Thursday, 27 December 2007

Season's Greetings

I hope you all had a jolly Christmas and Santa brought everything you wanted. We spent Christmas morning having a champagne breakfast with my boss and her family, which was very pleasant and tonight we're off out to friends for a meal. Other than that, we've been taking it easy - although Helen is having to work on a new contract, which sucks a bit.

We've got a rental place sorted for the 11th January. It's a small 2 bed unit in town. It's tidy, but small and very sixties. The landlady is a friend of our estate agent and lives next door. (Always handy having the landlord on hand!), it's not great but it'll tide us over until the house is finished.

On the house front, we've had meetings with 2 building companies so far, who've both gone away to produce concept plans and quotes and we've got a third builder to talk to in the new year. The title to the land isn't sorted yet, and realistically it'll be late Jan or Feb before we expect any news on that. By the time it comes through, I'm hoping we'll have chosen the builder and got the final plans ready for building consent approval.

Being a rural build, things won't be as straightforward as a normal town build. The section has power & phone to the boundary and that's pretty much it. We've got to take the power line from the boundary to the build site (which is 200m +), build an access road of 350m (some of which is steep incline), put in water storage tanks (the house is going to have a roof collection & purification system) and a waste treatment system (can't get away with a simple septic system, it has to be a fancy thing according to the local authority). We're also going for solar water heating - we did think about going completely off-grid, but unless we win Lotto, that's not happening.

By the time we've done all that lot, we'll be skint and living in a shed. However, it'll be a very nice shed, with an amazing toilet and lots of pure hot water!

One unfortunate effect of moving to a tiddly rental (and subsequently moving to our eco-shed) will be the loss of my "man cave".

I'm deeply upset.

Here's a couple of photos of the current (somewhat untidy) version:

On a positive note, I'm trying to wangle a major upgrade to the sound system into the budget, so not only will our 6x4 foot shed have hot pure water and a deluxe bog, it will also have a kick ass home theatre with a high end surround sound system.
It'll probably get axed in favour of having posher door handles and double glazing, but I can always dream.....

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


We finally went unconditional on our house yesterday. Thank goodness for that! It's been a bit stressful because we can't start to do anything to the land until after we've sold - and it would appear that property markets everywhere, including NZ, have taken a serious turn for the worse. We move out on January 11th, so the next step is to get a rental and wait for the land subdivision to be approved by council. Hopefully that will all happen by Jan/Feb next year at which point we can then begin the whole planning & building process.

In other news, our gorgeous little kitty - Smudge - was run over on Friday. We were absolutely gutted. We both thought she was the best pet we've ever had. Such a lovely, bouncy and affectionate thing.