From the ground up! Decisions

15 August 2011 - 10 min read

Steve and Kate are building the Lisbon at Saltwater Coast and we’re following their journey.

Today they talk us through how they decided where and what to build and what the experience has been like so far!

What did you decide on first? The design, the builder or the location?

Location, location, location.

How did you decide on choosing the builder?

Choosing the builder was really easy, funnily enough. There were only a couple of blocks left in what was then the current release at Saltwater Coast and these were part of a Porter Davis Neighbourhood.

We had a quick look at the Porter Davis website to make sure there was at least some designs we liked, then paid our deposits. Though this was a limitation in some ways, it was a real time-saver in reducing the amount of weekend time spent on cruising displays!

I also had friends who had just finished building with Porter Davis, who were happy to recommend them as a good builder. The final factor of course was finding our perfect design within our budget, which we did with the Lisbon.

What factors influenced you when deciding on the home design?

We really wanted a home with plenty of shared spaces that were all fairly close together. We weren’t into the designs that had things like a lounge at one end and a living room up the other, or ‘parents retreats’! We wanted a home that naturally flowed into a large common area then into the alfresco and backyard. A real entertainer. Oh, and something in our budget!

How did you decide where to build your new home?

We originally become serious about building a new home early last year when we first discovered the Saltwater Coast development in Point Cook. We completely loved the location, design and over-all philosophy of this development. My wife and I have spent a very long time living in the bustle and noise of the inner suburbs and wanted somewhere fresh and clean to bring up our daughter. We didn’t want to settle for just some non-descript row of houses, we were looking for something with a community focus and we believe Saltwater Coast offers this.

What kind of research did you do prior to choosing a builder/design/location? Anything you would do differently?

I grew up out west so I knew Point Cook existed, though it was nothing but a RAAF base when I was a kid!

I had some friends build out there and they suggested we at least go for a look at how much it had developed. It wasn’t until we found the Saltwater Coast information office that we decided to make our move.

As for the design, we hit the Porter Davis website and looked at every single story house that would fit on our preferred block. We then reduced that to the ones we could afford :). Once we found the Lisbon we drove out to the display centre and knew immediately we had found our house.

What’s been the toughest part of building a new home so far? And what’s been the most enjoyable?

Toughest part – the delays in the land titling on the back of the wettest Summer in a long time. The land was delayed over 4 months. The other hard part is the sheer amount of forms to sign and fill out when you are buying land, building a house and getting your first mortgage! It is enormous!

The most enjoyable bit has been picking out the design and turning into what we want to live in and seeing the development of our estate from a sheep paddock into a community.

My best piece of advice is to get a good mortgage broker who can explain the ins and out of a construction loan, purchasing land and all the unexpected costs a first home builder/buyer is completely oblivious too, such as mortgage insurance, stamp duty etc… This will make the process a bit less stressful.

The other piece of advice is to find a builder with a start to finish process in black and white, such as Porter Davis. Everything has been set out for us and we have never felt miss-informed or lost with the building process. Impatient to start maybe, but never lost!

We are really looking forward to getting to the real part of the build, scheduled to start tomorrow as I write this. Fingers crossed for a month of dry weather to get us off to a flying start!