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Thursday 29 January 2015

Lets start from the beginning

Sydney Real-Estate realities.

We have searched high and low for a house that fits our lifestyle and space within the northwest of Sydney. Considering that a lot of houses on the market in November/December 2014 were hot, we often found that these were not affordable or had some kind of compromise to stay in the community we wanted to live in.

Suffice to say, we had a budget in mind and rather than compromise on the house, we compromised on the ideal locations we were looking at originally. We started to look for a 'knockdown' in a wider area, with a view to rebuild with a project builder (in order to fit within our budget). We visited many of these builders in HomeWorld 8 Kellyville and soon became overwhelmed. 

Some insight to our Project Builder shortlisting...
We had our heart set on a few homes with Clarendon, but ultimately found their reputation was poor with those that built with them. Hidden prices and budget blowouts were another concern with friends that had dealt with them. Out.
We really liked the finish and style of their designs. Initial build prices seemed reasonable, but we soon realised that PA's for site costs and service connections were looking like yet another budget blowout risk. Later media news released in December 2014 about other Metricon projects and legal litigation ultimately put this to rest. Gone.
We had our heart set on the (single level) Prelude when we initially looked prior to the purchase of the land. Fantastic floor plan design and a price that looked great. When we assessed their public reputation, we were let down. Lastly, due to the large footprint of the home, we would sacrifice the size of the backyard.  This was when we decided we would need to start looking at two storey designs. We did look at some other designs, but ultimately found the poor reviews we read of Masterton to be off-putting.  
Close friends of ours built with them about 4 years ago, and we were keen to check out their display homes, especially considering our friends had been happy with their build. Allworth's designs are classic. Pricing and quality were good and reasonable. Personally, we just didn't get a buzz with the offerings. Not really a strikeout in our shortlisting, with some of the other designs impressing us more.
We liked every bit about Rawson from the online reviews we read to their general reputation for 'all inclusive' pricing. We didn't even look at them until we researched everyone else. Reputation alone, and the favourable reviews put us down their path. When we visited them, we fell in love with the Edge and Seaview. However, everything about the Edge made sense. Further detailed discussion with the sales team in Kellyville put us on track to proceed with a tender agreement in December 2014.

The Property
We found what we wanted in a tired and sad Fibro 3 bedroom house that fit the bill.
651m2 with 15.5m frontage. 

Negotiation on the home went sour in the first week. Despite our offer being significantly higher than the requested range, the vendor wouldn't accept it.  After much deliberation with the agent an offer was eventually accepted. 
Settlement in January was also challenging as the Vendor had significant debts to utilities and council, which along with other debtors amounted to 14 cheques.  This ended up costing us extra in conveyancing fees. Lastly, issues of rubbish left on the property 1 hour before the settlement meeting added to the headache, and resulted in a lengthy 2 hour transaction and an underwriting from the Vendor's solicitor.

Now that the story catches us up to the end of January, we are keen to see the results of the Tender. Our next efforts will be selecting a demolition contractor to level the block in preparation for the build.... Tender signed first of course!