As mentioned in an earlier post, we've decided to rehome ourselves. A quick chat to the Credit Union manager gave us a rough idea of how much we might be able to access in the way of funds so we went looking at houses.
First we looked at buying a house. That would be nice, just one move involved. We even found houses that we liked, though they weren't perfect. But even more important, they were in suburbs that would have made commuting more difficult and more expensive for both of us. With that and alterations, the just affordable really became not such a good option.
So we started looking at the that 'knockdown and rebuild' option. This resulted, after a fair bit of online research, in our first visit to a display village. Now, the ideal would be to have our own individual house design and this may still happen but, well, it's likely to be just a tad too expensive.
So we come to the first pitfall of home building - if we just squeeze a bit more, maybe we can get the custom design or the extra garage or the fabulous, ridiculously OTT entertainment area and so on. Time to come back to planet Earth.
Another pitfall - how do you compare prices that include different things in the site costs and different inclusions? These people have been taking lessons from Telcos about blinding you with options that are not comparable! And how do you take into account, with a project home, the cost of minor interior alterations that 'won't cost very much'?
Undeterred, we have been looking at display homes all this last weekend and part of the weekend before. There is a certain monotonous similarity about a lot of them. Walk in and over on the right (or left if the mirror reversed version) is the formal lounge/dining, then a few utilities (and the stair if it's 2 storey) followed by the living areas. Note that for us the laundry is on the wrong side of the house in 90% of the designs -and if it's on the right side, then it's a plan we have to mirror reverse in order to get the living areas facing the garden.
Undaunted, we sat down the last Friday night and worked out the aspects of our ideal house and even fitted it onto our block. We then worked out how big it was (500 sq m) and realised that it was a good thing that it was only a dream house.
So we made a list of things that were non-negotiable, high priority and nice to have. Actually, nothing is completely non-negotiable as it all depends on whether we can sort out workable alternatives. I'll put up the list at some stage, but it's still a bit malleable.
This coming weekend I have a pre-booked jewellery workshop, so no looking at houses then. The weekend after I have an all day rehearsal on Saturday and a concert the Saturday after that, and after that we go to Canberra for a weekend with my parents, so we'll be proceeding slowly.