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2019-05-21 Community & Lifestyle

Arcadia residents who share a fence and a family tree

Nick Engelke says his family has always been close. And having moved out of his parents’ home in 2017 he remains particularly close to his brother. In fact they’re next door neighbours.  

The siblings, who grew up in the town of Monbulk in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges now live next to one another in Arcadia. And Nick says the situation suits him perfectly.

“I don’t remember exactly what got me looking for a new home other than I thought I was probably getting too old to live with my parents still. We looked at the existing house market and couldn’t find a nice house in our price range or in an area we would like to live so thought we would begin looking into a new home,” Nick explains.

He admits that he was initially unsure about living in a masterplanned community, but two things changed his mind. One was the opinion and experience of his brother who was working with Dennis Family Homes; he had seen first-hand how modern developments so often bucked the stereotypes and offered a wonderful community in which to live.

The other was the community they found in Officer.

“We had a look at a couple of different estates and their future plans, and decided Arcadia looked like the nicest and the best value for money.”

Nick & Justin Engelke in front of their homes at Arcadia.

Although they had lived overseas, Nick and his brother considered this their first real “move out of home” and Nick says they were excited to share the challenge together.

“It made the whole thing seem a little less daunting which was really good.“

[We] went through our building process together – his house was finished a few weeks before mine. It was good to bounce ideas off each other and compare plans, prices, colour selection and furniture choices. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.”

As for how the situation works in practice, Nick’s now had more than a year to assess it. He says their respective busy work schedules mean they see less of one another than he imagined they would, but they still catch up at least once a week.

It is, however, the convenience that benefits them and their family most. 

“We share a lawn mower and other gardening tools. Often he will feed my cat if I’m stuck at work late or I will go play with his puppy on a weekend while he’s working. I never expected my brother and I to be discussing our gardening plans or relying on each other to remember bin night, but I guess that’s part of growing up,” Nick says.

“It is also convenient for the rest of our family and friends as they can easily visit both of us at the same time. We even had a joint house warming party and temporarily removed the fence between our backyards.”

But it’s not just the proximity to his brother that has Nick pleased with his decision.

“What I enjoy most about living in a master planned community is the proximity to train stations, the freeway, shopping centres and nice modern parks. The whole area feels well planned and organised; it gives a sense of order which I like.

 “Coming from a small, close-knit community like Monbulk and moving to the suburbs, I wasn’t expecting everyone living in the estate to be so friendly and outgoing.”

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