It’s been a busy few weeks since the last post and I’m pleased to say that everything went well and the property settlement went like clockwork. Although it always seems like a mad rush towards the end with getting all of the paperwork complete it’s great to have a reliable support network around you to ensure that everything happens as it needs to. Between conveyancers, property managers, owners corporations, solicitors and bank lenders the communication happened as it should and last week I collected the keys to the new house. Out of all of those people though it was my parents that eventually saved the day by helping me get the final piece of paperwork through on the day prior to settlement when I was unable to be in town…phew! Although I’ve been in the property investment game for over 14 years it’s still great to have a ‘first’ and last week it was the first time I’ve seen a brand new property built to add to the portfolio. It was so exciting to walk through the front door and have that new house smell (a slightly more expensive fragrance but similar to a new car smell). Everything was where it was meant to be and aside from a few small issues which I expected with a new build, everything was fantastic. The best thing though is to actually see it rather than read about it so check out my grand tour below!
The visit to the building site in February was the last time that we were able to set foot inside the building. From that point on it was a monthly drive past to see what the progress was from the outside and only being able to guess what things were like inside. In early March, progress had continued on the exterior with some of the finishing touches added to the brickwork and roof, as well as the fencing starting to go up. The concreting for the driveway had also gone in and the leveling of the front yard had been done.
Brickwork and facade is complete
The front yard has been levelled out
Driveways have been completed
The supervising team gives their stamp of approval!
A month later in early April on a dreary and rainy Ballarat day it was time for the next sticky beak and things had really progressed to a stage which was getting so close to completion that I could smell it (or it may have just been the smell of the paint drying). The fencing was finished outside, exterior painting was complete, letter boxes were in and even the lawn had been seeded and had started to grow. And for the next month the emphasis was literally on watching the grass grow.
The new lawn is under the water somewhere
Fences and letter boxes are complete
A view up the driveway towards the front of the block
Looking over the fence into the backyard,
Again, one month later at the start of May it was time for another visit and as noted, it was all about watching the grass grow…which it had. Aside from that, the landscaping was completed and it was now time to wait for the official subdivision information to be approved and then a settlement date could be set. Fortunately that didn’t take all that long and FINALLY it brings us to the current day! No more posts about things that happened 6 months ago. Tomorrow I’m visiting the site to have my pre-settlement inspection before the keys finally get exchanged next week (all going well). After 3 months since last stepping through the front door I’ll finally set foot inside to see the finished product. Watch this space in a few days to see what the finished product is like!
The grass has certainly grown!
And there are plants in the garden beds
It’s as good as finished
The communal parking area for guests
The last post saw the property on Boxing Day of 2014 and although it was no showpiece it was exciting to see the frame and roof of the house complete and to get a feel for the space and layout. With the Christmas and New Year break falling right in the middle of summer in Australia the world comes to a grinding halt so I wasn’t expecting work to recommence until the second week of January at the earliest. Still not having commenced the bricklaying and with all of the internal plastering and fit-out still to go I though I’d give it a month after the summer break before I returned back for another look to check out the progress. I was hopeful that the bricklaying would be finished and that internal work would be commencing soon. Not being a tradesman myself I’m clearly no good at estimating how long work takes. To my pleasant surprise when I returned at the start of February 2015 (yes, I’m finally writing about this year!) all of the brick work was complete and things had been firing along at a great speed inside. Now usually in a situation like this people that are not actually building the house (ie: me, Mike, mum and dad) aren’t often allowed on the building site in the off chance that we trip over a hammer or incidents such as this occur (although these seem to be largely based somewhere in Eastern Europe). But the great thing about having parents that will talk to anyone (and always seem to find some connection) is that before you know it the builder is inviting you in and showing you around. Inside, the plaster work was largely complete, the bathroom was coming along with the bath installed and much of the vanity in place, doors were being hung that day and even the majority of the kitchen cabinetry was in. It’s amazing the transformation when you actually have solid walls in place and you are able to walk through rooms. Even the parents were impressed. We left feeling really pleased with the progress and it finally gave me the feeling that the end was in sight.
Looking from the front at the finished brickwork
View from the lounge towards the front door
Looking from the master bedroom to the front of the house
The lounge and dining area
The smallest room in the house
The kitchen cabinets have gone in
Mike and mum evaluating the quality of the workmanship
The bath is in, tiling yet to be complete
The bathroom vanity
The view down the main driveway, our property is to the left of the ute