by Marshall Cobb - Principal
Tomorrow night we are guests of Northpoint Constructions at the annual HIA Awards. They have been nominated for an award, which is not surprising as they have impeccable attention to detail, and they genuinely care. They care about their design, they care about their construction, and they care about their after-sales service. Well done to Mario, Charbel and the team - hopefully it will result in another trophy for the mantelpiece.
New property buyers need to make sure that they are dealing with a caring developer. Trophies and awards are certainly important, but there are a few other investigations that a buyer should undertake when assessing a developer or builder - here are our Top 3...
1. Visit recent projects and have a good look at how well the building is holding up. Search for large cracks in the render, water marks, and other signs of poor construction. Also try and talk to some owners/tenants. You should be able to find one entering/exiting the building, and they will generally be very happy to give you 30 seconds of their time.
2. Contact the building strata manager and ask about the number and type of repairs that were undertaken within the years since completion.
3. Review the fixtures, finishes and equipment specifications. Developers who care will provide detailed item descriptions including the make and model of the equipment (ie. ovens, stove tops, air-conditioner) and brand and colour for the items like tiles, timber flooring, carpet and paint. They should also specify the number of power, gas and data points, and whether the building is NBN ready. Sadly we often see (but don't sell!) projects with vague descriptions such as "stainless steel appliances, porcelain tiles, and paint". This is clearly not good enough, as you want a developer to commit to a level of finish that you are happy with, and not one who simply buys the cheapest items that he can get his hands on.
Buying a new property is a big decision and one that you do not want to get wrong, so doing your homework is critical.