This blog will be a record of our family's adventures in building a house. Hopefully this will be a good record for us to keep and a point where our family and friends can keep up with how we are going. Also from seeing so many other people's great blogs and forum postings it would be good to contribute to the information out there and share our experiences.
The Story So Far
Well over a year ago now we started to get the feeling that our three bedroom unit containing all four of us, me, her indoors and our two boys then 3 and 1, was getting a bit small. Our garage had become a toy storage room, our lounge room floor was constantly covered in toys and our garden was not big enough to run in.
We needed a new house but had no idea what this meant. First step was to get an idea of what was out there, what we could afford and what we liked.
After plenty of searching on www.realestate.com.au and other sites we decided that we were far too fussy to buy an existing home. We had bought our unit off the plan 7 years earlier and absolutely loved the new house experience. We could not go from new home to someone else's home.
We decided to look at display homes, speak to builders and see if we could build a dream home. We thought that the best way forward was to find a house plan we loved and then find a block of land to fit it.
Our house preferences were:
- Good kitchen with big pantry
- Open plan kitchen / family / meals
- Rumpus room off family room
- 4 bedrooms or 3 and a study
- Separate lounge room
- Double Garage with internal access (preferably near the kitchen)
- Alfresco area.
This house had everything we wanted. We even thought that the facade of the display would fit very well in chosen suburb.
We kept looking for other house plans but the Jamieson from Premier Builders just matched all of our criteria. Also one of the things we hated from most other builders was the amount of wasted space.
Here is what the original plans looked like.
We still hadn't found any land and we weren't even sure of where we wanted to live but we loved this plan. We decided to settle on this and we even put down some money to get the plans started and to get an initial price locked in for the sort of inclusions etc we wanted. (More on this in later posts I'm sure).
Now the only thing we needed was a nice block of land to put this great house on...... Easy...... NOT.
We got the plans drawn up in June 2008.
After lots of auctions, at least 4 different offers, lots of interest rate cuts and lots of other experiences we finally found our block.
This is the list of what we wanted for our block (it may help to explain why our search took so long):
- Wide enough for the Jamieson (at least 16.8m)
- Deep enough for a reasonable sized back yard (at least 35m)
- North facing side or back yard (if it was the back yard we may have gone for Metricons Lumeah)
- Quiet Street
- Not a rat run
- Within 20min walk to train station along Belgrave / Lilydale train line
- No further East than Springvale Road
- Near schools, kinders, shops, parks etc.
- Low traffic noise, ie. not near main road
Finally we got it. We are now in the settlement period and will settle toward the end of July. I would highly recommend the following tools for looking at properties:
- Realestate.com - set up some alerts
- Domain.com - more alerts
- Land Vic - brilliant for contours, overlays, planning requirements etc.
- Google Maps - look at suburb etc.
- Google Streetview - spy on the property