What Features To Choose In A New Build Property (Ep300)

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What features should you choose in a new build property? What changes are worth spending money on and what upgrades aren’t worth the investment?

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Hey guys, Ryan here. I’ve got a great interview coming up with Ben Everingham from PumpedOnProperty.com. As you guys may know, he’s my number 1 recommended buyer’s agent. He’s got huge experience in the building industry.

So we’re going to go and talk about, if you’re building a new house as an investment, moreso, but also as your home. What sort of features should you add to this house? What sort of thing should you look at? What sort of things should you avoid? Because of his experience in this industry, it was so great to hear all of these things from him.

Just to let you know, we have some sort of audio issue with his audio. It was getting a bit of fuzz and feedback. The content is epic. It is, you can hear it but I just wanted to make you guys aware of that. Awesome interview, learned a lot from Ben – I always do. Every time we sit down, I learn something great.

So, check out this interview with Ben Everignham from Pumped On Property, where we talk about what you should do if you’re building a new property.

Ryan: Hey guys, Ryan here from OnProperty.com.au, helping you find positive cash flow property. Today, I have with me Ben Everingham from PumpedOnProperty.com and we’re going to be talking about how to choose the right house if you’re building a new house for an area. If you’re building it as an investment, what sort of house do you choose? How do you know what to get? What sort of feature upgrades to choose and all of that sort of stuff.

Ben has been in the building industry for a long period of time; works with the buyer’s agent, works as a buyer’s agent now. Helping many investors buy great properties. I’m grateful to have you, Ben. Thanks for coming.

Ben: Thanks a lot guys, good to see you all again.

Ryan: Okay, let’s just quickly cover your experience in this sector so people know how awesome you are.

Ben: Thank you. Basically, my role before I started Pumped On Property was a marketing manager for one of the top 10 building companies in Australia. They’re also an international builder, turned over over a billion dollars a year and had about 140 franchises globally. We built in Australia, in the year that I left, over 2,500 homes. And across the world, about 3,500 to 4,000 homes. So, that was a really good foundation. And then, personally, I’ve also built and developed a number of properties myself with my partner.

Ryan: Okay. So, you have a lot of experience. Let’s say someone is considering investing in a new build property. What’s the first thing that they should consider?

Ben: The most important thing with any new property, I suppose – are we talking about site selection as well or are we physically just talking about the build?

Ryan: Let’s talk quickly about site selection but then we’ll go in-depth into the build.

Ben: Cool. So, from a site-selection perspective, if you’re going into a greenfield – let’s just say that we’re going into a greenfield brand new estate, like a Stockland estate or a Mirvac estate or a AV Jennings estate – you really want to be in the proximity to the people that are spending the most money on their homes. If there’s something around the edge of a park or something around the edge of a canal, and you’re not buying the canal-front home, you want to be as close to those houses as possible.

You don’t generally want to be on a corner block unless you’re building a duplex. You want to be tucked in on an average-sized block in the estate and to probably look at building something that’s just nicer than the median house in the estate.

Ryan: Okay. So, why not on a corner block?

Ben: It’s just a personal thing for me. I’ve always grown up in really, really, really quiet streets. Generally, in these new estates, the corner block catches the traffic from people coming into the estate or into that street and the people going out of it. So, you’re just getting twice as much congestion and twice as much noise and twice as much, I suppose, movement in that particular part of the estate as opposed to something quieter. And generally, the quieter positions are sold to the owner-occupiers where the investment houses in these areas are sold to anybody who’s prepared-to-buy them type thing.

Ryan: Okay. And you talked about – I understand buying near someone who lives on the canal or near someone who lives near the park. My mother-in-law just bought a house and she bought all the houses opposite her are right on the river or right on the canals and stuff like that here on the Gold Coast and so she’s in this really nice area but she’s just one house back or a street back. So she’s got this awesome area but she didn’t have to pay for it. I guess, the area will stay nice because those houses are worth so much because they’re one the water. So, that makes sense.

What’s the thinking around building a house that’s just above the median in terms of price and quality?

