Home Build Update #6 – Back to the Drawing Board

It’s been 2 months since my last update and a lot has happened since then.

Back in November we had settled on a house plan, started selecting our external finishes and were only awaiting the registration of the land to move forward with the build.

In December we had the final plans ready for submission to council, we had agreed to the tender price and we were ready to sign contracts. Once the land finally registered in early December we were ready to apply for finance and get things really moving.

Which is where we hit the snag.

We had already been pre-approved for finance for the land and knew how much we could afford for the house so we applied for finance confident there would not be a problem.

Except it was a problem. A big problem.

The independent valuer appointed by the lender valued the completed house for a significant amount less than the construction cost, due to flat sale prices in the area in the previous 12 months.

Which meant the lender would not loan us the total amount required. Which meant we could not afford to build the house.

Finding out that piece of information in the lead up to Christmas was not ideal timing. Especially poor as the consultant we had been dealing with went on the leave the day we found out and was not scheduled to return until mid January.

I must confess that it felt like the Christmas and New Year period really dragged this time around, as we were left in limbo, not knowing what we could do.

Until we could speak to the Masterton consultant we couldn’t do anything else, although we did look at where we could cut the fat in our existing plan and checked out some alternate options, just in case we couldn’t move forward with the Villina.

Knowing we really didn’t have much room to move we went back to Masterton last week to be told, as expected, that they could not budge on price just as we could not budge on the plan or the inclusions we selected.

It was a huge disappointment. We had invested a lot in the plan and in the dream. The prospect of going back to the drawing board did not appeal to us in the least.

But over the long, limbo-ish holiday period, we had come up with a Plan B. And so we set to work.

We had been drawn to a Beechwood design called the Verdelho 5, a single storey home that will still give us all the interior space we need as well as giving us a little bit of side and back yard.

Plus, it’s the name of my favourite drop of white – seriously, how could it not be for us?

I called into the Beechwood office after my meeting with Masterton and got some information, including the location of the single Verdelho display home in all of NSW. It happened to be on the south coast at Haywards Bay, a 3 and a half hour drive from home.

So on Saturday, Nathan and I set off on a quick day trip down the south coast to see if this house design was truly for us. It was a fun day out, road tripping along the coast as well as being romantic in a “we have no kids to look after for a whole day – hurrah!” sort of way.

As well as enjoying the novelty of being able to hold conversations without any sort of interruption, we also spent most of the trip hoping that we were not on a wild goose chase. Silently praying that this house would be the one for us.

Luckily for us, we were not at all disappointed.





We’re suckers for wood and the facade looks fantastic. We loved it so much we asked for all the particulars of the display home so we can use them in our own!

The interiors were also fab – again in the neutral yet light style that we prefer and it was a relief to see the rooms in real life and know that the layout will work perfectly for our family.





So we are off to see the Beechwood consultant again this morning to arrange for a site inspection and to get a formal tender drawn up.

Time is now of the essence. We settled on the land last week and in NSW you have 6 months from the date of settlement to commence the build to retain eligibility for stamp duty concessions. Fingers crossed we can get the slab down by mid July to meet this deadline.

Let’s also hope we can get a bit further along in the process this time – I want me a house already!

I will continue to keep you updated as we (hopefully) progress. In the meantime, feel free to send positive vibes our way…


Linking up with the ever-fabulous Jess for IBOT – have a fantastic Tuesday everyone!

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43 Responses

  1. Jade says:

    Ahh, what a nightmare! Especially around Christmas / NY period and not having a firm date to know what was going on.

    My husband and I bought off the plan early last year and moved in officially in August. Even though it was only six months, it was still frustrating not having a firm move in date or even knowing really what was going on until almost the last minute (really, we only got our move in date a week before as our solicitor had to chase up so she could get our mortgage sorted in time)

    I hope it all goes well from now on! I love the photos you’ve posted 🙂
    Jade recently posted..Six years of whatever this is

    • Kirsty says:

      I’m beginning to see just how slow and frustrating the whole building business can be. I don’t think you can truly appreciate it until you live it yourself! Hoping you are now settled now Jade.

