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2020-09-25 Community & Lifestyle

A dream home on a dream block during lockdown

A dream home on a dream block during lockdown

Over this highly unusual period there has been a lot of commentary about the value of housing and whether now is a good time to buy. Some even forecast that the pandemic would bring property searches to a halt. Research from Domain analysing views per listing, however, shows that Victorians have remained keenly interested in new homes, especially in locations outside the inner suburbs.

In the metropolitan southeast, the area that accommodates Officer, for example, views per listing between February and July in 2020 are much higher – up 18.6 % - than they were in 2019.

We decided to talk to some of the people who have bought during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown and find out why they’ve stayed certain about their home-buying dream.

Josh and Jess have known they wanted to build their own home for a long while. In fact, for years they’ve known exactly which one: the four-bedroom, two-storey Ashbury 30 by Henley. But only in 2020 did they narrow down their search for the ideal block of land to build on and, just as they settled on Arcadia as their preferred community, COVID-19 struck.

They decided on Arcadia due to the size of the blocks available and the quality of the community. Josh and Jess had had the opportunity to visit the Satterley estate before the restrictions tightened, however by the time they were ready to buy, in-person meetings were off the cards.

“We had been lucky to visit both Arcadia and Henley prior to the lockdown effects, however our entire process of purchase and settlement so far has been remote,” Josh explains.

“Lorraine Hibl, [Satterley’s Sales Professional for Arcadia] was incredibly helpful in providing us with any information we needed and getting back to us very quickly.”

Josh admits that he would have preferred to buy under more conventional conditions but says he and Jess never wavered in their belief that now was the time to purchase land for their home.

“The uncertainty of everything at the moment has been unsettling, however both of us have been fortunate enough to be permitted workers throughout this whole process – Jess being a teacher and myself being in a retail store.

“We had been saving for a house for a few years now, and we had a certain date in mind for when we were looking to purchase. The economic impact that COVID-19 has had has not slowed our plan down.”

What has changed, however, is the way Josh and Jess have thought about a home during a period when all Victorians have been asked to spend a lot of time inside and separate from friends and family.

“Having been unable to spend time away from the home – aside from work – has certainly made us value the importance of a family home that suits our lifestyle. The house we are in currently is quite small and definitely does not afford much space. The lockdown has also made us value the need for another work space as Jess has been working remotely as a teacher for most of Term 2 and 3.

“Overall, though, our desire for a home we can raise our family in and establish as our own has always been our dream and if anything COVID-19 has just made this more evident.”

Josh and Jess’s land will title in 2021, which means they have a little while to wait before stepping into their new home for the first time. But Josh says their experience with the display home before the lockdown has given them something exciting to look forward to.

“The first time we walked in, it just felt like home. It's the perfect size, not too big for the block we wanted and not too small for a growing family.

“Both Arcadia and Henley have made the transition incredibly smooth and we thank them for guiding us through this process.”

Soon-to-be-Arcadia residents, Jess and Josh.

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