RumpledElf

Transportable houses

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Not when you own your land, have paid $4000 non-refundable to the builder and have signed your life away and its awaiting council approval you can't ...

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We had our selections appointment yesterday - 5 hours of choosing EVERYTHING. This is where the price goes up :)

The initial list price was about $90,000 and we're now up to about $125,000 excluding connections, solar HWS (they only had one model and told us we could get cheaper elsewhere) and oven (again, they didn't have what we wanted).

We got quite carried away with selections, although it was all things we'd already discussed. We told the woman when we got there we expected to come out with around $15-20,000 extra and she said naaaaah, most people come out with about $6000 extra. The extras came to $17,000.

We upgraded:

awnings over the west windows (the house already had a 6 star rating before we did this)

all the doors

all the door handles

cornices to something big and fancy - this was very cheap and has a huge impact

carpet to all bedrooms & tiles everywhere else - these two items added $9000 on their own, which is reasonable. I don't really want to be putting carpet in *after* we've moved in.

overhead cupboards in the kitchen & fancy kitchen doors - about $5000 for these two items

kitchen splashback on the diagonal

decorative strip of tiles in the bathroom in a design that looks least likely to date (beige leaf motif)

wider window frames on the facade

skirtings/architraves/doors apparently cost extra to paint white (understandable, but isn't white quite popular?)

numerous extra power points and some extra lights, because it is cheaper getting this done at building stage

And of course we had to choose all our colours and textures. There's no way in hell this could be mistaken for an entry level house, its going to be *extremely* nice. The interior designer caught onto what we wanted very quickly. The house has to fit in with the two 1900s houses on either side of it so it has a very classic old QLDer style outside, and a classicy-heritagey neutral interior with an awful lot of 'country' features. Its going to look really nice with either a cottage garden or a native garden. Since you can do a cottage garden in a mix of natives and classic cottage garden plants (which tend to tolerate cold conditions quite well) its going to be a lovely place when it is finished.

Right now the block looks dreadful, like someone got halfway through the trees with a chainsaw and halfway through the felled trees with a mulcher, which is quite accurate :)

I think the most impressive point yesterday is the pair of us were in complete agreeance with all the colour choices :D The interior designer says the people she hates the most are ones that come in with 50 sketches of how they want their kitchen, and a stack of magazine clippings for the rest of the house.

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Sounds like very good fun RE. :)

This transportable house looks eminently affordable. We used to call these things caravans. Not any more.

The Micro Compact Home designed by Richard Horden sets a new benchmark for compact living. The m-ch measures 266cm x 266cm x 266cm. The ceiling height is 198cm

link

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Unfortunately, I like Edgar Allan Poe have a pathological fear of being buried alive in a coffin and so it is not for me. Although maybe if I stuck a bell on top....

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I'm sure a house that small works if you have no stuff and work and eat outside the house, but when you have 3 kids and are home 24 hours a day quite frankly you can't live in something that small. Where do you put the fridge (80x70cm right there), washing machine, oven, kitchen sink, bath, keyboard, laundry trough (kind of essential when you have to soak clothes), linen closet, clothes storage, food storage, TV, desks, 4 beds, and last but not least - several hundred books.

We have huge space issues in this house as is and its a positively mammoth 90sqm. Soon to be expanded with 10sqm of shed.

Modern life comes with appliances that take up space. Take away electricity and make everyone work in the fields and all you need is a room big enough for you and the 10 kids (you need 10 in case a few die from malnutrition or something) to pass out in after working in the field all day, with a firepit in the middle for cooking in. But then you need the fields to work so you're only saving on house, not land :)

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I'm sure a house that small works if you have no stuff and work and eat outside the house, but when you have 3 kids and are home 24 hours a day quite frankly you can't live in something that small. Where do you put the fridge (80x70cm right there), washing machine, oven, kitchen sink, bath, keyboard, laundry trough (kind of essential when you have to soak clothes), linen closet, clothes storage, food storage, TV, desks, 4 beds, and last but not least - several hundred books.

We have huge space issues in this house as is and its a positively mammoth 90sqm. Soon to be expanded with 10sqm of shed.

Modern life comes with appliances that take up space. Take away electricity and make everyone work in the fields and all you need is a room big enough for you and the 10 kids (you need 10 in case a few die from malnutrition or something) to pass out in after working in the field all day, with a firepit in the middle for cooking in. But then you need the fields to work so you're only saving on house, not land :)

LOL

I keep buying those cheap shelves from Bunnings because I have run out of cupboards long since. As fast as I can buy them they get filled with more of the detritus of modern life. The amount of books I have are a pretty good argument for getting an iPad.

