If you haven’t already seen the little hints across social media, Mr. Spittoon and I have taken one of the biggest leaps of our lives. We have purchased a house and land package in Perth’s Swan Valley. FINALLY we have confirmation that it is actually going ahead so I wanted to share our wee adventure with you all and help answer any questions you may have about the *cough cough* ‘interesting’ process.
And of course it means that I’ll most definitely be in stumbling distance of the Swan Valley wineries and a brewery. So watch out!
It’s no surprise that the Swan Valley captured my heart from the first time I set foot in this fabulous Western Australian wine region. With vineyards so close to the city (20 minutes!!), I thought I was dreaming.
How it began..
One afternoon, while strolling around the display village at St Leonard’s Estate we came across a house and land package which was exactly what we were looking for. Neither of us were overly keen to go for a house and land package in an estate but after plenty of discussion we decided that for a first home it would be a good place to start. Get our foot in the property market and all that grown up stuff!
So we chatted to the Sales Consultant for ages, went back to the car and chatted for 5 minutes and then strolled back into the display home and put down a deposit. Considering neither of us are very spontaneous people, I am still shocked that we just did it! As I may have mentioned it is something we had been thinking about for ages, but it really was just all talk.
As a good family friend who works in the banking industry kept telling me, ‘it’s just like buying a dress‘, shop around, find one you like and do it!
The Sales Consultant..
The Sales Consultant was informative at the time, however after 3 months of ups and downs that were to follow, I hate to say he had some fairly bad words said about him in our house. Overall though he was fairly good for a sales guy and I would recommend people to him. However I wouldn’t recommend his finance choice. Being new to the process we agreed to go along with it… Big mistake!
The full of hassle finance..
They may say on the radio that they supply ‘hassle-free finance’… So not true! Yes we had a tricky situation seeing as I changed jobs halfway through the process which put our application back a few weeks but that’s no excuse for the lack of communication, the misleading answers to our questions and the complaints from 3rd parties involved (settlement agent for instance) about how incredibly useless our broker was.
As you can guess, I won’t be recommending the brokerage we used to ANYONE! I also will not name the company but if you really want to know, pop me an email and I can fill you in.
The pre-start meeting..
Despite not knowing if we were going to get finance approval from the bank we still had to do our pre-start meeting before we knew if all of this was going to happen. This alone was so difficult!
How could we pick out tiles (by the way it’s not as straight forward as picking out white as we originally thought!), carpet, colours, tap fittings etc for our home, knowing there was a chance we might not get it? Our choices felt half-hearted at the time, I’m one of those people who can’t commit/get excited about something unless I know it’s going to happen. But maybe that’s how we best work as I now look at all the colours and think.. Wow we have done well! Who knew grey colour schemes were in fashion!
Last week we had to pick out a landscaping package. Since I can barely keep a cactus alive, I flicked the email straight to my Mum who came back in minutes with the perfect low maintenance ‘gardening for dummies’ landscaping package answer. Where would we be without our Mums!
The sunshine through the storm..
The best thing is, whatever we choose we can change whenever and however we want (after construction is finished that is, as if we change our minds at this stage it will be classed as a variation to our job which means the building company can drain more $$$ out of us)!
To say we’re happy to get out of the rent trap is an understatement! The freedom of having our own house is going to be awesome and I feel like I am very close to convincing Mr. Spittoon that the 3rd bedroom is going to be an amazing walk-in wine cellar paradise. Keep tuned!
It is true what everyone says, it’s not an easy process building a house in Perth and there are so many highs and lows. On a number of occasions we had to magically pull thousands of dollars out of no where in order to not lose our initial $5k deposit, or the piece of land we had since fallen in love with.
My newbie house & land package advice..
So my advice is, the more money you can save, the better! You honestly never know what is around the corner and despite having now settled on the land and construction is about to start, I am still expecting someone to demand more money out of us. The last thing was an $87 bin pad which the City of Swan requested we have (gotta love estate restrictive covenants).
Plus you should invest in a filing cabinet as you will acquire a ton of paperwork throughout the process. We got ours for about $90 from Office Works and it’s just about full. Definitely go for the biggest one you can get!
At the time, I wouldn’t have said this, but now we have the certificate of land ownership and a rather large mortgage accumulating in our bank account I am excited! It’s totally 100% scary but at the same time it’s awesome.
Mr. Spittoon and I have had countless toasts over the last few months over every little step in this process and I dear say we will continue to over the next 6 months while construction takes place (have you noticed how many different bottles of bubbles I’ve tried in my 2014 tasting notes!).
I’ve decided to share this wee journey with you all as both Mr. Spittoon and I went into this process rather naive and I hope to share, educate and enlighten people as to what purchasing a house and land package in Perth is really all about. The good the bad, the ugly and how the wines of the Swan Valley are going to help get me through it.