Sunday, August 30, 2009

Land, Land, Land- It don't come cheap.

Here is a bit of background to our land purchase.

After looking at house's in thousands of Sydney suburbs we could afford a 1.2 room house in woop woop that was at least 50 years old. So we looked down the path of building a house.
7 months ago we went to Homeworld- We loved every second house and were ready to move in. As soon as we started talking to the sales rep all was not as it seemed. The first question- Were are you looking at building? Have you got finance? what size will your land be? - all questions we could not yet answer.

What areas of sydney could we afford land and still be able to build a house and not live in a tent. Could we still get to work from this land? or would we need to leave 4 hours before sun up? Land seemed to be the most important factor..

After the depressing saga that is - we decided to go out to The ponds, which we had looked at briefly before. The Ponds is a suburb located north west of sydney, close to homeworld, where large residential and commercial developments are occurring. We made our way to the land office where we were met by nice lady.

The lady spent a bit of time going through what the ponds is all about. Just in a brief summary, the ponds is a new suburb about an hour from the CBD of Sydney, free from all the community fee's that typical estates have. The land is affordable, from about 265K to 310K (expected to rise with further releases) Instantly, we were attracted to the area. There are new schools, shops, community centres, sports fields, cycling tracks - you name it.

We were shown three blocks in particular, two smaller 13 metre x 30 metre and a large corner block. Prices at 260 for the smaller blocks and 270 for the corner.

However there were several problems with the corner block. The ponds has placed some restrictions regarding facades and other dimensional limitations to help preserve the look and feel of the community. Later on - we would find that hardly any builders could cater for the strict requirements, or could for much extra cost. Needless to say we ditched the corner block!

So around homeworld and the ponds we went, talking to every builder in sight. We narrowed down some builders based on their websites, community forums and some blogs others had written.


13m x 30m blocks at the ponds are virtually useless. Most of the designed would not fit or meet the building requirements. We could possible get away with a two storey house but simply did not want to spend that sort of moolah. Disappointed after a long hard day of walking up and down the display villages, we wondered into AV Jennings, a builder whose house we were really impressed with.

There we met a lovey staff member. She tried to cut and shape the house to make it fit on the small block of land we were looking at - but it was hopeless - the design would not fit how we liked it. Not discouraged, she slipped us a number for another land office, selling land at the opposite end of the ponds, called Kalina. We raced over and had a lovely long discussion about the area. There were 5 blocks left, two that fell in our price range. A 15 x 30 metre block for $280k and a slightly larger 15 x 32 metre block for $285k.

Being first home owners, we though that the cheaper block would suite our needs, being able to put that extra $5k into the house and finishes. The gentlemen kindly walked us to the block, and explained everything! I wont go into too much detail, but some things you never think of. Connecting the sewers, what kind of concrete slab needs to be laid, how the storm water system works. All those things that could end up costing you thousands if you bought the wrong block. The land office closed at 5pm that day, but we ended up saying our goodbyes at 5:45pm - that's service!

The next morning we raced back in to the office to buy the BIGGER block of land. We decided overnight that having the extra 2m at the rear fence could be really beneficial. Unfortunately, another couple had spotted it before us, so we ended up with our original land.

And so be bought it! our very own piece of Australia. Our own sand and soil.

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