Ben: I think what you really want to do and the way that I start looking at who I’m going to build with and what I’m going to build in a particular area is to identify the 3 or 4 real estate agents that are selling the most property in that subdivision and also in the suburb. A really good way to do that would be through something like RateMyAgent.com or OpenAgent.com, where you can literally just chuck in the suburb’s name and it will tell you who sold the most property out of any agent in that suburb and how many properties they’ve sold in that suburb in the last 12 months. I would go have a coffee with those guys and actually find out what the ideal person is or who the end client is for that particular property in that suburb.

Let’s just pretend you’re buying into a suburb within 15 kilometres of Brisbane as an example for today. You really want to be looking for something that’s going to make the most common personality type both now and in the future; or the most common demographic for that property type. Because that’s going to give you the most renters, it’s going to give you also the most potential re-sale value and you really want to identify who you’re building for before you start building.

Ryan: Okay. So, you really want to understand the demographics of an area. Because you want your property to appeal to the widest audience of people. Because, then, you’ve got the better chance of getting renters and you’ve got a better chance of getting a bidding war to push your property up in value. So, I understand building for the demographics of the area but why above the median price?

Ben: I always just like to have a property that stands out. So, let’s just pretend I’m a regular investor or a regular buyer in a normal market or a regular renter in a normal market. If I go through and look at 15 houses because it’s competitive and at the end of looking at those 15 houses, I can’t even remember them. I want my house to be slightly more memorable than anybody else in the estate.

So, a way that I suppose that you can look at it is a lot of your people that list into On Property and a lot of my clients have been through, at some point in the past, a display home village in a new estate. And so, by the time you’ve gone through the 10 properties, you can’t remember anything except those 1 to 2 houses that really stand out. Because they’re slightly over specification and they’re slightly nicer and they just appeal to you better.

They’ve got a better colour palette that works all the way from the front door through to the back door. They’ve got simple things included in the houses; like slightly higher roofs and ceilings that give that illusion of feeling a little bit bigger; like the nicer stone benchtops in the kitchens; the nicer stonewalls, ceramic vanities in the bathroom; the 2-pack instead of laminate kitchen finishes; the slightly bigger tiles. All of those things just, again, create an illusion of luxury and price. Where at the end of the day, you might end up only paying $5,000 to get those features in a brand new home.

Ryan: Yeah. That’s a good thing to think about. Because I know, I’ve been through display homes before and I’m trying to think back to the ones I remember or the parts that I remember. And again, most of it is a blur and the things that I remember is there was this one house that was positioned around a cornered deck on the house that just let the sun in and just really stood out.

I understand what you’re saying there now. Because you’re competing against all these other houses in the area that have been at the same time, similar sort of style, same age, you want your property to stand out and you want the one. If everyone looks at 10 properties and they’re all the same but yours is a bit better, well then, they’re going to want to stretch for yours because it feels nicer and they’re going to remember that and, hopefully, want to purchase that property.

Let’s talk about designing your build and choosing the right house. Obviously, we’re looking at demographics for the area. That’s going to affect, I guess, how many bedrooms and lounge room size and stuff like that. But when you’re looking at so many designs for so many different houses, how do I know what to choose?

Ben: The first step with design is identify your budget before you start looking. Because you can really be hurt when you have an illusion that you want to go out and build a $300,000 or $400,000 beautiful 250 sqm to 300 sqm architectural home in an area but already paid $250,000 for the land and by building that, you’re going to over-capitalise. So, identify what your budget is first and then look at designs that fit within that budget.

Generally, I would say, some design features that I personally like – and from working in the companies that I’ve worked in actually sold in the market values as well – are house where everything has been thought of from the front letterbox to the back fence, and so the house flows.

When you go and start talking to a lot of designers and builders, often people want to change things because they want something to be custom. But often, the best liveable, most economical design to build will be the one that they actually present you at the time. And that’s a huge way to save some money with these guys is just by building what they actually can offer you. But I like places where, from the front door, you can see all the way through to the back door. And the bedrooms, you always want to keep them a minimum, for the standard rooms, of 3 meters by 3 meters as you walk through the house. People really like study nooks at the moment, definitely walk-in wardrobes in all of the bedrooms. For a master bedroom, you really want –

Ryan: Walk-in wardrobes in every bedroom? Like if you have a 4-bedroom house –

Ben: Sorry about that. Sorry, walk-in robes in the master and just robes in all of the others, built-in robes.

