Welcome to our second home, our first build, thanks for following our journey!

Friday, April 23, 2010

What to do....

Today we both got an email from our real estate showing us that the reason titles are taking so long, and the reason that they haven't released the next stage yet is because they are proposing to build a train station car park. This means that about four houses down from us onwards will now be a 1000 space car park for the station and our road will be the main entry to get to it. Disappointment :(

We now have some big decisions to make as we never would have brought this block if we had of known that was what they were going to do. On the plans they gave us, it shows the next three stages as being residential areas, not that we would end up living next door to a car park for the station. It also means that the lovely, quiet street we brought will now turn into a busy little highway esp in the mornings and arvos when people are traveling to Melb for work.

We have called our conveyancer who is looking into it all for us and said that he has also had calls from other people in this stage about the exact same thing. Until we have all our information, we can't really make a decision, but who knows what will happen now. Pretty saddening when we have just got out tender price back at such a great price. But this will be our second home and we plan to be there a while so we want to do it right.

So much to think about now!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Contract signing booked and bank forms signed

Our contract signing is booked in for the 18th of May!! Not long to go now, I'm sure it will be here before we know it. This year is flying along way too fast.

We also had a meeting at the bank tonight - our bank manager is the greatest! We have filled out all our paperwork and just have to drop the contracts off as soon as we have them. The best part was that we didn't have to pay mortgage insurance. We were thinking of leaving some money to upgrade Kris' car but think we will just have to keep saving :)


Here is the house siting on the block. We will have to have about a metre of cut and fill as well as a retaining wall that is the thick black line behind the garage. Our backyard will most likely be on a bit of a hill but we have big plans for out there so hopefully it will look good once all completed!
Here is the front of the house, we have changed the large front window to two smaller ones to match the ensuite windows. Plus I think it will look nicer, and if we get plantation shutters in them, will look even better.

Tender Complete

Sorry this is a little delayed - it's been a very busy week. Anyway - on with the tender update!

Our tender appointment was on the 20th. We left bright and early at 6.30 (actually is was still pretty dark!) We arrived at the head office just after 8.30 so we made good time. Our tender presenter was really good. He made the sitting in the office for three hours much easier. Plus he made some really good suggestions.

Our site costs came back quite good. We had to upgrade our slab to H-D which we thought we would anyway so that wasn't a huge surprise. We have a cut and fill, site drainage, a small retaining wall, agi drains, termite protection, mud on road prevention (!) and a couple of other boring things that are probably quite important!

Our upgrades are
*Soundscreen internal wall insulation between the toilet and dining (too much info) and also between the theatre and living.
*We have changed the windows at the front from one huge one to two smaller ones to match the ensuite.
*Upgrade theatre doors to a thicker door with a feature of four strips.
*Add double doors to the study.
*Upgrade study, internal laundry and dressing room doors to a stained wood with glass in the middle.
*Add a privacy lock to the main WC.
*Translucent glass to front door and sidelights.
*Obscure (Satinlite) glass to the ensuite W.C.
*A nice big long door handle for the front door.
*Painting the theatre room and dressing room different colours.
*Two pot drawers to the kitchen.
*Shiny gloss overhead cabinet doors in the kitchen.
*Square bath spout to match taps.
*Upgrade towel rail in the bathroom to a double instead of a single.
*Extend the laundry cupboard from two doors to three.
*Laminate timber flooring.
*Add an extra tap to the backyard.
*Electricals - Downlights and some TV points and Powerpoints etc.

It sounds like a lot but it actually came in at a great price. We were very pleased :)

The only bugger is that he suggested that we won't be in by the end of the year, which we were really hoping would happen. Look on the bright side - more time to save and mum and dad get to put up with us for a bit longer :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

One sleep until tender!

Our tender appointment is tomorrow! I can't believe how quickly it has come around. It felt like it was so far away when we booked it. I am very excited and also very nervous as this will determine everthing. If it blows our budget, well, I hope mum and dad like having us around!! Ha ha :) Watch this space!!

