Brooks Reach Building adventure

Come with us now on a tale of the mighty house building.

The beginnings of our home .. Land purchased!

on March 22, 2012

Darling Husband (DH) and I had been looking and purchasing a home for some time before we decided we wanted to build. There were a few suburbs in the area we liked but the homes were either too much work to do up or way to expensive for us as first home buyers.

We decided we’d engage a few builders in the area, email them what we wanted in a house and what our budget was. We had already spoken with our broker and calculated ourselves what we could afford in repayments.

A few responded, though most didn’t. One company called us and told us to buy land first and then go and see them at their display homes in Shell Cove (even though they have an office in Wollongong close to where we work). We really liked the look of Wisdom Homes but unfortunately no one ever got back to us. Wisdom didn’t have any display homes near us and if they couldn’t respond to an enquiry we didn’t want to drive an hour or more to their show homes and then spend the building process chasing them.

Clarendon Homes responded quickly with some nice ideas and addressed most of our questions. DH’s boss had also built with Clarendon in the past which also gave us some peace of mind. We decided to set up a meeting with the consultant at Clarendon’s display homes in Haywards Bay. She was lovely, answered a lot of our questions and showed us some beautiful home designs. We were strict on our budget from the start, giving her the maximum we could spend on house + land. Not once did she try and push us for something that was above our means. She listened to everything we had to say and what we wanted in a house and by the end of the meeting we walked out with three possible floor plans to look over and an idea of how big our block of land should be if we wanted to build with Clarendon.

We had a lot of trouble finding affordable land in the suburbs we were wanting to build. If we found some potential land we liked, we would scope out the site, take some pictures and email them through to Deb and she’d let us know if it was suitable. Everything we found seemed to be too steep a gradient to build a one story house on. Deb suggested we have a ‘smaller’ footprint and build a two-story place. As much as we liked the two-story homes they were more expensive so the trade-off wasn’t really worth it. We became disheartened and continued to go to open homes across the weekends. We were lucky to have my ‘mum’ Nat along on some of the showings which helped with our confidence and knew an extra pair of eyes is always appreciated.

One weekend in November we contacted Deb about a new estate in Horsley that had just released several blocks for sale. She wrote back and invited us back to Clarendons display homes to discuss potential lots that might fit our need. We went over the price/size of the lots and picked out a couple to check out. Later that afternoon we went over to Brooks Reach estate and met with one of Stocklands sales people, James. We discussed our needs and the particular lot we had decided on. James put on his boots right then and there and walked with us to the lot. We loved it. There was still a lot of levelling to be done and at this point there were no roads or anything in place but standing there with Branden, looking out at the mountains I knew this could be the place to build our home. We walked back to the office with James and told him we’d take it. He laughed and commented on what an easy sale that would be! He didn’t want us to sign/pay right away, so instead he sent us home with some brochures to read through and sleep on it. He was holding the lot for us for two weeks but on Monday 7.11.11 at 12.12pm B called through to James and had him process our $1000 deposit on the land.

We were so excited we wanted to sort out our house plan right away! Deb arranged to meet with us at Haywards Bay after work that same day.. (to be continued)


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