  2. Debyl1 says:

    Love the display home photos.
    Sorry you had to go through that disappointment but you found a beautiful home in the end.Like they say …everything happens for a reason.
    I will be wishing so hard that all goes well for you.Xx

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Deb. I hope this has all happened for a reason – I don’t think I could cope with more hurdles and disappointments but I’m going to be positive and trust that it will all be fine in the end!

  3. Ohhhhh! This is both very disappointed and fantastic rolled into one! Plan A is very frustrating, but I am so happy that Plan B seems like a truly perfect alternative!
    Display looks great – fingers crossed paperwork runs smoothly and weather remains at bay for that slab to go down before July xx
    Josefa from #team IBOT
    Josefa @always Josefa recently posted..Kinnie

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Josefa. I think we will need all the luck we can get in order to meet our deadline – but I’m a hopeless optimist so I’m going to work under the assumption that all will be well!

  4. Me says:

    Oh no – what a drama but sooooooooooooo glad to hear you found something else that you really like !! I have a theory that sometimes not such good things happen to allow better things to happen in the future !!
    Can’t wait for the next episode !
    Have the best day !
    Me recently posted..Today I am Grateful For

    • Kirsty says:

      Love your theory Me! And while I think I’ve had enough drama for this year already, maybe I will need more to keep the updates coming… 😉

  5. Robomum says:

    That is a drama but so glad you had your plan B. It looks like a great design. Super stylin!
    Robomum recently posted..Forever house

  6. Janet says:

    Ugh don’t talk to me about land and building I could write a book on all the hassles we have had over the years! Glad you found something you liked in your price range though – fingers crossed all goes smoothly from here on.
    Janet recently posted..What to take to a BBQ

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Janet. I went into the process with open eyes and knew all sorts of hurdles were common with a build but I still did not appreciate just how frustrating it can be until we were living it. May it be a smoother ride from here on in!

  7. Building and developing is never easy! But all good things will come of it x
    tahlia @ the parenting files recently posted..Orange and poppy seed cupcakes

  8. Rita says:

    The design of the house looks really good! Good luck with all the process!
    Rita recently posted..Are you listening to what I’m saying?

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Rita. Hoping the process moving forward will be filled with a little less drama. It may make great blog fodder but I’d rather live with less stress!

  9. Krystle says:

    What a pain?! Hopefully it all works out for the best. I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and maybe you’ll be far happier in the Beechwood house. We recently got stung by the banks evaluation of a property. Completely threw out all the figures to the point where we decided to wait to refinance.

    Good luck with it all and I look forward to following your progress. I’d love to build a house one day, but it all seems kinda of daunting and complicated. Maybe you’ll change my mind 🙂
    Krystle recently posted..Stay Classy Kochie…

    • Kirsty says:

      As much as I’m disappointed for you I’m sort of comforted that we have not been the only ones stung with a lower than expected valuation. While the original house would have been great, we are relieved that we will have a smaller mortgage with the new plan. Hopefully my experience will help you one day Krystle, although it hasn’t been much of a smooth ride so far… 😉

  10. Oh it’s so exciting! I’d love to build a house, but I don’t know how it would be possible in Darwin. House and land are ridiculously expensive 🙁
    EssentiallyJess recently posted..On Confessions and Knob Heads

    • Kirsty says:

      It’s not especially cheap to build here either but it’s not as prohibitive as in Sydney – the prices there are crazy. I hope you do get the chance to do it one day Jess – it’s been a life long dream of mine to create something of my own and I won’t stop until I’ve got me a house!

  11. Well that’s good that you found something you love, and overcae adversity… and got a date with hubby out of it.

    Fingers crossed all goes ahead succesfully!
    Seana Smith recently posted..Huskisson Triathlon 2013 – Booking Ahead To Avoid Disappointment

    • Kirsty says:

      The date with my husband was unexpected but lots of fun. We might have to do that more often, although I’m not sure if we’ll travel quite so far again for the privilege of some time together!

