New rules have purposely made property investment far less profitable – unless you build new. Here’s what you need to know.
The cherry on top of an incredibly successful year, Sentinel Homes Waikato has just taken out a national win at Master Builders House of the Year. That means their Ngaruawahia home has been named the country’s best in its category – a massive achievement. Read on to learn more about how Waikato keeps going from strength to strength.
It’s only been three years since Andrew and Julia Kuriger brought Sentinel Homes to Taranaki – and most of that has been through a pandemic. Even so, the couple’s passion for design and quality has seen them go from strength to strength, with a stunning new show home and impressive wins at Registered Master Builders House of the Year.
Despite a few challenges from the global pandemic, we’ve seen huge success across the country at Registered Master Builders House of the Year, 2021. Three homes rank in New Zealand’s top 100 – we’re the only group home builder to gain those accolades. It’s a testament to the care and passion for quality you’ll find at every Sentinel Homes business in New Zealand.
This year, Christmas is coming a little early for Sentinel Homes clients –when you sign up to build a new home with us before 17 December 2021, you’ll get $3k to put on the best Christmas ever! With the festive season just around the corner, we reached out to our amazing franchisees to see how they’re planning on spending the day – so you could get some inspiration on how to spend your Christmas windfall.
Speak to any of our franchisees and they’ll tell you one of the biggest reasons for joining Sentinel Homes is because our approach to business matched theirs. Since we first started, we’ve been focused on doing more than just building houses – we want to make a difference in the future of New Zealand.
Alan and Liz Butler had to move – their house was old and needed a lot of work. And when you race lawnmowers and build hovercrafts in your spare time, as Alan does, a regular house just isn’t going to cut the mustard. Initially, they looked at renovating but realised that if they built they’d get exactly what they needed – man cave and all. “If we sold, we could move, buy land and build,” Alan explains.
At first glance, Todd Wakerley’s career trajectory has been all about building and making. He started as a fitter and turner, then went into business with his brothers building motor homes.“Then I bought a Bobcat and went to play in the dirt for a while,’ he laughs. Management roles followed, in truck assembly and bus refurbishment. Look again, and you’ll see that Todd is actually driven, not just by making things, but by helping people.
When it comes to building or subdividing, it’s often what’s underground that can cause the most hassle. From pipes in the wrong place or unstable ground to protected trees or deceptively steep slopes, understanding the unique constraints of your build site can set your project up for success. It means you can tweak designs or build techniques, seek additional approvals or expert support so you have a better chance of sticking to timelines and budgets.
Perched on an outcrop overlooking the Akatarawa Valley is Stephanie and Campbell’s dream home, built by the team at Sentinel Homes Wellington and Kapiti. Their journey began after Stephanie’s mum passed away just a year after moving into her new build – it was a wake-up call to seize the day.
From design to customer service – they’re awarded for every area of the business. Winning any award is always satisfying, but when you’re taking out accolades in every area of your business, you know you’re doing something right.
What a year 2020 has been, with huge ups and downs across the board. For Sentinel Homes, it has been a productive year with our franchisees busier than ever.
Nicole and Kurt’s journey to building their “forever home” was a bit unusual. They weren’t thinking of moving, let alone building, until Nicole’s parents came to stay while they hunted for their next property.
Sarah and Andrew McTaggart had very clear ideas about what they wanted from their new home build. It had to make the most of their stunning Akatarawa section and support their varied interests and lifestyle pursuits.
We all know times have changed. Kiwis are not only spending more time than ever at home – discovering they’ve outgrown their present property – they’re also spending less time than ever overseas, discovering breath-taking holiday spots right here in Aotearoa instead.
During the working week, Hayden Rau of Sentinel Homes Wellington and Kapiti can be seeing tootling around in his branded car. But underneath all that polite driving and professional polish? He’s a card-carrying petrol-head.
While many employers and employees already enjoyed the benefits of remote work, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit our shores that it became widespread.Companies who had been dragging their feet were forced to ‘make do’ with staff working from home, and many found it worked surprisingly well. Employees are liking it too. One survey suggests that over 70 percent of workers don’t want to go back to the way things were.
Pivot: it’s the word of the pandemic, as companies all over the country – and the world – change the way they think about their offering, and how they deliver it to clients.Sentinel Homes was no different. While our core work – building houses – can’t change much, we worked hard behind the scenes to move everything else online. Like others in business, we’ve found that the changes lockdown required us to make came with a raft of benefits – and fewer downsides than we expected. Here are the pivots and innovations we implemented to make sure we could keep serving our customers – wherever we were.
