Oh my…furniture has arrived!

Since purchasing our land in 2014 we have been all over Melbourne looking for the perfect furniture. It was only in the last couple of months we stumbled across HOME CONCEPTS in then Prahran and now relocated to Windsor.

They are a boutique establishment with over 20 years of experience in the business. The thing I like most about them is that their furniture is Australian made and you can customise the furniture to your dimension and like. We got our couch to be more firm and dining table a bit longer.

If you are looking for a personalised touch to your home pop in and see Dean, Leanne and Eliza. You will love their friendly vibe and exceptional customer service. Plus their prices are very reasonable for the quality and 10 year warranty.




Security for your home

One of the key things to organise when moving into a new estate is getting your security sorted. There have been a few day break-ins in our area and since then a community set up has taken place on FB.

While researching I found that the following had good services:

  1. Signal Security Services
    – Good if you do not have access to the internet in your estate
    Signal Security Pty. Limited
    Level 3, 126 Russell Street
    Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
    T   1300 73 83 93
  2. RACV Emergency Home Assist
    If you have access to the internet this it the most reasonable setup
    Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) Limited
    Level 2, 550 Princes Highway
    Noble Park North, Victoria 3174
    T 132 756
  3. Ring
    – DIY solution and supporting Australian made

Moving day!

Moving day arrived sooner than excepted, Thursday 17 November. We went with Melbourne Metro Movers and could not have been happier with their service. We had two lovely Brazilian guys called Enrico and Gus. It was a hot day and being on the third floor with no access to lifts was a tough day. Six hours later we had finally arrived into our brand new home.

The days after…

The next day we had our hot water and appliances installed it was a 7.30am start to the day.

In the days following we had our pendant lights installed by hubby’s good mate from work. Our appliances were delivered by my in-laws and new TV from my parents.


Nitty-Gritty items…

We had our first walk through on the 20th of October with our Site Supervisor, Stephen East and our private building inspector, Darbecca. We were pretty happy as there was only cosmetic changes to be made. The biggest change was the scratched windows.

The second walkthrough we noticed our engineered floorboards were scratched! Yes, scratching is delaying us.. but today 7 November we went over and everything was in order. We have officially signed off!! Hooray!

We had started packing slowly two months ago, it is a good time to sort out on clutter. You can also book in Brotherhood of St Lawrence to collect items for charity, including white goods.

There is a number of removalist and the best one based on customer reviews is Metro Movers. They even offer Complimentary on Move Day: Portable Wardrobes, Plasma Crates and Mattress/Couch Covers.

We booked our apartment cleaning with Exit Clean Melbourne.

Here is a checklist I have found useful to plan for the lead up to MOVE DAY!

Estimated cost for moving day
Boxes  $     100.00
Removalist (3 hours + toll)  $     437.00
Exit Cleaning services (2 bedroom apartment)  $     350.00
Redirection of mail (12 months)  $     116.55
Total  $  1,003.55


Engage Darbecca!

After reading so many reviews and experiences from other home builders, the common private building inspector that comes up with very good ratings was Darbecca!

This made me switch from the initial private building inspector I was planning to engage in their services to Darbecca.

We have opted to go with inspection at every stage.

This quote is valid as at 18 May 2016:

Stage Inspections Single Storey – Standard Pricing Single Storey – Discount Pricing
Pre Pour/Steel Inspections $490.00 $470.00
Slab Inspection $330.00 $0  (combined with frame inspection)
Frame Inspection $495.00 $450.00  (inc. complimentary slab inspection)
Pre Plaster/Lock up $495.00 $450.00  (inc. complimentary frame reinspection)
Pre Paint/Fixing Inspections $495.00 $450.00
Waterproofing Inspections $430.00 $390.00    ($120.00 if combined with Fixing)
PCI/Final Inspections $630.00 $550.00
Re Inspections $385.00 $350.00
*Please note – All prices are inclusive of GST*

I have an awesome Mortgage Broker!


If you are thinking of using a mortgage broker, I would recommend doing your homework.
If you are as lucky as I am, the experience will be smooth.

In our early planning stages, we engaged in the services of Mortgage Finesse.
Danielle Ridley our Principal Broker guided us through the process and equipped us with all the advice we needed.
There is no pressure of using a particular bank.

Over the last few months, there has been heaps of paperwork and Sandi has been awesome! She will keep you on track and will make sure you tick all the relevant boxes, fill out your application forms correctly and meet timelines.

