Easy banking!

With all the drama we had earlier regarding finance, the one thing that was constantly told to me by various mortgage brokers, when talking about different lenders, was that they were all difficult to get progress payments out of. I have been dreading the progress payment process, based on what I’d been told by the brokers.

So when we got our first progress payment bill after the slab was laid last week, I thought I’d better get onto it immediately, given that it was most likely going to be a lengthy process.

I had registered already for Verbal Authorisation, which is a service that Westpac offer, allowing me to just phone and say, yep, pay this one! Sounds too easy, right? So I phoned Westpac and told them that I needed to arrange the first progress payment. Our figures matched up, so they were fine to process it, but they did say that given it was the first payment, it would take a full 5 working days.

Two days later I emailed Wisdom to say that I’d requested the payment, but it would take a full 5 days, and I was told that the money had already been received. Wow! Imagine that, a bank under promising and over delivering!

Thanks Westpac – I only hope the rest of our journey together is this easy!


Things I’m looking forward to…

As usual I’ve been stalking the site every day this week. On Wednesday the plumbers were onsite and had dug huge trenches all around the house for the stormwater. There was so much dirt piled up in the front of the house that I couldn’t even see the garage! On Thursday an enormous pit had been dug in front of the garage, that was at least 6ft deep, which was for stormwater also. And on Friday they were busy backfilling all the holes that had been dug.

We went for another drive today and discovered that our frame has been delivered, and will hopefully start being erected tomorrow! We also very briefly met one of our close neighbours who are at about the same stage of construction as us.

So now that our house has officially started construction, I’ve started thinking a lot about all the things that I’m looking forward to. I find myself constantly saying “I can’t wait until …”

Some of the things that I can’t wait for are:

  • A pantry that is larger than my current kitchen
  • More than one room for the family to relax in
  • A dedicated play room for the children, including room to pack their toys away out of sight afterwards
  • A place for us all to plug our laptops in, and leave them, instead of having to move them out of the way all the time
  • Bedrooms for everyone, so I don’t have to keep moving the cot into our bedroom on weekends
  • Privacy – no neighbours directly behind us looking into our windows all the time
  • A laundry big enough to also sort & fold the washing, instead of having to pile it up onto the dining table all the time
  • A dining table that can actually be used for dining!
  • Getting all our furniture out of storage
  • A dishwasher!
  • Unlimited hot water
  • A huge shower
  • A spa bath (and hopefully some time to use it)
  • Lots of cupboard space in the kitchen
  • A huge linen press
  • A walk in robe with rails that don’t fall down if  you hang too many clothes on them
  • A nice backyard for the kids to play in, and an equally lovely playground across the road
  • Creating a home, without having to ask permission from the landlord
I could go on and on, you get the picture… For almost a year now, we’ve been living in a way that is significantly different to what we’re used to, and whilst it’s been ok, it’s been less than ideal. We have lived on top of each other, there is no room for anyone to have some ‘me time’ away from everyone, which has always been important to me. So to know that, very soon, we’re going to have space again, is fantastic!


Well, it’s been almost a year since we put down the deposit on our block at Stonecutters Ridge, and finally it is now starting to look like a construction site! I took a drive out to the estate on Wednesday morning, wondering if I’d see anything. The fog was so thick it was like driving through soup, but through the fog I was delighted to be able to make out unmistakable shape of the concrete truck and a team of men onsite, pouring our slab! It was actually quite a beautiful site, the steam rising up from the warm concrete, mixing with the heavy dense fog on one of the coldest May days on record.

We took a drive out to the estate on Sunday to have a closer inspection, and the slab looks great! So long as you ignore the beer bottle that had been thrown from an adjoining block and smashed all over the garage floor, or the 20-odd empty beer bottles and bag of bread rolls that the concreters had left onsite. Not very impressed by that, and I very much hope that they will clean up after themselves!

So from what we understand, the plumber will be onsite next, hopefully at the end of this week, and then on Monday our frame is due to be delivered. Can’t wait to see our home finally progressing!

We’ve been framed…

I spoke to our Site Supervisor, Joe, yesterday, who sounds like a very nice man. He originally left a message on hubs phone the day before, saying that they were cutting out on Thursday, and that the piering would be done on Monday. So I was pleasantly surprised when, upon returning his call yesterday morning, he advised that the guys were onsite again to do the piering, earlier than planned. I hope this trend continues for the next 6 months!

So today, we took a drive out to check out the progress of our build. It’s the first time we’ve been onsite since they started work, and we were thrilled and amazed at how much had been done! Not only has the site been cut out, but the piering has been completed, and the framing has been put up in preparation for the slab to be poured on (hopefully) Friday.

It was such a reality hit, walking around the site, standing in each place and saying “this is the garage”, or “this is the kitchen”.

We were also pleasantly surprised by how much back yard we are going to have. We were worried that, once the cutting out was done, we’d discover that the size of our yard would be considerably smaller than we’d hoped, as it’s always hard to visualise these things on plans and drawings. But we’re happy with how it’s going to work out. We are, though, probably going to have to tier the front yard, and also dig out the back and put a raised retaining wall / garden bed along the back fenceline. The slope of the land, which was only slight, has now become more significant due to the amount that’s been cut out. But that’s OK, it will give us something to do over Christmas!

The one really nice thing is that our daughter, who is almost 6, is now starting to get excited, as she’s starting to be able to visualise things now that it’s started. It’s great that she’s excited too! Although, I don’t think she’s quite as excited as me…

We really are about to build a house!

It’s official! Work has started on our new house.

I got a phone call from The Lovely Sandi last week to let me know that our file would be handed over to a site supervisor on Tuesday this week, and that we would start to see some progress soon thereafter. Whilst I’m still yet to hear from the site supervisor (who I understand is a very nice man called Joe) I was delighted to discover this morning that our block was in the process of being scraped! The smell of fresh dirt filled my nostrils as I sat in the car watching the work that was taking place.

I should apologise to the men driving the machinery though – I’m sure they probably started feeling a little uncomfortable that a strange lady was just sitting in her car, staring at them, with a funny smile on her face, and her phone snapping away lots of pics! But then again, they’re probably used to that reaction – I’m sure I’m not the first person to have done this!

So today, reality hit. Our build has officially started. Our block will never again be an untouched, grassy patch, but instead for the next 6 months will be a hive of building activity, and after that, for many years, will become our family home.