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Getting the Final Building Quote

We went to see the Fairmont Homes salesman today. He gave us a final quote based on our selections and talked us through the whole process.

Firstly, we put the list of house requirements to him which he dutifully entered into his computer to produce a quote. He must have used an existing quote and modified it because there were a few things included that we didn't really want. The final price came out to $118,156. This was around $2000 less than we were expecting and still included roof insulation ($1200) and a full range hood for the oven ($350). So really the quote was around $3500 less than we were expecting. The main reason for this is that he ended up giving us the spa in the main bathroom for free ($1500 value) and then gave us another $1500 off because he said we were low effort customers. I think we're going to end up keeping the roof insulation but we're definitely going to drop the range hood, this gives a final price of $117,806. This doesn't include any upgrades to tapware or tiling in the bathrooms that we want, so I'd expect this figure to move up a little still.

One other inclusion I should mention is that they are throwing in a 6 outlet evaporative airconditioning system. Pretty good deal really, I figure this has around a $3200-$3400 value and saves us time getting three quotes and so on after the house is built. This means the only jobs we are likely to have inside the house now are:

  • Installing a gas space heater (~$1500)

  • Carpeting the bedrooms (~$1000)

  • Floor covering to the living areas (~$4000)
  • The salesman threw a spanner into the works with regard to the floor covering to the living area. We had been planning to install floating laminate timber floors in the house with me doing the installation, saving about $1500. However this was on the proviso we could install the boards with the edges under the skirting boards. The usual method is to use 'quad', a quarter round wooden section to line the edges of the flooring. This looks ugly and we were hoping the builder would allow us to lay the flooring and them to attach the skirting afterward. Unfortunately it doesnt look like this will be possible.

    A brief discussion of time lines was had. It looks like the concrete foundations will go down 2-3 months after signing the building contract. The majority of this time is taken up by local government development approval (which takes 4-8 weeks) and local governement building approval (which takes around 2 weeks). With a building time of 6-7 months it looks like 11 months is the shortest time to completion we can hope for. I'm expecting 13-14 months. The only positive to come out of this long delay before building is that the first installment of the building loan will not be required for at least four months. This leaves us paying interest only on the additional $140,000 we borrowed to pay for the land during these four months. Quite manageable.

    One interesting point that came up was that the salesman had actually looked at the block of land we bought a few months before, interested in buying it himself. Apparently the vendor had wanted $170,000 for it, we paid $136,000. Clearly the vendor had toned down his expectations a little!

    The only outcome of the meeting was to set a time for next week to go and sign the building contract and pay the initial (unrefundable) $1560 deposit.


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