Mornington Peninsula Homes (a part of GJ Gardner Homes) was launched in Mornington in 2016 by Judy Corcoran and Scott Doughty. Explains Judy, "We both have a background in engineering and we also both worked in the automotive industry for a number of years. Building and creating are what we are really interested in and Scott in particular has always been very passionate about the building industry."
The couple have been living on the Mornington Peninsula for over 20 years with their children in local schools. It was their decision to make a career change that led to them focusing their united attention on building homes. They decided the best formula for them was to open their own enterprise as a franchise of a large building group so they could enjoy the benefits of a broader organisation to support their buying capacity.
Says Judy, "We are a 100% local business. We employ local people and engage local trades however as a franchise of a larger group we have the ability to form strong alliances with supply partners to increase our buying capacity. This really gives us the best of both worlds with the pricing benefits of a volume builder but with the refined customer service and practical solutions of a boutique operation. The responsibility for the clients we work with is completely with us, but we have the ability to work within the local community whilst offering our clients the best possible pricing."
One key aspect of the Mornington Peninsula community is the desire to support local. "When we meet our clients they are always conscious that local trades and professionals are engaged to work on their homes. There is a very strong sense of loyalty in the area. We have been very determined to foster strong relations with those working on the Mornington Peninsula and our goal is to employ local first wherever we can."
In current the climate with COVID-19 restrictions, Judy and Scott are completely mindful of conforming to any and all regulations. "Our priority is with our clients, our trades and our team. We have been very fortunate that the construction industry has been deemed an essential service to date. With stage 4 restrictions we are working through what that will mean over the next six weeks. Our office team are working remotely and with all our clients and partners there has been a great enthusiasm for discussions online and via Zoom meetings. From an admin perspective to those on site we can operate effectively with all parties who are willing to adapt to whatever is required. Our systems haven't been greatly effected which we are very grateful for. We've even been able to conduct contactless colour consultations which we will back up with face-to-face final decision making so that all clients can proceed with assurity."
With a focus on new builds, finding suitable land is the trickiest part of the process. There's not the same level of land releases that you see in other areas like Point Cook or Craigieburn, so land is at a premium. Explains Judy, "Many people are opening land up through subdivisions, so we work closely with local real estate agents to identify where land is available to assist clients who haven't been able to find land for themselves." When it comes to selecting a style of house to build, it seems the Hamptons-style home is still particularly popular with the local market in both single and two-storey homes. "We've also seen an increased interest in the large, wide frontage homestead style properties,” she says.
The timelines for a new build project are hard to define as the initial part of the process is client driven. Some clients make a decision within a month and other clients may work with Scott and Judy over the course of some years. Once they have the go ahead it takes around 12 weeks to produce the construction contract, complete with finalised construction drawings, finalised engineering, full energy ratings and colour selections so that the contract price is as accurate as possible.
Says Judy, "We take the time to create the most thorough document we can so that once the client receives their build price no adjustments will have to be made. The most rewarding part of what we do is the excitement that grows as the build comes together. Clients really enjoy the whole process - seeing their ideas come to life on paper and then seeing that plan become a real home. Seeing them enjoy this process and the excitement that comes when we hand over the keys and they can move in, is just fantastic.”
Mornington Peninsula Homes
T/A G.J. Gardner Homes Mornington
5/234 Main Street, Mornington