It was my B'day today and I had a wonderful day at school, the kids were lovely and I have been very spoilt. Had a lovely dinner with family and a very fun BBQ yesterday :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

A bar for the alfresco

We went up to the home expo in Melbourne last Friday night and had a little look around. There wasn't much there for us as most things are included in the build but we did see a bar that we really liked. Over the weekend I thought more and more about it and decided that it would be perfect for us. Our dining area goes straight out to the alfresco and we thought that having another dining type table or something similar in the alfresco may look silly. The bar would be perfect, you can sit at it, stand at it, put it in the middle, put it against the wall. I thought to myself - keep an eye for something along those lines...

On Monday we were out picking up a fuel pump for Kris' car so while he was in Super Cheap, I thought, I'll have a look in the new furniture store next door. What do I see as soon as I walk in - the bar! I took a photo on my phone just as the owner was walking in. We started chatting and he had just returned from the Home expo, so it was the exact same one. What are the chances?! Well it was meant to be. He knocked off a couple of hundred bucks and let us have a 6-8 month lay by so we can pick it up once the house is done. Whoo hoo!!!
It has a glass top and six stools that slide neatly underneath. Sorry about the pics, they're from my phone. :)

Freedom Sale!

I don't have much to report at the moment! Our tender is on Tuesday so will have lot's of news then. We will finally know it we can afford everything lol!

So just to be able to post something I will share what we brought on our Freedom trip. They don't have one in Geelong anymore, but I have been eyeing off a clock there for ages. A few weekends ago I called the store in Ballarat to see if they had one in stock, which they did, and asked them to hold it for me, which they also did after informing me it was on sale yay!

We drove up there and got the clock, I LOVE it! So pleased. It's about a metre wide and will sit in the little niche we have in the main hall entrance above a nice hall table that I am yet to find! I love that you will be able to see the wall colour through it.

Also why we were there, we picked up some more of our lighting. We have three pendants for over the kitchen bench and a large one for over the dining table. They are all the same material which I am so pleased with as you will be able to see them together. I think they should be fine over the kitchen bench even though they are a material as it is only the sink on the island bench, not a stove or cook top so they shouldn't get too dirty - fingers crossed!!
My photos aren't great! The clock went straight back into the box and the pendants were hard to photo. Shopping really is the best therapy :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Display home visit

Today we took mum and dad out to breakfast and then up to Point Cook to see the display homes. We also took a tape measure and our plans and measured each room out to what the size will be for the Q2. Most rooms are only a tiny but smaller and won't really be noticable, the living is the main room that will be smaller and that won't be too bad as it's open anyway. It was great to show them through. I just can't wait until we have our own Lexington!!!

It's only 17 sleeps until tender! I'm excited and nervous! We have a budget that we really want to stick to so I am hoping it will happen. We are now leaning away from the extensions, it's going to be a huge house without them!

We went to the big spotlight sale the other night and picked out some ready made curtains for the theatre room - a deep red like in the cinemas. We also got some towels too, all at 20%. Another lay-by! Gotta love lay-by!

On Monday we will head up to Ballarat to pick up a clock I have been stalking for ages! The Freedom here has closed and I have been uuming and ahhing about this clock for a few weeks now. I finally called them today and they are holding one for me and it is $35 off - Love sales!! We will have to leave nice and early though to be back in time to watch the footy :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We have been soil tested!!!

Since I've been on holidays my daily routine has been, get up, meet a friend at the gym, run some errands, drive past the block on the way home. Today I got in the car and thought... Maybe I'll just go straight home, surely nothing has happened there.

Something has happened there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I was driving up the road I saw some little mounds of dirt and started to get excited as I realised that they were on our block, not the one next door. Who would of thought it would be so exciting. At least this should mean we get a proper tender, very happy and excited. Imagine once we actually have real work starting down there!
A soil test - there were 5 altogether

Another soil test
This is the view looking out from our block
Looking at the block from the other side of the road, you can see the little mounds from the soil tests.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Soil tests are booked

I got an email from my admin on Friday night to say that our soil tests have been booked in so hopefully will see them happen sometime this week. We were down at the block yesterday having a look around and there was someone doing soil tests on about 7 different blocks. I wonder if they are all being built by the same builder... I really hope ours get done this week so that we can have a normal tender, not a provisional.

