Sunday, November 29, 2009

Meter Box - yay...

Went down to the site tonight (sad isn't it, it's a Saturday !), and two things:

(a) I need to buy gumboots for the next visit ! It's been pouring down today in Melbourne (which is not necessarily a bad thing) and the site was pretty squishy - the garage in the site cut is like a toddler's pool :)

(b) We now have a meter box ! It's not fully wired internally, but has all the cables fed in waiting to be hooked up.

Still waiting for the plumbing.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Site has been scraped !

Wow, things move quickly when there's money involved :)

Paid the 5% deposit last Friday, and looks like it went through OK, as we found out (via Hels on the Home One forum) that the site has been scraped, as of November 18th.

Thank goodness Jason did the mowing a few weeks ago, it was pretty long and would have gotten in the way.   Luckily we haven't copped a lot of rubbish on the site, and will be going back on Saturday to check if that's any different.

Next, temporary fencing - and the plumbing !

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Almost ready....

It's been a while between posts hasn't it ?

That's what happens when you have a few things going in life :)

Anyways, a brief update as to what's going on :

* We had a final contract/drawing meeting a couple of weeks ago - the 'last chance' to change anything without incurring any variation fees.  The only thing to do was to add a switch which would become a two way with the inside near the front door so the verandah light could be switched on from either side - ideal if you're coming home in the dark :) Only cost $55 !

* Site costs came in $1,400 less than thought, so we've now put a Decro door in - made by Steel-line, and a step above a Colorbond door with a wood type finish.  Ours is in Auburn, and will complement the Austral Canterbury bricks and the general tone of the house. 

* Jason spent a good hour and copped a few blisters doing a site clean up last weekend - nice job too ! The bulk of it was at the back of the property, and it's now far shorter (and goes about a metre past the boundary, so the back neighbours better thank us !!!).   The front embankment is also neater.

Thanks for Hels'n'Greg from the HomeOne forum for the lend of the whipper snipper - but it became too big a job for it in the end.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fencing is almost ordered....

We went back today (bloody nice weather too) - pics to come soon, but we looked for the pegs at the back, which were nearby to the aboveground stakes, but I had to shift a bit of grass to find the west side one.   The east side is actually behind the temporary fencing for next door's lot, and the measurements are practically on the nose (even a shade over, depending where you start the tape measure) - there was a nail in the middle of the rear pegs, so i assume the nail is the boundary, as is the faceplace with the lot number at the front.

Picked up a bit of rubbish from the lot, but will do a more intensive cleanup in the next few days, probably when I go whipper snipper (thanks Hels from HomeOne for the offer !) the back grass...the rest of the lot is fine, the nature strip is still being seeded (so nothing to worry about there).

Got some slightly bad news re the house - the surveryor has knocked back the setback ! It was 5.25m, Marriott had said yes, but the surveyor has come back to say what's on the title has to be the way the house is built.   So, the garage goes back the 25cm, and we are having to chop a bit of the lounge and family/meals area out a bit, but that's preferred as to losing the exit door from the garage to the verandah.

Also, the credit application for ATF (Australian Temporary Fencing) has been sent off, and hopefully we'll have the fencing up shortly, at a pretty good rate.   The neighbour to our right has already got the fence up, so we only have to fund the back and west side (bugger, where do you get all this extra money ????).

Just waiting on RH to ask for the deposit (again, where's the money ????!) and then we'll be on the way.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Things are really starting to happen....

We went out to Marriott Waters last week, just after I got back from sunny Queensland (let's say I had a t-shirt on departure, and a jacket on arrival !).

Paul and Jason doing the obvious !

The land from the other side of the road

We have another meeting pencilled in this week at the office, which is a 'last chance' look over the contract to make any changes if needed without incurring variation fees, so we're going to go over the plans with eagle eyes, but it should be all good.

The only thing that may change is the garage door - we want to put a Decro door in, but if it's going to be out of budget, there's a wood look Colorbond door that's just as good.   We're just waiting for the final site costs to come in, that's the only thing stopping the process going at full steam.  More soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Land Settlement & Building Contract

As of this day, the land will be settled and registered no longer to Marriott Waters.  There's been a bit of a bumpy ride with having to dig up a few extra unexpected $'s for the land tax/rate adjustment, but the money is in the account, and waiting patiently for CBA to withdraw (along with the other $160,000 odd !) - then we can say we own the dirt :)

We still haven't been given final site costs, so it's provisional for now - but after having a sneak peek at the land one weekend (wasn't fully opened !), it's pretty bloody flat, although a 30 degree or so rise from the crossover.

It took the best part of 1 hour 45 minutes, and a few to's and fro's before the 38 or so pages were signed twice over.   I've gotten the builder to write down that he won't charge us the 20% builder's margin or variation fee on the site costs as they weren't ready in time for Sept 30 - apparently it's happening with a lot of people.   He then scanned the pages and sent them directly to our girl at the bank and CC'd me in - very efficient.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The House Colors

We've locked in our colors, after the color appointment a few weeks back.

Brick : 

Austral Canterbury

Window Frames:

Paperbark Colorbond

Decro Door (Auburn) *UPGRADE* - Slimline Sectional


Manor Red (Colorbond)



Bristile Rooftile

Traditional Hacienda Magnum


Kytan Ashbury - Carpet Court & Heavy Underlay (best you can get !) 

There are also other selections, will update soon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just a quick note to say thanks to Annie for pointing out it was too hard to leave any comments because the design was too 'wide' - all fixed ! Comment away......:)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Well it's been a lifetime since the last post....and there's been a ton of stuff going on - it's just hard to sit down for long enough to document it.

Nevertheless, there'll be catchups - but the most exciting thing is that we got told by the conveyancer this evening that settlement is October 8th.

We're just waiting on Rawdon to come back with final site costs, as it took a while for them to be able to get onto the land and do the soil tests, and we're cutting it fine with the deadline of September 30 for the First Home Owners Grant, but it should be OK.

Will let you know, plus colors and stuff soon !

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Visit....

Went down to have a look at the estate again yesterday (c'mon, it's been 2 weeks !!!), and for something different I did a video :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's Been A Long Time !

Wow, no posts for almost 2 months - that's a record ;) But there's good reasons - I'll go into them on the next post when it's not so late at night !

But suffice to say, we're about to have a meeting with THAT bank tomorrow to see what the likelihood of changing over from MC's care of the loan application to them - we're just not happy with the lack of knowledge from our broker - the other day he rang to see where the land, etc is at (still on track for August/September), and said that we're probably going to have to re apply for the loan (why, we don't know) and because we can't use the FHOG as part of it, we'll have to cough up about $30,000 - and you know what he suggested ?

"Borrow it off some friends or family" - YEAH SURE !

So, hopefully there's no penalty/fees to disconnect !!!

More to come.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

1st Draft Plans Arrived !

Got home yesterday to find an Express Post delivery waiting....found it was from Rawdon Hill and hurriedly opened it - and lo and behold, Draft 1 of the House Plans !

There's a few things to be modified along the way, but as a whole it's pretty much according to how we wanted it (certain modifications here and there were all included).

Now have to get them scanned into the computer and do some photoshop work along the way to point out where certain things would be good to go.

There isn't a huge backyard thanks to the easement, but there's more of a "side" garden - we're not having an alfresco, but more of a patio area.

We've just found out that the garage has to be setback to 5.5m from 4.87, so we're thinking the only way to do it without losing the verandah/door from the garage is to move the whole house back, which would put it near the easement, and then shorten the rumpus and bedroom 3 by the amount to get it back from the easement - if that makes sense.

Otherwise if you move the garage alone, you lose the verandah/door and there's nowhere else on the plan to put an entry door without comprmising other rooms. If the plan was flipped (which we can't do), then it could've been an entry to the laundry.

Some Color Selections So Far...

Also had a productive day with choosing colors way before the official meeting, will make life a lot easier I reckon when we get there. Here's what's looking good to our eyes so far....

Carpet Choice Carpet - Grey (brownish tinge ?), Benchtop Laminate (left), Kitchen Cupboards (Right) - the names escape me !

The kitchen bits with less flash intensity, more accurate :)

Gainsborough Door Handles within house (comfy in the hand !)

Aztex Tapware for the house - this is the base standard, seems fine !

Door handles for the cupboards - trendy too !

The Street Is Forming...

After going to the color selection room at Rawdon Hill, we drove up to Evans Rd where Melada Parade will begin, and they've made some progress on the civil works - now there's some guttering, and some new dirt for the landscaping of the median strip and nature strips. Reassuring.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

We're On The Map Now...

Went to the 2009 Melways the other day - and lo and behold - we have our road in there !
It's still a dotted line, but a vast improvement on 2008's map...getting closer.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bricks, Bricks, Bricks - and a quick visit to Hels'n'Greg !

