I’ll start by offering some free advice – don’t build a house. If you’re thinking about building a house, slap yourself a few times then start looking at existing housing stock. OK, it might not be that bad, but we’ve managed to hit yet another hurdle when it comes to finally having a new house to move into.
We had handover of the house scheduled for the 4th of September, however, I can now say with some confidence that it won’t happen for at least another 2 weeks.
Why? Well, here is the deal…
Our builder (for whatever reason) has a policy of doing the final walk through of the house (this is where you find all the small things that need to be fixed) on the handover date. It is expected that the buyer will turn up on the day with the final payment and the builder hands over the keys to the house. This is a bit of an interesting process when compared to what we did last time.
Last time we built a house we did a walk through about 2-3 weeks prior to the handover date, and the builder then fixed all the problems prior to handover. At handover we then exchanged money for keys.
The problem this time is that we are expected to handover the money before we have had a chance to identify the defects. I told the builder this, and they said that over the following weeks (after handover) they would fix any outstanding issues. Now I’ve taken the time to quickly look over just the external of the house, and I have found some pretty major defects, which the builder has said won’t be fixed prior to handover.
If they aren’t going to fix it before handover and then they want payment, you have no leverage over them. You are essentially at their beck and call. Fortunately, my bank agrees with my point of view, and have in fact mandated that all defects be resolved prior to handing over the final payment.
As you can see I’m a bit stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment. The builder wants to be paid, but the bank won’t let me release the payment. The end result – we will turn up on handover date and identify the defects, then wait until they are fixed before we move into the house.
Hopefully they won’t take long to fix all the problems and we can finally get stuck into moving in.
This whole building process has been a really poor experience and I will be doing a detailed write up once we have moved in.