Thursday, 2 November 2017

Position Map of Builders

Position Map (Price vs Inclusions)

This is our dream house it does sound cliched but thats the reality . Like many others we also have a budget and we want value for money. We are not part of building industry so as an average novice buyer we can only educate ourselves to a limit unless we come from this background and understand what value is being offered which is not tangible to the customer but has lasting impression. 
So, purely on my list of preferences i have compared the four builders i am considering for our build. There are many attributes that determine the price but i have listed two main criteria. 

Price & Inclusions 

Now i understand there is no limit to a wish list but for any product out there in the market there is a basic attribute that that product should deliver it will include not just the product itself but also its additional promotions , inclusions and services. 

So i have divided into two areas : Must Haves & Nice to Have 

Keep in mind I am comparing a 34 square house with basic price and inclusion. 

Inclusion List
Clarendon
Masterton
Metricon
Rawson
Essentials




Soft Close Drawers
Included

Included

Additional
Included

20mm Stone Benchtop
Included

Included

Additional
Included

Ensuite and Shower Niche
Included

Included

Additional
Included

Frameless Mirror
Included

Included

Additional
Included

Stone Benchtop in Ensuite
Included

Included

Additional
Included

2600 Ceiling Height
Included

Included

Additional
Included

WOW




2.7m Ceiling Height
Additional
Included

Additional
Additional
40mm Benchtop
Additional
Included

Additional
Additional
500 * 500 Porcelain Tiles
Additional
Included

Additional
Additional
Smeg Appliances
Additional
Included

Additional
Additional
Water Filter
Included


Additional


 





The builders change their promotion quite often and its easy to confuse the buyer but i am only looking at what looks good on paper , reality could be different. 




Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Metricon  - Clarendon? Which one is more suitable?



There is no easy way to find the suitable design for your future home than to visit all the display homes. Only few of us are good with visualization and I am certainly not one of them. I must say there are some brave ones out there who can sign off just on paper design they certainly know how to take risk.

My first stop was clarendon display center in Kellyville, I went through all the designs took notes, compared all the inclusions, made several spreadsheets and finally shortlisted two.
1.     Fairmont
2.     Sheridan
Fairmont ticked most of the boxes , did I tell you that I am a bit obsessed by a single spine staircase so for me this was it , if I had to sacrifice a room in order to get this wow factor I would do it . Downstairs it was open plan with pantry and laundry connected I thought that was intelligent, most of the times I am in the kitchen keeping an eye on my laundry so very practical. Upstairs, I thought rooms were a bit squeezed which is 3.0 by 3.2 but then you can use it for study instead of main bedroom.
Sheridan had also caught my eye and I was getting serious about this design , the floor plan was brilliant but didn’t quite like the staircase especially when you are paying top dollars  you want to have the ‘WOW’ factor and few things can give you that such as Façade , Staircase, High Ceilings , spaciousness  , Floor tiles there are plenty others which are non essential whether you have or not doesn’t make a big difference.

Well I was ready to make the decision, I went and met the sales consultant , she was over confident in a flash she gave a price estimate faster than I could process in my mind . Now I think this is where ‘clarendon’ went wrong with a serious buyer. I liked their designs but I wasn’t that far ahead in my research so overwhelming me with the floor plans , dimensions and quoting me incremental prices for things such as ‘ grand alfresco’ ‘ façade ‘ ‘ adding shower in the powder room’ I actually got put off especially because I had just visited the display and I was wondering why am I being charged additional for the alfresco. Low and behold , I made this mistake of asking the sales consultant for why such discrepancy between standard and display , you wont believe what she said , she asked me to go to the management myself and ask that question because she can’t be bothered , she actually said her job is just to sell and all these questions can go to the management. That was it ………….this is from ‘ WoW’ to ‘ Nothing’ . If a sales person is getting flustered in the first meeting what will happen once we go down the track .

Now , I had spent two months researching their designs and increasing my budget to suit the design that I like , lets not forget the countless visits to their display homes I was not ready to call it quits , so I tried one more time. I contacted another sales person so that I can move forward but he reverted me back to the same old person who I think is under the illusion that they are unbeatable. Well, that was really the end of it . I was disappointed in the process of house building and I didn’t want to visit any other builder.

After a month of holiday and routine work , I stumbled upon some reviews on Metricon I had never visited them before even though they were in Homeworld Kellyville just associated them with another M builder and didn’t think they were the right ones for us .  So one fine morning I drove to the display center and just casually walked into Metricon display center.
Well what can I say , the homes in display were amazing I could instantly imagine myself walking in one of their homes in future . Compared to Clarendon they had less clutter of designer furniture and they kept it minimal and still classy. Am I sounding biased, I hope not. I am only narrating my experience as a customer. Well after the initial walk through I knew i am at the right place atleast by now I was sure of my requirements and budget so there was no time to muck around. I met one of their sales consultant and he with no sense of urgency gave me 3 hours of his time on our first visit and went through the design , walked me through the house , took  notes of all my requirements , didn’t try to sell or oversell , didn’t impose company’s direction on me which some home builders do by calling a particular design as a promotion. All in all this was such a pleasant change to my previous experience and I was left wondering how come I didn’t consider this before and wasted so much of my time.
I requested for the floor plans so that I can research further on the dimensions and difference to the display home , had several questions after that and all were answered . Even if it was a company line it didn’t come across like that.
Now about the design , I selected Glendale 34.
Glendale was a popular design and most talked about on homeone website , there was so much information that it was very easy for me to visualize the final product. The floor plan was brilliant , it had the wow factor as discussed earlier  “ Staircase “ , kitchen layout , pantry the bedroom sizes . Everything had fit in perfectly. I can’t believe that there is one company who got everything right even though they have a major market share and they are building hundreds of these houses every year but they have been able to maintain a certain standard.

So this was it ……..i had long forgotten about clarendon and Metricon was the way forward.




Thursday, 12 October 2017

House Design Search - First Stop Sales professionals at display homes


My friends were building their first home and at every meet up we only talked about home designs and spaciousness of your own home, all this discussion got us excited and we decided to build ourselves, talk about peer pressure. 😅

Well we were told that we should visit the display homes, up until then we had no idea how huge the housing industry in Australia was and the process of building oneself a home. Back home it wasn’t easy either but having easily accessible labour and luxury of having marble and granite in your home was something most home owners could afford. 

Every weekend was spent at display homes clarendon , wisdom , allcastle , beechwood , rawson , lilyhomes , mcdonald jones, eden brae and few others . All those who have visited these display villages would know that it looks like a big holiday party where you are visiting these strangers in their homes ( garages converted into meet and greet ) walking up and down the streets , leaving children in their home theatres where most of them are showing some kind of cartoon as they know that mom and dad need time to walk around these homes and children need to be occupied .  Well we were not different we did what everyone else was doing. I did develop a sore wrist after carrying those heavy design books, look at how much money they are spending on these booklets they do have a hefty marketing budget. I would rather they give an upgrade in place of these books.

In the process I realised that first interaction with the sales agents is very important for the deal to go through. Now maybe people decide purely on numbers but I am not that kind of a person. The front office is a touch point , the face of the company and even though they may just take the commission and hand over your file to the site supervisor and you very well understand their role but if they don’t deal with you professionally then it’s a no go zone for me .

So I have rated according to my interaction with different sales agents at the display homes.


Disclaimer : these are just my own views based on the interaction I had with the sales rep of few builders , it doesn’t necessarily mean everyone in that company shares the same rating.