Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Plans Are Approved

Yay! Our plans have been approved.

plans are approved

I was heavily stalking our local council website to see the status of our plans and was really disappointed that the plans were approved 13th of June, and when I contacted BH the week after, they had no news for me and told me that it has to go through their head office. Anywho, I heard back from them last Thursday, the 14th of July to say that the plans had been officially accepted by both council and BH.

Now they need some documentation from my lender to show we have been given preapproval, and then we book in for our colour selections and contract signing appointment. That will be in two weeks time.

We have checked through the colour selections booklet so many times and we have found it really hard to make a decision, probably because it's going to be our forever home that we will live in, well, forever.  No big deal, right!?

Anyways, our sales rep kind of chastised me that there's no point booking us in for our colours if we haven't agreed on anything so Aaron and I sat down over the weekend and made almost every single decision. The only thing we haven't agreed upon as of yet is the kitchen bench.
We've upgraded to caesarstone bench tops and one of us wants jet black, and the other wants ocean foam. We are having light grey flooring, white cabinetry and stainless steel appliances and handles. What do you think?

Ocean Foam or Jet Black

Until next time, when hopefully I have more to tell you and can share our colour selections!!!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Council Amalgamation - What it means for us

On Friday it was announced that the Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council would be amalgamated into a Central Coast Council. As a result, all of our councilors were given the flick. Our region is now being managed by a council that is run by administrators.
And whilst I know that, government-wise, our region is probably in some sort of turmoil, all I can think is "what's happening to our house plans that are supposed to be approved by the Wyong Shire Council any day now" (think positive thoughts, think positive thoughts).
Definition of dilemma, IMO.

I called Beechwood Homes Sales Office at Cooranbong on Saturday and the lady I spoke with told me that unfortunately she couldn't tell me anything I didn't already know. She'd follow it up Monday and let me know.

So I spoke to another rep today, and here's the scoop as I understand it:
  • Any plans that are already in Council are going through as per normal
  • The Central Coast Council will be altering the state of the Wyong and Gosford council as far as labour and administration staff, however, it should not directly affect plans (the only risk I put to her is that staff applying themselves to our plans may be retrenched/dismissed and our plans may be redirected to someone else, thus lengthening the process)
  • Beechwood Homes have a team at their HQ dedicated to chasing up plans in council. If they feel that any plans have taken longer than what Beechwood Homes deems as an adequate amount of time, they will follow this up with council.
Oh and lastly, our plans have been in with  council for a week now! Are they done yet?! I'll just sit here waiting by the phone...

There you have it. Hope there are some people now feeling a little relief that your house plans are in good hands with this weird hybrid "Central Coast Council".

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Selections & Welcome Pack

Selections & Welcome Pack | http://ourbhjourney.blogspot.com.au

On Friday, Aaron went to pick up the selections and welcome pack. Apparently you get that when you pay your deposit and commit to BH.

And you know what? It makes it a little more real. We can collect as many brochures as we want, anyone can at a display home, but this is something saying we're glad you chose us, and here are some things you are going to need to choose from for YOUR HOME. When he sent me a text message with this photo, I actually felt a little nervous, butterflies in my stomach feeling.

Beechwood Selection & Welcome Pack | http://ourbhjourney.blogspot.com.au

I think trying to agree on our selections might be almost as tough on our marriage as attempting to build Ikea furniture together!

Obviously it may be different depending on which range you go with, and what inclusions you might have or add on as custom variations, but I thought I'd share some of the paperwork here.

We are building the Verdelho Twist, which is a Genesis Home. The Genesis range from BH is a cheaper selection for First Home Buyers. So it makes sense that their selections for carpet, tiles, appliances, fittings etc would be a cheaper range also. Everything we can choose from is pretty standard, except the few things we have already upgraded in our tender. My favourite, being the Caesarstone kitchen bench tops.

This welcome pack has one display folder where you write down your selections. The rest are brochures from the different companies BH uses. Each brochure has a list of locations where you can see these products in person before you make your decision.

Window Trim
Bench Tops

And so the journey continues. If anyone is reading this, are you building, thinking of building, or already built? I'd love to hear your experiences.