Ryan: Built-in, like built-in wardrobes. What about, you were saying, with the bedroom size, you’re keeping it to a minimum 3 by 3. Is that for the secondary bedrooms?

Ben: That’s for the secondary bedrooms. They’re the bedrooms you walk in when you’re in a rental property and you go, “Ah, there’s space here. I can easily fit a queen-size bed in, couple of bedside tables and there’s still room to move around the room.” Those rooms that people walk into, generally, bedrooms in these smaller, older style house that are 2.5 meters wide, you walk in and you’re like, “Oh, that’s a bit pokey. I could only get a single bed or a double bed in there and there’s no room for anything else in there.”

Ryan: Yup. I remember hearing on those investment property shows and stuff, they’re saying, when you’re selling a house, if you can fit a double bed in there, then present it with a double bed. Because people just struggle to imagine things so you need to show it to them. So, 3 by 3 is going to ensure that.

You keep going because you were saying, see all the way to the back. Bedrooms, 3 by 3; have the built-in wardrobes and a walk-in for the master. What else?

Ben: Definitely, regardless of the size of the home – so whether you’re building 3-bedroom, 4-bedroom, 5-bedroom, 2-bedroom house – definitely 2 bathrooms. So, 1 in for the general house and an en-suite for the master is extremely popular.

As you walk towards the back of the home, you really want your kitchen, your living room, your dining room, your lounge room and your outdoor area – so, generally, that’s called an al fresco, is the term at the moment – to all flow from the time that you walk in to be able to see right through. That gives, again, an illusion of space and a real area, as families spend less and less time together, an area for them to all connect again at night over dinner and at breakfast in the morning and things like that.

That concept, particularly in Queensland, is all about inside-outside living. Where, obviously, in some other states, you’ve got to build houses where you can segregate parts of the houses for heating and cooling and stuff like that.

Ryan: Yeah. So, if you’re in Tasmania then, obviously, you need to design it a bit differently because you’re not going to have the doors open all the time. If you guys are watching the video, you can see me and Ben we’re both in Queensland, we’re both in t-shirts and it is – It’s not even August yet. It’s like the end of July, middle of winter and we’re both in t-shirts because it’s so hot up here. So, yeah, definitely, I guess with the inside-outside, depending on your state and where you’re living. Try to apply to that.

But even, like, in Sydney, half the year it’s freezing and then half of the year, it’s quite nice. People like to have that inside-outside even if it’s going to cost them in winter. That’s just the perception that I have. I don’t know if you see that as well.

Ben: No. From what I’ve notice from working in the industry is that Queensland design almost always sets the standard in housing design across Australia. So, because Queensland is the most competitive – outside of Perth – home-building market in Australia, a lot of the progressive stuff, in terms of house design installs flows out of there and it’s obviously adapted for those others states. So that, you know, you did build things a little bit smarter with more insulation, underfloor heating, thicker walls, you know, different products on the outside of the house, insulation in the roof and things like that.

Ryan: Okay. So, what about in terms of the add-ons and things that they present to you? Because, generally, they present to you, from my experience, a house that has the basics and here’s the base price of the house. But then, for an extra $2,000, you can add a wider front door or for an extra X amount of dollars, you can add a stone benchtop or you can add a media room or this sort of stuff. What is worth buying and what’s kind of worth staying away from?

Ben: That’s a really, really good question. Because there’s so many things that they will upsell you into. Because, obviously, they get a percentage profit of the entire deal’s value. So, if they can sell you an extra [inaudible 14:22] of stuff, and then they’re making 20% on that, then obviously, they’re getting rewarded for that. Plus, a lot of builders, obviously, like, personally, homes and they like having all those features.

But in terms of what’s necessary, I think – starting from the very front of the house – I will always build an investment that is extremely attractive from the streets – that’s got massive street appeal. To get street appeal, it’s basically looking at multiple textures on the one surface. Whether that be rendering, cladding, some sort of stone finish – which is popular now in parts of Australia. And then also, creating like a well-landscaped finished product at the front of the house and putting plants in there that might be worth a little bit more money. Instead of putting a cheap couch in – that’s like the investor standard – putting in a high quality turf, all of those things add value.

And then, as you move through the front of the house, definitely an oversized garage. You see with a lot of the modern garages in investment properties, you’d really struggle to get a van or a four-wheel drive into some of those properties.