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Yeah, construction prices have tracked CPI pretty much, if not gone down considering you generally get a lot of house for your money these days. Construction quality might not be as good as it was, but hey, the average schmuck can get 3 bathrooms and 4 living areas and that used to be reserved for the aristocratic few.

Land prices are insane. We got ours for the price of a subdivision though and thus own it outright and we're saving a good $30k on footings (reactive clay) doing a house on blocks so we don't feel bad at all about upgrading the kitchen cupboards :)

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Its currently with the council, pending approval. Has been for about a fortnight, so for all I know its already approved.

After that they actually start building. This is the point where the adverts all say "we guarantee to build your house in 14 weeks!" actually STARTS from.

I'm taking bets at the moment as to what happens first - the new house gets approved or my old house sells.

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FINALLY got approved by council, now it's all go with construction.

Got the approval through 2 days before my old house sold in the end. In fact, I got the calls about both, same day, a few hours apart, which is really cutting it fine :)

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Ah, finance. The twit of a broker we got did get us finance approval, HOWEVER it expired on 18th February and was subject to having the house completed. Not helpful, it is impossible to build a house to completion in 1 month. Avoid Assured Home Loans, they aren't very good.

The new ASIC credit rules however, have completely killed our ability to get a loan. Now stated income lodocs are gone, we have to prove our income. Too easy, we can do that, we've got all the paperwork and our income does match nicely what we declare as stated income. Or does it? We have 7 small income streams, and depending on the bank they pick and choose which ones they decide to use, while at the same time deeming our expenses as high as $3000 a month + mortgage (really $2300 a month including mortgage). So, now we are suddenly earning only $30-40k according to banks, we can't get a loan. Or rather we can, but the highest amount was $43k and we need $75k. Of course the longer this takes the lower that figure gets.

We're basically forced to sell our old house to someone who can rent back to us for a few weeks during the build, and pay for the new house in cash unless we can find a loan shark or non-bank lender that isn't affected by the new credit rules to loan us some money for a few weeks. I have a somersoft broker on the case now so hopefully creative financing will prevail. I'm getting awfully sick of sharing my bedroom with children, it is a nookie-killer.

All a situation that could have been avoided completely if the people buying my old house didn't take 4 months to make their mind up, or the bank didn't delay our settlement by 3 weeks, or the broker didn't go on holiday for a month before lodging our paperwork. Any of these would have got us over the line before the new credit rules.

Interesting times.

Anyone want to buy a cliched cute cozy country cottage? Absolutely gorgeous little (5 people and a business do NOT fit in it) house, doesn't have a picket fence but it does have roses and daisies and wisteria. And ADSL2, nice weather, mains water, common effluent, digital TV and a mobile tower (ok, silo) you can see from our kitchen window :)

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Took from November 4th to April 19th to FINALLY get finance.

Got it through Homestart in the end, who amazingly take every income source there is as income, vs other banks who take either/or income instead of adding them together. Its going to leave us with a very managable size loan, with the repayments set at 30% of our income, indexed to CPI. If this doesn't quite cover the interest, they don't mind. Its a very different way of calculating repayments compared to other banks. Homestart wanted our entire financial life including a few years of tax returns and all our bank statements going back aaaaaaaages, and took them for 3 months to analyse them and decide what they'd give us.

If all banks worked like this one, the australian housing market would be a very different place.

Meanwhile, we have the block cleared and just put down a gravel pad for the rainwater tank which arrives this week (its almost 4 metres in diameter!) and we get to send little 'please sir, can we have some money' requests to the bank to pay for all these things. They dish the loan out with X for the house and Y for all the finishings, to make sure that we don't stint and be cheeky and try and build a house with no carpet or something. Our deposit (which has been sitting gathering interest all this time) goes to the builder to make up the difference between X and the actual price of the house.

Total cost of the house came to about $140k in the end, which is just a tiny little bit above the listed price of $85k in the builder's catalogue. We added things like a solar HWS, gas oven, bamboo flooring, MASSIVE rainwater tank, yada yada, none of which were included in the list price.

We're going to give our old house one shot in the popular media to sell. Despite anything the bank says, we can't really afford our new house AND an empty house even though our current mortgage is relatively small. So if it doesn't sell in the 6 weeks between being told when our house will arrive and it actually arriving, it goes up for rent. We can't sensibly list it for sale without a date for the new owner to move in, for obvious reasons ... if we'd listed it back on November 4th and someone wanted to buy it straight away, we would have had to delay by well over 6 months, which is kinda unacceptable ...

