Friday, December 21, 2007

Its that time of year......again.

Yes, yes Christmas is here once again..... *sigh* Not that I don't like it, it just comes up so fast... I am sure that just last week it was Halloween!! And, like usual, I am not prepared..... nothing like that last minute (c)rush to the shops to get everything!

So for everyone that is reading this, have a wonderful Christmas.

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Now down to the house stuff..... there is no news! *angry face* That is right, although everything is finished we haven't heard a thing, no titles yet. *another angry face* Dont know how long away they are either. Tried to call the Project Manager, but he wasn't in the office. We did however get a call from the guy who actually sells the blocks in the estate... I'll call him Mr W... to ask us who our settlement agency is, and details of bank stuff (dont know what, I didnt take the call!).
Mr G's reply.. "mr W, this is the 3rd time you have asked me this, I have already sent 2 emails out with all the details, and you were having discussions with our finance guy about all the other details, and you also have his details as I emailed them with the other stuff"
Mr W at this point must of actually looked at his computer to find the information, as Mr G reply was "yes that is the email". *eye-roll*
Now we have had people tell us what a moron this person was, has no idea what he is doing etc etc, I didnt believe them, until now. I hope he has done everything right regarding our block, because if he hasn't I will not be a very happy person.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another birthday

Gema wishing you a big "Happy Birthday" for yesterday.

Only a day late *blushes*

We are getting there!!

We had been going out every few weeks to see how everything was progressing...... not a lot it seemed... big piles of dirt had been pushed, from here to there... lots of big machinery sitting idle, okay it was Sundays that we were going out there, and I guess they need to take a day off work :(!! Anyhoo about 3 weeks ago, we took a trip to the estate to see how much more had been done. We were initially given "November" as a finish date to all the earth-works. Depending on the weather, it could be start, middle or end. Seeing as the weather had been fairly good recently, we wanted to see how everything was progressing.... and we were very happy to see that the road was nearly done and they had started placing retaining walls around the properties that needed it. We were also quite glad that we could get within a jumping distance to our block. Previously it was "neck-craning" and "finger-pointing" and saying "its somewhere over there, near that pile of dirt/big pipes" No pegs were up at that stage and there still was an awful lot to do, but we were happy to see it s..l..o..w..l..y.. getting done.

Approximately 3 weeks ago:

This is a picture looking towards the entrance to our street. Where we parked the car was as far as we could drive in.

This is looking up towards the main entrance, still got a lot of work to do.

This is our block.... where the piles of dirt are!

So fast forward 2 weeks when we went again..... (late in the afternoon, so no Sunday night roast)... and there was a huge amount of work done. We could drive up to our block!!!
We were very happy as it means that we are one step closer to building. Most of the main entrance is done. It is still blocked off from the highway, but the road has been sealed. Possibly need to put in median strips, or at least clean up whats there. All the light poles where there ready to put up. Bridge has been nearly finished, and I love the stackstone...... been thinking about putting that on the front of our house with a deep red/purple colour (think new mcDonalds cafe! But dont know if it will be within our budget)
Footpaths are done up the main road, it looks like the one out our front will be done soon too, as it was all scraped out ready to go. All the roads are done and are drivable (well up to the end of the "stage release" anyways. Pegs are in and we can officially see where our block is. As we have underground power, I guess that would be in too, there were a couple of pipes sticking up (?) one was from the water co.

Last week:

This is our block...note the two youngest were more excited about the large hole than the idea of a new house. :/

Looks like oldest was doing the "toyota" jump....Ohh what a feeling!!

Note the hole that is "being investigated" is not that deep. So no danger if they fell.

This is the bridge that is over the brook. Some more railings need to be put in, but it is looking very nice.

This is the brook that runs through the estate.

I think there is about 250-300 houses on one side and around the same on the other. This is meant to have bbq's and picnic tables, bike track etc, once the whole place is developed. At the moment there is no water in it, dry as a bone!

After all the work, and seeing as there wasn't much left to complete, Mr G gave the Project Manager a call and was informed that by Wednesday 5, the final inspection of the blocks will be done and then everything goes to council for them to do their part. Then he was told our council is the slowest and usually takes 4-8 weeks for everything to get approved. Darn country bumpkins.... who do we talk to, to get this part sped up!
Now if we were building another house, and not the budget one, and/or with another building company...we could at this stage go and do the siting/contracts etc. But because we have chosen what we have, we have to wait until we have officially been given titles. This means that we can't lock in the house price now, and I hope it doesn't go up after the holidays. BLAH! If so we will be looking into a smaller design, without all the features. DOUBLE BLAH!
So now it is back to more waiting...waiting.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Its Birthday time....

Seeing as there is nothing happening with our land as yet, titles being a few months away and all, I just thought I would take the opportunity to wish our nephew a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! So Massie this is just for you.....
"Have a wonderful birthday today. 6 yrs old, what a big boy you are now. There is a card and present on its way, so be watching out for the mailman.... It should arrive sometime next week.
The kids wish you a great day as well and all hope you get lots and lots of presents.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Land Ahoy!

Yes.... we finally have land.

We put our deposit down on Saturday (yesterday), signed everything so there is no going back. The titles dont come out until Novemberish, (early/late/mid.... who knows!) so we just have to sit back and wait now.
We didn't end up getting the 600m2 block, that one sold just a couple of days before we enquired, instead we went for one that is 2 doors away, 540m2. The only difference is the width of the block, the backyard is still going to be the same depth, just the width is a little smaller. It was down to a choice of 2 in the end... I hope we made the right decision. This one has no easement at the back, close to a park and a footpath out the front.... The kids will no longer have to ride their bikes on the road.

