Thursday, April 26, 2012

Face change

While I'm at it, this is roughly what the façade colors effectively changed to.  I'm really not sold on the Western Myall, and am really thinking about changing it to Shot Over.

Of course there's also only just a basic vertical pillar, not the whole arched render, and effectively everything left of the between the pillar and the garage disappears.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Color selections - upgrades

Went through the whole colour selection process today.  I'll post swatches and palettes later, but since getting home I've plugged the selected colors in to Envisage and to be totally honest, I'm not sold.  They need work and revising, as I'm just not happy with what I've been pushed towards :/

In the meantime a few of the bigger $ items that we opted to upgrade, which will ultimately increase the overall bill:

  • Glass splashback.  ~$1,000.
  • Overhead cupboards to kitchen. ~$800.
  • Upgrade carpet to Cat 2: ~$850
  • Upgrade driveway to stone patterned... stuff from colored: ~$1200 ($3500)
  • Add surge protection to entire house circuits: ~$1,000
  • Venetian blinds and rollers: ~$2400.  We would have had to spend this anyway.
  • Add TV antenna to house: $500.  Again, something we would have had to spend anyway.
Some smaller items:
  • Deadlocks @$100/ea - one to the front door, one to the rear garage door.
  • Door upgrades: 3 @ $100/ea.
  • Sliding doors to bedroom 2 ($??)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Some color scoping - facades

With an appointment booked for Studio M on Tuesday, I went and looked around to get some final ideas before going in and picking colors.

The house I thought was the one that interested me didn't actually have the same colors as I thought - but there was one just down the road very similar which I very much like.

On the next street over from my block is this house - certainly works quite well IMO.

And finally, something we drew up in Metricon's 'Envisage' tool a few weeks ago.

Oh, and there were many, many photos taken for internal color selections.

The main problem with the above color schemes is that they tend to rely on there being multiple faces and levels for the front façade.  The traditional façade, as it's been drawn up for my house, doesn't have a lot of that going on, as shown below:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not getting updates

There's not a lot to update on - at least, not a lot that's resulted in positive progress.

I fired off an email to my customer support rep before the weekend asking for updated copies of the floor and electrical plan, as I only have printed copies - no reply.

The plan had been to drop in to the new Serenity 22 display home Metricon have set up out Epping way, but after racing the final round of the state series, and pulling off just enough points to win the series (humble brag), I was too wrecked to make the trip.

I had to chase up the finance broker yesterday, but they're still trying to get a response from NAB to have them look over Homeside's contract.  A tad annoying that they hadn't given an update without having to call them.

And lastly Metricon called me today to confirm my colour appointment for Tuesday; at the same time I checked if there were any openings for the tours, but that's pretty much booked out until mid May.

So yeah, really nothing to report :(

In the meantime I'm trying to find out what decorative bricks cost to add to either peirs or any other front surface of a home - like what you see in the façade photo here:
Noone can really give me an answer - including anyone from Metricon that I've asked.

Oh, and because the walls are to be Hebel, it'll have a rendered effect most of the way around, rather than any brick - somewhat like below:

I still have to decide on colours, but there's a house up by the route we do our training rides in Berwick that I want to go take some sneaky photos of, as I'd like to consider using that colour scheme.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

For the walls: Art

Back when I started uni, I came across an Animaniacs cel that I just loved.  But being a poor uni student, I couldn't really afford the $450 for it at the time.  How I wish I could have grabbed it there and then.  I've since seen a similar one for sale, but have never seen that exact one since.

Over time I've been grabbing bits and pieces I'll need for moving in - pots and pans, bed sheets, cutlery, that kind of thing.  Spending about $200/fortnight just on miscellaneous stuff so it's spread out rather than done all at once.

While planning the house, I've known all along what I want to see throughout it on the walls.  I already have a few framed Penny Arcade cels (including the Cardboard Tube Samurai cel that sold out in hours), and on the weekend a piece popped up on eBay that I decided would look great.  This was this fortnight's $200 spend (not my photo - mine is on it's way, but same matting and frame):

In the meantime I've contacted an art gallery to track down a piece I want for the entrance hallway:

There is another cel I will pay quite hansomly for - the 'Escher' scene from the pilot Futurama episode "I, Roommate".  I have only ever seen it once for sale.

Monday, April 9, 2012

More color ideas

Did a bit more snooping today, out in the cold hail.  Looking for colours, I decided to head down to the Selandra Rise display in Clyde North.

Oh and before we get started - Suburban Four-Wheel Drives, Chapter 1:  How to park like a c...

These two were taken in a Burbank home - the Jarrah 2600.  I have to admit I love this layout, particularly the living room and the way it joins on to the kitchen area.  It would be out of my price range even if I hadn't already got this far, even in the 2300 style (because it needs a deeper block), but it's still a lovely design.

 This was the kind of thing I went looking for - types of doors that could be used for things like the pantry.  I like these, even though I'm not a huge fan of glass doors (they break) - that is, unless it's safety glass.
I imagine I'll probably do something like this on the door to my walk-in pantry, despite the added cost.

