About Me

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I am a SAHM who does work from home occasionally, dedicated to raising 3 Godly, independent, healthy children. Loving the home building process though it is not without challenges. I have fairly free reign over the creative aspect of the project...just not the financial side!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The last 3 months

Now I am back from running essential errands (read the start of pre-holiday grooming), I can update a little about what the last few months have held for us. Obviously, talking about it on social media whilst a marketing campaign was on would not have been ideal.
We decided in early June this year to endeavour to sell our home even though it wasn't needed to sell until later in the year. I had struck up a working relationship with a local real estate agent who was relatively new to the area (waves to him as he is an avid follower of this blog!). Dion was pulling in great sales results especially in the street where we are building. Dion earned his right to come and look at our current home even though Brad had already decided which agent we would be using to sell. Dion loved our home and was convinced he had a buyer for our property. Now, I know this can be a good ol' marketing ploy....but we believed him and still do! Fast forward the part about decluttering, minor handyman work, very time consuming & stressful. Dion brings the couple over who seem to love the house BUT thought the fabulous deck would mean too much maintenance as they approach the latter stages of life. We then only signed up with Dion for a week or 2 until he went overseas. On his first open, he received an offer or two but they weren't in the ball park at that early stage. Quite a few private inspections later, a dejected Dion leaves for a month overseas.

Keen to keep the ball rolling with sign up with Amy from LJHooker for 6 weeks.After a week or 2, we decide it is time to start online marketing. This was initially resisted as most houses were selling on the first open house or shortly thereafter. Lots of interest though there was always a BUT. There is no lawn, need more privacy, don't want a private access road, there is no lawn, the pool is too shady, there is too much bush around, we need grass, not open plan enough etc.
At this stage, I am well & truly over the constant need to have an immaculate house in show condition, always 30 minutes away from an inspection. Why won't anyone just put in an offer? The price expectation was in line with what 3 local agents told us we could get. The slap in the face was that most of the other homes in our area were selling prior to the first open or on the first open! Again fast forward and we sign LJHooker up for another 6 weeks until the end of September. Towards the end of August, we decide to drop the advertised price by $20K to get more buyers through and hopefully create a bidding frenzy. Hoorah! We got more buyers through the door but we seemed to get people who were at the very upper limit of their purchasing ability. We resigned ourselves to the fact that the figure we were expecting was totally out of our reach.

We had a lovely Korean couple negotiated with us and we accepted their offer with an earlier settlement. Elated! Until the pest & building inspection occurs. They engage the services of their inspector who speaks there native tongue. He takes one look at a dead tree outside our kitchen door and tells them it is termite damaged. He also tells this young couple that the area I though was some woodrot on fascia was also termite activity. Well, those buyers ran to the hills leaving us with their 0.25% deposit. We cancel the next open and Amy quickly organises her builder to look & rectify. At first look he thinks it is termites too but won't know for sure until he starts pulling it apart. The end result after 3 fast & furious days of building was that there was no termites at all confirmed by a full pest inspection but woodrot caused by some cracked roof tiles. The eaves, fascia, tiles and some beams were all replaced to look brand new. Not money we really wanted to spend but it would have been picked up at any future building inspections anyway.

