We’ve signed!

Today we FINALLY signed off on our tender with Wisdom Homes. YAY!! We are building a the Manhattan 43 (Bathroom) with Avanti Facade.

It’s been a long process, we first received our tender back on 15th August, and for the last 6 weeks we’ve been tweaking it, and changing a few things here and there to make sure it’s exactly what we want. We deleted the rear upstairs balcony, as well as the ensuite from one of the front bedrooms, as we didn’t really see the point of either of them. Whilst the rear balcony would have been nice, the position of our block doesn’t really provide us with anything to look at from the back of the house, so the area really would be lost. And the ensuite in one of the kids rooms, whilst nice to have, really wasn’t necessary, and I just didn’t fancy the idea of having 4 toilets to clean for the rest of my life!

And so with all the tweaking, to-ing and fro-ing, last night we finally received the tender with all the elements included that we wanted. And today, after taking a very deep breath, and reassuring each other that we can do this, we took the plunge and signed the acceptance page. And so the process has now officially begun!

I spoke on the phone today to Andrew from the sales office, and he said that from here, Wisdom will now do up the plans, ready for submission to the SCR Design Review board, as well as for Council. The plans should be ready in about 4 weeks or so. During that time, we are also going to have to go and select our colours, as these need to be confirmed also before everything is sent to Council for approval. I’m really looking forward to the colour selection – I don’t think hubby is quite as excited about that part as I am. Must be a girl thing!

Council should take around another 4-6 weeks, so hopefully we will see soil turned on our site this side of Christmas. And the good news is, once all the approvals are received and they can start, it will be a 26 week build time, and Andrew is already suggesting that we will be in by 30th June 2011. I’ve been telling myself that it will be closer to a 12 month build, so to find out today that it’s only 6 months is a lovely surprise! SO EXCITED!!!

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Tender, Tender, where for art thou, Tender?

Last week we decided that it’s time to bite the bullet and move forward with this project. We have agreed that, whilst the mortgage we are going to have is going to make things a bit tighter, this is the house we want, so there’s no point procrastinating any further.

We have received 2 tender documents already from Wisdom, the first was quite expensive, and the second had a few changes to bring the cost down a bit. The biggest change was to move the whole home back by 1.5 meters, which would remove the need to drop the garage down, hence saving a few thousand dollars. However we feel that, over the course of a 30 year mortgage, that few thousand dollar saving isn’t really enough to justify us losing 1.5m of our back yard. And so we’re on waiting on Wisdom to combine the two tenders into one final document, so that we can sign off on it.

I wouldn’t have thought this would be too difficult, and I sent it through to them on Wednesday last week, but here we are, Monday, and I still haven’t seen anything! I spoke to our sales guy this morning and he said hopefully today or tomorrow. So fingers crossed that we’ll be progressing to the development of plans very soon!

I had also resigned myself to the idea that we probably won’t be turning soil on the block until early 2011, based on the assumption that council will be taking around 8-12 weeks to approve plans, however a few of our soon-to-be neighbours yesterday said that their approval came through within only 4-6 weeks. That would be fantastic if that were the case – it means that we could conceivably be in the house before Christmas next year! That would be the best Christmas present ever!

Love Thy Neighbour!

Today we met some of our future neighbours at a Resident’s BBQ that was organised via our online community forum. We had a fantastic day. The weather was perfect, there was so much lovely food, and the people that we met all seem so friendly and genuine. We would really would like to thank everyone who put in the time and effort to organise this. We are now even more excited to be building at SCR, and we can’t wait to become a permanent member of this fabulous community!

However, we are going to have to get over this sense of “ownership” that we feel towards the park! We keep referring to it as “our park” because it’s right across the road from our block, but it looks like it is going to be a very popular place, as there was another function on yesterday in addition to ours.

It was also great to speak to so many other people who are building with Wisdom, and whilst a few people have had some issues during the build process, the issues have been pretty minor, and overall the feeling towards Wisdom was quite positive. So that has certainly helped to make us feel more comfortable.

Here are a few pics from the BBQ – thanks Stefan for letting me use them!

Great community!

We haven’t even started building yet, but already the community at SCR is wonderful. We’re about to go along to the first Resident’s BBQ, which I’m really excited about! So great to be able to get to know the neighbours before we even move in. I wish the people who have bought the block next door would join the community forum – I’d love to be able to meet them!

Here’s the media release I’ve put together for the event. Might end up in the paper again!

SCR BBQ Press Release

Our Block

Well, we still haven’t signed our tender. It feels like such a huge step – once we sign, we’re committing to something huge! It means a bigger mortgage than we’ve ever had before, which comes with a lot of responsibility! But we’re really close to making a decision. We’re now considering Wisdom Manhattan 38 instead of the 43. Whilst it’s smaller overall, it’s still a big house, and we could use the difference in cost to put towards some of the other little extras that we would really like to include. But then I think, that the extra cost, when you spread it over 30 years, is really negligible. It’s just so hard to make a decision and take the plunge!

We also got our tender back from Masterton, and it was actually surprisingly in the ball park! It was a lot cheaper than Wisdom, but obviously didn’t include floor coverings & driveway like Wisdom does. It did include a number of other things that Wisdom didn’t though, which just added to the confusion for us. But I think we’re pretty much set on the Widsom home. Hopefully this weekend we will make a decision and start moving forward.

In the meantime, whenever I’m in the area, I generally take a detour and drive out to the estate. I’m amazed at how much it changes ever time I go out there, the homes are going up so fast! I went past the block yesterday, and finally took a few photos of it. I’m a bit disappointed that the “Sold” sign isn’t up yet – I even popped in to the sales office to get one so I could put it on myself, but I was too early – they hadn’t opened yet. So we might take the kids out there next weekend and get the Sold sticker, so they can put it on.

Anyway, here’s a few pics of our little piece of Australia!

Our Playground! Looking back to our block.

The “Deposit Taken” sticker on our sign

Looking at our block from the road

The view from our block, over the park and golf course