Ryan: Yeah, dude. My garage, I don’t actually use it for my car but if I was to drive my car in – and I’ve got a Honda Jazz, I got a small car – you’d just get the doors open and you kind of just get out of it. They’re not really designed for comfort, are they, those garages?

Ben: Just in regards to garage, I always try and put in some extra shelving or some extra cabinetry as well. Just as a value-add and a bit of an unexpected thing that people don’t sort of assume that’s going to be in there.

Ryan: Yup. Okay. So, we’ve got street appeal. So we want the multiple textures. What about – you know how you can get the different roof pitches and stuff like that or you can get, I guess, whatever the triangle thing is called that goes over the front door and stuff like that. Are different pitches worth investing in?

Ben: Yes. So, I have recently, all of my investment properties are skilion-roofed. So, if I was to look at the roof, basically, it would be sort of pitched like that. There’s also the hip-style roof –

Ryan: Not like a triangle, like it’s just one roof that’s fully pitched?

Ben: Just one long line that runs from X here to X there, whatever the height is. And it gives that appeal of a little bit more modern, a little bit more [inaudible 16:44] stuff. And then there’s the traditional hip-style roof, which is extremely popular, and always will be. And then you’ve got your more urban design, which is a little bit more blockier and squarer. So, that’s just a real personal preference, identifying what the agents in the area think is going to sell. And also, try and not build something that’s a trend now. Because if you hold the house, in 20 years, it’s going to look horrible. Like that sort of red brick stuff in the 70’s and 80’s.

Ryan: So, try and predict into the future or however long you’re going to hold it, what the trend is going to be there.

Ben: Yeah.

Ryan: Okay, so we’ve got the front. We’ve got the street appeal, the plants, the oversized garage. What else should we look at investing in to?

Ben: I think, for me, floor coverings is huge. So, investing in a semi-high quality carpet for the areas that you’re going to carpet. And whether you decide to go with a wood look, a timber or a tiled finish or even a vinyl timber look or tile finish on your flooring, just making sure – for me, personally, if I’m going to go tiling, I’m only going to go 600 by 600 sqm tiles instead of your conventional 400 by 400. For timber look, again, like what’s popular right now is the sort of wider floorboards. Those things are super important. That’s worth investing money on because that’s the wow factor when people walk in.

Definitely, in terms of the colour palette, keeping it neutral. So, you want to create a colour palette where people tend to add their own touches of creativity or personality into the house by the things that they bring into the house. My partner, who’s an interior designer, describes this best. You’re really looking for, for example, a grey sofa where you can put your splashes of colour in terms of the cushions as opposed to a blue sofa where you put grey cushions, it’s just that simple stuff.

Ryan: Yeah. Put the cushions there because then they can change. Yeah, my wife loves the cushions. She’s got so many cushions.

Ben: Nothing that’s going to polarise the marketplace. For example, I walk into a lot of homes and some cultures have completely different perceptions around colour. It’s really hard to, regardless of culture, walk into a house and, sort of, grey, white and very neutral to walk out of that home and have any thought about it outside “It was very plain.” And it’s not going to polarise us as an investor or as a renter in the future.

Ryan: Yeah. Whereas, when you go into the houses with very bold colours. You know, that may all like deep reds and all this sort of stuff. Like, all wallpaper, like, you go into these houses and people will put trendy wallpaper. But, I think, the fact of the matter is, most people go in, they’re going to change the paint anyway, or change the wall coverings anyway. So, you just want to have it neutral so it appeals to the most amount of people. And so, it doesn’t exclude anyone who says, “Well, I don’t like that wallpaper so I’m not going to buy that house.” And even thought they could remove it or they could paint it or whatever, a lot of people won’t actually think about that if they’re going to somewhere and there’s a pink room and they’ve only got boys.

They’re like, “Well, we can’t buy that house, there’s a pink room.” People’s imaginations don’t tend to span as far as we might like. So, I think, neutral, yeah, is super important there.

Ben: My partner actually learned something really interesting when she was going through her interior design and this is something that she takes for granted but she learnt that only 1 out of every 10 people can actually see a final completed product from a plan and from the colour selections that have been chosen before they go into a place. So, because 9 our of 10 people are so visual, you’re going to polarise 9 out of 10 people by doing something dramatic, why not just appeal to that middle marketplace where the majority of people live so that they don’t have to see beyond what’s there to actually think about and get emotional an reaction to a property when they’re buying it or renting it.