On the last day of the building works, a buyer was very keen to privately inspect the property before the scheduled open the next day. Think scaffolding, woodchips, painter, roof tiler, builder, rubbish.... He loved the home and later that day put in an acceptable offer though acceptance was subject to seeing what occurred at the the open house. This party were very keen, hanging around at the open house to see if 'it was theirs'! The contracts were exchanged that afternoon with cooling off to finish Friday 5pm. Bank valuation DONE, building inspection DONE. At 3pm on Friday I get a call asking for a one day extension as approval not through yet. Granted by us. A call at 3:30pm from agent and our solicitor says YES the bank approval is in. He is on the way to ANZ bank to transfer money to trust account. We believe it sold. Call at 5:30pm from the agent saying that the buyer called at 5:13pm saying that he received a call from the bank at 4:55pm to say that the insurer won't tick the mortgage insurance box yet as the valuer sees an issue with the height of our downstairs rumpus room (not standard and in fact, not approved by council many years ago) The purchaser is actually in breach of contract & legally needs to pay us the deposit but if we go too hard in following up, it may mean we get a rectification notice from council to return the rumpus room to the double garage.
Whilst I am on the phone to the solicitor, the purchaser turns up at our house unannounced (!!!) basically crying to plead his case. Not at all the right thing to do but at least we do know his intentions first hand so it put our minds at rest. He desperately wants the house and we want to sell it to him. Of course, his solicitor walks off the job at 5:30pm and no-one has contact numbers after hours for her. My solicitor works on it until 8pm until she can go no further with it. The purchaser needed to sign a clause that night but obviously can't as he couldn't reach his solicitor.
It was a waiting game until Monday now to see if his mortgage insurers will approve their part of the loan or to find another way forward. If not, we were back to square ONE. The purchaser left a cheque for the balance of the deposit under the door of the real estate agent on Saturday night. No-one really knows why given he was already in breach of contract. Early yesterday morning, he & his solicitor agreed to the added clause that we would extend cooling off to 5pm that day provided they 'acknowledge that they are aware that the ceiling height of the garage rumpus conversion may not comply with the Council regulations and agree that they will not make application to the council for a building certificate nor will they raise any requisition, objection or claim for compensation nor seek to rescind this contract in this regard' A call at 3:30pm from our solicitor informed us that the purchaser has VERBAL full unconditional approval from the bank but needs some extra time until the written approval is released. Our parties had a few questions to have answered before that extra time was granted, like has the mortgage insurance really been resolved? In the meantime, the purchaser called Brad to congratulate him on selling his house LOL. Brad was clear in saying that until the written evidence was there, we would not be celebrating given Friday's circumstances.

And here we are....SOLD! Much as the building with Eden Brae has had it's ups & downs, I would build again 5 times over before I sold this house again. Time to party....in Fiji!

If you are local and need a good builder, can I recommend Rick Altavilla from Lightscape Building? Rick made himself immediately available to assess and then move heaven & earth to complete the works in record time so we didn't miss another open house. His work is quality and he seems the nicest guy too. Great communication, professional, honest. What more can you ask for in a builder? 0414 657351

And some photos of the deck that was meant to SELL this house ever so quickly....


It has been a very long 3 months since we unofficially started our marketing campaign. The news came through this morning that we have sold our lovely home. Thanks Mr Hooker and Amy! I will post a little more about the process later but for now, I will just revel in the tears of pure joy!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mini update

I was walking past the house yesterday morning and Troy was there sitting in his ute. He came out to have a quick chat. Tory has finished scheduling as a result of the inspections that took place and PCI (Practical Completion Inspection) can take place around October 1 or 2. Problem....we are in Fiji then! I knew it would happen! Fortunately it is only for a week, returning on October 5. We have tentatively scheduled PCI for October 8. I suggested to Troy that our re-inspections by both Tyrrells and Howard Ryan (paying extra for this one) could be done whilst we are away to get a head start on anything outstanding that arises from those reports. If PCI is on October 8, we should have our keys by October 22. Fingers crossed.....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The good, the bad and the downright ugly!

I promised that this blog would show all sides of the build to assist others in their journey to build a house. Well, whilst I was expecting there to be issues that arise from the independent inspections especially painting, I didn't think there would this MANY. They do seem relatively minor to my untrained eye and not structural. I think PCI is further away than what I thought it would be :-( HnK Ryan's report came through last night and left me feeling fairly deflated or even more deflated than my headcold and house selling is already. I haven't posted all 25 pages of the report but a sample of the photos documenting the issues. 

Brad & I have decided to reengage the services of our independent inspector to return & make sure issues have been fixed satisfactorily - peace of mind for me. (And this is by no means a reflection on our SS, Troy. It is the trades that EBH get to subcontract that are not showing pride of workmanship)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tyrrells PreCompletion Inspection

This inspection occurred yesterday rather than the scheduled today. I think all is pretty OK and usual. Lots of paint & plaster issues. There are two outstanding issues noted in bold & red ink on the first page that have not been completed from the first inspection.
Today should see our next independent inspection completed.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Site fencing gone

....portaloo gone and house cleaned. Here are some photos of the exterior. Still some painting to go at the front. The yellowish corbel is to be painted the same colour as the render and the cladding right up the top is to be that colour too.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I can sniff the end now!

