With Murray and Debbie Garland (Signature Homes)

signature-homes-debbie-murray-garland-1aSignature Homes has been a major part of the New Zealand residential construction scene for more than 35 years. Murray and Debbie Garland have owned the Papakura/Franklin (Auckland) franchise for almost 10 years and have built a reputation for experience combined with progressive ideas and sound building practices.

Before embarking on the Signature Homes franchise what was Murray’s industry experience?

Murray considers himself one of the lucky ones as he has known since he was 8 years old that he wanted to be a builder. He now has close to 40 years’ experience in the building industry. He started as an apprentice for a local builder in 1978 and began working for himself a short time after coming out of his apprenticeship. His passion for the building industry has continued throughout his working career.

Franklin district has seen a huge surge in new building activity over the past five years, how significant has this been for Signature Homes?

This has had a huge impact on our business, and we have become better at providing housing solutions for the first home buyer and investors by way of offering many House & Land package options as land has become available.

You are one of a small group of leading companies to have been chosen to build in the new Paerata Rise – have you made a start there yet? How many homes do you have on the drawing board?

Yes, it is very exciting to be involved in this prestigious subdivision. We have only five sites left in Stage 1 and they are proving very popular – each home is unique in appearance and our House & Land packages start from $789,000. We will also secure sites in all the stages following Stage 1.

What are some common inclusions in these homes; are they all House & Land packages and who are they best suited to?

All of the homes in Paerata Rise include free specialist kitchen design, stone tops to the kitchen, carpets, building consent, and all landscaping, driveways and patios. The only thing not included are the window treatments as they are a personal thing. However, we do have an excellent contact for these. So, apart from that, there is nothing to do when you move in but enjoy the home.

While we have house and land packages for all our sites, we can change the plans to suit the client’s needs, these homes are suited to anyone who desires to live in an attractive, modern home and in a vibrant community, including astute investors and families wishing to capitalise on the tremendous growth of the area.

Where else are you building and do you build on clients’ own pre-purchased land?

We are building homes from in southern Auckland and northern Waikato, from Takanini down to Te Kauwhata and out to Awhitu Peninsula and have a number of House & Land packages available in Papakura, Glenbrook, Karaka, Drury, Pukekohe, Pokeno and Te Kauwhata. We are also currently working on projects in Central Auckland and the Coromandel. We build on client’s own land and offer a full design and build service with our in-house designer.

Do each of these areas cater for different residential/client needs and, if so, in what way?

Yes, all of the areas differ somewhat and we have areas and houses which will suit first home buyers, through to extensive design and build homes. Sites vary in size from smaller urban sites to larger rural sites.

What role does Debbie play in the business?

Debbie works full time in the business and is our financial controller.

Before starting a project how important is it for you and your clients to have a rapport and why?

Building a relationship of trust is of utmost importance as our clients are starting out on a journey that is a large investment for them, both financially and emotionally. They need to be able to trust the information and guidance that we offer to them. Often it will be the first time that they have built a home and they will have heard horror stories in the past; we will give them peace of mind that they are in trustworthy hands.

If there was one piece of advice you would offer people considering building a new home what would it be?

Select your builder on the relationship and trust, and what guarantees are on offer to provide you with security. Trust your gut.