November 30, 2010

We've just found out (courtesy of dreamer_kerry via the Home One Forum - thank you Kerry) that we have a planning overlay on our land.  On the map above, taken from the planning department website there's a thick blue line running along the top of the estate and then diagonally through the eastern end.  I'm pretty sure this was originally a narrow agricultural run-off, as we had a slight ditch running through our land on this same angle.

Kerry is building with PD, and they have informed her that a special town planning permit must be applied for which will take around 3 months to come through.  We've checked with our builder, Carlisle, and they don't believe it's going to be a hold up, but they'll get back to us later today or tomorrow with more info.

So basically, my reason for this post is to see if anyone else on the estate has been affected and to alert those who may be affected of the possibility of more delays.  If anyone has encountered a similar issue and would like to share the results, I'm sure there'd be a few of us anxious to hear about it.

Take care,

Cure for Monday-itis

November 29, 2010

Our office air-conditioning is about as effective as the Myki ticketing system today.  It's really hot in here, it's Monday, and I'm not a happy camper!  So I found this....  A foolproof method of finding your ultimate career.  Click here to solve that unanswerable question "what will I be when I grow up"?

It's okay - you can thank me later.  Right now I'm off to find an office with aircon that works!!!!!

Bittersweet Symphony

November 28, 2010

It's funny the way things work.  Friday evening I caught up with some friends from my past workplace - I don't miss the job, but I sure do miss my old "team".  One of the girls that I employed there (she and I go waaaay back, and I actually coached her in Under 12's more than 10 years ago) is looking to buy a house in our area.  We've sent her through a few pics and they are really keen to come and have a good look.
This is where the bittersweet thing comes in.  I REALLY love my house.  It's Loz's and my first house together and we've built a life together here.  Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited about the life we're leaving here for (and the wonderful people we've met in the process) but there's just a hint of sadness today as I begin to mentally separate from our "home".
Ironically, the butterfly on the wall was a gift from my old work people, lovingly selected by "Cat" our potential home buyer.  I would love to see this place go to someone who I know would love it right back.  So Cat, if you do end up buying our little house, I hope you'll be as happy in it as we have been over the past few years. xx

Lucky me

November 27, 2010

One of the non-building blogs I make time for belongs to the delightful Maxabella.  She's a little bit quirky, creative and upbeat.  But the nicest thing about it is the regular Saturday post, "this week I'm grateful for...".  I can raise my hand as guilty when it comes to rushing through life and not celebrating little successes and not always acknowledging those day to day things that make my life pretty darned comfortable, if not deliriously joyful.
So this Saturday I'm going to share three things I'm grateful for...
1 :: the internet.  For all the obvious reasons, but mostly for providing a means of connecting with fellow Avenuers and the community that's being built as a result.
2 :: the man.  For his left-of-centre sense of humour, cheeky smiling, eagles t-shirt wearing, duck face when he's typing, decor-shopping, colour co-ordinating, non-drawer closing, significant other supporting,  personality.
3 :: the furkids.  And their verging on hysterical greeting when we get home.  Their face licks to wake us up and remind us it's time for their breakfast - at 6am.  Their goofyness, predictability and unconditional worship.

What's made you grateful this past week?

300 days

November 26, 2010

It took exactly 300 days from initial purchase, but we are now officially LAND OWNERS!!!!!

Come on in

November 25, 2010

...and make yourself at home.
Today I thought I'd take you on a little tour of our display home.

 The entry.  Our spunky hall table will sit beautifully right about here.

From the dining room looking toward the entry.  Kitchen on the left, library on the right.

Library through to kitchen, then to alfresco via the bi-folds (we've got sliding stackers instead)

And back the other way.  Library = left, family room = right

Taking in the dining room as well

And from the family room, through dining to alfresco

Yummy yummy kitchen!!!!!
I was already sold before the kitchen revealed itself - and then I was completely blown away.

What was the room or the moment that made you sure your house was THE ONE?

R U down wid at?

November 24, 2010

Doncha hate it when you've been looking at your plans for like...months...and then you suddenly notice something REALLY ugly and get that sick in the gut feeling?

My moment of realisation came over...of all things...our downpipes.