The government’s COVID strategy of going hard and going fast has worked, but it wasn’t without its complications. People all over the country scrambled to do everything they needed to get done before level four lockdown took effect. As it happens, Toa and Luma Tauai had only 20 minutes to spare to move into their brand-new home!
Our latest charity home just sold in Wellington, netting our largest donation to Parenting Place to date. Every cent of the six-figure profit is going to the charity and will be put towards the practical support of children, parents and families. Read more about the scheme and what Parenting Place CEO Greg Fleming had to say.
“They came across energetic and they were as excited as we were. They wanted to do a quality job.” The Auckland North West team have won a contract to build not one, but seven new homes. We spoke to developers, Bela and Mariann Horvath, about how they knew Sentinel Homes were the right people for the job.
We’re big supporters of Hockey New Zealand – we back many of their smaller events and are the presenting partner for the FIH Pro League. So we couldn’t have been more pleased with New Zealand’s performance this year. We were underdogs, but took home some stunning wins – the men’s team even beat the reigning Olympic champs!
This year’s conference was all about mental health. As owners, we have a responsibility to keep our people safe and well – and that includes their mental wellbeing.
Tony O’Brien might be the newest Sentinel Homes franchisee, but he’s far from being a newbie! His experience in the building industry stretches back three decades – and the most recent 14 years have been spent helping people design and build their dream homes in the Bay of Plenty.
Back in August, the team pulled in an impressive haul of awards – the North West franchise in particular were over the moon to be awarded not one, but TWO golds. One of those was a gold reserve medal for Auckland in the new home category, 450k to 600k.
Wow! It’s safe to say the team here at Sentinel Homes is fizzing with excitement after this year’s Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards – we’ve taken home our most impressive ever haul!
For the last three years, Sentinel Homes has been proud to partner with Hockey New Zealand. It started when we sponsored the finals of the Women’s Hockey World League played here in NZ. The partnership worked so well that we’ve kept it going – we now sponsor the FIH Pro League, hockey’s answer to Super Rugby, but played by national teams.
A wee while ago, we launched a really exciting campaign – sign up to build with us and you’ll go in the draw to win $25K to spend on rent or your mortgage while you’re waiting for your new home to be ready. Sentinel Homes CEO Stuart Shutt says he wanted to give away something he knew would really help someone out.
Some people tell us that working with us gives them the best of both worlds – the reassurance and systems of a group home builder, but with far more design freedom. With us, you don’t have to pick your home out of a catalogue and just hope that it fits with your site and your family. We follow a really detailed process with architectural designers to make sure your new home suits you perfectly.
Lifting the lid on our build process – and the costs involved. For many, building a new home is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s also, often, a decision that requires big time and financial commitments. A quick Google search for ‘home builders nz’ will more than likely give you a ridiculous number of results – including close to 20 different building companies ready to help you build your dream home.
Watching Grand Designs, you can’t help but wonder – is building a new home always that stressful? We know from experience that the answer is ‘no’. In fact a recent customer, Joe Webber, called building with us “relaxing”! While that’s probably a bit much to ask from most builds, the truth is that minimising stress is really just about ticking a few boxes – and avoiding a few no-nos. We dug into the shared expertise of our franchisees, to compile this definitive list of building dos and don’ts.
You’ve finally managed to save a deposit for a new home – a new build even! You’re chomping at the bit to get started, but whether this is your first home or your fifth, the thing to remember is like Rome, your home won’t be built in a day.
Pro tips for less stressMoving house is no one’s idea of fun. Even if you love organising and tidying, there’s still the stress of the move itself to get through. Then there’s days or weeks of living with boxes you haven’t had time to unpack.The good news is there are some things you can do to the make the whole thing easier. We shared some of our pro moving tips on our Facebook page, and were inundated with amazing hacks from our community.
There’s nothing quite like designing and building your own home. Think floor-to-ceiling kitchen storage, open-plan living – heck, you could install a hand basin for every family member if you wanted. Starting from scratch allows you to create a home that functions perfectly for you and your family.
Meet Anna and Ruary O’Toole: our new Nelson/Marlborough and Tasman franchiseesAnna O’Toole and her husband Ruary are Sentinel Homes newbies, but when it comes to owning a building company, they’re old hands.The couple are still running their commercial building company – joining the Sentinel Homes family as our Nelson/Marlborough and Tasman Franchise has rounded out what they can offer to the area.