Monday, 15 February 2016

Deposit Paid

Deposit Paid | http://ourbhjourney.blogspot.com.au

So on Wednesday afternoon, our sales rep from BH sent an email with our 4th tender. She also sent an additional email. That email had bank account details attached.

If you read my first post, you'd know this whole process has been such a long time in the making for us. When I saw those bank account details for us to send through our deposit, I'm not gonna lie, I felt a little nervous.

It's these nerves that caused me to just send through the initial $2,000 yesterday afternoon, rather than the whole $5,500.

That means that right now, as I type this, someone could be looking at our tender and starting to draw plans for our home... Or maybe, there are 50 other people in front of us and we are in a long queue waiting to have our dream home built.

Either way, we are getting shit done. This is really happening!

Until next time Sheridan

Friday, 12 February 2016

Tender Number Four

Tender Number Four | http://ourbhjourney.blogspot.com.au
On Sunday we submitted our final custom variations with Beechwood Homes (BH).
For those of you who don't know, a tender is basically an itemised list of what things will be included in your build, similar to an invoice, with pricing for each item. It also gives you a total which helps when you want to get an accurate pre approval from your lender, if borrowing money.
Our BH rep told us we would get it back on the following Sunday.
I got a phone call on Wednesday afternoon. Umm.. what?! 3 days. You legends!
So we're super happy with our tender and the overall price we're currently looking at, but there are things that could arise so we're not treating that like a firm figure. We are going to request a $10,000 buffer from the bank in the event that we have any issues or decide on any upgrades. If we don't use it, it goes back onto the loan.
Our next steps are:
● Pay the $5,500 deposit to BH - once you do this, BH can begin the long process of preparing for the build and conversing with council to have the build approved.
● Refinance our land loan - we can get a better rate through a different lender so we will refi our land through them and apply for pre approval on the construction loan at the same time so that we aren't locked in to a bank who won't loan us the full amount.
● Deforest - our block has a bunch of trees and undergrowth we need to get rid of.  I'd hate for that to hold up the build
Thanks for following along with our journey,

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Beginning our Journey

Beginning Our Journey | http://ourbhjourney.blogspot.com.au
Hi There,

Thanks for visiting me here and reading! I’ll go into far more detail later, but I wanted this first post to just give you a long little background into our journey thus far.

My husband and I started looking at houses to buy in 2012. We had about $9000 saved in our bank account and not a single dollar more to our names. We realised that to buy a four bedroom home where all of our children would have their own rooms was going to be just too difficult for us. We would definitely break the budget.

Aaron looked into the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and how they were starting to gear it towards new homes and builds. That was the first time we looked into the idea of building. In our eyes and our current situation, it was the only way we would be able to buy a “forever home” on our budget.  


We bought our block of land on the Central Coast, NSW, and settled in September of 2012. Yep, that’s a while ago. But we weren’t ready to build a house. We bought our block because it was a great price for a reasonable size and knew we were going to have to sit on it for a little while.  


So time went on and we went from display home to display home. We eventually found a house that we absolutely loved through Beechwood (I found that Allworth and Beechwood had the most functional homes - where the layouts actually resemble a real house without a bunch of useless nooks and crannies - but that’s just personal opinion). We had a tender drawn up, but there was no way the bank would loan us money with our debts and no deposit. So our tender sat there doing absolutely nothing.  


We cleared some of our finances and got together the $5500 deposit required for Beechwood, and had another tender drawn up. We were so amazed at the price and how cheap it was that we added a few extras. It still came back under budget of what we thought we could afford. That’s where we went wrong I guess. Because then we went to the bank. And we couldn’t borrow the money. Fast forward to just over 12 months later, and we are in a great place. We have paid off two debts in that time to make us more attractive borrowers, and saved more money too.  


We went to the bank first to get some sort of assurances that we would be eligible to borrow a ball park figure of how much we thought the house might have gone up by and they said that yes, we were. I almost could have cried. We’ve been waiting so long. It has now been 3 years and 5 months since we first started our journey but it’s really only just beginning.

Next post will be in a few days, as a lot has happened in the past two weeks. We’ve been to numerous appointments with numerous different entities and I’ll try to give a weekly update, or an update anytime anything interesting happens.

Thanks for reading to the end, you’re pretty much a champion if you made it this far. Make sure you visit back to hear more of our story and see some cool pics along the way too.