Our admin also said that the earliest she can get us an appointment for contract signing is May 11th so I have asked if we can just sign them and post them so that all paperwork can be completed by the end of April when we will hopefully get the titles and then we can get started ASAP!!!

Other good news is that we found the perfect curtains for our theatre room at Spotlight so now we will wait for them to have a sale! We also got a Wiltshire cutlery set from Target that was $50 off and has 10 of everything as well as salad servers and other bits and peices. A great find! I threw our old $20 cutlery set out when we moved out so have been keeping an eye out for a sale.

Other good news - I am on holidays!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Soil Tests in Sight

I called the engineer today who said that they inspection on the estate is tomorrow and then after that we are free to do our soil tests! He also said that he thinks titles may be ready by the end of April, so keep your fingers crossed. Lately I am hearing so many stories of blocks that just keep getting delayed...

I have emailed our admin to let her know that we are ready for the tests and hopefully will hear back soon. Would love to see something happen at the block even if it is just some holes drilled in the ground!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Home Theatre and Survey Pegs

Last night on our way home from a lovely night away in Melbourne on the Friday we stopped at the block in the pitch black and saw that the road was all open and that the poles marking the blocks were back in. We shone the headlights on and had a look and our proper pegs are in so I am hoping this means that soil tests can be done very soon. I am going to give them a call on Monday to find out and then I will be straight onto Henley! I will head back in the daylight at some stage this week and take some more pics.

Today we were running a few errands and looking around, we stopped in at Harvey Norman and ended up with all our home theatre equipment on a 6 month lay-by! The sales guy was great too, we were there for about an hour and a half. It all happened out of nowhere. We got a fantastic price, half of what we were quoted at another place and all we will have to pay for is someone to install it. It's very exiciting and a great feeling to know that something else is out of the way and we can just make payments as we go. A very successful day :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Land Update

On my way home from the gym tonight I did a quick detour to check the block and it's looking great. I'm hoping that we will be able to get soil tests done soon and then really get the ball rolling.
We will be on the left hand side, it's looking much smoother and less fall.
Looking down the street, there is a round about down there that you can just make out in the pic.
Opposite us is a water catchment/reserve type things which means that no one will ever build across the road which will be nice.
Again, we are on the left, there is one block on the corner by the round about and then us!
Bring on titles!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Colours completed and tender booked

Today we were off to Cosham again. I must admit I didn't sleep very well last night with everything running through my mind. Was a great morning though. It sure makes a world of difference when you have a consultant who listens and seems to care. She gave us a much better experience and we left feeling really happy and positive. Here are some pics of things we changed and others that we chose. Enjoy!

All of our flooring. Carpet is Ashton Twist - Nightingale. SOOOO soft - Love it. The tile on the right is the bathroom and ensuite and the left is laundry. Also our timber laminate in the middle there.

Our floor colours with our wall colours.

This is the best one that I have of the new laundry colours. The cabinets are the same as before in burnished wood. The bench tops are Jerusalem stone (this is different to the chip I had on the other photo), the wall tile is white gloss and the floor is a darker brown called Chalet Mocha. Very happy with the changes.

This colour will be in the dressing room instead of a dark - dark colour. It's a really nice light charcoal colour.
Beige Royal will be on the other walls and quarter will be on the doors and skirts.

Henna Red will be in the theatre room.
And just a nice one to finish off with. This was the sunset on mum and dad's farm the other night. It was beautiful, my camera didn't do it justice.
Tender is booked for the 20th of April, the day after my b'day! Now we just have to keep busy until then and hope that soil tests can be done before then.