  12. Sue says:

    Congrats on finding a new house design!! Fingers and toes crossed for you – I LOVE the kitchen in particular..
    Sue x
    Sue recently posted..Meetup, BigTent, GroupSpaces and other social sites where you actually get to know real people…

  13. iSophie says:

    Oh Kirsty, how disappointing. I completely get this, it’s such a long drawn out process it borders on ridiculous. (our plans were approved just today!)

    But the new design looks gorgeous! I look forward to reading how it progresses.
    iSophie recently posted..Our secret world of MMORPGs Series – World of Warcraft

    • Kirsty says:

      I don’t think it matters whether it’s a new build or an extension, it all takes time and money and effort to make any progress, doesn’t it? Good luck with your extension Sophie – hopefully it will be a lot smoother now all the painful administrative stuff is pretty much over!

  14. Emily says:

    Oh wow this looks just amazing and I’m really glad you didn’t have to give up your dream, just alter it a bit. I loved building our own house, and don’t forget you can add things you want, eg more sockets, a bigger bath, little things that you might want to personalise! HOW EXCITING! And I have everything crossed for you! Emily x
    Emily recently posted..Where is the best place to bring up kids?

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Emily. It’s good to hear a positive home building story – I really hope I’ll be able to tell one of those myself when this is all over!

  15. Things happen for a reason. Best of luck with all your endeavours. I really hope it turns out just as you hope.
    Desire Empire recently posted..TAA the Friendly Way, A Flight Attendant’s Story

  16. Sabeen says:

    Heaps of warm fuzzy positive vibes coming your way. The display home looks gorgeous. Here’s to you and your family having a wonderful dream home in 2013.
    Sabeen recently posted..The Business of Wanderlust – The story of John Anderson, Founder of Contiki Holidays {Part 1}

  17. Kim@FallingFaceFirst says:

    Good luck with the next round my dear – looks perfect. Verdelho – how could it not be? You’re a brave woman.
    Kim@FallingFaceFirst recently posted..Mumbot Version 2.0 – a work in progress

  18. Rhianna says:

    Oh gosh lovely, how terrible for you but maybe it has all worked out for the best. Nothing like a silver lining is there? I love the photos of the display home, looks super super lovely. I would love to one day build our dream home, or any home actually, anything would have to be better than our current shoebox!
    Rhianna recently posted..Why did you unlike me?

    • Kirsty says:

      Having only moved from my own shoebox last year, I feel your pain Rhi. I hope you do get the chance to build or to move in the future – you deserve to!

  19. well i was feeling frustrated for you at the start of the blog, but incredibly excited for you by the end. it looks *gorgeous* and maybe this is the house you were meant to have, hence all the other issues? hope the ball gets rolling soon, and quickly! how exciting!!! can’t wait to see progress pics!
    Aroha @ Colours of Sunset recently posted..“Kool” Kids or “Smarter” Kids?

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Aroha – I’m hoping the same thing, that this was always the house for us. I’m not overly superstitious but I do find comfort in signs that mean something to me so having the name of the house be the same as my favourite wine, I’ll take that as a good omen!

  20. ann says:

    Not sure where you live but I have the name of a builder who just built our place and I cannot recommend them highly enough.
    ann recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- Wondering

    • Kirsty says:

      I’m in Newcastle Ann, so not sure whether that would work or not. But I do value a personal recommendation – it is really handy to have these days.

  21. Argh! I can just imagine the frustration and disappointment. I’m so glad that you’ve come up with a Plan B that you’re happy with and looking forward to…
    Danya Banya recently posted..Hi! It’s only me…

    • Kirsty says:

      Same here Danya. Personally I could without all the drama, it is exhausting, painful and frustrating…let’s hope things progress more smoothly from here on in!

  1. January 23, 2013

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