We let a couple of weeks pass, we went back for a second look at the Aspiration 31 with my parents and still loved everything about it. They made all the right noises too, but who knows if they thought it was the right house or they just wanted me to stop taking them to display homes!
After feeling the same about the house on the second visit, we decided that we were ready to take the plunge and put down the first $1K deposit to kick off the tender process.
We debated for a long time about when would be the right time to do this – too early and we risk the tender expiring before we can kick off construction. This would possibly mean having to pay extra for the inflated house price at that time. Alternatively too late and we could end up paying a higher price up front due to price rises and not have enough time to complete all the administration work prior to the land registration in June 2017.
In the end I just wanted to make a commitment, so we used a long weekend as an opportunity to take an extra day off, get the tender done and have a few days to unwind. It was the last day in September…so here’s hoping that we’re in construction by the end of September 2017!!! We worked it backwards that if our land settles on 30th June, then we still 12 weeks for Wisdom to complete their final plans, submit the development pack to CDC, complete the end panel and get on site. It might be tight but their timeline says 12 weeks for this, so we will be noting any delays at their end just in case.
So what did it entail? Well it was much more casual than I anticipated. I had done a lot of prework which made the appointment easy. I had copies of the plans, so I had used those to create my own versions at work with all our structural changes.
Then I had a spreadsheet where I had listed every tiny change room by room – there were 93 in total! I literally looked at the plans every day and wrote down anything I could think of that I wanted. Here’s a small screenshot of what that looked like
You really cannot have done enough research by this point. My major areas of research were:
- Notes and photos of what I liked in display homes (I had been doing this from day 1)
- Reading blogs of other people building – you get some great ideas on more practical things, rather than the wow things you see in display homes (which often aren’t built to code FYI, so don’t hold your breath that just because you saw it, you can do it too)
- Reading Homeone forum. This is a gold mine for new builds. There is a great thread of things to think of, plus lots of first hand information from other people building with your builder to get ideas of upgrade costs.
- Lots of browsing on Pinterest and Houzz for ideas on what I wanted to do with kitchens/bathrooms etc.
When we went in, our sales guy took a copy of my floor plans, then wrote everything else down that I wanted. Anything on the list that would be a request at a later appointment (ie. colours, electrical) he advised us of this and I made a note so once we got to the end, I knew what extra needed to go into our provisional allowances on top of my initial estimates.
We ended up allowing the following for provisional allowances
$16K – Kitchen. I want our kitchen to be a lot like the display one…which is $23K. We will have to see how this plays out. I’d like to do a laundry fit out too but we can leave that until we’ve moved in if we have to.
$14K – Tiles/Flooring. We want floor to ceiling tiling in bathroom and ensuite, plus we have two powder rooms and I know we will be upgrading our main living tiles so we expect the final cost to be quite high. We’re also changing our glass backsplash for tiling (hoping we get a decent amount back to allocate to tiles there)
$10K – Electrical. Downlights, network ports, foxtel points, ceiling fans. We want to do as much as possible even though it will cost us more to do it now.
$7K – Colours. Undermount sinks for the kitchen, upgraded taps and showers. Who knows what else. The only good thing for us here is my brother in a painter, so we won’t be paying for extra paint colours, feature walls etc. Suspect I will have to foresake some things here none the less.
$5K – Air Conditioning. We want to upgrade to the ESP Plus system which is more energy efficient and allows you to use as many or as few zones as necessary. We’re planning on putting individual zones in for basically every room because most of the time we won’t need to use most of it.
$5K – Stairs. I would like to put a glass and stained wood balustrade in, maybe some edge capping too. This will be the first thing to go if we’re over budget though.
$4K – Landscaping. Basically whatever extra it takes to get us a driveway over the $5.5K allowance they give us. If it looks ridiculously overpriced we might consider getting them to level our gardens and put some turf in instead.