Answers to Questions

I'm really not sure on my wall colour. I want something that's darker than a white, with a beigey type tone. I really need help here and I'm hoping that they will be able to make suggestions for me next week. Please let me know if you have any ideas!! It's Dulux btw.
I have gone back to my original colour of beige royal full strength and kept the quarter strength for the doors and skirts. The girl really liked it with our other choices and it shows that you should always follow your gut!!
Are my stained doors (front, both laundry doors and dressing) stained on both sides or are the external doors only stained on the outside?
Not sure if they were before, there was a little bit of confusion, but they will be now as she put a note on the end of our selection document.
I need to double check my handles and the way they will be positioned on the kitchen drawers and vanity drawers if they are going to be horizontal.
Yes, they will.
I was going to query about making the toilet/ensuite/bathroom windows obscure/translucent but have decided to do this just with the loo and leave the bathroom and ensuite (thanks Fel!). As the ensuite looks out to the front, I will always have my shutters closed when I am showering or what not and this way they will look uniform across the front.
Our ensuite W.C window is now a translucent type of glass.
Is the bath square or round? (some of these questions are probably eye rollers!)
Square! I also really want to add the bath to the ensuite, so I think I will ask our admin to add it and then if we go over budget at tender we can always take it out.
How will the tiles be laid in the shower and around the bath as they are brick shaped but I don't want them laid like bricks, I would like them to be stacked.
They will be stacked.
Add a privacy lock to the main W.C.
Change the laundry tiles, this has been a main concern ever since we left Cosham last time as we sort of rushed into it and just agreed with something for the sake of it I think. So I am looking forward to making this change.
We are really happy with the changes made and I will post some pics in my next post.
Query laundry bench tops as I have written down Jerusalem Stone but my sample chip is Petra Stone?? Hmm.
We looked at both samples today and definitely liked the Jerusalem Stone which was what we had written down but not the one in my picture.
Check out what the fly wire door is going to be like on the laundry, is it mesh or those cross type things?? (another eye roller!)
It is just a mesh and we aren't sure about it now either as it is going to be a glass door and this may detract from the look. Something to think about before tender.
Are the fly screens lockable?
Thank you Erin for already answering this one for us :)
What is the difference between translucent and obscure glass?
She did show us two different examples of what we could choose from for the toilet window and we went with the one that looks like the translucent that we are having on the front door.
There is something I need to query about the front door handle but I can't understand what I have written down here, so will have to go and check that out!
I still couldn't figure this out - who knows what I was thinking!
What are the doors and handles on the butlers pantry?
They will be the same as our other standard doors and door handles.
Does tiled skirting need to be in the contract, or is it and I am blind?
Yes I am blind, it comes standard.
Smart wiring packages (this may have to wait until tender)
Can they do phone points? (again may have to wait until tender)
Again, big thanks to Erin!
Where is the fuse box, if they know? I can't seem to see it on the plan. (Again may just be me!)
Carpets - look at the new range and pick one!
Love the carpet we chose, so soft and a great colour.
They also have new timber laminate so will check that out too.
It was a little nicer and shiny but with a higher price tag so we stuck to our original.

Thanks Annie and Erin for helping me out before the appointment too, muchly appreciated.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Questions and Queries

Since we are back at Cosham next week I have started my list of things that I need to query or question, or just find out about full stop! I thought I might list them here so that I can see how I go next week and hopefully will have them all answered. I am quite nervous about colours this time as it was not what I expected at all last time, but we will see!
  • I'm really not sure on my wall colour. I want something that's darker than a white, with a beigey type tone. I really need help here and I'm hoping that they will be able to make suggestions for me next week. Please let me know if you have any ideas!! It's Dulux btw.
  • Are my stained doors (front, both laundry doors and dressing) stained on both sides or are the external doors only stained on the outside?
  • I need to double check my handles and the way they will be positioned on the kitchen drawers and vainity drawers if they are going to be horizontal.
  • I was going to query about making the toilet/ensuite/bathroom windows obscure/translucent but have decided to do this just with the loo and leave the bathroom and ensuite (thanks Fel!). As the ensuite looks out to the front, I will always have my shutters closed when I am showering or what not and this way they will look uniform across the front.
  • Is the bath square or round? (some of these questions are probably eye rollers!)
  • How will the tiles be layed in the shower and around the bath as they are brick shaped but I don't want them layed like bricks, I would like them to be stacked.
  • Add a privacy lock to the main W.C.
  • Change the laundry tiles, this has been a main concern ever since we left Cosham last time as we sort of rushed into it and just agreed with something for the sake of it I think. So I am looking forward to making this change.
  • Query laundry benchtops as I have written down Jerusalem Stone but my sample chip is Petra Stone?? Hmm.
  • Check out what the flywire door is going to be like on the laundry, is it mesh or those cross type things?? (another eye roller!)
  • Are the flyscreens lockable?
  • What is the difference between tranlucent and obscure glass?
  • There is something I need to query about the front door handle but I can't understand what I have written down here, so will have to go and check that out!
  • What are the doors and handles on the butlers pantry?
  • Does tiled skirting need to be in the contract, or is it and I am blind?
  • Smart wiring packages (this may have to wait until tender)
  • Can they do phone points? (again may have to wait until tender)
  • Where is the fuse box, if they know? I can't seem to see it on the plan. (Again may just be me!)
  • Carpets - look at the new range and pick one!
  • They also have new timber laminate so will check that out too.