So, here are my tips for choosing an awesome broker like mine:

  1. Make sure they are accredited. MFAA and Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) brokers have to adhere to higher education standards and ethical standards aligned to government requirements.
  2. Get some feedback. We were lucky that Danielle and her team came highly recommended. Word of mouth is the best form of feedback but there is always forums and reviews online.
  3. Prepare questions. On your first consultation ask many questions and compare with other brokers what they can offer.
  4. What is their commission and do they offer rebates? Commission can be on-going and is paid directly by the loan provider. If a broker does not disclose this information I would not go with them. Some brokers offer rebates from part of their commission.
  5. Explain your needs. The broker should be able to explain different mortgage options and ensure that it meets your financial needs.

If you like to get in touch with my broker here are their details, you will not be disappointed.

Danielle Ridley
Financial Consultant
99-101 Beleura Hill Rd
Mornington, VIC 3931
PO Box 140 Chelsea, VIC 3196
Ph: 9020 1420 Mob: 0425 726 419 Fax: 9772 4013
Email: danielle@mortgagefinesse.com.au

Our Land is being titled!

20 months later and our land is being titled! Yipeeee..
Our conveyancer told us on Monday, 21 March and the next day we received an email from our developers.


Email from Developers


So, what happens next! Since November 2015 Victoria has adopted the Verification of Identity (VOI) a concept introduced in Western Australia. Our conveyancer, provided us with an email outlining the requirements. We had to complete our details online to identify ourselves. Once this is completed if you chose an appointment preference after business hours a nominated agent will contact you via email and text. A date and time is set to verify you in person (we did this today).

The agent must present a secure ID (photo, name and agent number). He verifies your ID documents, takes a picture of you and you sign electronically. We paid a couple rate of $99.00. This is valid for two years. So what is the purpose of this? To eliminate fraud.

We notified our builder that our land is being titled and they have requested for a soil test of the block.

I have a feeling April maybe the month for stage 1 of our build.


Being thankful for the little things in life

On Saturday, 20 February Tropical Cyclone  Winston was registered as a category 5 cyclone, with gust winds of up to 330 km/hr. It was recorded as the strongest cyclone in the southern hemisphere. My poor little island, Fiji was affected by this storm and over 90% of homes were affected. Lives have been lost, schools closed, bridges washed away, houses destroyed, agriculture all blown flat but yet people have smiles and hope to rebuild. The international community has come to Fiji’s aid, especially Australia.

Photo credit: Facebook

In Australia, we have building standards that make our homes secure and strong. Unlike most homes in Fiji, especially in the farming community, homes are built with corrugated sheets.

As a homeowner, our responsibility is to ensure that we have taken all measures to have a proper build. This is why we opt for better builders and engage in the services of a Building Inspector.

While waiting for the land to title, we have researched and have found a reputable building inspector – SPI Property Inspections.

As of February 2016
For new home construction, there are five important stages.  SPI Property Inspections can be your independent inspector on each of these stages, at the following fees:

Base Stage $450.00
Frame Stage $525.00
Lock-up/Pre-Plaster $525.00
Fixing Stage $525.00
Final Handover $575.00
Total -$2,600.00
All prices include GST and travel

You can book any of these inspections at the above prices, however if you would like to book for all 5 stages, a discount is offered. The total discounted price will be $2,340.00.  The discount will be applied to the final stage, ie, the Final Handover will be $315.00.

Inspectors are all qualified builders and very experienced with residential construction projects.  They are also equipped with a state-of-the-art, custom-designed iPad app that allows them to complete the report at the time of inspection and email it to you the same day.

A blog to follow..

I have read so many blogs and from each blog you learn something plus giving you great insight and ideas.

Just recently I came across the House Amour blog! Ashlee does an amazing job putting all her ideas together. At first you would think she is an interior designer, her colour palettes are very tasteful.

Follow her blog here https://houseamour.wordpress.com/


Don’t forget to visit her section on house related websites, https://houseamour.wordpress.com/house-related-sites/


Water Tank

This is our bit for the environment and being green. We have opted to have a water tank to service and recycle water from the laundry, toilets and garden. We have opted to go with an independent supplier, Rainwise Pools, Tanks and Pumps.

To allow for this, you must get your builder to provide a provision for future installation of rainwater tank by others after handover.  This includes capped service runs plumbed to WCs and Laundry and single weatherproof power point for Owner’s future pump.

These are the tanks we are looking at with Rainwise Pools, Tanks and Pumps.

Please note prices are current as of 22 December 2015.


Yarra Valley Average Water Consumption for a typical household: