Monday, July 4, 2011

The Liberty

As we were "Googling", we found a number of very useful blogs related to building with Metricon.  Some of the more prominent and more relevant ones we have included in our "Blogs We Follow". Such was the usefulness and relevance of these blogs that we found the Liberty.

We never came across the Liberty in our many travels to home display centres.  In fact, there was currently no display of the Liberty anywhere in Victoria. Apparently it was an older design, albeit an award winning one, so I read from some publication somewhere, I can't remember. There are displays in New South Wales and Queensland, but not here in Victoria, unfortunately.

So, based on the blogs (and M's website, of course) we got acquainted with the Liberty - our dream home.

Talk about leap of faith. Many, many thanks to all the detailed information that blogger-couples have provided in their building blogs, we decided we love it and called Mark, our sales consultant, straight away and asked him to change our home design from Whittaker 45 to Liberty 42. Bang! Presto! Done!

And so begins our building journey with the Metricon Liberty 42 - Chateau.

The Liberty Chateau (Source:

The Demise of the Whittaker 45 Dream

Oh we so much love the Whittaker 45.  For what we want in a house, it was just perfect.  But when we looked at our budget, reality kicks in.  For the upgrades and options we wanted, we so cannot afford it.  Not with the budget we religiously want to stick to.

You know when you really wanted something, but just can't really get it? You start nitpicking. Seriously. The Whittaker 45 has got flaws that wasn't really that obvious before. We are now sour-graping.

We didn't like the stairs. The stairs just goes straight up with no intermediate landing in-between.  Hmmmm, that could be bad with kids. Safety hazard. Actually, it's an L-shaped stair with two flights. Beautiful stairs. But ...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's all about the Budget


We have a budget, well, pending bank's approval. But we did set ourselves a budget to spend for our home build. And we'd like to stick to it as much as we could. Well, we should, really.

After looking at all the displayed options list, plugging it in to our spreadsheet to track what we'll be spending, we come to realise ... this is much more than what we really want to spend.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Displayed Option List

Someone who have gone thru the building process will always advice people to get the Displayed Option List. We're doing the same.

So, what is the Displayed Option List?

For every display home you go to, regardless of the builder, the sales people have a list, a book, or maybe a spreadsheet or some snazzy software that enumerates the options or upgrades or non-standard items and their corresponding prices that are in the display home that you are admiring. It's what makes the difference between the "base price" and the "as displayed price".  The Whittaker could be worth $324,000 base price, but as displayed in Arena Estate - $650,000 (this a sample figure only, for illustrative purposes). One of the blogs that we follow make quite a good explanation of the Displayed Option List.

On our first meeting with Mark from M, the first thing he asked us was if we have been to see the other displays or M's home designs other than the Whittaker. What it is is that if we liked something from another home design, for example, the Nolan's staircase or kitchen fittings, or the Imperial's master ensuite fittings and tiling or that big picture window from the Laguna display, more than likely, M can add it as an option/upgrade to our Whittaker. For a price, of course. And that's where the Displayed Option List comes in.  So as not to waste Mark's time for us mulling over all the options available, he gave us, instead, a copy of the Displayed Option List, for each of the display homes we were interested in, to take home and think about what we want.

Oh boy, and wasn't that quite an interesting bedtime reading.

Have you heard about the couple whose total upgrade/options cost was much greater than the base price of the house?

Inspirations - M's Designer Promotion

Part of the come-on that volume builder's do to attract your business is the "luxury upgrade pack". So for an additional $4950, we are promised, I mean, we are "inspired with up to $75,200 of luxury upgrades".  Wow, that's a bargain, right? Someone with some basic math skills can tell you if it adds up or not.

For us, just looking at what it offers, we thought, what the h3ck, let's do it. These are something we would like to add anyway. So what are we getting for an additional $4950?
  • Choice of timber stained stacker or bi-part door
  • Higher internal doors to ground floor (2340mm)
  • Floor tiles to entry, kitchen, family and dining
  • Quality carpet throughout with premium carpet underlay
  • CaesarStone benchtop to kitchen
  • Premium glass splashback to kitchen
  • Choice of Baumatic dishwasher (stainless steel or integrated)
  • Baumatic stainless steel microwave and trim kit
  • CaesarStone benchtop to ensuite
  • CaesarStone benchtop to laundry
  • Choice of Caroma semi-recessed, above counter or recessed basins
  • Seamless tiled showerbases throughout
  • Upgrade to 25 degree roof pitch (from standard 22.5 degree roof pitch)
  • Remote-controlled garage door
  • Designer front entry door - WINWS6G
  • Designer front entry door furniture
The list look impressive, isn't it? Sure did. But is it really worth $75,200?  It wasn't obvious when we were looking. But looking at their current promotions now, M have explained the breakdown value (someone must have complained)...

M's Designer Value Pack Promotion (Source:
 We reckon it was a good deal.  Besides, we got another 50% promotion discount when we upgraded our flooring option from floor tiles to timber flooring (not timber-look flooring).

The Whittaker 45

And so we so wanted the Whittaker. It ticks all the boxes in our home search criteria. At last, we found what we want for a home.

The Whittaker - Chateau Facade (Source:
We chose the Chateau facade. Funny how I just realise now that this Whittaker with the Chateau facade looks exactly the same as the Nolan in my previous postings. We did love the floor plan, as well, as when we were walking thru the house, we liked how it was all laid out.  See for yourself.