At the moment that is all that I can think of and def won't be a whole three hour appointment required. I'm sure Kris can add to that list too!

Stay tuned for answers this time next week :)


I had great fun this evening playing around on a website that allows you to put in your colours and see them together which I think is great. Of course it's not 100% what we will have but I thought I would share what I put together as it gives a bit of an idea.

Facade -

Kitchen -

Bathroom -

Living -

Most of them are actuslly very similar layouts to what we will be having. Bit of fun for a rainy afternoon anyway!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Just waiting...

Not much to report but I want to post something!! The block seems to be coming along well, the footpaths are in on one side and it looked like the ones on our side are ready to be poured, this was on Monday night. I called our engineer on Friday to ask how it was coming along as Henley will do our soil tests as soon as the construction is finished and they are now saying the end of March. They previously told me end of February so that's a bit of a bugger. The guy still thought that we would have titles by the end of April though so that's ok. Will just have to wait and see.

We have another colour appointment booked for the 14th of March and I am actually quite nervous after our last one. I have my list so I will just go through that and hopefully will be a little smoother than last time. Once we have done that, we can do a provisional tender 10 days later to find out the prices of everything other than site costs. This means that once we have the site costs, we will be able to send everything off as soon as the land settles, so should speed things up a bit. Fingers crossed anyways!

I'm thinking we will go and check out a few more Henley displays this weekend before we go back to Cosham. See how we go :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All moved

Last weekend we spend two HUGE days moving everything out. Friday night was packing, packing, packing and then on Saturday we moved the majority of our things into storage. Three trips with their trailer and some rearranging (the treadmill and BBQ were the hardest!) we were done. I'm glad we went for the larger sized unit.
Saturday night was spent organising what we would be taking out to the farm and cleaning the house from top to bottom for the new owners. I'm so glad I did that on the Saturday because I have been so tired ever since that the thought of having to go back and clean would have been really bad!!
Sunday morning we got up nice and early, packed our cars, waited for mum and dad to arrive and then moved ourselves and two dogs (the cat has already made her move out there) out to the farm. We are all settled in now with just a few little things to organise. I am still feeling it though! Was better than the gym!
The inspection on the house is today and then settlement is on Friday. I must admit I was very sad to leave, welled up a bit when we left. I loved living there and have nothing but fond memories. Now onto the next chapter of our lives.
My last visit to the block was Friday and I am waiting until this Friday to go again. The engineer told me that construction should be finished by the end of Feb so I have my fingers crossed. Once that is done we can get our soil tests and do our tender appointment so we will know what we are up for!
I am waiting to hear from our admin to see if we can have another (shorter) colours appointment to go over everything we missed and to find out a few prices on things that we were told we would find out before tender such as the theatre extension price as we are not having a stacker door so hopefully should be a little cheaper.
Fingers crossed for the block visit on Friday!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Just a short one to say that we went passed the block today and we have kerbs! Who knew it could be so exciting. The good news is that we asked to swap our driveway from the right to the left and they have done it so that's a relief. You never do know about those things, when they say they will do it - sometimes paperwork seems to get lost in transaction. So thank you very much engineers, my last request is that the construction be finished by the end of February so we can get our soil tests please...
It does look nice with the kerbs in though, looking like a real street rather than a HUGE mound of dirt. I will wait to Friday to go back and see if the road is in. Hopefully I will have some new block pics by the weekend.
Now I just have to get back to packing! Thinking about it counts right?!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Colours - Conclusion!

We are very pleased with the choices we have made and very lucky that we have renovated a house and have similar tastes. Also that Kris was so good at standing up for us and not letting the consultant talk us out of everything that we wanted. Everyone has different tastes and this is ours and how we want our home to look. Fingers crossed that it all comes together now!!