When you’re building your new home, where do you live? Do you rent a property, stay in your existing home (and pay two mortgages) or live in a caravanIt’s worth thinking about. While the cost of the land and the build are considered in your budget, often the cost of rent doesn’t get accounted for.
Tawhiri and Tanya Pohio, owners of Sentinel Homes Manawatu/Whanganui, are people with vision. Already successful business owners, they have been running a renovations company since 2005. Then, a few years ago, Tawhiri made a plan – he wanted them to be running a company specialising in new builds by 2019.
Generally, when people think about building a house, “relaxing” is not what they picture.But that’s exactly what Joe Webber says Sentinel Homes delivered when we built not one, but two homes for him.
A BIG CONTRIBUTION FOR AN AMAZING CAUSE We’ve got a pretty big Christmas present ready for Parenting Place this year – a brand new house. After buying the land and building a home, we’ll sell the property and hand the profits over to our favourite charity.
Christmas is all about spending time with the family – and at Sentinel Homes, that doesn’t just mean relatives. Part of what makes our company so unique is our strong shared values, and the silly season lets us spend some time on our work relationships.
Sentinel Homes has once again seen its passion for building great family homes rewarded at the RMB Auckland House of the Year Awards. Sentinel Homes took out six awards, including gold - taking the Auckland team’s gold tally to nine, with 30 awards in total. We also won Gold Reserve (the overall winner in a category) in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Last month our Warkworth/Matakana franchise owner, Brent Gilchrist passed away unexpectedly. The following story is testament to Brent’s legacy of integrity, passion and good will – something Brent’s wife Ursula and her team are committed to as they continue to manage Sentinel Homes Warkworth/Matakana.
We’re all about the people here at Sentinel Homes, and our staff are an integral part of that philosophy. To give you an insight into our awesome team, we’re profiling our people up and down the country. This month, the spotlight is on Maree van de Water, our NorthWest franchise owner and Managing Director.
The Sentinel App gave Kevan and Michelle visibility and full control from their European holiday
Two living areas and a separated bedroom zone make this Sentinel Homes showhome ideal for family and entertaining
It’s no secret that it’s getting harder and harder to get approved as a borrower to purchase property in this market, and there are a number of things driving that.
I like the Harry Potter books. Not in a ‘I-have-a-Hufflepuff-tramp-stamp’ crazy-fan kind of way, but I have read each of the books and seen the corresponding movies. I remember watching one of the films with Caitlin once and she said, “I like these movies, but when I read the books, I imagined Hogwarts to be on a much grander scale, didn’t you?” Without needing to think about it, I replied: “nope, I just pictured Hogwarts as my high school”.
Thomas and Caitlin Weston are turning a bare piece of dirt into a family home with help from Sentinel Homes. Follow their journey as they turn their quest for a dream home into reality.
When Sentinel made the decision to franchise the company in 2015, Barney Culloty became the company’s first regional managing director. Two years later, he’s loving his new challenge.
When Kylie Harcourt typed the wrong word in a real estate search, it sent her down a rabbit hole that ended with her dream; a beautiful cottage in a remote location. Find out how Sentinel Homes turned that dream into a reality.
Sentinel Homes Waikato were delighted to pick up a clutch of awards at the annual Registered Master Builders House of the Year awards at the Claudelands Event Centre recently. It was a great achievement given this was the first time they had entered the Awards and they knew they were up against some fierce competition. It’s a testament to the quality of their work that they managed to pick up a Gold and then the overall Category Winner for their Flagstaff Showhome. They were also awarded a Silver and the Lifestyle Award for Outdoor Living for one of their client’s Cambridge Park homes.
The past year has been an interesting one for the real estate market in the Bay of Plenty, with prices generally rising in response to increased demand in the area. For those planning on purchasing their first home, it’s especially important to pay attention to what the horizon will bring. Read on to find out more about our outlook.
When you build a new home, you’re making a large financial and emotional investment. You want to find the best possible builder to build your home and asking the right questions can help you do that.
House and land packages combine the comfort of owning land with the freedom that comes with designing your own home plan. Your customisation possibilities extend beyond the home itself, allowing you to choose both where the windows are and the view they look out to. With lots of exciting land ownership opportunities opening up in recent years, it’s a great time to look at combining your new house design with a plot to match.
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