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  • KarenOverend

5 reasons why homeowners need to get legal advice on building contracts

1. It's a major asset.

Even at an 'affordable house' level, any contract worth 1/2 a million dollars (or more!) is a lot of money. That's the amount of money at risk if you don't get it right.

2. It's a major contract.

A building contract is not an easy contract. It's not as straight-forward as buying 40 widgets for a set sum of money. There are a lot of variables in there, and a lot of unknowns.

3. It's a lengthy time period.

There's a long time between signing and completing the house. Things can change over this period ranging from personal circumstances to general market circumstances (and even occasionally things out of your control like earthquakes). The contract needs to be able to deal with this.

4. There's an emotional connection for the buyer.

The case below is unfortunately one of those times where the buyer did get legal advice but they were so emotionally invested in the deal, they ignored it. At least they were warned. We see many customers come to us after signing without knowing what they were getting themselves into.

5. Unrealistic expectations can clash against industry terms.

We are not saying that the couple below were unrealistic in this case, but often we see buyers not understanding industry terminology commonly used in building contracts. This is a recipe for disaster when both the builder and the homeowner can feel aggrieved. It's especially the case when a homeowner has an unrealistic expectation as to how a build process goes, and this clashes against standard contract terms that are written by, and often strongly favour, the building industry.

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