We have also added sound proofing insulation to the wall between the theatre and living and to the toilet walls as it backs onto the dining area.

We are going to paint the theatre room in a deep red - Dulux Henna Red. This is Kris' project and he is going to set it up like a traditional theatre. Don't faint but we are also painting the dressing room black. Yes, black. It will be a black and white themed room. The walls will be black and everything else will be white - mirror, ottomen, drawers, hanging things, etc. I know it's risky, but hey!

We were going to get their carpet as it would be easier to have it done before handover. They offer one from Fowles and they won't upgrade it! We really want something a little better in quality so will have to hunt around and find a price for that.

Oh and we added two pot drawers to the kitchen and a flywire door to the laundry. I think that is everything. I am thinking now that I wanted to change my bathroom/ensuite windows to translucent/obscure - what is the difference between the two?? She didn't ask and I forgot in the confusion. Wonder if I can just ask to add this?

Thanks for taking the time to look through all the colours!

Colours - Interior - Laundry

Our Laundry Colours are to match the kitchen as they are so close together. The wall tiles will be the same as the bathroom and ensuite.
Benchtop - Jerusalam Stone Laminate (right in photo)
Cabinets - Burnished Wood Laminate (left in photo)
Wall Tile - Mocha
Floor Tile - Augusta Emerald

Colours - Interior - Bathroom and Ensuite

Our bathroom and ensuite will be the same colours
Vanity Top - Walnut Ceaserstone
Cabinet Doors - Lustrous Elm
Wall Tiles (shower and bath) - Mocha
Floor Tiles - Augusta Emerald
The timber strip in the photo will be on the dressing room door which will have a glass panel
Sinks -

The towel ladder will be in the ensuite and the towel rail below it we have upgraded to a double and that will be in the bathroom, the second one down on the right will be our toilet paper roll holder (just in case you were dying to know what we were having!) -

The showerhead on the left will be in the ensuite (we almost fell over when we saw that was standard) and the one on the right will be in the bathroom) -

This mixer tap will be in both showers and the bath -

Mixer taps for ensuite and bathroom sinks -

Colours - Interior - Floors, Walls and Kitchen

Laminate Timber Floors - Select Teak

Walls - Beige Royal Half
Doors, skirtings, etc - Beige Royal Quarter

Kitchen -
We stayed with our original choices here too as we love them
Kitchen Benchtop - Urban Ceaserstone
Kitchen Cabinet Doors - Burnished Wood
Kitchen Overhead Cabinets - Polytech Ultra White Gloss
Kitchen Splashback - Ash Grey on Clear Glass

This will be our upright cooker and glass rangehood -

Kitchen mixer tap -

Colours - Exterior

Ok, before I post our colours, I just have to have a quick vent and say that our colour consultant was not the best!! I've had a larger rant on homeone (love everyone on there!) and feel much better. So now I am on to feeling positive about our choices :)

Exterior -
We stuck with our earlier choices for the outside which are:
Bricks - Brown Terrain
Mortar - Off White Raked
Roof Tiles - Magnum
Gutters and Facia - Monument
Down Pipes, Metre Box, Windows, Both Garage Roller Doors - Jasper
Render to Front Pillars - Ceylonese
Front Door Varnish - Charcoal
Here they all are together:
This will be our front door but will be in the charcoal varnish (the rectangle bit of wood in the pic above) and also the glass panels and side panels will be translucent-

This is the lock and handle we will have on this lovely front door -

Our exterior laundry door and also interior laundry, dressing room and study doors will be the Windsor with clear glass, they will all be stained charcoal other than the study doors which will be a gloss -

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Six sleeps until colours!!!

