Meet the Anderson family. They’ve decided to build a new home.
There are 5 of them – Clare and Darren, and their 3 kids aged 6 and under. They also have a pet dog. They live in Brisbane.
They are on the move, and we are meeting them at the very beginning of their journey. And the best thing is, this isn’t the first time Clare and Darren have created and built their home.
So this journey we’re about to share with them will be one where their previous experience of buying, building and renovating, helps inform their decision-making and choices this time round.
But before the journey begins … Here’s some background.
Clare and Darren’s existing home is currently under contract and will be someone else’s new home very shortly. They have a plan … which is framed by a clarity that they have developed around the type of life they want to live.
In a nutshell, they are both busy people maintaining the juggle of family and their demanding professional roles.
So they are seeking to build a new home that is compact, affordable, low maintenance and convenient, on land around 405m2 (a “small lot” in Brisbane) – to enable more flexibility and freedom in their lifestyles, and more time to spend together as a family.
I really admire them getting so clear on their vision. Clare spoke with me about their plans.
UA:Why have you decided to build a new home?
We have decided to build our own home because both Darren and I come from families that have built homes growing up. We are very decisive people and know what we do and don’t like. We have lived in many homes, varying greatly in age and condition, and know that at our current time in life, our preference is to have a warm comfortable affordable home, that is low maintenance, offering us more time to spend doing things with the children. We have considered renovating an older home as an option, but have decided that this is not for us presently. We both work in professional busy roles, and value our weekend time with the children. We also have an aversion to ongoing mess, disarray and general disaster, and as such feel that this would add levels of stress to our lives that we really would prefer not to have.
UA: How do you want your new home to feel? And how do you want to feel in your home?
Safe, clean, light, airy, easy, quiet, warm, fresh, and with a home for everything! We want to feel happy and settled in our new home. Our aim is to reduce our mortgage from where we are currently, which will in itself bring another level of comfort and calm, reducing potential worry over job security and the ability to manage our costs.
UA: What are your criteria in finding and choosing your land?
- The rear yard needs to be north facing, or east-west facing.
- It needs to be relatively flat.
- It needs to be within 8 minutes drive of our children’s school, which in turn puts us within 15 minutes drive of our places of work.
- The streetscape needs to be nice, not the worst site in the best street, but appropriate for the style and finish of home that we are anticipating building.
UA: And in choosing a house design?
Minimum four bedrooms, two living spaces that are separated from one another, two bathrooms, appropriately similar sized bedrooms (one for each child), two-car garage, plenty of storage, open plan kitchen, dining, lounge, walk-in-pantry, two storey, with the main living space opening onto backyard / patio area, and a pool.
UA: And your criteria for choosing a builder?
Our criteria are good value for money, build time, options and choices in finishes, and that they’re approachable, honest and reliable.
Do you identify with any of this? I think that there’ll definitely be some of you who do.
So it is great to be joining Clare and Darren at this stage of their journey. We’re very lucky to be able to see things from the get-go.