Friday, May 29, 2009

Security door's aren't cheap!

Yesterday I decided to stop at a security door place and get a rough cost on the price of some security doors.
For a steel mesh one for the front door and a sliding one for the living area and then an aluminium diamond pattern door for the laundry I'm looking at about $1,600 - $1,700 - ouch! I didn't think they would cost that much but I want to get good quality ones as it's not something that's going to need replacing.

The money I have saved up is is going to be far from enough for everything... bugger! Throw in about $400 - $500 for fly screens and there goes my couch money as I want to have some money towards my blinds still. The couch might have to go on interest free or something instead of paying cash and that's OK providing it's paid off in the interest free time frame (which I always do!).

I'm also trying to work out my money today to figure out how much I need to put aside for rent and mortgage and living and then how much can go into my ING and it's all just doing my head in.... I might just leave my pay in my normal account for now and then once I've paid my rent and mortgage next pay I will know where I am at.

I also need to pay car rego and car insurance... gah too many things to do with money on my mind!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Slab Date

As promised, today I got reimbursed by Westpac for the penalty interest that I was charged by Stockland, the estate developer for delaying settlement.

I have to say, I am extremely pleased with the way that Westpac has handled my complaint about this. Unlike my loan application, it was very hassle free and pleasant, although I think my application issues were mostly with my broker.

I also got official notification from N that my site start is Monday June 1st :D AND the date the slab is booked in to be poured is June 12th, which is a Friday, which is a pay day which means Slab Party! ;) :D

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Construction Drawings

I got home to find my construction drawings in the mail and they all look correct YaY!

It looks like my alfresco isn't in the slab design, I assume as someone suggested that it's because I didn't want it under the roof line, but I'm ok with that as I will get it done the same as the driveway.

The construction drawings are quite interesting, all the detail of the concrete and bricks etc etc! Oh and I am having 18 piers done with a P/H slab... Am I safe to assume that I am fortunate my site fees are fixed at about $10k?

Start date is.....

This Monday June 1st!!! :D :D :D :D (according to PD 24/7 anyway!)


That would then make Friday November 6th the day before penalties start, so hopefull September/October I will be in my house!


Pre-Construction is now completed

I called N before to see if my start date had been assigned yet and it isn't, but all the SS's go into the office on a Wednesday morning to collect files and no doubt have meetings, so it will be assigned either later today or tomorrow morning before the file is collected!

I also just logged into PD 24/7 and my file has now officially pre-construction and is into construction! YaY!

I should also have my final working drawings at home in the mail box waiting for me! You could say the urge to go home early is high!

I just want that magical starting date :D

Oh and I will have my penalty interest monies back from Westpac in my bank account on Thursday! YaY! Just in time to pay my car rego lol!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Alfresco floor

I really want to have decking in my pergola/alfresco area and the original plan was to just put weed mat down, but last week I started thinking about putting concrete down when I get the driveway done as it might be quite some time (12+ months) before I can afford the decking and then when I can afford to do it properly and I would just go over it. I then read a post on the good old H1 forum that someone building the 23 version of my house is getting their alfresco area included at no charge due to their slab being a H type! Evidently it's due to structural strength or something and everyone else who has needed a H slab has had it done too! Yippee!! :D

I've also been checking PD's 24/7 a few times today and there is now a note in there under Letters with the description "Final Working Drawings Letter" so I assume that means my final drawings have been completed and I should get them in the mail tomorrow! YaY!

It's so exciting having things happen, I know I keep saying it, but it is!

Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I think there is a Regent 23 going up one street away from me, the slab has just been laid and going from the location of the plumbing it really looks like a Regent 23 so it will be interesting to compare the two builds once I start

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I went to a garden place today and also to Bunnings to check out letter boxes, I was going to go a concrete one but EVERYONE seems to do them and they all look the same. My land contract states that the letterbox must compliment the house, it doesn't have to be concrete, so I'm thinking of maybe getting a nice metal one, here are two I saw today that I don't mind:


I also came across this pendant light that could be OK for over my island bench, but it's fabric and I think glass would be better over the sink area:

I also found this garden ornament, it's a penny farthing bicycle with plant pot's attached - I really really really want it! I might go back during the week to pick one up!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bugger! Rent increase stays

I just got a phone call from Consumer Affairs about my rental increase enquiry... I have to pay the increased amount :(

He asked me about the place and I said it was a very small 3 bedroom unit... and then there was a chuckle on the other end of the line, bugger! Basically no matter the condition, falling paint, tiny rooms etc etc they wont have a problem getting that rent on the rental market if the place was empty, bugger!

He did however say that I can issue a notice to fix within 14 days for the bathroom and then if they don't I can take it to Consumer Affairs and VCAT will laugh at them if it gets that far, especially if I be very co-operative and say I can shower at work during the time they take to fix etc etc so I will be sending that off to them tomorrow! If I am going to pay more rent, I want better conditions!

Hrmmm what else needs fixing?!?