If you can't tell already, I am very excited about our colours appointment. I've spent hours going over everything, trawling through display homes. I have LOTS of notes and photos. We have a 30th on the Saturday night before though so I need to make sure I don't have too big a night :)
I also think it's nice and romantic that our colours appointment will be on Valentines Day Haha! Not sure what Kris thinks about that though...
Any hints or tips before the big day?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Garage Sale

We had a huge clean out yesterday at our garage sale. I still cannot believe how many people come to these things! You can tell the ones that do it for a living, they know what they want and aren't scared to bargain. We got rid of most of the big things which was great. Mum and dad brought in a lot of stuff too so was a very successful day!
Now, just need to decide what to spend my profits on...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The waiting game

Not much to report on but just wanted to post something!
We met with our bank manager today, she really is great. We have everything sorted out for our loan, we will have to pay a fee for breaking the fixed loan but they have waivered a few other things which is great.
On Saturday it will be two weeks until we put everything into storage and move out to Mum and Dads, so we are having a garage sale to try and reduce the amount of things that we have. Hopefully some people come. I'm not so worried about making any money but more about getting rid of furniture, etc. Anything left over will go to the Salvos. At least the garage sale has forced us to start sorting and packing which is good. It's hard to pack for storage instead of moving.
Our colours appointment is getting closer which is exciting, I think we will head up to Mernda and Cragieburn on Sunday to check out the displays for colour inspiration, does anyone have comments about these displays that has visited them before? We are going for a neutral/brown theme.
Ohh and one more thing, we went to the block last night and they have laid what looks to be the underneath of the road so hopefully the road won't be too far away. Once construction is finished we can get our soil tests and find out our site costs which will help with budgets. Can't wait till I can drive past the block instead of just looking from the car down the other end of the street!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lighting part 1

About 2 weeks ago we went into Beacon lighting and got a quote written up for some fans as they have a good special on at the moment, saving you 30% off your second fan. The quote is valid for 30 days and today we went back in to check if we were still happy with our choices, which we were and put a deposit on to layby them so we can start paying them off. I also got a pendant for the dressing room that I LOVE!! It's going to be a black and white theme in that room so this will go perfectly. Here is what we have planned:

Fan and light combo to go in Bedrooms 2, 3 and 4

Same fan as above but without the light for the master - we will be having down lights in there

Fan for the alfresco area which will also have downlights, this is an outdoor fan

This is the pendant for the black and white dressing room, it will be like the back one hanging down from the ceiling

Now all we have left to find is something special to go over the dining table, I am thinking a chandelier type thing but haven't seen anything at beacon that really grabs me so I will have to look around, maybe a trip to Melbourne... I also need 3 pendant type things to go over the kitchen bench. Both toiltets will have just a plain type light covering, nothing fancy in there!! But it feels good to have a fair bit picked out and on the way to being paid for.

We also went down to the block for a driveby and so much has happened in the stage that was released before ours, it was great to see and nice to think about what is to come. It looks like it will be a really nice area.

Other than that, we are back to waiting. We are waiting for our bank manager to come back from holidays so that we can sort out our finance - she has handled all of our loans and is fantastic so we want to wait to see her rather than someone else. Once we see the bank we will have a better idea of what is to come and what we can and can't do. Although I am a little worried as we will be paying off a part fixed loan when the house sells so I hope the bank doesn't sting us too hard there. Cross your fingers for me!!

Have a good week end everyone!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Colours are booked!

Not much to report this week, other than being back at work! I think from here until April will be a bit of a waiting game. Oh well, I will just have to fill my time in with shopping for things for the house instead!
We have booked our colour appointment in for Sunday the 14th of Feb which isn't too far away and I am very excited. We have been going through a few displays to get some more photos and inspiration. It's going to be an early morning for a Sunday though but definatly worth it. Cosham have information sessions on a Sunday afternoon so it will be a little quieter in the morning (I hope.)
This weekend will be spend organising things for a garage sale so that we don't have to put too much into storage.
Bring on colours!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

-Variations, electrical and the start of colours

We went down to sign all our paperwork with Henley, put on the next deposit so that when construction on our land finshes we can get the soil tests straight away. We also went through all the variations that we would like to add. These are all dependant on our site costs.

- Add the extended garage with roller door access to the backyard.
- Add the theatre room extension so that it is as long as bedroom 4.
- Add the grand alfresco so that it is still concreted with the theatre extension so that we don't have to deck it asap.
- Add double doors to the study.
- Extend the laundry cupboards from 2 to 3.
- Add drawers to the vanities in the ensuite and bedroom.
- Add render to the pillars at the front (we are having the standard Broadway facade).
- Add carpet and timber laminate.
- Add flysreens to windows.

