Busy little bees…

This past weekend has been incredibly busy.

Both my husband and i are shift workers. I am at two hospitals across Melbourne and he manages 3 leisure centres. This makes fitting ordinary things a bit tricky.

On Saturday, we both worked. We then met at home before racing into Boutique Homes headquarters to meet our consultant to sign away our PWC. What we anticipated to be a fairly quick meeting turned into 3 and a half hours of decision making and trying to finalise items so as not to have any nasty surprises come colours and electrical appointments. It was also the handing over of our first deposit to Boutique…no pulling to now.

We shall be back to Boutique fairly soon to finalise our colours and electrical but in the meantime here are a few of the extras we chose:

  • Upgraded Facade
  • Higher ceilings and doorways
  • Square set cornices (in main living areas)
  • Frameless mirror doors to robes (secondary bedrooms)
  • Cat 7 tiles
  • Cat 2 carpet
  • Cat 2 (this may change as i reallllly like cat 3 London Grey caserstone bench tops) with waterfall edging.
  • Cat 5 bricks
  • Cat 3 roofing
  • Upgraded kitchen appliances (Induction cooktops, touchscreen oven)
  • Butlers pantry fit-out
  • Shower niches
  • Full wall tiling to ensuite
  • Grand outdoor entertaining area

We are already at $98,500 worth of inclusions/upgrades (That noise you just heard was the collective sound of all of our jaws hitting the ground simultaneously!). However, a few points to offset the shock:

  • This does include driveways, bushfire provision and structural changes.
  • Also, we have been fortunate enough to have owned two homes prior to this build, so we know exactly what we and do not want from prior experience. More linen space, more pantry space etc. This in turn also helps with choosing our upgrades, we have a little bit more room to move, given we are selling our current home and will hopefully turn a nice little profit in the process. (However, nothing is certain in this world, let alone real estate let’s be honest!).

I did take lots of pictures of the items we have chosen or a looking at so far, however i will save them for when we actually select.

In addition to our meeting this weekend, Sunday was spent cleaning and tidying every inch of our house ready for photos on Tuesday.
We want our house to be at its absolute best for this auction, as it is such a beautiful home and will be patiently waiting for its next owner to walk through and fall in love just like we did three years ago!

The next 4 weeks are all about the auction.
Best case scenario, we get a private offer and it saves us the stress and anxiety of an auction, but we will just have to wait and see.

As soon as this part is over, we then pack and move into a rental whilst we await our family home to be built. It probably won’t start until early next year.

I’m inpatient already…




And away.we.go…

This week has been full on to say the least…
In the last 3 days we have…

  1. Found a block we liked
  2. Put down a deposit
  3. Signed our contract
  4. Met with the real estate agent (to get our house on the market)
  5. Signed our contract to sell our house
  6. Finalised our PWC

Exciting? Absolutely! Daunting? Nervous? You betcha!

And so begins our whirlwind next 2 months… ill fill you in.

We have bought a block of land in Mernda (Closer to Doreen as per original plan, however technically Mernda). This block was the biggest we had seen and for a really good price, cheaper than what we budgeted for. It titles end of this year, so much sooner than any other block we were looking at, so that is perfect for us, as we are keen to get cracking.

Our house will go to auction on September 17. This in effect gives us a very tight 4 week timeline to get our settlement dates lined up. Im a nervous wreck already!

On Saturday we meet with our Boutique rep and paying our PWC deposit to get the house side of things rolling, whilst our land is settling so as not to hold things up once it titles.

In the meantime we are busy little bees, trying to get our house up to its tip top self for photos next week.

Things are about to get pretty frantic around here…



Decisions, decisions…

Today was the first step in a long but exciting process. We met with our new homes consultant and had a walk through of our future home. We are going to be building with Boutique homes  – The Riviera 29 (quite fitting given our recent adventures to the French Riviera mere months ago).

We currently own a home in Reservoir, Victoria. We had loved living here fore the past 3 years, but have now outgrown the house and the area is a bit of a hit/miss. We have spent the last year or so monitoring the market, with the view to sell and buy something a few km’s across to the east (Watsonia, Greensborough, Bundoora). This however become a frustrating and ultimately failed thought, with house prices continuing to climb and not being able to find anything that ticked all our boxes.

