Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We're Building a Clarendon Waterford!

After much research, Von and I have decided to go with Clarendon and build a Waterford. We actually also visited the Waterhaven, a slightly smaller version of the Waterford, with my mum. As soon as we walked in, mum said, "No, don't get this. Get the Waterford for the extra money, even if I give you the money for it." That's an extra $12k, mum. She's right, though. We thought, it's worth it.

It had the perfect lay out at the bottom floor and when we looked at the first floor, we were pleasantly surprised to find five bedrooms. That gives us a spare bedroom for guests, family or the clothes that needs to be folded - hehehe!

From the experience of our many friends who have built, we've gathered that one of the ways to cut down on extra cost is to avoid too many structural changes. Well, all we're doing is putting in a shower in the powder room; pushing the door to the WC out a little to fit in a basin; popping storage under the staircase, and; putting a wall between the formal lounge and formal dining and then enclosing access to formal dining via foyer with sliding doors. We'll be using that as my office/study. Then the designated study can become a toy room / play room, with the possibility of becoming another room if either my parents or Von's parents should decide to live with us in the future.

Here is the facade we decided to go with - the Abbotsbury. Today, we put in our deposit. Our salesperson at Minchinbury, Craig, has been very patient with us. During our first visit to Clarendon (whilst we were in cooling off period), he even drove to our block as we were concerned about site costs. We have heard people being charged ridiculous amounts which have made them sell to build elsewhere. After Craig reassured us that the fall towards the back was minimal and that we're probably looking at only $15k for site costs, we were happy.

What we didn't expect was the $12k for BASIX! The price we pay for the environment, eh? In the end, though, it means we do save on utilities. Don't know when we'll break even but there's no choice in the matter.

We put in our deposit today, pretty much our last chance to get the $3k bonus offer which is worth $25k retail. I'm excited about having a 2 car garage with auto opener! Hahaha!!! Shame our land cannot fit a third garage and our budget cannot either.

We've got additional enhancements which we don't want to disclose here yet as we want to surprise family and friends when they visit us for the first time. The price is rapidly going up though. At least, we're a little prepared for this as we've invited close friends to look at the house and make recommendations (Thanks, guys!) and some even shared with us how much extra they ended up paying on top of their base price. From our understanding, it could easily be another 50% of the base price by the time we upgrade certain things and install the floor coverings, driveway, etc. That's not even including the landscaping! We're glad we talked to our friends. They were more than happy to share their learnings from their own buidling experiences.

We'll try to be wise with our choices but I know the temptation would be, "Well, we're only going to do this once. So, let's do it right." We'll see...

Here's a picture of how it will sit on our land...

Monday, February 18, 2008

We've Sold Our House!

What perfect timing! Our agents have brought in viewers right on the first day we were officially on the market, Friday, the 15th of February. On Saturday, three lots of people came through and by yesterday morning, one of them has made an offer. A little low but by 8.30 this morning, they were apparently at the real estate agent's office coming to the party with our counter offer.

Woohoo! Thanks to our agents who were very clever in pitching our house at the right praice so we got lots of interest straight away. They took great pics, worked really fast and most importantly, understood how much we wanted for our house. They gave us the realistic price right from the beginning but pushed for a little more at our request and got it!

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Great Piece of Land

We've been looking for our dream home and I have spent countless nights researching on the net as well as actually checking out the properties myself so that I can just show Von the best of the lot. Luckily, my business lets me do this.

Last week, I stumbled upon a piece of land in Rooty Hill, not even 2kms from where we live. It's in an established cul-de-sac, but the street is off a newly developed area. It's only 460sqm, with a 17.5m frontage. Pretty much a rectangle.

We hurriedly looked at project homes and how much they are. Fortunately, the agent for the seller is actually our agent. They showed us how a Waterford from Clarendon would fit the land. We needed a box, pretty much. And that's what the Waterford is like.

However, because we haven't even sold our house, we had a limited budget. We made an offer on Wednesday but the sellers wanted just a little more. We scrape just enough to meet their request and today, they accepted our offer - Hurrah! Tomorrow, we sign the paperwork.