Everything you need to know and do before visiting a display home, according to industry experts.
Deciding to buy a plot of land and build your very own home is one of the most exciting decisions you will ever make – especially as you can customise it to your own tastes. That makes display homes a wonderful source of inspiration, as well as a practical way of showing how you can make your dreams a reality.
But before you come and visit one of Stockland’s many display villages and soak up fantastic design ideas first-hand, let’s get you prepared so you can get the most from your trip.
From knowing your budget to deciding on the type of home you’re after, finding and refining your colour palette with your Dreamcatcher Styleboard (if you haven’t already) to choosing the perfect spot for your sofa, there are a few important things to think about...
It may be daunting, but it’s a crucial consideration when it comes to buying a home. You need to know precisely what you can afford before visiting a display home.
“Know what your repayments will be and make sure you’re comfortable with that before you go out there shopping,” says Simon Mongan, General Manager of the Homebuyers Centre. That way, you can confidently explore display-village homes and their features, knowing exactly what suits your budget and desired lifestyle.
Talk to banks and lenders, and shop around, says Mongan. “Not all banks are created equal and not all brokers are created equal.” Choosing a company or individual who specialises in construction finance is a great tip to achieve your home-building goal.
“Choose your builder before you choose your home,” advises Mongan. “Tap into online forums, your own networks, friends and family. Everyone knows someone who has built or knows of a friend who has built.”
Having different builder models available at Stockland display villages lets you make easy comparisons, helping you weigh up the pros and cons to make a final decision that best meets your needs.
Questions to have in mind when choosing a builder include: how long they’ve been in the business; build quality; range; customer service; warranties and guarantees. A good rapport and trust is also vital. After all, your dream home is in their hands.
Before booking an appointment to visit a display home, we encourage you to think about what you want and need in a home, both now and in the future. Are you considering growing your family? Will you have regular guests? Are you a minimalist, or someone who needs lots of storage? Are you into gardening or not so bothered? Think about where you could compromise so that you start to visualise what your dream home would look like.
“Making those decisions before you go in will stop you wasting a lot of time,” says industry insider Peter Langfelder, Metricon’s General Manager of Victorian Housing. Leave no stone (or brick) unturned!
Once you’re clear on your budget, builders and needs, it’s time for the fun part: actually visiting a display home or village. Use your phone/camera to record details of the designs and builder styles you like, and take notes as you go so you know exactly what you’re looking at when you review what you’ve done.
“Take your time,” says Langfelder. “This is a big decision and you want to learn as much as you can.”
Display homes are designed to showcase a product at its absolute best, so are often kitted out with top-of-the-range fittings and extras. “Do not assume what you see on display is what’s included,” advises Mongan.
Spend time with the sales consultants and don’t be afraid to ask questions about what comes as standard and what are the extras. This will give you a realistic idea of what is achievable based on your budget and requirements.
“Be careful about being swept away by a display home. $10,000 to $15,000 worth of upgrades could mean you can’t obtain the finance and could potentially end the whole project.”
A display home really lets you get the feel of a house. Take the time to imagine yourself in the space from even before you walk through the door.
“Before you enter a home, the street appeal is the first thing you’re going to look at,” says Langfelder. Are you looking at a modern, contemporary home or a more traditional home? Then when you enter the home, the sense of entry can be very important. Do you want an open entry into the home? Is it important for you to see right through the home?”
Best advice: you know when something feels right to you. Trust your instincts. This is also a wonderful opportunity to spend time with our sales consultants. They’ll be happy to share their insights and advice to help you make the right choice for you and your family.
Buying and building your first home is a big deal, but from Dreamcatcher through to a display village, it’s one we at Stockland want you to enjoy.
“Choose your builder wisely,” says Mongan. “It can be daunting, a bit scary, but if you saddle up with the right person it can be an absolute ride so just enjoy it.”
For many of us, building and designing a brand-new home is the culmination of a lifelong dream. Visiting a display village can help you get there sooner.
To find your nearest display village, check out all our communities here and click on the one/s you see yourself living in.
Click here to go back to Stage 2: Home Options