Well today was a pretty s**t day to be outdoors, and because a planned BBQ for Marriot residents didn't go ahead, we thought we'd go down anyway and have a look at the Austral Brick showroom off the Westernport Hwy. To our surprise it was open, although there is a 24 hour section, but methinks that consists of about 10 small brick walls, of which 2 were knocked over, hmmm :(

So, the thoughts are angling towards a brown/red brick. If you had to put a percentage on it, I'd say 70% brown, 30% red - something with a bit of light and shade, and not straight out one color. The rolled mortar, a bit off white will help too.

We also dropped in on Greg from Hels'n'Greg (Home One Forum and their own blog, listed on the right) - he showed us through the PD home they bought, roof is up and was doing some speaker wiring (with permission, of course !) - very impressive.

Here's what we looked at (apologies if we took a photo of your house at Marriott Waters !):

Blackwood - Builders Range - This one ain't too bad - it's got magnesium through it, so a bit more costly....

Austral Newport - Nice, but is an upgrade if we choose.

Austral - Homestead Red - It's too red !

One of the houses being built at Marriott Waters - now this is more like it ! A bit of both shades, not too dark.

Austral/Bristile - have quite a bit selection - aiming towards a grey/gunmetal roof tile like this...

If not, something like this might look good too.

This is a nice looking paver that would be good for the backyard from the garage to the patio area.

Finally, the end of Brookwater Boulevard, and straight ahead it will eventually (by August now, delays unfortunately) - meet up with Melada Parade, it looks like they're going to build a bridge over the wetlands here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Paperwork back from conveyancer !

Got home from after getting my car serviced (goodbye $544 !), and saw a rolled up yellow A4 envelope in the letterbox, or at least where the papers go - remind me to divert everything off to the PO Box !

Opened it up, discovered the conveyancer has done a bit of work in the background (considering it's been quiet on all other fronts) and told us:

* The cost to utilise them (quite reasonable)
* Has provided the transfer of land form for the titles office, and specifies our house number (YAY !)
* Pre-filled out the FHOG paperwork ready to be signed and sent back

Good to see they're worth their salt, and now we just have to get the scribble in the right places, send it back and wait - again :)

By the way, the broker rang the other day to speak to Jason and wanted to know where we're at, and when will there be a date on the land settlement. We said, we're still waiting for that, and lo and behold, the conveyancer has spoken to Marriott Waters' solicitor, and they've said that due to inclement weather (go, Melbourne) and some upgrades they had to do in the civil works has slowed things down, so more likely an August/September settlement.

Doesn't phase us, we've got a roof over the head, I've got my new job (with better hours and more time to check on the build after I finish of a day !) - just hope the bank/Rawdon pattern works OK and nobody pulls out on us.

Still waiting for the 1st draft of the plans so we can get closer to the holy grail (contract) !

Dad's gone into hospital

FROM (17/4/09)
Found out early this morning (while I was at work), that my dad had taken a fall when he was at home, and had gone to Ballarat Base Hospital.

I spoke to him around 3:30am, he was
extremely groggy (morphine will do that !), and it appears he's broken it in 3 places, and has now got a plaster cast running from shoulder to wrist. It'sthe first time in my life I've spoken to him and not had the effervescent Dad I usually hear.

I've been in touch with my aunt (his sister), and his partner about Dad's condition. Basically, he got discharged today from the hospital, he's going back in 3 weeks for pins to help heal the breaks, plus he copped a lung infection while he was there, but they've run the blood tests and is all clear, taking a haul of anti-biotics home with him.

He's asked to not be inundated with visitors, but I know he's a bit stubborn when it comes to things like that (he's very much the "I'm fine" kind of person...), and I will drop in next weekend to see him, it's only 1.5 hours drive to just outside of Maryborough.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Today was the last day of the HIA Home Ideas Show in Melbourne, and got there around 1pm. Let's just say it was pretty busy, and for some reason there were a lot of stalls selling orthotics - ummm, what's that got to do with houses, and it made me feel old !!!!

It was good to get some brochures and ideas under the belt, although to be honest all the specials they had for the show only are only really good if your house is already built and you're replacing/adding things - for us, we haven't even got the land titled yet, so no value in storing something away until it's ready. But at least the brochure has all the websites, and a good reference for later.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome to our world :)

This is the first time I've done a blog, so hopefully my memory will keep up and knock on the my brain and remind it to update this as regularly as possible !

Soon I'll post some pictures, but right now we're in the early throes of the house build - ie, we've bought the land, and have to wait for it to be titled.

More soon.