State sales manager for Eden Brae Homes, Bill Hawie learnt the pitfalls of the building industry the hard way when he bought his first house and land package.
“It was that period in 1988/89 when interest rates were really high (more than 16 per cent) and I decided to o buy a house and land package,” Bill ll says. “There were chronic delays with the builder and after 12 weeks, the builder reneged on the agreement so that he would not be providing floor coverings, airconditioning or a driveway. It was a take it or leave it situation.”
In addition, Bill’s blocked sloped away from the street quite steeply, requiring a series of retaining walls.
“They were to be done by me,” he says. “After the house was built, it was worth less than the resale value because it sat significantly lower than street level.”
Bill says if he could sit down with his younger self, he would strongly suggest choosing a reputable builder. “Choose a reputable builder that has been around for a long time and has some ethics,” Bill says. “We (at Eden Brae) don’t advocate having 100 per cent trust in the builder but if you’re going to part with $400,0 $400,000 to $500,000, you need to see for yourself that you are dealing w with the right people.” He says you can’t do too much research before buying a block of land and signing on the dotted line with a builder. “I wish I knew then how to read r land contours better to ide identify steep blocks,” Bill says. “Afte “After we moved into the house, it took a long lo time to do the retaining walls. The driveway had to be done immediately but the landscaping had to wait.” And don’t make agreements based on a handshake and a chat. “Ultimately if you have any disputes, what is in the contract will override any verbal discussion,” he says.
Eden Brae Homes offers individual designs as well as house and land packages for a range of budgets.