Tempo Living

Buy Your Best Home

A value-for-money checklist for new home buyers

Buying a new home can be either exciting or stressful and that all depends on your level of confidence. Confidence largely depends on how informed you are. So, here is a checklist that identifies all the big factors you need to consider when you are buying a new home.

The neighbourhood

Birds of a feather flock together. So too do people. So, take time to get to know the potential neighbourhoods you are considering. Is it attracting people like you? Does it have the amenities – built or planned – that you will want? Look into the local council and learn about the issues affecting the area as well as the medium- and long-term plans the council has. If you are considering two or more possible neighbourhoods, do a pros and cons list for each.

The developer

Look into who the developer is, assess their track record and possibly visit previous areas they have developed. Make a list of the things you like about the developer’s approach and develop a set of questions you might want to ask them. When you do talk with them make sure you are satisfied with the answers you get. You also need to be sure the local council will approve the home you wish to build with a minimum of fuss.

The builder

Track record is everything for builders. So, make sure you are dealing with a well-established company with a current licence. The longer they’ve held a licence, the greater the likelihood they know what they are doing. We’ve held a licence since 1989.

Winning industry awards or being finalists in awards is always reassuring. It is a very competitive industry and awards reflect quality.

Make sure the build also meets all local council requirements and will not be delayed by council processes. So, check potential builders for any non-compliance issues, fines, disciplinary action or even tribunal orders, as they warn of headaches you won’t want.

The site

Firstly, you need to know if your builder guarantees the build time. Next, you need to know if there are site-specific costs that could vary the total cost to you. A big one is the number of piers needed in the foundations for a particular home design on a particular site. Are electricity, water and gas connections included in the fixed price or will they vary? If an allowance is made for these, on what basis is it calculated?


Inclusion details can be very murky, and it is an area where less professional builders try to make extra profit. You need to start by knowing exactly what is included in the basic package and price. Next, you need to know what options might be available as upgrades, and by how much each will change the price.

And remember, it is not just the fittings and finishes. Check things like the level of insulation included and the BASIX or EERS certificates that relate to it. Similarly, if using timber frames, are they termite resistant?

Prices and guarantees

You want a no-surprises experience. The best way to achieve that is to make sure your builder has included everything you want and has agreed to them, for a fixed price—and have that price guaranteed. Also, have the time to tender and build guaranteed as time blow-outs will cost you dearly.

Hopefully, this checklist will help you successfully navigate the process of buying a brand-new home.

At Tempo Living, we also provide potential customers with a much more detailed checklist, so that they can compare our homes and the service we provide against our competitors. We are not afraid of you undertaking that comparison. In fact, we encourage you to do it.

If you would like us to send the checklist to you via email when it is ready, please fill in the form below.

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