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...we would have had to delay by well over 6 months, which is kinda unacceptable ...

as part of my wildlife sanctuary plan I looked at a place going up for auction the other day.

After chatting to the RE guy for a bit and explaining the theory; buy the places, rent them out until I can afford to bulldoze them (which he actually thought was a great idea, country boy forced to work in the smoke). He said the sellers would love a long settlement period, like until december.

I have no idea what that means but my thoughts were immediately "we don't want to leave until the crash has occurred but would love to sell now". When I said that the RE guy looked a little bit like "oh you're not a moron". I wonder if that was my self centred interpretation or just the usual salesman technique of bolstering a customer.

At that point he did say what another person had indicated they would pay for the place. I said there was no chance I would even come close to that as I would rent it out to cover the mortgage on it (with 4 weeks a year of empty + maintenance etc) and I doubted I could rent it out for that price.

Still pissed they are selling now. Be a perfect start to the sanctuary.

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"we don't want to leave until the crash has occurred but would love to sell now".

That's a great trick in a downwards market :)

We owe less than $80k on ours, so if it doesn't sell fast there's really no point in selling it, and if we keep it as a rental we get to watch the wisteria grow on the trellis on the west side of the house. Market rent round here can be anything from $180-350+ so even at less than market rent we're ahead, crazy tenants notwithstanding. Paying a mortgage on an empty house for long periods is IMHO really stupid unless you're some kind of cashed up DBA buying houses to turn them into possum homes or something.

Median house price here jiggles around all over the place from low sales volume but you could draw a straight line through it at about $260k, which means the market has flattened and the next stage is down. Its gone up so much here lately (the trend here is over a year behind Adelaide) that there really isn't any way the prices can go higher with the median wage being $40K-ish. Medians in small towns tend to end up at a % of Adelaide median, here its about on par with the outer suburbs for house prices and rents (but you get a much better house and a huge block compared to the postage size blocks in the Adelaide fringes), where I used to live sits at about 20-25% of the Adelaide median.

Regardless, we're going to end up with a house big enough for the family and with enough backyard to kick a ball around in an area we like and only paying a modest sum for it - less than half of an equivalent established house - so even with the crazy paperwork delay, it looks good :)

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...Regardless, we're going to end up with a house big enough for the family and with enough backyard to kick a ball around in an area we like and only paying a modest sum for it - less than half of an equivalent established house - so even with the crazy paperwork delay, it looks good :)

Shame your family fun is not in a desirable area due to the shortage :)

Seriously though it sounds like you are sorted and fqn good on you, I am guessing it hasn't been fun getting it all sorted from your posts.

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I can see why there are so many complaints about builders out there.

Got a phone call from our site manager yesterday. House is built to lockup, all is well, not long to go now.

Got a phone call from our site manager today. Oops, we built your house at 2.4 high not 2.7 high, we need to take it apart and start again. Hellllloooooo, don't houses come with PLANS? You know, stuff drawn on paper that you follow so you build the right house for the customer? Now there's one expensive stuff up on the part of the builder.

Was hoping to get the house by Christmas, then it was by the baby's first birthday (he's been in our bedroom this entire time, which isn't fun) and I think now its back to Christmas again :thumbdown:

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I can see why there are so many complaints about builders out there.

Got a phone call from our site manager yesterday. House is built to lockup, all is well, not long to go now.

Got a phone call from our site manager today. Oops, we built your house at 2.4 high not 2.7 high, we need to take it apart and start again. Hellllloooooo, don't houses come with PLANS? You know, stuff drawn on paper that you follow so you build the right house for the customer? Now there's one expensive stuff up on the part of the builder.

Was hoping to get the house by Christmas, then it was by the baby's first birthday (he's been in our bedroom this entire time, which isn't fun) and I think now its back to Christmas again :thumbdown:

Look on the bright side - at least they picked it up before they delivered it to you.

BTW your story tops the one from the girl at work, who is building an eco-sensitive extension, custom designed at great trouble.

It's a pity the builders decided the lintels are an optional extra :shocking:

They had to demolish it down to the window tops and rebuild, you know, just in case the roof fell in or anything...

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After signing up LAST april we finally have a delivery date of July 28th. Took em long enough.

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Oops, we built your house at 2.4 high not 2.7 high, we need to take it apart and start again. Hellllloooooo, don't houses come with PLANS? You know, stuff drawn on paper that you follow so you build the right house for the customer? Now there's one expensive stuff up on the part of the builder.

That's ridiculous.

Most building materials come in standard sizes.

They must have noticed they were having to add .3m on every measurement.