So, we decided we were going to build. Next decision was where? My family live in Ballarat and whilst i desperately miss living near them, it was too hard to quit our jobs and move closer to be with them, that and the fact i have the most stubborn and habitual husband in the world. IT was just never going to happen. I crave simpler living. I crave fresh air and quietness.

We started looking at Rockbank, Werribee, Doreen as potentials to build. The first two are further from work for both Craig and i, but would be closer to my family, it was a happy medium. But the more we talked to our families and friends, there was such negativity with building out west. So we scrapped that idea.

Doreen has always been on our radar. Craig’s sister and her family live out there and its beautiful, but it is a long way out from the city. For years, everytime we drove out there to visit, we would complain the entire way, the traffic, the distance. But on arrival, it was always peaceful, community feel and quiet. A whole world away but only a 30 min drive. (An hour in peak hour traffic).

We went for a drive each weekend to check out the potential and came across a boutique little land development that was brand new, within an existing estate. It wasn’t as far out as family were settled and faced the Plenty Gorge National Park.

Again, we ummdd and ahhhed about the potential to live out there.
We were sick and tired of not being able to agree on a place to live, a place that would ultimately become our family home, and then just like that we said lets just do it! The traffic would probably drive us a bit nuts, but the prospect of being able to maintain our current jobs, the fresh air and community feel got us over the line. The pros outnumbered the one big con.

It was like a weight had been lifted from our shoulders. It was now exciting to talk about our future home. We had come through the most indecisive and frustrating part and could get on with it.

Time to talk about our house! Boutique! Very excited! We originally liked the 33sq, but given we do not have any children (yet!) there was no point in building such a big house for two people. The 29sq will well and truly cover everything we need and lets face it, anything is bigger than the current 17sq we have.

We met with David at the Harpley Display (Werribee), who was fantastic! He spent 90 mins taking us throughout the house and pointing out what was included and what was upgraded. We had a pretty good idea beforehand, as we had asked for the list of inclusions (a total of $180,000)! All in all we added about $56,000 of extras (so far) until we have our colours/electrical appointment – but even then we shouldn’t need to spend more than $10,000 here.

And thats where we are at, at the moment! We are waiting patiently (impatiently) for the land we are keen on to be released. But that will happen soon and we will be on our way.

In the meantime, it’s time to put our house on the market. Anybody want to buy a lovely 3 bedroom home in Reservoir??


Life After Europe

We have just returned from 5 weeks in Europe. It was 5 of the best weeks of our lives! But we now have a case of the dreaded ‘post holiday blues’.

It was a lifelong dream for me to travel over to Europe, especially London (I love London!!!) and what better excuse than to visit my sister (who lives in Fulham, London). We saved for nearly a year (some months harder than others) and visited in total 12 countries, including; United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany and The Netherlands.

We decided very late on in the piece to do a top deck tour (broken up into 2 separate tours) and without a doubt it was the best decision we made. We met fantastic, amazing people, who bought out the best in us both and encouraged us to step out of our comfort zones and experience everything we could!

Here is a run down of the trip of a lifetime:

May 15: Left Melbourne bound for London (via Abu Dhabi)
May 16 – May 19: London
May 19 – 21: Paris
May 21 – 23: Engleberg (Switzerland)
May 23 – 25: Nice, Monaco
May 25 – 26: Florence
May 26 – 29: Rome (including a day trip to Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Positano).
May 29 – June 1: Santorini
June 1  – 3: Athens
June 3 – 4: Rome
June 4 – 6: Venice
June 6 – 8: Croatia
June 8 – 9: Slovenia
June 9 – 10: Austria
June 10 – 12: Prague
June 14 – 16: Amsterdam
June 16 – 17: London
June 17: Left London for Melbourne
June 19: Arrived back in Melbourne

I can’t even begin to list the incredible things we ate, drank, smoked, danced, rode etc.

My top 10 favourite things:
– COLDPLAY at Wembley Stadium ‘A Head Full of Dreams Tour’
– Harry Potter Studio Tour
– Dancing the night away (until 4.30am) in Prague
– Quad-biking along the coastline in Croatia
– Eating Swiss chocolate whilst in a cable car in the Swiss Alps (Mt Titlus in particular)
– Watching the sunset over the Caldera in Santorini
– 8 hour guided tour of Athens (Acropolis etc)
– Climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower
– Being inside the Colosseum
– Pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa

As much as i have the travel bug, it was agreed that once we had completed the trip, it was time to focus on the next stage in life.