Sunday, 5 August 2012

Titles have Arrived

We're so excited ... our titles have arrived! Settlement of the land is next week on Wednesday and we're hoping we will start building straight afterwards.

Our bank has left everything to the last minute which is a bit of a double edge sword; good in that we haven't been stressing over finances during the 3 months delay, but now we are in crunch time and really worried the house valuation comes in at the price we want. 

The land was undervalued by 3K (apparently because of the landscaping promo only? I don't get how they 'value' the land based on a promo that the bank had no idea whether we were eligible for or not!?) - which wasn't so bad as those funds are available. For the land mortgage, everything is ready to go; all docs signed and now we can only wait for settlement. Fingers crossed the construction value will be spot on or close so we can cover those costs... Don't really want to ask my parents for a loan! Hoping I'll find out today...wish us luck! 

We visited our block on the weekend to make sure the tags were measured properly and to our delight it was! There were some other people looking around the estate for land in Stage 2 but I couldn't see if any were sold. In fact, we could see that Stage 1 was sold out accept for 2 blocks. 

Maybe the next time we visit we'll be fenced! :-) 

Monday, 25 June 2012


I haven't posted a for good few months and hoping by now that we would have been well underway with the construction of our home, but alas we are still waiting for the titles and it is starting to get a bit frustrating <insert frowny face here>

We're only a few days away from unlocking the price freeze in our contract (which we had signed mid April) and we're starting to worry exactly how much more we'll be charged.  I can see on the builders website the base price of the house has already gone up by 3K, so I hope its not much more than that. 

On some more annoying news our valuation came back from the bank at 3K ironic, 3 is one of my lucky numbers <insert more frowny faces here>  I hope we don't have any more pain from the bank, I've read a lot of people in Wallan are getting undervalued mainly due to the fact that real estate stats are non existent.

Surely it can't be all bad? Well, no it hasn't, I guess its given us a bit more time to save the moola. 

We went to visit our block on the weekend past..It looks like our block is ready; we have a cross over, all water gas and electricity connected and its been flattened/leveled, street lighted (not a work but you get my drift) and street signed. There are a few pegs around and all over it looks like majority of the blocks are ready .. so hoping that we are only days away until we go for settlement. Driving past the land sales signs we could see that all the blocks in Stage 1b are sold too, so at least we won't need to worry about paying for a full fence.

Stage 2a in Woodlands Edge opened a few weeks ago. It faces east of our block so I can only imagine the amount of construction and the noise it will bring whilst we are in (hoping still be end of year). The blocks in 2a seem to be extra wide, wondering how much they're selling for.  

I've been doing a lot of research on the types of flooring, sustainability and the interior decorating I'll be planning out..ideas to come :-) 

For now we're just waiting for each day closer until we reach settlement of our block <insert slightly grinny frowny face here>  

Friday, 9 March 2012

Guttered and Retained...

Last weekend we took a drive to visit our pile of dirt. I was really amazed at the amount of work that is being done on the site. The roads all have crushed rock down ready for asphalting (is that how you spell it? Looks weird) and most of the retaining walls on the sloping blocks are being finalised. Our street and most of Stage 1B have guttering as well!

We could make out our land for the first time and walk along the cut out roads. It's given us a really good idea of how far we are from the Entrance into the estate and the park lands they're planning on  including. I felt really happy to know that titles seem like they might actually arrive on time - they've said April-May. Having said that we still don't want to get too excited...

I was trolling through the Home One forum and someone had mentioned they're about to lay the electricity cabling..This is really exciting now since I think its one of the last items to install before the roads. They also mentioned the main road was guttered now too...the tradies must be really working overtime to get this all done.

Main entrance into the estate - Gates are new!

This is our block in Stage 1B Hooray !


Friday, 2 March 2012

The Upgrades - Food for Thought

We didn't get a proper scan of our house layout except for what we received at the tile appointment - I guess we'll get this once everything has been drafted and we are ready to sign (our CSO is begging for us to do this asap!) 

I really invested a lot of time thinking about the practical and not so practical things to add as upgrades to the house. We're not in any position to splash the cash and I wanted to make sure any upgrade we chose was worth every penny.

