The home building process

How to read the fine print on home builder promotions

Whether you’re shopping for the latest headphones, a luxury holiday or a new home, everybody wants to know they’re getting a good deal.

But unlike the latest tech gadgets or a trip to Hawaii, a new home is unlikely to be an impulse buy. You’ve probably spent years saving a deposit and planning every detail, from the façade and floorplan right through to the furniture in the master suite.

That’s why it can be easy to overlook the promotions on offer from home builders that are pulling out all the stops to win your business. Incentives such as appliance upgrades, cash rebates and discounts might seem too good to be true, but they can end up making a huge difference to your bottom line if you take the time to read the fine print.


What sorts of incentives or promotions do home builders offer?

If you’re on the hunt for a new home builder, it can seem as though each one is offering promotion or deal that sounds better than the last. Broadly speaking, though, most new home promotions will fall into one of four categories:

  • Upgrades: Luxury kitchen appliances, higher spec fixtures and finishes or additional rooms offered as standard inclusions in your new home package for a greatly reduced price. These can also take the form of vouchers for you to spend with supplier partners.
  • Cash rebates: Discounts or cash back offers on the price of your home. These offers can also be applied to additional fees such as stamp duty.
  • Reduced site costs: When a builder offers to contribute to, or waive, hidden expenses such as soil tests, site surveys and driveways and landscaping.
  • Free gifts: Offers of free holidays, cars and televisions as a “gift” with purchase.


How do I know if a promotion is worth it?

Consumers are far savvier about their buying decisions than ever before, particularly when it comes to the big-ticket purchases, such as your dream home.

It’s easy to dismiss discounts or special offers as “too good to be true” and in many cases they are. Some builders may advertise an extremely low base price that doesn’t include many of the features required for a home to function. Others might promote free inclusions but raise their overheads, so you’ll find yourself paying for them down the track.

But some promotions can save you thousands on build costs, help you get the home of your dreams and improve its resale value.

Builders often operate at a scale that enables them to make savings on top-of-the-line appliances or higher spec products that suppliers would not normally offer if they were selling directly to the consumer.


The trick is understanding the real value of the promotion and that requires some research before you sign on the dotted line. Here are five questions to get you started.

  • How much is the offer/promotion actually worth? If a builder is offering a promotion with a dollar value – for instance, $25,000 worth of appliance upgrades – pull out your calculator and make sure all the figures check out.  Compare the price of the upgrade between different builders and find out the retail price of the appliances and how much extra it would cost to install them.
  • What is the price of the home without the promotion? Evaluate what builder offers as a “standard” inclusion and what it would cost to upgrade certain features. When performing a direct comparison, ask for fixed price with no hidden costs and a detailed breakdown. It will soon become clear which builders’ promotions are offering real value and which builders have simply added the cost to another part of the tender so that your “free dishwasher” really means that you’re just paying more for kitchen cabinetry.
  • Do I qualify for the offer/promotion? There may be certain conditions that you will need to meet in order to qualify for the promotions and these should be listed in the fine print. Some offers only apply to homes of a certain value or in a specific location so make sure you meet all the requirements before taking the plunge.
  • Will the offer/promotion add value to my home? Appliance upgrades and luxury finishes will almost definitely add quantifiable value to your home, while cashback offers and discounts may free up additional capital for you to spend on your own finishing touches. Just be wary of “gift with purchase” promotions such as a car or holiday. Sailing off on a cruise while your home is being built sounds like an attractive prospect, but it won’t actually improve your home or its resale value, and you might find the cost of that cruise buried somewhere in the fine print of your new home contract.
  • Does the builder have a good reputation? This is by far the most important question you should be asking yourself when deciding on a builder for your new home. Visit their display homes and take note of the quality of the build and the suppliers they work with. Research reviews and testimonials online and talk to existing customers at different stages of their own home building journeys. Finally, have a frank and honest conversation about what you’re looking for in a dream home. Any quality builder will work do their best to incorporate those features into their quote.

Check out Rawson Homes’ current offers and promotions and call 1300 223 345 to find out more.



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