PD 24/7 is handy

I was clicking around the PD 24/7 site today and I noticed that I have a Construction Supervisor! So I PM'ed another person building with PD and asked them if that's my site supervisor and it is!! YaY! I have a SS now, lets call them B :D

I also noticed that proof of land ownership didn't have a date, so I emailed N to find out if what I sent her yesterday was ok and then 10 minutes later she replied saying yes and then I had a date in there. I then also asked about the the field for Availability of Funds and she told me Choice had to send her something, so I forwarded that to my MB and I got an email back before saying that they only got the request this morning and have sent off what they need - I wonder if that was sent off to them after my email enquiry?!?! Either way, it's done and can be ticked off!

I got my plans and permits in the mail today from PD - pretty boring really, but it does at least have the final drawings and the kitchen is correct but one of the doors is still incorrect :( I need to send these off to the bank now to show it's all been approved.

My file will go to the construction department tommorrow!! YaY!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Permits - tick!

I just logged into the PD 24/7 site and saw some progress! My permit(s) were received yesterday! YaY!

Not sure if this means that the DA has been on the on the colours and the design yet - lets hope so.

** Edit: it does include the DA and I will get them tomorrow in the mail. They are still waiting on the final engineering drawings to be done which should be this week

Monday, May 18, 2009

Good job Westpac

Westpac have confirmed that they are going to be reimbursing me the penalty interest charged by the developer and with interest! YaY!

I'm very please with the way that Westpac has handled this and re-confirms how everyone that I have personally dealt with at Westpac has been very good customer service wise.

Westpac also offer a service whereby you can fill in a form for verbal authorisation of the payment to the builder - I'm definitely signing up for that, heaps easier than filling in paperwork each time.

I've also just spoken with my CSA and the permits should be back by the end of the week and hopefully next Tuesday we will have a starting date!!

I had also heard that others building a PD Regent had their towel rails in the ensuite put above the toilet roll holder - how stupid! So I mentioned that I would like that not to be installed, but provided so that I can determine at a later date where I would like it - maybe in the WIR?

I should also get my final drawings at the end of the week or early next week too!

How exciting!! Stuff is happening again! :D

Start by June 5th

Someone else I know building with PD was told during the week that if they didn't meet their site start then it would be pushed back to October - ARGH! So I emailed my CSA on Friday to ask if that would also happen to me and her reply was:
Once construction have your file we will commence with in 2 weeks of this, whether that's may or June. I don't know your friends job so I can't really comment on what she has been advised from her Customer service assistant. But be rest assured when we hand your file to construction on the 22nd May we will commence as soon as we can.

I'm thinking that this could be yet another difference with Access v's Prestige and Lifestyle builds OR it's the number of houses they have booked in ready to go in the area's...

So, this means that I should see something happen on site before June 5th!! :D

I drove past my block on the weekend and saw that a few blocks in my stage have finally started to build! Some of them had temporary fencing, I hope the council hasn't changed their regulations about the temp fencing - I don't want yet another cost especially cos I have car rego and insurance due which is going to make another dent in the savings account.

Hopefully this week the permits come in and I get my final house drawings to sign off on.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Penalty Interest Complaint

I just got a phone call from Westpac in regards to my complaint about the penalty interest I was charged by the developer.

She needs to investigate it all properly (as expected) but she can see that the bank did make an error with my name and that if it is what's caused the penalties then she said that from what she can see then there shouldn't be any problems in being reimbursed. I also asked about interest on the amount and she will consider that too.

I also mentioned what my solicitor said about the worst settlement she has ever worked on! I did say that I wasn't really sure where the problem was though, if it was the bank or the mortgage broker, but either way being told it would take only 2 weeks and then taking almost 8 was frustrating and stressful, not to mention costly with the extra rent that will cause me to pay.

She seemed very disappointed about my poor experience with the bank and even mentioned that she may speak to the mortgage brokers as essentially they are their employees in a way.

In the email I sent her, I also included information about my surprise of needing to make up the loan shortfall at land settlement as my mortgage broker had told me a few times that the shortfall would come off the final payment to the builder... I also mentioned the shortfall was due to the LMI amount increasing from when the pre-approval was given to when the unconditional was given.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Land settlement is done!

I got a phone call today at ~2:50pm from my solicitor and as soon as I saw her name I started to panic - 10 minutes before settlement was due to happen! Gah!

However it was all good :D It went through early!

Yes, I now own my land and can progress forwards with it all! Ok so the bank owns it, but you know what I mean!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do I believe it?

Firstly, I have a settlement time and date for 3pm tomorrow, but I wont believe it until it actually happens.

I feel physically ill.

This morning, after calling my mortgage broker an hour ago for an update, to not have one, an hour later I got a call back from her. Evidently my file is currently being looked at by someone in Westpac and providing nothing else is required, tomorrow morning it should be fine for settlement and that I need to call my solicitor to get her to call them in the morning and arrange a time for it to happen tomorrow.

I call my solicitor, she isn't impressed. She said that if that is the case there is no way that settlement will happen tomorrow, it's not enough notice as the bank is in Adelaide and not Melbourne. She is going to call this afternoon and see if she can find out anything.

