for the correct item to show up.

Also got a call from a new service manager at Metricon, who has taken over the last service manager's job (he quit, or something). Anyway... he says he'll chase up the issue of correcting our crooked cavity doorframe. Not holding my breath, I mean - we've only been in our house about 9 months now.

Most recently, a good article in the The Age about changing your mortgage lender. I believe that 99% of mortgage holders probably spend more time trying to save 2c/litre on petrol, than tens of thousands of dollars on your home loan. If you've got a loan with one of the big 4 banks, seriously - read the article in that link, then call your bank or broker tomorrow and get out of your overpriced home loan.

The arguments that used to apply to changing home loans mostly don't apply anymore. Banks aren't allowed to charge punitive exit fees (ie ridiculously enormous, made-up sums to stop you switching your loan). Sure, you might have to go through the rigmarole of providing paperwork if you're changing a lender, but doesn't saving $69,000 in interest payments and/or years off your average home loan make it worth your while? And if you've got a bigger than average mortgage, you'll save even more.

And if you're too lazy, and/or stupid, and/or ignorant to be bothered trying to get the best deal on your home loan, well - it's your life and your money to waste as you will. Excuse the grumpiness, bad case of post-snowboarding muscle pains.



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