I lurked the net and scoured through many home building sites and forums which helped me to really picture what we want versus what we needed. I'm listing a few goodies below of what we came up with :-)

External vent for the kitchen rangehood (no smellys in the roof) $267
Double light switches in the entrance hallway and kitchen/family room $50
Upgrades of double to quad powerpoints in lounge and living (its cheaper!) $49
Privacy Levers in the bathroom and WC (guests will be happy!) $22each
Sliding door in the ensuite (to block out sound and light) $300
Include carpet in the linen cupboards (nothing gets scratched)
Switch linen doors to mirrored sliding doors (more room in the hallway) $850
 Glazed Front Entry Door Glass and Sidelight (for privacy) $300
Moved the TV point from main bedroom to the additional lounge
Confirmed all windows were standard sizing (cheaper for blinds)
Move position of sink to island so its opposite the stove (easier when cooking) $130
Extended the kitchen island bench
Confirmed positioning of showerheads (to make sure they don't face the shower opening)
Increased the positioning of standard railing in all robes/WIR (easier to put in our own shelving/drawers)
Conformed all handles in bathroom/kitchen
Unified colour scheme in bathroom/kitchen
3 coat paint system (its actually 2 coats, much better quality) $1300
Added bricks on top of garage (Looks way better and FC Sheeting sucks!) $1100
Added feature in bathroom niche by choosing standard tiles (its free) 
Telstra cabling from the road to your house $310

We opted for the Promo where we've spent $10,000 on $30,000 worth of upgrades (we came at $47 over) and in the gallery we spent another $4700 on additional things that we were not able to get in the promo (some included above) -

- Timber framed front windows with timber strapping $1260
- Timber look Colorbond Garage Door $404 matched to the front windows
- Upgrade the colour of the oven $59
- Caeserstone benches in the bathroom/ensuite $800
- Extension of the Ceaserstone kitchen island bench $825
- Feature stone in the ensuite niche$220

So the total above the base price came just under $15,000 ! We were stoked :-) 

We haven't included a few things, mainly because we are planning to do this ourselves. Partner is a brick paver, so we're going to pave the driveway (still tossing on ideas I guess we have a while to think about it!) and for internal flooring we are going to lay our own hardwood - we've been dreaming about Spotted Gum! Further on these ideas a little later...

Colour Time

Earlier this week we went to the Simonds Gallery to choose our electricals, tiles and colours for the house. It is really an exciting time for both of us and even though we had already made up most of our mind on the colours we like, we did change the choices on the day. 

So this is what we've chosen :-) 

Bricks - Austral Homestead Mushroom (Cat2 upgrade)
Facias - Colorbond monument
Gutters - Colorbond monument
Downpipes - Colorbond monument
Eaves - Simonds white

Roof - Monier Standard in Sambuca (black)
Garage Roller Door - Colorbond modern panel in Timbergrain-Classic Cedar (upgrade)
Window Frames - Dowell aluminium frames in black
Window Strapping - Nutmeg Stained hardwood (upgrade)
Front Windows - Dowell timber frame with awning windows in Nutmeg wood strain (upgrade)
Front Door - Corinthian Madinf translucent 4 panel door in gloss black
External Garage Door - gloss Black flush panel

Interior Paint
Wall paint - Haymes 3 coat paint system in Marble Mist (upgrade)

CarpetCall Cat1 panelled carpet in dark beige (to bedrooms and bedroom hall only)

En suite
Floor Tile/shower base (upgrade) - Portifino Noce Matt
Shower Tile - Portifino Noce Matt
Shower Niche - Emprador Tumbled Mosaic stone (Upgrade)
Vanity Bench - Caesterstone in Ice Snow (upgrade)
Extended Vanity - Wilsonart laminate in Concept Oak (upgrade in extension)
Basin - standard range in square
Tap - standard range in square
* We included an en suite upgrade consisting of an enclosed toilet with separate fan/light and 1200/900mm shower.

Floor Tile - Portifino Noce Matt
Shower Tile - Portifino Noce Matt
Shower Niche - Cafe Mocha Matt (upgrade)
Vanity Bench - Caesterstone in Ice Snow (upgrade)
Vanity - Wilsonart laminate in Concept Oak
Bath Podium Tile - Portifino Noce Matt
Basin - standard range in square
Tap - standard range in square
Bath - standard range in square

Floor Tile - Portifino Noce Matt
Laundry cabinet bench (upgrade) - Wilsonart laminate in Concept Oak
Laundry cabinet - Wilsonart laminate in Concept Oak
Laundry Sink - steel (upgrade)
Splashback - Cafe Mocha Gloss

Benchtops - Caesterstone in Ice Snow (upgrade)
Cupboards - Wilsonart laminate in Concept Oak
Kickboard - Wilsonart laminate in Concept Oak
Kitchen Island - included 1meter extension and shift sink/dishwasher hole (upgrade)
Oven - Technika TU950TME8 900mm upright cooker in steel and gloss black (upgrade)
Rangehood - Cat1 Technika standard rangehood (included external Vent Upgrade)

Tiles looks slightly darker in this light


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Colour art Thou?

We have our colour appointment this coming Tuesday... eeek! What colours to pick in the kitchen? Bathroom? The roof? The bricks!? 

We'll be heading to Simonds Gallery on Saturday for some inspiration. We did attend a tour a few weeks ago but I regret not taking home many samples...this time we'll be better prepared.

For now, I'll be trolling the Internet for ideas!

Friday, 17 February 2012

How's the land looking?

We can finally make out our block!