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Home building Q&A with Sally

Aerial view of Clementine sales office and new lots

Sally is just one of the many first home buyers that has chosen to build their dream home within the slice of paradise at Clementine estate in Upper Swan.

Capturing her entire building journey on her dedicated Instagram account,, Sally revealed she waited a long time to choose the perfect location for her first home.

“Nowhere else felt quite right, until I came across Clementine,” she said.

“I was familiar with the Upper Swan area as I have a horse and there are a lot of equestrian venues nearby. Ever since I was a child, I dreamt about living in the area with enough room for a horse. There are a lot of gorgeous restaurants and venues in the Swan Valley area too.”

We reached out to Sally to find out more about her building journey and what she has learnt along the way.

Why did you decide to build at Clementine?

I decided to build at Clementine because I love the area – nature at your fingertips! I didn’t want to be stuck in a concrete suburb, I wanted to see the open sky, the hills, the trees. Clementine is close to so many hiking trails, equestrian locations and restaurants. It’s like a middle zone between suburbia and rural properties, which is a nice niche for me at the moment. I also loved the vision of the community, keeping nature in as much as possible. When I saw the designs for the community, I knew I wanted in.

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Clementine’s park 🍊 💕 #clementineestate #swanvalley

Who are you building with and how far into the build are you now?

I am building with My Homes WA. I decided on this builder as they were understanding of my wants and offered a custom design, plus my sales lady Brook was absolutely lovely and genuine. They also made me feel like an actual person rather than a walking chequebook.

I signed my building contract in December 2020 and officially entered construction in June 2021. I am currently at the tiling stage of the build now (May 2022) and we are 46 weeks into construction.

How did you decide on the right lot and home design for you?

Lot-wise, I knew I wanted one that faced as much nature as possible, rather than closed in on a street. Ideally, I wanted a 450sqm lot to offer enough space for some more outdoor living, but I ended up choosing a 375sqm lot that faced the park, which was my minimum size.

Home design wise, I wanted an open-living plan that didn’t have the master at the front or at the very back, which was hard to find! I thought about how to manage the smaller lot size and I ended up designing my home on a quadrant system (self-nicknamed so don’t worry about googling it), which, with the use of stacker doors and sliding doors, can open up four rooms to expand space for events with the whole family, while still offering separate living areas when closed.

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Can we just take a moment… like 😍 So much light! I love love love it!

What has been your favourite part in your building journey so far?

My favourite part coincidentally was also the most stressful! Having all the choice over colours and finishings and such was overwhelming, but it was also really fun. Seeing it come together during the build is pretty rewarding! At least so far, as everything has ended up working (all that design research paid off! Touch wood…)

What has been the most challenging aspect of your build?

Being patient, which luckily I am good at due to being a high school teacher. With the current shortages of materials and labour the build is taking a bit longer than normal so I have tried to stop myself driving past every week to check on the progress. Although it can be a little disheartening at times, I always try to see the positives. I know I’ll get my dream home and it will be worth it!

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Tiling is done! I forgot to take a photo of the ensuite or of the kitchen tiles though 🤦🏼‍♀️ Electrical has also started, we have the pendant light & power points throughout the house done. Lights are also in. #build #building #buildingahouse #buildinginperth #buildingdesign #buildingjourney #perthbuild #perthbuilders #buildingahome

What are your top 3 tips for people wanting to buy land and build their own home?

Go and see all the display homes, even the ones that you think you’ll hate – just do it, and make it fun by grabbing lunch. No avocado of course though if you’re a millennial – you’re saving for a house deposit after all…

Go with your gut. If you think the salesperson is being pushy or shady, they probably are. Take a moment, step away, think on it.

Make a list of wants and needs – this works for finding land and also for your home design. By classifying this, you will work out your non negotiables. It will also help anchor you to being realistic about what you can afford. It’s all good to have a beautiful house with a stunning kitchen, but if you can only cook two-minute noodles, was it really worth it?

What are you most looking forward to about living in your new home and community?

I’m excited to be a part of something new, to be living in a brand-new house that I’ve put my sweat and tears into designing (hey, it was stressful alright?). I also love the general vibes of the community we’ve got growing and, in general, I’m excited about the future, what opportunities and things that will come with a new home!

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The view 🌳🌿 Just us being big kids enjoying the completed park across from our build 🏡 Happy days! ••••• #yourclementine #clementineupperswan #satterley #parklife

To follow along with Sally’s home building journey at Clementine Estate, visit her Instagram page: