Has it been really 2-3 years since I have last blogged? Wow.
So many things have happened since, but the single most life changing event is being married to my on-off boyfriend of 10 years and moving to Adelaide to be with him.
Adelaide as a city is much better than what I had initially expected (or feared). The people are nice, food is good, close to the beach and the hills, less traffic. The only thing I miss are my family and friends back home. And of course, Malaysian food.
Work has been hectic, so it is a good complement to the lifestyle here. I appreciate weekends more now!
I guess the next most life changing event is that we bought a place!
Initially we were deciding between buying an investment property vs buying a home, and then finally decided on the latter! It is so different in Australia where you have to actually plan your finances to minimise the tax you pay (I feel like they don’t encourage you to find ways to invest because in the end you get taxed on the profits!) but oh well, we are where we are.
What inspired this post was actually me reading up whether to go with a builder directly or engage with an architect/designer first.
The more I read, the more I think to myself, “What was I thinking?” There is so much work to do! Actually I asked this question when we signed the contract, during the cooling off period and even now! So whilst I did not get cold feet for the wedding, I feel nervous about this! That said, things happen for a reason. And I truly believe this whole building process is going to be a good experience for us.
Long story short, I wanted to document our experience, not only for me to read back in the future and laugh at how naive I was, but also to help those who plan to go down the same route as us. It has been helpful to read about others who documented their building journey, but I wish there were more to refer to, esoecially for newbies like us.
Some background info: we purchased a block of land at Broadview with a very old house sitting on it. While it feels like a waste to tear down a brick house, my husband simply cannot appreciate traditional homes because he “had enough of living in old buildings” when he was renting.
So we are going to knock down and rebuild. /takes deep breath, omg what have we gotten into?!
I have been busy visiting builders over the weekends. A few that I have seen and spoken to (they are a mix of mass builders to custom home builders) includes:
- Fairmont Homes
- Rendition Homes
- Medallion Homes
- Scott Salisbury Homes
- Eastern Building Group
– Fairmont Homes: We were recommended this builder by 2 happy customers in the Lightsview Sales Gallery. I thought the salespersons (actually met the father and son duo) were very helpful and friendly. What I like about FH is that they are happy to allow you to design your house, but the area of the house has to be within their set parameters. They were also upfront about costings for eg a door or an extra window. Very efficient to give a rough quote based on the plan that I drew thr next day. To consider.
– Metricon: My impression of the saleslady was not great and she wasnt as friendly. The design booklet for Metricon is definitely much nicer than FH, but they seem rather strict to sticking to the design plan and not allowing major changes. Also priced more expensive than FH. A friend had commented that Metricon has many outstanding lawsuits with clients in Melbourne, though I cant verify that. OUT.
– Rendition Homes: This was recommended by another friend. Out of all the custom builders Ive seen, their price is the most reasonable at $900+ psm. For a 270 sqm house it would cost approx $250k for the basic stuff excl air con, paving, landscape etc. Saleslady was helpful and we had a Valentine date to discuss about what I like to have in the house. Love their walk in wardrobe in the showhouse! To consider.
– Medallion Homes: From $400-450k for custom home designs. Too expensive. OUT.
– Scott Salisbury Homes: starting from $1100 psm but their showhouses were really nice! Maybe for our next house. $300k for 250 sqm basic. Too expensive. OUT.
– Eastern Building Group: this was recommended by our agent whom I feel can be trusted. Another custom builder but they dont do in-house design. It is this builder who introduced me the option of engaging an architect/designer to get the layout of the house first and then show that to builders for bidding.
In a nutshell, this is where we are. To go to a mass builder who is flexible on design, design/builder or get an architect then find a builder??
First world problems!!! Of course, if you are reading this and if you have some input, I’d love to hear them!
Anyway will update soon!