Ryan: Yup. And so, what about kitchen and bathrooms, is there things that are worth investing in there? Like, is it worth a stone benchtop in the kitchen? What about bigger shower or things like that?

Ben: This is such a personal thing, but, for all of our properties – investment or own homes – we go semi-frameless or frameless shower. That’s just a personal preference because I think the screens look really outdated. Again, like a more expensive bathroom will have a ceramic as opposed to just your old laminate-style vanity in it. We also always put a mirror directly above the vanity which acts as a secondary storage, like a storage-style mirror. And we generally like to floor-to-ceiling tiles that match the floor tiling all the way through the bathroom with a quality-looking tap fittings and quality-looking toilet. Because that’s sort of the stuff that sort of adds values in people’s minds and it’s not that much more expensive to do when you do it upfront.

Ryan: So do you think it’s worth – like those floor-to-ceiling tiles, rather than the tiles that just go up halfway? You think that’s worth the investment?

Ben: If it’s your principal place or residence or in a premium area, 100%. If it’s your cheaper investment and you just want to get someone in there and you’re not really thinking about re-sale value because you’re going to hold it forever, just tile in the shower and where you have to. You know, that little skirting that runs around the wet areas and things like that.

Ryan: Okay. Let’s go into kitchen. But then I kind of want to get an idea of, like, for all the upgrades that we’ve talked about that we think is worth getting, how much do we think this is going to cost? So we’ll get into that in a second. But what about, like, kitchen stone benchtops versus the other ones, whatever they’re called?

Ben: Sure. So, that’s just like laminate-type of product. If it’s not stone, it’s almost guaranteed to be laminate. A more expensive kitchen would have 2-pack as opposed to laminate. 2-pack’s basically just being – it’s a product that’s been connected and sprayed directly onto the wood. As opposed to a laminate, which is being applied on top of the wood and can easily peel off over time.

I always go for stone because stone’s a hell of a lot heartier than the laminate as well and if you’re going to hold a place for 10 years, you really don’t want it to deteriorate. Plus, there’s an association with stone and quality. So, from a price perspective, stone’s about $2,500, $2,000 more expensive but from a future issues perspective and a valuation perspective, it [easily pays for itself 23:07]

Ryan: So, easily, you think stone easily pays for itself both in its enduring quality as well as the retail value of the property?

Ben: Definitely.

Ryan: Which stone? Is the stone like it’s really thin stone and then they join it or something or do you get like the thick stone?

Ben: I personally just do the budget stone, which is the 10 to 15 millimeter stone but you see some of the beautiful places that do on the show like The Block or whatever, and you know, they’re using some seriously thick stone. That stone is worth a significant amount more money, obviously.

Ryan: Yeah. So, for most places, the thinner stone is going to be just a better option.

Ben: Definitely.

Ryan: Okay. What about, in the kitchen, like double sinks and like islands and stuff like that?

Ben: Yes. So, the way that we build our kitchens is basically – let’s pretend you’ve got a wall at the back and then you’ve got a stone benchtop, as you said and island bench, so we basically create a space at the back, which is just basically floor-to-ceiling cabinetry because most conventional kitchens just don’t have enough room. Basically, we try to create a triangle – which is the stove, the microwave, the dishwasher and the sink – within about a 1.5-metre triangle of each other. So that if you need this, it’s easy to access than walking between here, there and everywhere to try and get something. We generally say this is the back wall, this is your island bench and then on the side of the house where the wall joins, we generally have a walk-in butler’s pantry that’s just storage. And then we’ll also have a fridge that’s built-in into that area as well so that it sits against the wall line as well.

Ryan: Okay. So, your hemming, is it just like a straight wall and then an island or do you have a wall that kind of like bends around for the pantry/fridge?

Ben: We’ll just have a wall that sort of sits straight like that. With the pantry and the fridge into it and then we’ll have a back wall where all of our shelving is and our stove is and then we’ll have an island, which is where your basins and your cups and your dishwasher’s tucked in underneath there.