We also did our electircal there and then as I had spent so much time pouring over it that I knew exactly what we wanted. We have added quite a few down lights and also we will be putting fans in all of the bedrooms and the alfresco. V emailed me the price that night and I was very pleased as it came in under budget.

From Point Cook we decided to go and have a look at Cosham as we were part way there. Wow is all I can say! So many things to look at. We sort of drifted around to start with, not sure where to start until we had D (I think) come over and give us a hand. She threw together our external colours and kitchen within minutes and it was exactly what we liked. I hope we get here when we have our colour appointment. We haven't locked anything in as of yet, this was more a visit to get a feel of the place and see what they had to offer. I must say though, I was impressed with their catergory one. I was having nightmares about upgrading everything and blowing the budget, so I was pleasantly suprised. Here a just a few pics of what we have in mind.

External colours:

Kitchen Colours:

-Selling our first home

Now that we had committed ourselves to a block and finally found the home we wanted to build, it was time to put our house on the market. Our real estate was fantastic, they put the house on the internet on Thursday night, we had people though on the Saturday, we got our first (and last) offer on Monday at more than we ever dreamed we would get!! Very happy day. It also meant that we didn't have to worry about open houses, driving around with the dogs while people were at the house, etc.

We had to wait just under two weeks to find out if their finance was approved and I think that this was one of the hardest parts as we didn't want to do anything in case it fell through. Did I tell you I hate waiting!!

On Friday we found out that it has all gone through, the house was sold! I think it must be some kind of record! We booked an appointment to go and see V at Henley again for the next day!

-Choosing a house to build

I won't tell you how many display homes we have been to, how many builders we have done quotes with, how many hours I have spent thinking about it all!!

We decided to go to Point Cook to look at Henley and Carlilse as they don't have displays here. Carlilse was closed for the Chrissy break (plus found out later that they don't build where our block is) and as soon as we walked into the 'Henley Street' I new this was it. I really liked all of their single story plans, thought their prices were great and the inclusions were fantastic. I had a list of things that I took to each builder with the things I really wanted included and the only ones that Henley didn't do were main flooring and concrete. I was really impressed.

I fell in love with the Lexington when we went through it as it had everything we hoped for. Large master with large ensuite and even larger dressing - check, 4 bedrooms - check, seperate study - check, theatre room - check, alfresco - check. We decided to go with the Q2 as it was a little cheaper ;) and also we got the butlers pantry and alfresco area.

We went back the next day, sat down with V and got a quote. We were very happy with it. We paid a deposit before they closed for Christmas which locked us in for the 2009 prices. I then had display home withdrawals as everyone was closed over Christmas and New Year!!

Standard Lexington Q2:

-Finding a block

After walking through our first set of display homes, we were stunned. They were all so beautifully done and spacious. After renovating, the thought of being able to choose everything the way that we wanted and to start with a blank canvas, we decided that building was for us!

Now we just had to find some land. I thought this would be the easy part, hmm. With the large first home builders grant, everything had been snapped up. We started looking at one part of town that was just too hilly. Our site costs would have been huge. We then started looking at the Valley Estate, which is a new estate but the only blocks available backed on to the railway which we didn't want. We went for a drive up there one night and noticed that one of the blocks didn't have a Sold sticker on it. We called the real estate who said that there was a hold on it that finished tomorrow. If they didn't get the deposit tomorrow, then it would be back on the market. We crossed our fingers all night, called them the next day, paid a deposit and there you go!

The block is 758m2 with an 18m front and looks onto a reserve which is nice as there will never be anything built there. At this time it was just dirt, and is being worked on at the moment. Hopefully the contruction will be finished by the end of Feb and settlement is set for April. Whoo hoo!!
Our dirt:

-Our first house

Welcome all to my first blog! I'm looking forward to being able to being able to track our build and share with others as I have picked up so much from other peoples blogs and threads along the way.

My partner Kris and I brought our first home in May 2008, it was an OLD house that needed much love and work. We have loved living here but there is still a bit of work to go, and we just felt that it was time to move on. Here's a few before and afters, all taken from realestate.com, when we brought the house and when we sold it.