Meanwhile my solicitor also tells me that she is sick as a dog and her Dr is telling her to rest and threatening her will hospitalisation due to pneumonia if she doesn't rest.

There is also a shortfall that needs to be paid tomorrow. My mortgage broker has been telling me the whole time that the shortfall will be at the end... umm no, it's now needed tomorrow for settlement.

I've had to go to my local branch, fill in some paperwork to authorise the bank to withdraw the shortfall of funds from my Westpac account. The problem with that is that I only have $4 in there as I haven't started using it and because I haven't started using it, it isn't connected to my ING Direct bank account which is where my savings is.

I've logged in and transferred the money to my Bendigo Bank account, so it will be there in the morning, then tomorrow I need to get to the Bendigo Branch to withdraw said cash, then drive to the Westpac branch and deposit the cash before they try to withdraw it for the settlement.

My solicitor said to me today that in her 15 years of doing this, she has never encountered a settlement like this before - so disorganised and they just seem to not care about their clients. She is disgusted about how this has been handled... which explains why she has had enough! She seriously can't believe it. In a way I'm glad that is not normal, but so annoyed it's happened to me.

I am so ill it's not funny.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Still no settlement date


Complaint lodged with Westpac

I followed up with my broker yesterday about the complaint in regards to the penalty interest and after a few phone calls, I need to contact the mortgage centre myself.
So I have called the number my broker gave me and have lodged a complaint. He tried to tell me that my mortgage broker requested the change... ? I don't believe it. I re-stated to him that all my notorised documentation as well as all my land and building contracts all have my middle name, so it is the banks fault.

The complaints area will take 3 days to acknowledge receipt of the complaint and then a further 7-10 days to look into it.

I'm so angry and annoyed with Westpac, but yet everyone I have dealt with directly at Westpac has been really great which makes it a really odd situation.

I can also confirm that the new documents were received yesterday in Adelaide and my broker has told me that she has escalated it to get settlement ASAP. Hopefully I know more this afternoon.

Oh, and I went past the block on the weekend and I have a lot number sign with a sold sticker! It made me really excited about -something- happening and then I got all sad again cos it's still not officially mine yet...

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I signed my new loan doc's yesterday up in Sydney. The paperwork was actually correct in that they had my middle name on everything. My gawd, something went right!

Still no word from my mortgage broker about making Westpac pay the penalty interest but I have had some advise from the good people on H1 and have a path to follow before I lodge anything with the Financial Ombudsman.

I'm so down about it all and just so meh towards the whole building process right now. Screw you Westpac for making me feel like this.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

And it just gets worse

It gets worse... I just got the below email from my solicitor. I have forwarded it onto my mortgage broker and she is going to investigate and raise it with her manager and see what can be done about it.

I have advised the Developer of the delay due to the Bank having to redo mortgage documents.

They have advised that they will be charging penalty interest for late settlement. So if settlement takes place on the 14th May, 2009 then penalty interest will come to $547.15. They had previously granted us an extension of the settlement date penalty interest, but now they are insisting on penalty interest.

I can understand why the developer has done this seeing as though this is now the third time that settlement has had to be changed due to the bank, but I do not wish to be paying this on top of the extra month or so in rent that I'm already having to pay due to the bank taking so long and making an error on the printing of my name.

The developer could have done worse than charge me interest too, but thankfully they haven't

I think I'm now beyond angry

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Angry with the bank

Well my loan documents are not at my local branch ready for me to sign. This means that I can't sign them until Monday.... assuming that they get there in time, at this rate who the hell even knows!?!?

-sigh- I'm so angry. So so Angry

This means settlement could end up being 2 weeks away. This all add's up to extra money coming out of my pocket! Extra rent money that I really don't want to be paying because the bank stuffed up!

Not good enough Westpac!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bank error, not in my favour

Update - doc's wont be ready for signing today so my land settlement has to be delayed due to their stuff up.
Hopefully the new docs will be ready tomorrow, if not then they wont be getting signed until Monday as I will be out of the state for work.

This could impact my site start of May sometime -sigh- I'm really very angry right now :(

What's in a name?


Land settlement might not be tomorrow :(

The bank in all their wisdom decided to drop my middle name off my loan and mortgage documents. For what reason we do not know, but all other documentation (land and building contracts etc etc) all have my full name so the problem is clearly with the bank.

As a result, I need to sign all new documents at the bank -grrr- Due to it being the fault of the bank, my mortgage broker has escalated it with their company's manager contact at Westpac and hopefully this means the documents will be ready to sign at my local branch this afternoon. She is also asking that, due to it being their fault, they go ahead with settlement tomorrow as scheduled based on a faxed copy of my documents knowing that the signed documents will be on their way.

Obviously this being discovered the day before scheduled settlement isn't ideal and combine that with the fact that I am in Sydney Wednesday to Friday this week, it's really far from great.

I'm guessing it's due to my existing account with them (car loan) doesn't have my middle name.

Lets see what happens.