Either that or that they were cutting off .3m.

Weird.

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Had a minor scare with the electricity, because of the solar panel grant ending in July ETSA is flat out putting in meters for panels and the wait to get a meter in has ballooned to about 10 weeks. And this is pretty common knowledge. So when the builder gave us their "lots of notice" of about 5 weeks, after us hassling them for the best part of 2 months to get a date because we knew there'd be an issue, of course there was no way in hell ETSA would come with only 5 weeks notice. Try 9. And there's a clause in our contract that we pay 15% penalty interest to the builder if the electricity isn't on within 5 working days because 6 weeks notice should be more than enough.

Fortunately a lot of pestering and paying ETSA $350 actually got them there about a week after the house is scheduled to arrive, which doesn't save us much over paying 15% penalty interest but it beats waiting a month extra to get the house.

That's ridiculous.

Most building materials come in standard sizes.

They must have noticed they were having to add .3m on every measurement.

Either that or that they were cutting off .3m.

They looked at the floor plan not the elevations, and just built the right floorplan at the wrong height. Easy mistake to make when the vast majority of people have 2.4m high houses but a very expensive one to fix. 2.4 *is* the standard for wall frames and plasterboard, you have to order special to get 2.7.

Well we were told the site works were going to get done Friday or Monday and they got done Thursday when we were least expecting them. The builder gave the site guy the original plans with the lot number and all the trees on it. Since they told us to get rid of the trees (but apparently haven't ever checked that the block is tree-free), the block is completely clear and since its an infill block the lot number is completely pointless.

Site guy said he was driving up and down the street looking for the block with all the trees, couldn't find it, had a closer look at the paperwork and found the septic approval plan with our street number on. He also said the builder told him to put the excess dirt at the front of the block, he thought that was a stupid idea - we're building a transportable after all - and put it at the back. He also complained the builder didn't tell him about the electricity connection sticking out of the ground. That's because the builder doesn't know, despite us telling our site supervisor the connection is there.

If I ever have to rate this builder, they get a 1/10 for communication. Every time I try and contact them they seem to go out of their way to not return my calls.

Currently having lots of fun trying to coordinate all the finishing trades ... electrician, plumber, timber floors, carpets, curtains, hot water service, oven, and telstra ... because telstra doesn't seem to have a system in place to move to a new house. They put our application in the 'too hard' pile because there was no address registered in the system for us to move to. Well duh, that's what happens when you move to a NEW house. Anyone would think telstra has never connected a new build before.

Again, I can see why so many people have building horror stories. And this is probably why people only build themselves one house in a lifetime ... which is why builders can stuff up as much as they want - they don't have to worry about losing the business of repeat customers.

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It arrived today - with two trucks and 3 police cars playing escort. Looks really, really good. The entire street came out to watch, bloke across the road with camera in hand, so I'll put up some photos when I get them off him :)

They can hoist the house several metres into the air on the truck so they can drive an auger under it, so it looked like we had a two storey house there for a bit. Miss 3 really really wanted to go inside but they won't let us until we pay them, although we do get to have a look around inside on Monday just to make sure they have everything right, then sign some forms for the bank so they can pay the builder.

I expect a horde of tradies to descend tomorrow and finish up tiling etc.

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It arrived today - with two trucks and 3 police cars playing escort. Looks really, really good. The entire street came out to watch, bloke across the road with camera in hand, so I'll put up some photos when I get them off him :)

They can hoist the house several metres into the air on the truck so they can drive an auger under it, so it looked like we had a two storey house there for a bit. Miss 3 really really wanted to go inside but they won't let us until we pay them, although we do get to have a look around inside on Monday just to make sure they have everything right, then sign some forms for the bank so they can pay the builder.

I expect a horde of tradies to descend tomorrow and finish up tiling etc.

Photos from the neighbours? :shocking: I was hoping for the full grand designs doco. You're not project managing the build are you? :)

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It arrived today - with two trucks and 3 police cars playing escort. Looks really, really good. The entire street came out to watch, bloke across the road with camera in hand, so I'll put up some photos when I get them off him :)

They can hoist the house several metres into the air on the truck so they can drive an auger under it, so it looked like we had a two storey house there for a bit. Miss 3 really really wanted to go inside but they won't let us until we pay them, although we do get to have a look around inside on Monday just to make sure they have everything right, then sign some forms for the bank so they can pay the builder.

I expect a horde of tradies to descend tomorrow and finish up tiling etc.

Well done RE! (Literally) a long haul, but it's starting to pay off.

