A young family’s dream home build was left in ruins after their builder went bust.
Emma and Nathan Doecke and their two children planned to move into their new house by Christmas 2021 until their builder collapsed owing about $14million.
The couple purchased a house and land package near Newcastle through First Step Homes, who then contracted Oracle Platinum Homes as the builder. There were months of frustrating delays before Oracle went into liquidation in August 2022.
When Oracle folded the Doecke’s house was still only half built and liquidators said there was no money left to return to them, despite Oracle managing director Tom Orel living in a multi-million dollar waterfront Gold Coast mansion.
After the company went into liquidation, Ms Doecke said they had to try and find a new builder, then cough up an extra $100,000 to pay them to finish their house.
On top of racking up monthly mortgage bills for the property they are unable to move into, they have to pay rent for another house and the construction delays cost them $10,000 in voided first homebuyer and first home builder grants.
Emma and Nathan Doecke required another $100,000 to finish their home after their builder went bust, despite having already paid for the house
Oracle Platinum Homes, one of Queensland’s largest building companies, went into liquidation in August 2022
‘We tried to reach out to First Step Homes and they said ”Sorry, we’ve not ever experienced this before, we don’t know what the next steps are. We can’t help you”,’ an emotional Ms Doecke told A Current Affair this week.
‘We went to our local (bank) branch and then it was, ”Oh no, sorry, we can’t help you”.’ she said.
Westpac originally told them the were already in too much debt to be able to borrow more money, which led them both to taking on extra jobs to makes ends meet as rent and multiple loan bills piled up.
‘We’re working too much, we don’t get to see our kids … my mum raises our kids, we don’t,’ Ms Doecke said.
Ms Doecke said she and her husband have had to take on extra jobs and have been unable spend time with their children because rent and loan bills were piling up
To add salt to the wound, thieves have recently stolen a lawn mower and water tank that were sitting on their building site and vandals have broken into the unsecured home causing damage to some walls.
‘We don’t want pity, we don’t want sympathy and we don’t want things given to us. We’re happy to work for it but we just need an opportunity,’ Ms Doecke said.
But there has finally been some good news for the Doecke family.
After Westpac was contacted by Nine’s A Current Affair, the bank agreed to fund the rest of the build through a loan and help consolidate the couple’s debt.
Their restructuring should see them complete the build and also save the couple $800 a week in repayments.
It also means the couple will no longer have to work extra jobs and be able to spend more time with their children.
‘At Westpac we understand that many Australians have been doing it tough during the cost of living crisis,’ a spokesperson for the bank said.
‘Building a house is stressful at the best of times, but it’s even harder when families are caught up in events outside of their control.
‘We’re delighted to be able to help Nathan and Emma finish their home and move in.
‘The family has been through a lot and we hope this allows them to put the past few years behind them and settle in.’