You may think there’s no harm in diving right in and beginning your display home journey with a few random visits to homes that you just happen to drive past. But do you know if the display home is within your budget? Is the area somewhere you want to explore further? Is the home even open? And most importantly, did you pack a snack? We all know you’re not you when you’re hungry!
We’ve got a bunch of tips to make sure you don’t leave a display home visit totally wrapped in frustration (which you’ll probably take out on your partner later) because now you need to win the lotto to afford the home you just can’t live without. Or worse yet, you drove all the way there and the place wasn’t open! Even a pit stop at a winery on the way home can’t cure that kind of irritation … but it definitely helps.
Smartie Tip #1 – Planning, planning, planning.
In our industry people like to say things three times for extra impact. We think location, location, location has had its time in the spotlight for long enough so we’re giving the stage our newest favourite buzz word, planning! You can’t even do an effective grocery shop without it – a trolley full of Oreos and spicy hummus doesn’t really count as an effective shop! It’s the same with visiting display homes. You need to plan your way through it, starting with the location (well we can’t just get rid of the word completely!) You may want to visit a display home village that’s close to where you plan to build. Or perhaps you’re happy to spend a day out and about, transferring the info back to your suburb of choice. Either way, it’s good to know what’s around the display home so you can scope out other displays in the area that are within your price range.
This takes us to another important part of planning – your budget. It’s important to know how much the display home is priced at. You don’t want to spend your time viewing homes that are not within your budget; the new home design may be below your budget and therefore not have all the space and features you’re looking for. Or, more commonly, the home will be totally beyond your budget and you’ll just feel totally deflated that your Powerball numbers are yet to be called! Check out the New Homes liftout in The West for all the display home prices (or our website) and stick to viewing the ones you can afford.
When to go
It may seem obvious but the Type A inside us just has to remind you to check the opening hours! Most display homes are open Saturday and Sunday from 1pm until 5pm but it’s not a hard and fast rule so definitely double check. A lot of major buildings, including Smart Homes for Living of course, are now trialling twilight opening hours from 4pm to 7pm every Wednesday until Easter. Weekends are a peak time for family visits so it’s a good idea to return during the week for a second, more peaceful look around.
What to bring
It may seem easier to do this kind of thing alone but it’s definitely best to bring all the key decision makers with you, at least when you’re getting closer to the final product. Your kids and/or partner, will have their own ideas about what they want out of their new home design and the earlier you get that info, the better! You’ll also want to bring your camera to snap a bunch of pictures as you wander through the homes. It can be overwhelming on the day so having a collection of pics to scroll through will help to jog your memory along. On that same note, bring your phone (who would leave home without it anyway?!) or your iPad to take notes with and the more details the better – you liked the kitchen in Bianca display, but the living room’s better in the Preston display, but all of them need a dose of the Selena!
What else to bring? Snacks! Lots of display villages now have cafes, but with your family in tow, the more food (*ahem* bribes) the better!
Smartie Tip #2 – Chill, there’s no need to rush
It may feel like you want to rush into the process and get your new home built quicker than Megan Markel’s mates took to cash their tabloid checks. But, just remember: you don’t need to decide on a builder or a home on day one. Spend time (perhaps in a bath with a glass of bubbles … just a suggestion) imagining your life in each home that you’ve visited. Is it practical? Will it stand the test of time five or 10 years down the track? Is the design really what you want or is it just what you’ve seen on Instagram lately? There are heaps of things to consider with any new home design and you’ll need a few nights to sleep on it.
If you’ve spent too long in the bath and begin to prune up, it may be time to chat to your builder and get some practical advice. At Smart, our new homes consultants are all about talking you through the benefits of each design. They’re also very good listeners – and the proof is in the reviews – so it’s not like you’ll have to sit through a long sales spiel that isn’t even relevant to you. In fact, we kind of hate sales speeches, so we’re always up for a chat about your new home design and all the design features you are debating. Is a galley kitchen or an L-shaped design better for a big family? What about an island benchtop? I have a huge modular lounge that I love, which theatre room layout do I need? I work from home so the study is important; I love the open-planned style but is a private study better? Nothing is off limits. It’s our job to get the perfect new home design for you and that means talking it out!
Smartie Tip #3 – Don’t just consider the design of the display home, consider the builder
It’s totally normal to spend hours thinking about the design of your new home, but you’ll also want to dedicate some of that time to scoping out the perfect builder. We don’t really have the authority to talk about another builder, so we’ll just spend this time talking about our awesomeness. Here are some questions you’ll want to get answered:
What build quality are they offering? We’ve got Verticlay bricks, Westinghouse appliances, Colourbond gutters and roofs. Who doesn’t love a shameless namedrop?
What kind of timeline can they commit to? With Smart, we guarantee a 25-week build time from the moment the slab is down!
Can I make any changes to the layout? We are all about customisation and can make your home just the way you want it. Many builders don’t allow any changes to their new home designs, or it costs a fortune, so get this question answered early on.
What’s included as standard? It’s common for builders to take out a lot of extras to lower the marketable price. With Smart, our standard inclusions are so impressive you’ll likely have to pay for them as ‘extras’ with other builders!
Get into details like, where are your cabinets from? SHFL is one of the few builders to use custom cabinetry in every home that is made and assembled in WA
Are there any promotions running? Who doesn’t love a bargain. Check out our promotions online to see how you can add some more value to your Smart home.
How many homes have they built? We’re into five digits, but who’s counting?!
You can do your research before you visit the display home (it could save you some time to mark some builders off your list in the early stages), or chat to the sales consultant who’s there on the day. They’ll be able to give you all the information you need and show you the more tangible details, like their standard finishes and designs, IRL.
Smartie Tip #4 – Get the brochures, contact details, and plans on your way out
We kind of said it all in the headline so no need to say it again. Perhaps start by browsing our display home village locations”