Director of Stonewood Homes Manawatu and Horowheuna, Edgar Caballero, says with building costs and interest rates having risen over the past year, it was crucial people planning to have a new home built determine their budget and have a realistic wish list for their new home.
“While building costs have now stabilised, they are not going to go backwards, so people need to be realistic and be prepared to readjust their expectations about their new home build,” Mr Caballero said.
Mr Caballero said he advises clients to determine the top three things they want in their new home and then see what extras they can get within their budget.
“For some people, their focus is on high-end finishes like granite benchtops, while for others a fourth bedroom is a non-negotiable,” he said. “People have to decide what’s important to them and be prepared to be flexible with the floor plan, for example, by forgoing a study space to get a fourth bedroom.”
Mr Caballero said there was a strong demand for new subdivisions in Manawatu and changes to the legislation around housing intensification meant that a lot of smaller homes, like terrace housing, were being built in the area.
“There has definitely been a shift in attitudes regarding smaller homes and people are seeing that having a smaller home built will get them into the property market within their budget,” he said.
Mr Caballero said a new build definitely stacked up against an existing home, as a new build gave people the opportunity to pick and choose the exact house style and finishes they wanted.
“If you buy an older home, it’s never going to be 100% what you wanted and you’ll be paying for upgrades like renovating the kitchen, installing double insulated windows or adding a deck,” he said. “Older homes also come with extra maintenance from the general wear and tear that has occurred since the house was built.”
Mr Caballero and partner Catherine Geraghty moved their building business back to Manawatu from Wellington four years ago after the birth of their first daughter.
“Catherine was born in Manawatu and we decided the time was right to move back and since then we’ve seen a lot of people move here from the bigger cities. It’s a much better lifestyle here and you have all the natural attractions basically on your doorstep.”
Late last year Mr Caballero and Catherine Geraghty joined Stonewood Homes as the Manawatu and Horowheuna franchise.
“As a standalone building company, we were doing everything on our own,” Mr Caballero said. “We’re now part of a much bigger and well-known building brand and we have both the operational support and financial backing of Stonewood Homes.”
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