Friday, September 16, 2011

Builder Idol

Over this whole process, there have been many times we've had occasion to think, 'there but for the grace of <insert deity here> go I'...

In January, I wandered through a couple of open homes - inner city apartments  - that turned out to be poky, overpriced and lacking in natural light, but darn they were cute! They don't look quite so cute now... I've seen some pictures on the news and they don't look nearly so purty as they used to. Not nearly so intact either...
I haven't got any pics of the building itself, but they were in this area... you can just see the end of the building (known to us old-timers as 'High Para') at the far right of this pic.

It's It was a gorgeous part of town, oozing charm and character, and right across the road from Alice in Videoland - an iconic arthouse video/DVD etc store with an amazing rental library. We really missed having them round, we get many docos for our students from there. Good news tho, they're back up and running via their website.
Charlie Chaplin outside Alice's (far right) both pics taken October 2010

Not that we were ever seriously considering purchasing one of these inner city pads (nor were we in a position to)... in some ways that was a benefit to our insurance company dragging the chain for months - there are many stories out there of people having signed up for properties only to see them get munted in a subsequent shake.

In February, we were about ready to start talking to building companies. We wandered round a few builders' open homes and started making lists. On the 21st I rang a guy that had been recommended by a friend of mine, and made an appointment to see him that coming Friday. Well, we all know what happened on February 22nd... needless to say, that meeting never took place.

Fast forward a few months (hah, if only they went that quickly on demand!) and that same builder is suddenly in the news... because his company has been placed in liquidation. Insurance companies are having a much bigger part to play in this whole process than any of us predicted... there are brand new homes just waiting for their new owners to move in but a lack of insurance is throwing a real spanner in the works. You can bet we'll be moving slowly. We're not in a hurry. If the last year has taught us anything, it's that progress is difficult when the earth shifts the ground one way, and the insurance companies take the goalposts in the opposite direction.

Tomorrow... it begins. Again. Out to the builders' open homes in subdivisions far, far away from our teeny weeny little suburban section. None of these new oversized, overpriced stock standard houses will fit our little bit of land, or our expected budget, but who cares? Eventually there will be lots of us green zone bulldozered-clear landowners looking for long narrow house plans with a small footprint and similarly sized budget. Compact is the new black.

So, let the auditions commence... Builder Idol is about to begin... 

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