Monday, March 26, 2012

Kookaburras and Snakes

Welcome to our blog Kookaburras and Snakes. Alluding to the fact that this is exactly what you will find when you visit us once our new house is built!

In July 2010 my partner Daniel and I (Lauren) became the proud new owners of a block of land in a rural area near Brisbane. We may be young, but this is our dream, and we fell in love with this beautiful piece of land the moment we found it. Daniel is a city boy and knew the area fairly well already. Having grown up in a rural part of Queensland, it felt right for me to move somewhere which would allow us to have that relaxed feel when we come home, while still being close enough to work in the city. 

Our building envelope

Being young, inexperienced and eager, we assumed the building process would be difficult. However, we never imagined it would take us quite so long to get things organised and 'get this show on the road'. 

It feels as if there have been many hurdles. During the 2011 Brisbane floods, all 100 metres of the shared driveway to our piece of paradise was completely destroyed. Many, many, many thousands of dollars later we were further behind than ever and a little bit shaken up. It then took us much longer than we thought it would to sell our apartment. In April 2011 we finally sold our apartment and moved into a cute little townhouse we had rented to see us out until we are able to move into a completed house. 

It wasn't until about August 2011 when we were finally able to feel like things had fallen into place enough to get serious about the building process. Prior to that we had gone back and forth between several builders. Initially we were hoping to have a colonial style home. For a while we thought we were set on having a two story home on stumps. The plan was to live in the upstairs part and not build in the bottom part until later. The longer we took to look at builders, the more torn we became. At that stage we were still wanting a two story home as we felt this would make the best use of the small area we had to build on. Although our property is acreage, the majority of the land is mountainous and there is really only one small area where the ground is level and suitable for building on. 

Eventually my brother Dale suggested Coral Homes. I was skeptical at first and felt we had been disappointed so many times before with the reality of how much our dream would cost. But we haven't looked back since!

Initially, even when we went to Coral, we were still wanting a two story home. We had our hearts set on the Barbados. To be honest, it was huge, and entirely beyond what we could ever need between two of us and any potential future kidlets. We went through the whole process and received our tender back. When we got the price back (even though the price wasn't too much of a surprise), panic set in. Somehow, seeing it on paper put everything into perspective. What the hell were we doing? Apart from the fact that it was HUGE, we had somehow let our budget expand as our desires changed rather than just sticking to what we could afford. Realising the expense of the monthly mortgage payments would mean there would not be much left for saving, holidays, and really, ANYTHING, put it all into perspective. Although we could have managed, we would not have been able to live the relaxed lifestyle that this land is supposed to offer. 

Within an hour we had made the decision to pull out on the two story home. One phone call later to Julia, our sales consultant at Coral, we had cancelled and informed her that we had decided we needed to go with a one story home. Julia was amazing! Her response was fantastic. We went from feeling so awful, and that we had wasted their time, to feeling an overwhelming sense of relief and excitement. It felt as if we had dodged a bullet. The very next day we went on a holiday to Stradbroke Island. It was just the perfect timing to give us the space to breathe away from our jobs to realise that we had made the best decision possible for our future. Realising that we would have barely been able to afford a simple holiday to Stradbroke definitely made us see sense too! 

We have so much we want to do in the next few years, and with life in general, now this means we will actually be able to do those things without feeling completely tied down. 

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