Has anyone ever noticed that none of the displays have downpipes visible on the facade? And that the cute little line drawings or representations of facade options don't come with visible downpipes? Even the front elevation on your plans doesn't have them. But when you look at the actual floorplan, sure enough, there's a tiny little dp included in a most unflattering location. Ours is prominently featured to the immediate left of our entry. Right bang, smack between the first window and our portico. And I can't believe that I've only just noticed. The worst thing is that we have selected Jasper (brown) as our downpipe colour...so on a pale render they're going to resemble a pasty swimsuit model in need of a wax!

These are our 2 render colours; Beige Royal and Oriental Spice. Note the very well hidden downpipe in the display.

This is also our render colour, but with the Jasper downpipe somewhere behind the forest.  Wax anyone???

You can bank on that

November 23, 2010

Our mortgage broker, Paul, God love him, is trying his darndest to eliminate our need for mortgage insurance at the moment, with limited success.  Trouble is, Cranbourne North is such a new suburb that there's very few previous sales for the experts to base their valuations on.  The system is flawed, but really, we just have to work within their guidelines rather than completely stressing ourselves out.  Paul has contacted Carlisle and asked them to provide him with data on recent sales in the area - as in the value of builds in progress in our estate, in the hope of convincing our bank to value our build to at least its cost to us.  I'm a little disappointed to say that they weren't forthcoming with this info, and Paul has had to really push the point.  They actually questioned what it had to do with them. Hmmm.  Mind you, we have just lost our fantastic customer service chicky, and the new one.... we'll just wait and see before passing judgment.
Anyway - I digress.  If Paul can bump the value up a little, and in turn decrease the mortgage insurance payable, we'll release the pause button and start on the build.  Besides, when we then sell our current house and the equity is released, we can start our landscaping, pool, window coverings without having to re-borrow!  I know - naughty.  But we just wanna get in there already...

Compare the pair

November 22, 2010

Here's our facade as submitted to the developer for approval (cept our garage is wider with the door centered).
The developer has rejected our plan as we are deemed to have more than a double garage which is against the estate covenant.  I'd like to challenge them on exactly how wide a double garage is, but in the meantime, I've thrown this together...
...and it looks better than I thought it would. Maybe duplicating the narrow window on the left of the stack stone projection would look more balanced? We'd have to change our electrical plan as there would no longer be space for an uplight on either side of the garage door.  Perhaps just one on the portico?  After this one I may well be compromised out.  Lets get this thing started so nothing else can be changed!!

The Avenue fa-mi-ly

November 21, 2010

We had the pleasure of meeting some more neighbors today, the lovely Deb and John.  Fellow Carlisle builders.  Fellow spoilt fluffy fur-kid owners.  Fellow non-first-home owners.
Through the beauty of social media, it was like we'd all known each other for years.  We could have talked for hours!  In fact, I think we did!! 

When we bought this land, we never imagined the feelings of community that would be rolled into the package.  All of the people we've met so far are great, really great actually.  The Avenue will be quite a special place to live. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Nom nom nom

November 18, 2010

Blame Janine for this...she asked for a time waster!

This has NOTHING at all to do with building, or banks, or land settlement, or knee ops, or cars breaking down (so are the days @ The Avenue - days of our lives reference for those under 40 or daytime TV phobics)

Make yourself a coffee, and clear your calendar for at least 20 minutes, click HERE...and enjoy!

Triple threat

November 17, 2010

Today's rant  post comes courtesy of our wonderful developer.  Carlisle are unable to gain developer's approval of our plans as our garage is too wide - apparently.
Those who have been playing along at home will remember that this is our second bout of approvals.  With the PD build, we had extended our garage by 1.8 metres - approved.  With Carlisle we requested a 1.9 metre extension - rejected.
But panic not, there is a solution.  We'll have to move the garage door across to the right (fence side) and add a narrow window between the portico and garage door.  I'm a symmetrical kind of girl.  I'm a neat and tidy kind of girl.  I'm not a let anyone peep into my garage kind of girl.

So I appeal to you fellow bloggers - would you off-set the garage door, or downsize the garage itself?