A transportable is a small miracle, a bare block one day and a whole house on it the next.

We had one on the farm, and I can still remember my surprise that 'they' had managed an instant house, right where my dad had said it would go. (At the top of a close-to-vertical hill. Some of the track and tire gouges left in the earth took years to go.)

It felt like a personal visitation from a higher power... admittedly I was fairly young at the time...

Edited by Ruffian

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Last couple of weeks has been hell. Telstra and ETSA were the worst two to get hold of, and unfortunately they are the most important.

Currently poking the bank with a sharp stick trying to get them to pay everyone, since the plumber cost a whisker under $14k so obviously he wants to get paid NOW considering he turned up on August 1st. Not that he's sent a proper receipt yet so I can claim all the cashbacks from the solar HWS.

I have some photos on flickr, its been raining on and off for most of the two weeks so its a serious quagmire outside from all the subsoil clay that got turned up with the trenching for the plumbing, so trying to keep that stuff out of the house has been ... interesting.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12099014@N03/sets/72157627181544861/

We're almost fully moved in (give or take half a dozen boxes of 'why do we even have this stuff and where do I put it' and some people are meant to move into our old house pretty soon, but one of them has a major renovating injury so I guess they'll just hobble on over when they get around to it :)

Looking forward to sitting down INSIDE, out of the mud, and watching the rain from somewhere warm and dry. *sigh*

Never doing this again. The house is really really nice, we're loving the extra space and being able to actually sleep now the baby has his own room (first solid night's sleep in almost 14 months last night) and the house is big enough for all of us but not so huge we'd rattle in it without kids so I can see us being here a REALLY long time.

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Last couple of weeks has been hell. Telstra and ETSA were the worst two to get hold of, and unfortunately they are the most important.

Currently poking the bank with a sharp stick trying to get them to pay everyone, since the plumber cost a whisker under $14k so obviously he wants to get paid NOW considering he turned up on August 1st. Not that he's sent a proper receipt yet so I can claim all the cashbacks from the solar HWS.

I have some photos on flickr, its been raining on and off for most of the two weeks so its a serious quagmire outside from all the subsoil clay that got turned up with the trenching for the plumbing, so trying to keep that stuff out of the house has been ... interesting.

http://www.flickr.co...57627181544861/

We're almost fully moved in (give or take half a dozen boxes of 'why do we even have this stuff and where do I put it' and some people are meant to move into our old house pretty soon, but one of them has a major renovating injury so I guess they'll just hobble on over when they get around to it :)

Looking forward to sitting down INSIDE, out of the mud, and watching the rain from somewhere warm and dry. *sigh*

Never doing this again. The house is really really nice, we're loving the extra space and being able to actually sleep now the baby has his own room (first solid night's sleep in almost 14 months last night) and the house is big enough for all of us but not so huge we'd rattle in it without kids so I can see us being here a REALLY long time.

what's ETSA?

never again? that's what my folks said every time they built!

i imagined the house being delivered in two pieces and having to 'weld' it together on site. i also imagined a much more rural location. i love that stone house to your left, my right. is it the dump you renovated?

Edited by zaph

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Last couple of weeks has been hell. Telstra and ETSA were the worst two to get hold of, and unfortunately they are the most important.

Currently poking the bank with a sharp stick trying to get them to pay everyone, since the plumber cost a whisker under $14k so obviously he wants to get paid NOW considering he turned up on August 1st. Not that he's sent a proper receipt yet so I can claim all the cashbacks from the solar HWS.

I have some photos on flickr, its been raining on and off for most of the two weeks so its a serious quagmire outside from all the subsoil clay that got turned up with the trenching for the plumbing, so trying to keep that stuff out of the house has been ... interesting.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12099014@N03/sets/72157627181544861/

We're almost fully moved in (give or take half a dozen boxes of 'why do we even have this stuff and where do I put it' and some people are meant to move into our old house pretty soon, but one of them has a major renovating injury so I guess they'll just hobble on over when they get around to it :)

Looking forward to sitting down INSIDE, out of the mud, and watching the rain from somewhere warm and dry. *sigh*

Never doing this again. The house is really really nice, we're loving the extra space and being able to actually sleep now the baby has his own room (first solid night's sleep in almost 14 months last night) and the house is big enough for all of us but not so huge we'd rattle in it without kids so I can see us being here a REALLY long time.

Well done RE.

Been wondering what you've been up to.

Nice to hear you have a home for your children that you feel satisfied with, and can be happy in.

While you've been busy, we've been keeping the flag flying for the simple and sustainable life. :thumbup:

All the best for the future, as a home is never complete.

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