More House Hunting

Just got back from a very long day out west looking at houses yet again. I apologize if our blog lately contained mostly about house hunting but it couldn’t be helped. Our free time is largely being devoted to looking for a suitable house in the next two months or we’ll have to re-apply for a loan pre-approval with our bank. Not to mention the fact that we might miss on the government’s First Home Owner Grant (worth $7,000) if we wait around for too long as the grant is going to be abolished soon.

Last night, instead of going out with friends having fun, we were mostly doing research online: finding houses open for inspection tomorrow (today, actually) and determining if the houses that were available for inspection were indeed close to some form of public transport. It’s a lot of hard work cross-referencing the house addresses to maps specially if the street did not exist the last time the online maps we were using were updated.

So today, we decided to head out West again. We’re sort of decided to concentrate our house-hunting efforts in the Western Melbourne suburbs like Werribee or Altona Meadows. We were only able to visit four houses in that area early today. Of the four, we only liked two. But we liked them more than any of the previous houses we’ve inspected to date so it wasn’t a waste of time.

We liked the last two well enough that we’re really considering getting one of the two houses. It’s not exactly perfect but both we’re pretty close to what we wanted.

Now, our day didn’t end there, though. So far now, two people recommended to us that we take a look at Caroline Springs which is Northwest of Melbourne. Since we still had half-a-day to burn and there were display houses there open for inspections until 5 pm, we decided to see what the fuss was all about in Caroline Springs.

On the drive over, I just felt that it certainly took a while to get there. But when we got there, it was like: WOW! The place certainly felt posh and opulent.
There was even a Captain Cook Memorial (water) Jet look-a-like at the entrance. Looking at the houses there felt like I was driving around Ayala Alabang or Forbes Park in the Philippines. I was thinking, “there is no way in Hell we would be able to afford a house here.” Still, I was curious about what the houses here look in the inside to we proceeded to the Display Village where four to five houses by a handful of well-known Australian builders were on exhibit.

Now, these houses weren’t really for sale. In fact, these builders aren’t really selling built properties. What they’re selling is a sort of service. Pick a design of a house you like, customise it to suit and choose a lot where it will be built. Once everything is in writing, they start building your new home which should be ready in 12 weeks or so. The houses on display gives you a glimpse at the finished product.

The display houses were truly impressive. One after the other, I was thinking, these houses must cost a fortune to have built. I was also thinking, my friends and relatives will think I must be very rich if I did own a house as such. Most of the houses there were pretty big (ie. harder to keep clean without a maid staff) so the smaller houses (if you could call them small) appealed to us like Metricon’s Prada design.

Surprisingly though, as I had no idea about these matters before today, having that house built on Caroline Springs was still within our budget! My mind suddenly swam with the possibility of owning such a nice home. I wish you were there to see these display houses. It really makes you wish you live there!

Unfortunately, we rather live in a place that is near some form of public transport whether it be by train or by bus. I think there are buses that pass through Caroline Springs however the bus stops wouldn’t be anywhere near the remaining vacant lots in the area, I suspect. The builder agent suggested the Watergardens train station. She said that some of the people who now live in Caroline Springs just drive to that station and take the train there. We drove to that very train station and it wasn’t at all near Caroline Springs.

Well, that idea is now a no go.

Still, it now opened us to the idea of having a home built to our specifications rather than getting a home that was pre-owned. By having a home built, we get to decide on the finishing touches put into it. I was only apprehensive about having a home built because I heard that doing so is such an overwhelming undertaking. That is, unless you had a home builder company do everything on your behalf.

It’s kinda like the difference between having to buy all the components and assembling your own PC yourself versus having to choose the components you want on a PC and let the shop get all the parts for you and build it for you.

Anyway, it’s unlikely we’ll be looking at getting a home in Caroline Springs. However, there is a similar development at Point Cook which is between Werribee and Altona Meadows. Although there are no buses that go through there, the nearest train station there seems to be nearer as compared to Caroline Spring’s nearest train station.

Tomorrow, there are display houses in Point Cook that are going to be open for inspection. We’ll have a look certainly. We’re still undecided at this point on whether to have a home built or just buy one of the two houses we liked from our today’s house inspections in Werribee and Altona Meadows.

The research is tiring. The driving around to house inspections is tiring. The house inspections themselves are tiring. And now, deciding from all the options available to us is also tiring us both.

I just want this to be over with but then, we don’t want to make a mistake we’ll regret for a long time. I’ll sure be glad when we finally move to our new home-to-be.

Published in: on September 10, 2005 at 11:15 pm  Comments (7)