The only other thing that we do is, like soft-close drawers, just give that illusion of quality as well. And we don’t like to put handles on our kitchen benchtops and things like that. So, from a price perspective, you know, you might be looking at an extra $600 or something for soft-close drawers and something that you can pull that doesn’t have a handle bar and all that stuff represents quality in the eyes of the buyer and the renter.

Ryan: Yeah. I think it’s interesting, like going through this with you, is that a lot of times, people spend their money, rather than on the upgrades, they’re going to spend their money on re-working the design of the property. And if you’re saying that if you go to a good company that’s got progressive design, their standard designs are probably going to be the best thing for that property, anyway. So, if you can pull yourself in emotionally and stick with the standard design, then that would give you more money to spend on the upgrades and things like that.

Is there any framework we can give people on how much they should be spending on upgrades or not? Or is it just so personal, we can’t really say anything?

Ben: Generally, you look at houses as a price per square metre for the entire home. The bigger the size of the home, the cheaper the square-meterage rate. But let’s say a 200-sqm home is a pretty conventional size at the moment. Or anywhere between – let’s jut call it 180 and 220 is just sort of standard home that you’re going to get for most builders o on standard block, anywhere in Australia right now. You’re going to be looking at anywhere between, if it’s a really high-end builder, $1,600 a square-metre and if it’s absolute cheapest of the cheap builders, you might be looking at $1,200 to $1,300 retail.

Again, if you’ve got a relationship with those guys or you’re making their life easy by choosing one of their standard designs, or you’re prepared to move forward quickly, you can obviously negotiate on price.

There’s no fixed price with any builder in Australia, that’s a complete illusion. It all depends on how many sales they’ve made that month and how open to getting new business they are at that time that you go and see them.

Ryan: So how would someone negotiate with a builder if they wanted to?

Ben: Yeah, that’s a really good question.

Ryan: Because, obviously, we’re not going to know their sales cycles or anything like that.

Ben: Yeah. So, going in and working with that builder and sitting down and listening to that builder and understanding. Getting to the person in the sales process that has an impact over budget as quickly as possible is important.

Being an easy client. Builders put a pain factor in for most clients. So, if you are going to be pain in the bum to deal with, they’re going to charge you more money and they almost know that from the first time you sit with them. Whereas, if you go in and you’ve got an idea about what you want – they’ve got a product or another build that you’ve seen as a better product that’s very similar to what you want and you can present them with a starting point – and then you move through the process of getting to a fixed-price contract the soonest possible, all of those things are going to shave time, energy and effort with that final price with that builder.

But it’s like negotiating anything else. It’s about starting from here and just playing that game with them. It’s a bit of a dance until you get a win-win solution for both of you. Because at the end of the day, they run expensive companies and need to make money. But their price is never final, that’s for sure.

Ryan: Okay. What about he fixed-price versus the variable price? Some builders will say, this is a fixed-price contract so it won’t cost you any more if we run into problems or things like that. What do you think is the best option?

Ben: Definitely, I would never, ever move forward with a contract that wasn’t 100% fixed-price by the time I was signing off on the final HIA or MBA contract. You put yourself at massive risk if you do that. Because, for example, they could come back with a soil test and they’ve quoted you with a H-type class but it’s actually a different type of soil class, and all of a sudden, you’re up for an extra $5,000 or $10,000 there or they’ve quoted you a basic shell price but there’s no driveway, there’s no landscaping, there’s no grass, there’s no fences, there’s no floor coverings, there’s no window coverings. So, what you really want to do is get a fully turn-key price.

If I was to just build this property with you and next, I want to move into it after it’s finished, or rent it out, that’s the price that you’re looking for.

Ryan: Okay, cool. That’s good for people to know when they’re going into this. Do all builders offer this fully turn-key price? Because I know, like, when I was looking at it, some builders offered it as a package, here’s a turn-key package. Whereas, other builders didn’t seem to offer it from the get go but I felt like I could convince them to offer it, do you know what I mean?

Ben: So there’s probably 3 or 4 builders Australia-wide that I know that actually offer a turn-key product. And even getting those builders to give you that turn-key product upfront is near impossible. The major problem in the building industry at the moment, Australia-wide, is that people don’t know what they’re buying before they sign a document and provide money to that builder. And when they’ve done that, it’s almost too late because they feel obliged to move forward with them when the builder chucks an extra $15,000 to $50,000 on the price.

Yeah, it’s about identifying which of those builders in the marketplace actually provide a fixed-price. I suppose the easiest way to do that would be to jump on a site like Product Review. Google the builder that you’re looking for and actually read about what people – people will give great feedback to the good builders and absolutely slag off some of the others. And they’re very, very emotional because they’ve obviously invested so much money with these guys.

So, getting a fixed-price contract, I suppose, is having a checklist. And, Ryan, I can supply you with just a basic checklist for your audience, if you like, that you can attach to this.

Ryan: Yup.

Ben: It will just be these are the items that you need to look at for a build, and then you can go compare builder A versus builder B versus builder C to get that fixed price. But it’s probably the most challenging thing you’re going to come up against in the construction process. Actually getting to a final price, not depending on X, X or X.

Ryan:  Yup. So it’s worth working towards that. If people want to get that checklist, I’ll put it over at the blog. This will be episode 300. So, just go to OnProperty.com.au/300 or 3-0-0 and then we’ll provide that checklist over there so you can get access to that.

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Thank you so much, Ben, for your time and for sharing these sorts of things with us.

So, you are going ahead and you’re looking at purchasing a property, you’re looking at doing a build, keep some of those things in mind. Obviously, it’s always going to be speculative, based on who you are, your goals, the area and all of that sort of stuff. But, at least, now you’ve got an idea and some guidelines that you can push for those turn-key packages.

So, Ben, let’s just quickly talk about Pumped On Property. Let people know, if they don’t know already, you’re obviously working as a buyer’s agent helping people buy new and existing properties. Do you have many clients buying new properties or are most of them existing?

Ben: Yeah. So, generally, we help between 7 and 10 people buy or build brand new property each month. And, I’d say, probably 3 to 4 out of those people that work with us each month actually build or we support them to build. So, from that perspective, if you were our client, you’d come in, we’d identify exactly what you’re looking for. I’d go out and reach out to a network of builders and basically get you a number of fixed-price quotes and designs to have a look at. We’d refine that and massage that together. I would hold your hand all the way through the process of signing the contract, getting the fixed-price quote.

We actually also offer a service as part of our package, which where we’ll physically manage the construction process on your behalf and then go and review the property on completion to make sure that there’s no issues with the property as well before it’d get rented out.

So, it’s kind of like armchair investing, I suppose. And we’ll hold your hand and coach you with [inaudible 33:32]. On average, we’d probably save people between $20,000 and $30,000 on the price of their average build than if they would have walked into that same builder and do it themselves.

Ryan: Yeah. I think that’s pretty important for people to know is that this is an industry where there is a quite a lot of flex, depending on what your relationships are and the builders that you work with and, as Ben said, there’s only a few builders who would do those turn-key packages.

And so, if you don’t have experience building property, then it may be worth getting someone like Ben to help you out with the build of either your home or probably your investment property, moreso, for Ben. Because he focuses on investors, is that correct?

Ben: Yeah, 100%. Sorry, I’m not the best for those emotional guys looking for their dream home.

Ryan: Okay. So, if you’re building an investment property – I just didn’t want to put that on you and say you won’t deal with homeowners if you do. But yeah, if you’re looking at building an investment property, you want someone who has the inside knowledge, you want someone who can save you a bit of money. And, truthfully, knowing this industry and knowing how these things work, having someone on the inside who has relationships and can cut out a middle man or two, can save you a significant amount of money. And then, obviously, Ben can walk you through in more detail, like personalised things about your kitchen and your bathroom and the layout and all of these sort of stuff.

Look, if it was me, I would probably get your help. I don’t think I would build a house by myself anymore.

Ben: Sure.

Ryan: Just so people know, you can check him out, go to PumpedOnProperty.com. Just so you guys know, if you do let him know you came from On Property, I will get a referral fee for that. So, obviously, take that with a grain of salt, my recommendation because we do have a partnership there.

But, yeah, thank you so much, Ben. This has been really insightful to me because I didn’t know a whole heap about what to choose and what works well. And so, I feel like I’ve learned a lot and I think the listeners will as well.

Ben: Thank you so much for your time, guys. And, yeah, I appreciate your support as always, Ryan. Thanks a lot, mate.

Ryan: Alright, peace out. Talk to you later, bye.

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