The estate is nice with a brook running through the middle, as you can see from the photo.

The area along the brook also has bike/walking tracks and plans for bbq/picnic areas, too
The property directly behind us is owned by 'Stocklands', so I guess they will be developing it at some time. Will have to make enquires, but who too???

What I like about the estate is that they aren't selling heaps of blocks to investors, like the other estate in the same suburb. We get landscaping and fences included (YAY) and if we want to we can get the telstra "smart community package"..... which means we need to use them for fixed line (which we do) and also broadband (which we dont). We can also get foxtel bundled with it. 12 months of those 3 services free, sounds really good, but it means that we will lose the plan we have with out current internet provider, and as it is an old plan, we cant re-get it. That is the downfall......(well to hubby anyway).... I guess money will win out in the end, and how much we have/haven't got by the end of this experience.

The covenants all seem straight forward, no out-landish requests we can still have a garden shed, the house is more than big enough for the land size and I can have my hills hoist :) it won't been seen from the street (I dont think there is any wall big enough on the house to put one of the wall ones up anyhow)..... It also doesn't say anything about facades being the same or different, so I hope that is not a problem.

We have decided on the Ultimate house (Seaton IS278).....

This is what our facade is going to look like. Obviously this isn't ours, and the feature wall is not going to be that colour. I think it looks a little dull, maybe some"thing"on it, (but what?), would make it look a little better.

I have added a picture of the type of fence and the colour that the estate is installing.I would like the house to co-ordinate with it all. It says in the covenant about using "earthy" tones. Roof/gutter colour suggestions are welcomed, also suggestions for the front wall. As yet we are not sure if we will go with the tin roof or tiles yet. I am not sure of any dis/advantage over either one, but suggestions on this would be welcome too. :)
Well thats about all the news so far. When the area of our block is prepared I will add a photo or two.

Monday, August 20, 2007

We have begun....finally!!

After weighing up the pros and cons of buying established or building from scratch, we--hubby and I--decided to go down the building road. We decided that the only benefit of buying established was the size of the block. Building is going to allow us to get most of what we wanted in a house....and, with 3 kids, it is a big list:

*4 bedrooms/2 bathrooms (sick of fights over shared rooms and the "I'm going to the toilet first" fisticuffs that go on nearly everyday *sigh*)

*lounge (hubby calls it a theatre *eyeroll*)


*games room

*2 studies (or activity & study)

*alfresco (would be a bonus but not essential)

So we found some plans, then scrapped them because they were over budget, then found some more. 3 of them we both really liked and were in our (meagre)budget..... *the hamelin by Content living *concept 228 by Blueprint homes and * the seaton IS278 by Ultimate homes.

I cut that down to two.... "the Hamelin" was going to need to many changes to get what we wanted.

So here they are: First up is "seatonIS278", I have had the plan for a while--meaning a few months--and it is also on the net, but when we went to see Ultimate last week, the plan had changed slightly.
The first one is the original.... the second one is what is now available.

What we liked about this is that it does have everything without any changes... (well I want to put in some walls and doors, but this particular design cannot be changed. We will do that after the house is built.) Why cant it be changed?...because of the price. If we went for "the entertainer" (the exact same design and paid an extra $17k), we can get changes made internally, and then pay for the changes that are made...... double dipping!! So not really worth it, it will only be a few hundred $ to do it ourselves after the house is complete.

Second is "Concept 228" . Concept as it is cheaper than the Deluxe 228, only difference being Concept only lets use the 2c brick and tin roof, what I would want anyhow. We have made a few changes on this one, you can see on the pictures, when you compare the two, exactly what we have done.

The fisrt one is the original, the second one is the one I modified for our needs.

Now all these changes are only around the $9k mark, add all the upgrades and the houses are nearly the same price. Then we will need to add a patio which I have no idea on price, but looking at around $3k, if our neighbours carport is anything to go by.

So now its the working out of what I really want in a house (as hubby keeps saying... he only wants a study and a theatre), the rest is for me to do as I will. *evil laugh*

I have made up a list of what I like and don't like and the "Blueprint homes" is looking like a loser in the choice stakes. Although I love the laundry right behind the kitchen there is no space for a benchtop in there, the bedroom closets are too small for my liking (and all the kids crap), same goes for the walk-in robe, and I am not sure of the layout, I could move bed2 and activity back to the original spot, but then it makes the activity room smaller. This is going to be my sewing/computer room and has got to fit in a fair bit. We also haven't actually walked through the 228 yet, this is on the "to do" list. I also don't like their tile selection, there are not many (about 16, including the feature tiles) and are all the beigey/browny colours, This is because their houses are more for investor/ first buyers.

The only thing I don't like about "the seaton" now is the kitchen change, I didn't want a wall oven! They have also made the bench a tad shorter and the kitchen looks smaller with the fridge space where it is. We are going to check out a "seaton" that is complete so I know exactly what it is like. A huge bonus is that it also already has the alfresco (already thinking about building a pizza oven *hehe*), although I have said it is not essential, it is great to have one included.... OHHH and you just gotta LOVE the parents retreat!! :)

We went to see the two companies involved, and have been told that from the size of house that we are looking at, we will need around a 600m2 block, enough for the house a bit of yard for the kids. This, hopefully, will not be a problem...... there are some (not many) around, it is just the price that may not be right, especially as we need to allow for site works. So in the next few weeks, we will be doing some serious property searching, *although I think I have found my piece of paradise*.... just a bit worried though, as it won't be titled until November, and we don't know what the covenants etc for the estate are yet. Will have to make hubby ring up and find everything out....and soon!!