How value-able is our bank?

November 16, 2010

Beware...this is going to be a rant!!!

Although our beautiful rectangle (or oblong as Loz would say - must be an old person thing!) took 11 months from initial purchase to title stage, our bank (which bank I hear you ask - and yes, you'd be right) has decided that it has only increased in value by $2,500 in this time.  Heavy sigh!  What would be the point of buying from an unregistered sub-division, paying 10% deposit 11 months ago, and not being able to build on it for almost a year, if it didn't increase in value?  How do they get this bs figure when the new stages of our estate with smaller blocks - substantially smaller blocks - have sold for a shitload more?
I know that in bank land things are done differently, but in the real world, the value of something is what it would frigging well cost you to buy it.  now.  not a whole year ago.
Not only are they bending us over about the land, they have decided that in their expert opinion, our construction is over-priced and they have deducted $30,000 from the value for our build.  Seriously???  It's 39 freaking squares people.  It has every possible thing you can have in a house.Have you even read the plans and specs?  The ones we've spent the last 11 months of our lives perfecting - morons!
Why does all of this matter?
We're now looking at mortgage insurance - $19,000 of it -  as we're over the magic 80% mark based on their biased valuation that only benefits themselves.  I could buy a car with that amount of money!  Do they take into account the fact that neither of us have EVER missed a mortgage payment in our lives?  Do they even check what blocks are being re-sold for in our estate?  Have they looked at freaking realestate.com.au and seen that the Metricon display houses in The Avenue display village are being sold for like $700,000?
Well your not getting our $19,000 stupid bank.  We'll sell our house first and then build after it settles, so that'll put a massive dent in your 578 billion dollar profit for the year, won't it? Bet your shares have just plunged in value now.

-rant concluded-

It's a miracle

November 12, 2010

Today is indeed a Miracle Whip kind of day.  We received a VERY unexpected call from our conveyancer today with the news that registration of our title has occurred.  Our block now officially exists, and settlement goes down on November 26.  14 days until we own our tiny slice of 3977 (with Commonwealth Bank being the majority shareholder).  I'm so excited I think I might burst!

Slower than a...

November 11, 2010

...40 speed zone.
I'm normally attached to my desk chair by 8am and would definitely not have left it prior to 4pm, so the school speed limit rarely affects me - except I slept in this morning.  So I trek off to work sans coffee, late, wet hair sticking to my head, traffic denser than commonwealth bank's complaint line after the rate rise announcement and I hit a 40 zone at 8:01.  I swear at this point I was moving slower than The Brown Group has developed our estate, which also MAKES me swear.  HURRY THE %@#$ UP with our land Fraser Brown!!!!!

Driving down the highway...

November 10, 2010

Possibly a little premature on this one, but we're starting to think about driveways.  We found these couple at Carlisle display villages when we were in searching mode, and reckon that either would fit in with our colours pretty well. 

Baring in mind we have pale, rendered walls and a jasper (left) garage door (wish we could change coz that surfmist one on the right looks a bit swish!), which one would you choose?

A head for my bed

November 7, 2010

To bedhead or not to bedhead?  The (now closed) Tarneit display is a bit busy in the master bedroom department for my taste.  But what to do with this dividing wall?  We have the niche + two downlights as displayed, but I'm scratching my head for ideas.
I think padded headboards look great against a plain wall, but the niche kind of breaks up that solid surface.

Ideas and inspiration anyone?

What's in a name?

November 6, 2010

I think I've seriously outdone myself this week with probably THE worst time waster of all time...an IKEA name generator.  If you've always wanted to know what type of furniture you would be, and more importantly, what you'd be called, click here to find out!

And if you're game, feel free to share your result.

How many?

November 4, 2010

Has anyone noticed how many vases Metricon have in their display homes? Back in the day (I'm so freaking old) you'd maybe have 2 or 3 of these now essential decor items - mostly cut glass or crystal if you were upper class- and they were used for holding flowers. Now days they are EVERYWHERE with not a bloom in sight. So I'm wondering...why
is it so? Do we live in hope of having our men bring us home a different bouquet every night? I'm thinking not! So just how did the humble vase reinvent itself???

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