 Again still in the Jarrah - I loved this aspect of the laundry.  It's something I'm going to seriously consider doing - even something as simple as the railing is a great help.  This was built in to an alcove in the laundry.
Oh, and the small touches on the floor - the way the tiles come up the walls on the wet areas, rather than skirting boards.  Simple little things like this.  It's something I'll look at when we get to Studio M.

Curtains aren't included, but this is one of two styles I like.  Venetians are more likely though.

Now for something that just doesn't work - this is a Simmonds display home.  It might be hard to see in the small version of the image, but this is looking in to the shower, through the ensuit, from outside the master beedroom... from outside the front door.
Yes, that's right, I was standing outside the house when this photo was taken, and can see straight in to the shower.  Now a good design, IMO.

Garden is something I want to get right.  My block won't have as much drop as this, but I'd still like to do something with pavers, backed by grasses or hedges.

Here's a slightly different bathroom, which I like the design of.  The shower is tucked away around the corner, as is the toilet.

Something that could work in a small backyard with an alfresco area off to one side.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

More spying on the neighbors

While not much is going on and I had even less to do at Easter, I paid a little visit to the block to see what has changed in the last two weeks.
Of note, the properties on Serenity Way seem to making significant progress - if you see my posts from the 17th, you'll see they had frame, roof and insulation installed, but no sign of bricks just yet.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

That contract isn't what we discussed!

Things just keep going from bad to worse - this time it's finance.  The contracts for the loan arrived yesterday, and I got a bit of a shock when I read the details.
The first obvious one is the rate rise - which is somewhat expected, but not quite.  You see, we were making a final decision between NAB and HomeSide around the time the rates last went up - NAB hiked theirs by 0.10%, from memory.  At the time HomeSide was 6.54%.
So I was aware of that, and the broker and I discussed that.

But then when I received the documents today, the second thing that I noticed was the interest rate - 6.79%.  Somewhere between then and now, they've hiked their interest rate by 0.25% - it's now higher than NAB, though their comparison rate is lower.
That's not a big concern - what annoys me though is that the broker made no effort to mention this whatsoever while we were still in this process.

So that was the second thing I noticed.  What was the first?
We never agreed on an interest-only period for the loan, but that's what the documents I've received say.  It means five years of interest only payments, and then 25 years of principle and interest payments.

Now, when you do the math that's not so bad - with a 100% offset account I can just elect to put aside some principle as well and leave it in the account so it doesn't accrue interest.
But it's the mere fact we never spoke about the loan being structured that way and just going and applying for it in that format.

This isn't really a blocker, but how is all this stuff happening without actually disclosing it?!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finally, contact

After six weeks and me trying to call the person back four times today, Metricon finally got around to making an intro call.  And I was thoroughly unimpressed.  So much so that I'm seriously considering switching - even despite the lost time that would result in.

First up, the first call was just to arrange two things:  Colour selection and electrical appointment, and then contract signing, only two weeks later.
Second, the earliest we can do colour selection is three weeks from now.  Three weeks in itself isn't so bad, except if you consider that I've already waited six weeks just to get to this point for what they say should take two to three.  What's the next delay going to be?
But most frustrating was an unwillingness to provide info I requested.

Though-out the pre-sale part, we've spoken about some variations, work that may or may not be needed, things like that.  I asked for two things today:
1.  Anything he could point me to in the way of colours or options that might allow me to help make any decisions before we get to Studio M, so I know what I'm looking for.  Even when I pointed out that I suspect a single appointment isn't going to get it all finalised, this was somewhat dismissed.
2. Because of the variations, I asked if he could provide any update in the meantime so I know where we're at for the time being with changes and overall costs.  I mainly wanted to confirm what level of slab reinforcement we've now decided on and whether any peering is required. The response was rather repeatedly "oh we'll get you all that on the settlement date".
After hearing that line three or four times I was about to explode - you can not be serious - you expect me to sign a contract, or anything, without a decent amount of time to go over it, for a $200,000 contract?

He was then pretty keen to cut the discussion short with more "we'll talk about it later, that's about enough for todays call".

Getting off the phone I was dumbfounded, completely lost for words.  Is this really the seriousness with which a six figure construction is treated?

I'm beginning to get the impression that maybe building a smaller house is more of a nuisance to them than any profit it might drive.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

How to piss off a buyer

When I purchased, the promo going was for, effectively, a $6,000 rebate.  Now keep that figure in mind when we go through the next figures.  That promotion ended at the end of February.  To the best of my knowledge they didn't have a promo running in March.

The first home owners grant (FHOG) currently sits at $7,000, and the first home owners boost (FHOB) at $13,000.

So imagine my surprise today when I happened to be looking at a builders website and saw a new promo offer for the Highlands area - 'Stockland triples the First Home Owners Boost'.  That means the effective grant and promo you're getting is $46,000!

I'm not sure I could feel more robbed at that.  It effectively means that because I'm already in to a contract, even though it's not settled, I lose out on $20k to go towards a home.
Talk about ouch! :(