Matt rang tonight to update me on what has happened since we last spoke (and in his absence for 3 days this week). Everything has been done as per schedule though there was something (?) that materials were in short supply for. Timber for wardrobe rectification works? Can't remember what Matt said.
Matt told me that the house clean is still scheduled for tomorrow with Tyrells booked in for Wednesday September 18 and the painters/plasterers ready the following days for touchups. At this moment in time, carpet is due for installation on Monday 23rd though this could get pushed back depending on what is discovered at the Tyrells inspection.

I have been so impressed with Matt and the way he has taken this on board for 2.5 weeks. He has a few extra houses added on top of his workload making him extra busy. We are way ahead of schedule so he could have just let it ride whilst Troy was away. To the contrary! Lots of calls and emails, easy to talk to, organised some things to fix that he noticed were not quite right. Thank you Matt fromt he bottom of our hearts - what a legend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wood stain

All very quiet on the building front. It looks like someone was there for a few hours on Monday but nothing since. Both supervisors are on leave. Hopefully that means that the job scheduled for Monday/Tuesday has been completed already.

I have been discussing with AJ from re-do my space the colour we selected for our staircase stain. As this occurred 12 months ago, I had no recollection or record of it. All I knew was that it was Taubmans Walnut. Research online and at my local Bunnings proved fruitless. We were desperately hoping that it wasn't too red in tone as the furniture we have bought is more of the chocolate variety. It would be too late to change it as well. Rather than emailing and waiting for a response from Home Options Gallery, I decided to pay them a visit this morning. Phew! Walnut (right hand side) is a nice brown colour and Jarrah (left hand side is the redder one)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Basin mixers swapped over

Matt sent me a photo tonight of the new mixers that have been placed in all vanities today in lieu of the long (bath) ones - much more practical and pleasing on the eye. Thanks Troy and Matt.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Upcoming schedule

Received an email from Matt last night informing me of the items he has booked in to occur at the house.

"Please note the below update of progress and what is booked leading up to Troy's return.
-    Friday 6th, Tilers to complete main floor areas
-    Sat / Mon - Fixing carpenter to return to install Bed room smart robe door units, and a few other items per my inspection list
-    Bed 3 Ceiling, requires repair over the internal door, as there is a slight undulation, Frame carpenter booked to return Mon / Tues to rectify
-    Plastering contractor booked for Thurs 12th to meet with myself / to complete defects as marked, Cornices to garage, Bed 3 ceiling repair.
-    House cleaner Initial clean - Friday 13th.
As discussed, I will also be on annual leave Monday 9th to Wed 11th, however the above items have been booked / confirmed to be carried out."

I think the tilers might have finished already if everything went according to plan yesterday. The site was cleaned (sort of) today - there still seems to be a lot of junk lying around?? My latest screenshot has the site fencing being removed tomorrow. I hope the house is locked up a little more securely than it has been from now on.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Site inspection

I went to the house to find most of the tiling completed. In fact, the tilers told me that they will have completed it today. They schedule 5-7 days but a large team was assigned our job so they have been able to fly through it.

It was great to meet Matt who seems very thorough and organised. I know our home is in safe hands with him. He is, though, going on leave next week for a few days. He is aiming to get the house ready for our Tyrells inspection as soon as Troy returns from leave.

The new things I discovered today were that the towel rails have been incorrectly installed. Standard for our house is a 600mm double rail in the ensuite and an 800mm single rail in the main bathroom. We requested an extra for the main. Unfortunately the 2 800mm rails have been put in the ensuite and the smaller one in the main. We decided to keep the ensuite as is and order another smaller one to add to the main bathroom. Here's hoping EBH don't slap me with a variation for this mistake too ;-)
The cladding on the front of the house has been painted white as per the eaves rather than Mountain Shadow like the render. This needs to be changed.

A busy day at the house all up with tilers, site cleaners and a carpenter there doing touchups.

PS. Oh and the front door handles?? The door aren't hung correctly so when that gets fixed, the handles should be even.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Main floor tiling

It has FINALLY started about 2 weeks after the scheduled time. There was a delay in sourcing them from China so the tilers had to be redirected elsewhere. DiLorenzo kindly have kept me up to speed on what is happening at their end. When I was taking the door photos on Friday, a supervisor from DiLorenzo showed up to inspect the property. He wasn't sure on the latest but assured me that the tilers would be ready to go as soon as they arrived. The tiles must have been delivered over the weekend as the tilers were there first thing this morning. Yay!