Life Moments ~ Let it all begin…..

Eek! I can’t believe it’s taken a whopping NINE months to finally get to the stage of building our home, where, ‘something’ is happening.  Yayyyy! So now, this is where it all begins. We are at last settled in to our temporary accommodation, and after the longest 4 weeks ever, we have Internet. We have unpacked the essentials, plumbed in the washing machine, said hullo to the neighbours {over the garden fence} so we must be officially in.

So what have the past 9 months been about? First things first, the mortgage. Don’t let anyone ever tell you getting a bank loan for a construction  is ‘easy’. There is paperwork required that I didn’t even know existed. My advice is get a mortgage broker. We had the fabulous Bob from Loanmarket. He dealt with everything. But you do have to get organized. Get down to Kiki.k or Typo, grab a diary, some colourful pens, a note book and of course some files, because you’re going to be filing everything. Luckily I’m a bit of a stationary queen, hurrah! I love nothing better than organizing my life into different sections, then giving them a colour and a separate font . All of our personal documents (drivers license, passports, birth certs) got copied lots of times, and scanned into the computer. Bob also needed months {I kid you not}, of bank, savings and credit card statements. So be prepared to have every inch of your finances gone through. Get another file and compile all of that information together. To see how much you need to borrow, the bank will need copies of your complete building contract. This includes the plans, and also details of the finish {blinds, flooring, landscaping etc}. They need this to make sure that if you should default, the house is actually worth what you’ve borrowed and they can sell it. Our builder made sure that we had as much information as possible.

Which gets me nicely on to the subject of builders. We spent years looking for the right builder for us. We researched forums, traipsed through numerous display homes, listened to our friends recommendations. Finally we decided on Plantation Homes. The sales consultant Steve was honest and up front about the cost of building. He wasn’t pushy like the rest of the sales staff in the other display homes. There was never any pressure to build with them. The deciding factor was that he allowed us to look through a recently completed home to check the build and finish quality. So off we went. We opened doors, checked inside cupboards, flicked switches on and off, everything was perfect. So off we trotted back to Steve, to get a contract signed.

The mistakes. Hmmm, we’ve made a few, but you learn by your mistakes don’t you? The best advice Steve gave was “find the land to suit the house you want to build”. Did we listen to that advice? Of course we didn’t, we know what we’re doing pfftttt! So we looked at various blocks in and around Noosa. Finally we both found a block that we both absolutely loved. Unfortunately the house we wanted to put on there didn’t love the land as much as we did. In fact, the house we wanted to build wouldn’t fit on it at all. We can only assume we had rose tinted specs on when we purchased the land. Surely it wasn’t THAT sloping when we bought it? But apparently it was. In fact it had a 4m fall over the land, enough for our builder to say sorry, you’ll have to choose another builder. We weren’t having any of that, so Steve sent his engineers out to look at the land and see if there was a house design that ‘could’ be altered to fit, and there was. We just had to go up a floor.

After an in depth meeting with Plantation Homes in Brisbane where we went through all the legal stuff, colour selection, interior design, we paid the deposit and our plans went in to council. Fast forward a few months, and we’re now ready to go.  It doesn’t usually take 9 months to get to this stage. Our biggest challenge that took a long time to sort out was finding a company to do our retaining walls. Thankfully, we had the common sense to pinch our neighbours retaining wall experts. We stalked them out, and unashamedly, nicked them.

So this is where we’re up too. Over the next few months I’ll be blogging the build, the highs, the lows and of course the cost. This is mainly for my F&F in Australia and the UK, but we don’t really mind who see’s it.

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