Share our trials and tribulations as we build our new home - a custom Dominico by Fairmont Homes NSW

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Expletive alert!

You know, we want to like Rawson, we do…but they just don’t make it easy. We’re submitting some further plan changes (hopefully what should be the last set) and we’re told that we have until July 11 to have Developer and Council approval otherwise Rawson will re-price our Tender (Gee, I wonder if they’ll knock money off the price *rolls eyes*). There is no way we can have this done from either a time or money perspective. Time-wise we’re looking at 2weeks for Landcom/Stocklands and 6weeks for Council. Then there’s the $450 drafting fee and three-week waiting period for Rawson to re-draft the plans, $7,000 fee for Rawson to prepare Council submission and an extra $3.5k to pay council (they neglected to tell us that little gem).
In the meantime, Rawson still refuse to tell us for certain if our roof meets guidelines and are saying that we can have the tender extended…for a fee and if we’re “good” and don’t change too much or take too long to amend plans (I have done some intense para-phrasing there but the intent is clear).
On top if it when we express that our “fixed-price-all-inclusive-luxury-home” is anything-but and threaten to cancel the build, they seem glad that we will cause them less work and hassle. Guess they must be making too much money.
Anyway, Mick and I are now faced with another uphill battle. Way to ruin what should be an exciting time, F*ck you very much Rawson.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A month we would sooner rather forget

Ok, it has been a difficult month. The plans have finally come back and they are good. Still some things to put right however, which of course will cost more money in drafting fees. The problem now has been that Mick and I have decided that ideally we would like a single story home (which isn’t viable on the block for many reasons including land size/shape and re-sale value given the location) but more than that the cost of building this home has become so much more expensive than first “promised” and I do not want us to be a slave to our mortgages. So, we began looking at land elsewhere and got the ball rolling on possibly selling the block to buy a bigger one. Here is the problem with that, we do not want to live too far from a train station and the blocks closish to them are frightfully expensive and cramped but more to the point, non-existent. We’ve even begun looking at houses that are already built, however they don’t come up often (in the areas we like near the station), are on ridiculously small blocks, are not really what we want and too expensive to renovate. We also started looking at a new estate being built a little further afield, however it has hardly any infrastructure and it will be about 5 years before they complete the proper roads to/through it. Also, the houses there are going to take a while to appreciate as the estate slowly grows and establishes.  Ok, long story short we have been exploring EVERY OPTION and if you have an hour I will happily chat to you about it!

So, we came to the decision to sell the land, do up Mick’s unit and wait for the right block to come up….<queue miraculous sign to show us the way>…Mick’s unit flooded with waste water for what was the second time in two years. This ruined our carpet and possessions in the laundry as well as exposing a crack in the slab and leak in the shower.  The flooding was caused by tree roots collapsing the sewer. A sleepless and smelly night, the nightmare of dealing with insurance companies and strata, coupled with the fact that we hate our neighbours, has led us to the overwhelming need to get out!!!
So, this is the conclusion we have tentatively come to...this morning: Our block is in a wonderful location. Close to everything without being too on-top of our neighbours, has wonderful views and is in a sought after location that will appreciate quite quickly. It’s only down sides are the size/shape and the annoying ‘estate guidelines’. Having said this, we can still build a beautiful house on it, it just won’t be single-story. So, we will look at getting costs down on our current plans while still building a great home with the idea in mind that we will probably sell in 3-5years time and look at getting a bigger block further afield (perhaps when they’ve built the connecting roads to the new estate we looked at). When you can’t go backwards or side-ways, the only way is forwards…