13 week maintenance inspection

Holy cow Batman, we’ve had our 13 week inspection! Can’t believe we’ve been in our new home for almost 4 months. It really didn’t take long for us to feel like we were ‘at home’, and we have settled in so well.

Someone from Wisdom came out almost 2 weeks ago and conducted our 13 week maintenance inspection. This is a standard event that happens with all new homes – after roughly 3 months, the builder comes back out and goes through any issues that you may have. Things that, in the scheme of things, are generally relatively minor or cosmetic, but which aren’t immediately apparent when you first move in. For instance, after a few weeks, the house begins to ‘settle’ and so you may see some small cracks in the cornices or grout.

Our maintenance list was quite extensive, but there was nothing really significant on it. But as this is a new house, we expect that it will be finished ‘as new’, and so we sighted everything that we weren’t 100% happy with, from paint drips on a linen press door, through to acid damage on a large window (ok, so maybe some of the things were significant).

One thing that we are 100% certain of is that the house doesn’t leak! With all the rain that Sydney has had lately, it was the perfect test for us. I did expect the house to slide down the hill at one stage during a particularly heavy deluge, but it stood strong!

It turns out that the man who did the inspection has also bought a block of land in the estate, so I guess it’s in his best interest to keep all of us Wisdom clients happy – we know where he lives! (joking, honestly…)

Wisdom, as always, were extremely efficient in their dealings with us regarding the maintenance inspection. They even emailed us a week before to remind us to get our list in! And within an hour of receiving it, they had called to make the appointment for the inspection. And today, not quite 2 weeks after the inspection, the report has been written up and the tradies have been booked. They’ll all be here on Thursday 5th April to fix everything.

I am still astounded by just how quickly and efficiently they built our home! We are surrounded by homes under construction. In our stretch of the street, there are 3 homes under construction, and two of them are Wisdom. The other is Clarendon. It started months ago. Not long after ours in fact. It still hasn’t finished. The two Wisdom homes started at least 2 months after the Clarendon. They are almost completed. And they’re not just knocking up houses with no regard for quality. They just seem to be able to manage the process better than some of the other builders. There are always tradesmen onsite. Always. Even on weekends. I saw one home being built, and the painters were there at night, painting by torch light! Just quietly, I’m glad it wasn’t my house, but still, you have to admire their commitment!

So we are now almost officially at the end of our building experience. Was it stressful? No. Was it exciting? Yes. Would I do it again? If I had to. Would I build with Wisdom again? Yes. And was it worth it? A resounding YES!

Now, for the landscaping…….

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Merry Christmas!

Our first Christmas in our new home has been fantastic! Even with the continuous rain (which thankfully let up for Christmas Day and most of Boxing Day) nothing could dampen our spirits when we woke on Christmas morning. Santa may have left lots of gifts under the tree for the kids, but the best gift of all was our new home!

The house is now looking slightly more organised, too. Most boxes are now unpacked (with the exception of toys, which I’m just too scared to do!). The garage is still a work in progress, as is the office, but once we get furniture and storage options in then we’ll tackle them.

We have decided to put in a pool! That, I guess, is the biggest news! Oh, and that the media room is now fully set up with the projector and screen, and surround sound. It’s like being at the movies – talk about sensory overload! We had the family here yesterday for Boxing Day and the boys were in cricket heaven (so much so that most of them fell asleep on the lounge, but that’s another story).

We’ve had visits from a few Wisdom Tradies last week, to finish off a few things that needed doing. All was good – a small hiccup with some careless plumbers, but they were sorted out very quickly by The Amazing Joe, as well as their boss!

So now we have a week off before we have to go back to work, time to squeeze as much work into that week as possible! We’d love to start on the front yard, not sure how much we’ll achieve as they are forecasting rain all week (again), but we’ll see how we go.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, and wishing everyone the best for the New Year.

A Great Neighbourhood

We had another neighbours catch up yesterday. I’m so looking forward to becoming a full time member of this fantastic neighbourhood! Whilst there were only a few of us this time around, we still had a great afternoon, watching the kids play in the park, while we chatted and enjoyed nibbles and a few drinks.

Afterwards, we went back to one of the neighbours homes, who are lucky enough to already be living at SCR, and we had a look at their beautiful home. They have also built a Manhattan, but they have made some very significant changes, to the point that it is barely recognisable as the same house we’re building! For starters, it’s ENORMOUS! And there are rooms where we won’t have rooms, and balconies where we won’t have balconies. It’s actually really good to see it looking so different, because there are so many Manhattan’s being built in the estate that I was worried they’d all look the same!

With some reluctance we left the estate on Saturday afternoon, back to our little townhouse in St Marys, where we bump into one another in the kitchen, fight for space in the small (and only) bathroom, and constantly trip over all the toys that are in the loungeroom, because they have nowhere else to go. And we continue to long for our new home, so that we have room to spread out, and be part of a fantastic community!

Waiting on a valuation

We sent our tender document to our mortgage broker as soon as we signed it, and it was sent off with the valuation order, but I found out yesterday that our bank won’t do the valuation until they have the full plans, which are still at least 4-5 weeks away! Bummer! I just know that this process is going to do my head in – I hate inactivity!

I also got a notice yesterday from the Valuer General’s department, and there is quite a discrepancy between what they say the land is worth, and what we paid. All I can say is I’m glad the banks don’t talk to the VG when they do their valuations!

I couldn’t help myself, I was in the area today and took a drive out through the estate. Our sign now has a SOLD sticker on it, finally, so I took a quick snap.

"SOLD" WOO HOO!

There is so much activity going on out there, and significant amounts of progress just since we were there a couple of weeks ago for the BBQ. I noticed a couple of homes that look like they’re pretty much finished, and saw some new slabs & frames too. It will be great to be one of the early residents, and to be able to watch the estate change and develop. I can’t wait!

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