I got some advice from a work colleague, George and he said the structural is the most important selection of the home. So here I am trying to decide which bricks to choose from.

Today we headed to Austral Bricks at Deer Park, if you like a particular brick they will provide you with home addresses of clients who have used the bricks of your choice.

Here are our top three choices:

Homestead Blackwood


Homestead Tan

Access Chestnut



It’s our block!

When we bought our land in July 2014 we were told it would title in June 2015. It is November now and our last notice was that land will title in January 2016.. fingers crossed this happens!

Today we decided to take a drive to Kallo and see the progress!

Display home addenda

When visiting display homes ask for the Addenda. This will give you a breakdown of all the fixtures and fittings and what category it falls into.

This way it is so easy when you go for your colour selection you will have the right description of tiles, paint, flooring or extra features.

Home Loan Research

We have gone with a Mortgage Broker to help us choose a home loan that will suit us.

For construction loan, the loan is an interest only and the variable rate can be pretty high.

The best way is to list what features of the loan are important to you:

  • Extra repayments
  • Offset account
  • Redraw facility
  • No fees or minimal fees
  • Fortnightly payments

We are still deciding who to go with; NAB Choice Package or Bankwest Premium Select.

While doing my own research, I found that were quite competitive and has a good rating.

 This is an example of what my broker provided (20 Sep, 2015):
Package Name NAB Choice Package Bankwest Premium Select
Variable Interest 4.87 4.34
Comparison Rate 5.20 4.35
On-going fees $395 per annum $10 per month
Application Fee $0 $0
Establishment Fee $0 $0
Valuation Fee $0 $0
Extra Valuation Fee $0 $0
Legal Fee $0 $0
Settlement Fee $0 $60
Discharge Fee $150 $300
Split Fee ? $0
Offset 100% offset account 100% offset account
Redraw Free redraw from loan Free redraw from loan – paper-based forms
Split Loan ? Available – no max # of splits
Extra Repayments Unlimited additional repayments available Unlimited additional repayments available
Fortnightly Repayment Yes Yes, manual repayments acceptable for Interest only
Credit Card Free Credit Card – no annual fee
Repayment (m) – based on $400K $1733 $1450.00
After Construction Rates
Variable Interest 4.58 4.34
Comparison Rate 4.97 4.35

Discounts / Rewards

Annual fee of $395 waived for first-year Discount rate of 1.13% off Standard variable
Discount variable rate for the life of the loan
Discount fixed rate available
$1,500 cash back


PWC Signed!

pWCPWC stands for Preliminary Works Contract. This is an estimate of what it will cost to build your home with Boutique Homes.

We have signed our PWC for a Chelsea 23 with displayed kitchen, study and four bedrooms.

There are a few extras we have gone with:

  • Double Glazing
  • Higher ceilings 2700mm which has resulted in bigger windows
  • Bigger kitchen with under mount sink
  • Gas point to the outside
  • Cold water point for the fridge
  • Sliding door to the study and WIR
  • Bulkheads
  • Sliding door from dining room
  • Sliding door from Bedroom 4, which we plan to convert to a theatre
  • Allowance for evaporated cooling, as it is much cheaper to get this installed by Breezeair
  • Closed off door from passage to butler’s pantry
  • Increased the size of the bathroom sinks
  • Niche to both bathrooms
  • Extra television points

Budget for build

Before you start building, you should work out your budget for your home.

Here are a few points:

  • Remember 25% of total household income is a safe measure or if you can try and run your household on one person’s income.
  • 20/10 rule! Have 20% deposit and budget to cover for 10% of interest rate in repayments.
  • Build within your means.. so you can still enjoy the little things in life!

Our budget is $450K. So far the land has cost us $157,000 with a $5,000 rebate once we have completed landscaping to the front and fence.

That means we have $293K to spend on the build.

We have some tough decisions to make!

Must haves!

Sometimes you can get carried away with how big you want a home to be. The question is how big do you need your home to be?

Make a list of in three categories:

Must haves:

  • Eaves
  • Higher ceilings
  • Sliding door from Dining
  • Larger Windows
  • Driveway
  • Close off Butler pantry door
  • Choose electricals points
  • Bulkheads
  • Kitchen as displayed

Good to have:

  • Translucent doors
  • Three coats of paint
  • Double Glazing
  • Evaporated cooling*
  • Zoning for heating and cooling

Can do later:

  • Carpet Underlay – Upgrade to Hypo-allergenic
  • Freestanding bath
  • Rubbish Bin Drawers

*Evaporated cooling can be placed later, instead ask for a provision

An expensive lesson

Decisions are so hard to make! We have seen a few design plans and we thought we had found our dream home, we even paid the initial deposit and the weekend before our colour appointment we decided to visit one of their display villages in a suburb we had never been before. This was the start of everything going downhill. When we went to the showroom it was a nightmare!

Lesson 1: Before you place any money down ask to visit the showroom to see the range of products.

Lesson 2: Visit all the display villages to get a feel of the different design options and have a look at their finishes.

Lesson 3: Don’t get carried away with the first home you set your eyes on. See as many builders and design options.

After feeling a bit dishearten we went back to where we started. The first builder we saw in our quest was Boutique Homes. The Barcelona was too big to fit on our small block so we decided to see the Chelsea design. The kitchen won my heart.


Photo courtesy of Boutique homes