Sunday, May 16, 2010

Home and Builder Selection

Finding a house that can work on our block of land is not at all an easy task!!  We are quite restricted in the usage of the area and we also have to comply with The Ponds design guideline.  This is another challenging journey itself.  Here's how the story goes.

Upon purchasing the block of land, my wife and I were still quite puzzled as to what we are going to do next.  Although the answer is clearly "find a builder and get them to build a house on that land" but there are some constraints.  This would be things such as financials, the house, the plan and most importantly what do we prefer?  As this is our first time building experience, we have absolutely no idea what to expect and what kind of house we are looking for.

In the hype of my excitement in acquiring a block of land, we initially wanted a house that is big as possible for our two little kids to play around and we also thought it would be a good investment for us in the future.  So a double storey house would seem like a perfect design to suit our needs.

My excitement was quickly dismissed when I was told that we will most likely going for a single storey house design so that we may be able to save some funds if we wanted to improve the house later.  I was utterly devastated but that is the logical explanation and it is true.  From what we have heard, building a house can be quite costly and there is always something in the end that may catch us off guard so we may need the extra cash.  After all, this is our first building experience...

So the house hunting begins...

With that in mind, over the few weeks after acquiring the land, we made few trips to The Ponds and Homeworld in order to look for a house design that may suit our lifestyle and needs.  Some of the following are the main factor in our consideration (and it is very basic!! :)):

  • Big enough for the children to play
  • Not too big of a backyard
  • Double Garage
  • Minimum of 4 bedrooms
  • Minimum of 2 bathrooms
  • A study room

This is where the problem begin!  After talking to and a very lengthy discussions with a few builders at The Ponds and Homeworld, they all have nearly the same opinion as well as issue in fitting a house to our block of land.  This is due to the restrictions and easements on the back of our land, i.e. the manholes.  

A single storey house would be difficult to fit in without having to redesign the floor plan so that it avoids the manholes.  Conceptually, it could work and I've seen some builders that redesign their floor plan to work on our block of land.  However it's the end results is what we don't like.  We are quite fussy in that sense :P.

A double storey house design would work better for our block as majority avoids the restrictions and easements altogether.  It is also better as it will make better use of the space on that land.  

So it looks like, again, back to where we started.  What are we going to do with this piece of land?  

We thought about letting it go and lose our holding deposit money of $300 and wait for another land release that has minimum, if not, no restrictions on it.  The difficulties in that idea is getting to The Ponds sales office in time so that we can have some selections on the piece land itself.  Although the queue system at the sales office has changed dramatically, however both of us are working and considering the distance that we need to travel to get there, we won't make it on time.

We also thought about settling on the land and then sell it later after a couple of years.  However this idea would still incur some maintenance fee on our side.  In this case we would settle for an established house instead and at least we don't have to worry about building experience and the headache associated with it.

The answer to this may look very simple and easy enough but it was very difficult for us to make that leap forward.  Then after few family discussions and meetings, we are back to our original ideas, decided to trust everything that we had and courageously embracing our dreams (and hope that we are not being stupid in this).  So another hunting begins for a DOUBLE STOREY house :).  

Some of the builders that we looked at include:

Lili Homes
Eden Brae
Jandson Homes

AV Jennings

AllCastle Homes


There is some more builders that we saw that I haven't include here but it was these builders that we showed our contour diagram and discussed about their house design.


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