How to Choose a Builder, Designer or Architect

It is critical to choose the right expert to help you with your home – as the wrong choice could be costly.

Some Advice From the Experts

“Whether you’re looking for an architect, builder or designer, there are numerous ways to find the right people for the job,” says Robert Caulfield, managing director of Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. “The first thing to do is to ask family, friends and colleagues for recommendations – it’s always good to have someone that comes by referral.”

Another step in the right direction is to take note of properties and renovations that appeal to you as you drive around the area you reside in. “If you’ve seen work that you like, it’s generally not difficult to find out who the architect or builder was,” adds Caulfield. If you’re in need of an architect, Caulfield points out that you can take advantage of Archicentre’s client/architect matching service. “When people call, we discuss their budget and what exactly they want to do, and we will match them up with a registered architect in their area, someone who will know local builders and subcontractors, understands weather and environmental conditions in the area, and is familiar with local council regulations.”

A similar service applies for builders. The building and construction industry is presided over by the Master Builders Association of Australia, and your relevant state or territory branch of the association will help you to locate a registered Master Builder in your area.

“There is a licensing system for builders in every state, and your number-one priority should be to make sure the builder you employ is registered,” says Caulfield. “You can contact the Builders’ Registration Board or the equivalent board in your state to check registration.”

When looking to hire a builder, be alert to anyone who suggests you take on the owner/builder mantle for a discounted price. “This will often indicate that the builder is not registered, or has been struck off for bad practice,” Caulfield warns.

Interior designers and decorators best come personally recommended, advises Caulfield. “You do not need to be qualified or registered to set yourself up as an interior designer or decorator, so ask plenty of questions and make sure your consultant is qualified and is completely independent and not receiving any kickbacks by selling products,” he says.

The key to making a confident choice is to always get at least three quotes. This will give you some insight into what different companies have to offer in terms of the service they provide. In addition, price can vary enormously from company to company, and having this knowledge can give you some bargaining power.

Ask Questions

Once you’ve spoken to a professional about a quote, you want to obtain as much information about the services they provide as possible. The most efficient way to do this is to have a list of questions ready.

You should expect your consultant to be able to answer all queries without hesitation, and they should also be asking questions – it’s a sure sign they have experience in meeting the needs of their clients.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises when building or renovating your home, it is imperative you understand that the process from design to completion is necessarily long and all parties involved must have a clear understanding of each other’s position.

“For starters, the client and architect or builder must have a clear brief and a fee agreement in place. During the building phase, you need to have concise and accurate working drawings and a contract that is sufficiently detailed, includes start and finish dates and fees, and states that there are unlikely to be any variations,” Caulfield explains. “That way, you can proceed with confidence.”

We buy houses in Tampa, if you have a house you would like to sell give us a shot at it!

2 Benefits of Selling Your Home in Winter

According to the Home Buyer Confidence Index, people are feeling more positive about buying a home now than they were in Spring and the first home buyers confidence levels are very high. With interest rates so low and the majority of Australia still experiencing a sellers market, here are 2 reasons it might just be the right time to sell.

Demand and interest rates make winter selling a good option

Buyers are Sniffing

Traditionally, the main selling season we hear about is spring. And it makes sense! You can give the home a thorough spring clean, the warmer weather brings more people out to open homes and auctions, and people could be on the lookout for a great summer home. But we feel like that gives winter the short end of the stick – the colder months can actually be a great time to sell your home! Here’s why you should consider getting in touch to list your home this winter.

According to the Genworth Streets Ahead Home Buyer Confidence Index, as of March 2015 people were feeling more positive about buying a home than they were in September! First home buyers in particular were feeling feisty – their confidence levels were higher than the overall national figure.

This could be due to the cash rate cut in February, which RP Data’s Tim Lawless said brought interest rates to their lowest levels since 1968. Given that the Reserve Bank has cut the cash rate again in May, it could be even easier for buyers to access a home loan and enter the market. They might want to get a home quickly, and fix an interest rate at the current low levels – all the better for you to put up that for sale sign and secure a quick transaction!

Supply Still Favors the Seller

A real estate market favours a buyer, a seller, or both – it just depends on levels of supply and demand. If you are selling property in somewhere like Sydney or Melbourne, then demand outweighs supply and you are likely to experience some solid profits. This comes from the Commonwealth Bank 2015 Home Buyers Index, which states that many homes are selling for well above their list price!

Meanwhile in Adelaide and Perth, the markets are quite balanced. Wherever you decide to sell, engaging an agent is a great way to get excellent value for your asset. But as markets shift, so the momentum could move away from the seller – consider getting in while the going is good.

Choosing when to sell doesn’t seem like that difficult a decision, but the right timing could be the difference between breaking even and making a profit. Experienced agents know how to get ahead of the market – don’t neglect the right advice when you’re tossing up whether to sell! We buy houses in Arlington Tx, call us.