Our Piece of the "Australian Dream"

Today we bought a little rectangle of swamp land.  It doesn't look like much now, but hopefully by this time next year it will be our beautiful new home.

A couple weeks after we got our citizenship we decided it was time to start looking at buying a house.  We talked about putting together a two year plan to buy something, and then that following Tuesday I started looking at stuff to get an idea of price.  And then all of a sudden we were looking at open houses that following Saturday and realizing that it made much more sense to buy land and build a new house in our current area than it did to buy an existing property closer to my work.  The stuff near work was small, run down, and expensive, where a new build would cost less and would be exactly what we want.  We were already used to commuting to the suburbs and like the area, so we weren't going to have to make a huge lifestyle change.

As much as it makes me nervous to think we could be buying at the top of a property market again (think San Diego condo in 2006), the timing just suddenly became right for us.  Plus the house we  are renting sprung another leak about the same time, and we got fed up with paying rent to a landlord who never fixed anything (just look at the leak in the garage that's been there since at least 2012).

So, we started looking at land.  There was some coming up in our current neighbourhood, but the animal restriction made it less appealing.  We looked at a new neighbourhood down the road and it felt like the kind of place we wanted to live.  Only problem was there wasn't any land left for sale.

We also started looking at builders to get an idea of what floor plan we want.  In Australia, you can buy the land separately from the house and pick the builder you want.  We knew a big sewing room was an absolute must, which pointed us in the direction of a two story house with big rumpus room.  We also wanted a downstairs guest room and ensuite so our parents didn't have to climb the stairs when they came to visit.  That limited the selection quite a bit and narrowed down what size lot we should be looking for.  We walked through one display and talked with the builder rep on the way out.  She asked us if we had land, we said no.  She asked what size we needed, we said 14 meters wide minimum.  She had a client who had just decided the day before to buy another lot closer to some friends and needed to sell this lot.  It was the right size, and in the neighbourhood we were looking at.  We went and looked at it.  Wide streets, away from the noise of the freeway, and a good location.  We sent the buyer a text, and all of a sudden we were buying land.  So much for the two year plan!

The funny thing about buying the land was we did it all over texts and emails.  It was nice not to have an agent involved and just be able to take care of it without the hassle.  A lot of the agents we had tried to contact about land listed online would never respond, and it seemed like a very frustrating process.  We were more than happy to avoid that drama.

Today we got the signed land contracts and very soon we will start making payments on it.  In theory we've signed up for the build to start in January but there are a lot of little details that need to be nailed down before then.  Until then, we will make weekly visits to the neighbourhood and spend all of our spare time on pinterest looking at ideas.  Let the fun (and stress!) begin!

Our squishy little block
Maybe approves of the smells
Ready to get this party started


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