It’s the moment new home buyers anxiously await. Your new home construction has been completed and your builder is going to hand over the keys.
But according to Jeff Dennis, sales manager Better Built Homes with more than 40 years experience in the new home building industry, there is more to do before you can relax.
“It’s important to know what to expect during the handover process which will be outlined in your contract. It’s worth checking that section before you sign,” Mr Dennis said.
“When your builder has scheduled the home for completion they will give you a notice of practical completion which will normally be at least five days before. The more notice you have the better as it gives you time to arrange the visit. You will receive an invite to meet onsite and walk through the property with the supervisor.
“The final walk-through is very important because it allows you to check for any faults in the workmanship or any aspect you are not happy with in the home. This will take time and you should look carefully for any defects and bring them to the attention of the supervisor.
“At the same time make detailed notes of each fault so that you can check that all have been attended to effectively before you move in,” he said.
The home builder is obliged to fix any defects within a specified time frame but it is not the time to request any changes which should have been included into the plans before construction began. Once faults have been corrected you will be handed the keys.
In addition to your inspection with the supervisor, a private certifier will inspect the property and check that it has been built to the appropriate standards and that all trade work has been fully certified.
If the building is compliant, the certifier will issue an occupation certificate which allows you to live in the property. Make sure you have this certificate in your handover documentation from the builder.
Your bank will also send a representative to the home to make the final valuation. They will check the occupation certificate is in place before releasing the final payment.
“Once the bank has made the final payment you will be given the keys and you can finally move into your new home.
“It’s an exciting moment but before you get too excited make sure you have the building insured the day you get the keys. It is definitely your responsibility at that point,” Mr Dennis said.
“You should also check you have all the builders warranties for the fixture and fittings and that you understand what is covered by the builders warranty just in case anything goes wrong. Then all you have to do is make the move and enjoy your new home.”