Get Inspired Our Stories

Whangārei local builds first home in Parklands Estate

Whangārei local builds first home in Parklands Estate

When Natasha Hemara is cooking in her kitchen and looks out onto the native bush that lines her backyard, she is glad she took the steps to build her first home. 

Natasha was one of the first people to build in Parklands Estate, in Whangārei, and was sold as soon as she saw bushland nearby.

“I grew up by the bush and it’s exactly what I was after. I love having the bush at my doorstep,” she says.

Natasha moved back to Whangārei in 2020 after a new job opportunity in the education sector arose, which also gave her the chance to be closer to family, and to settle in the region.

Quote from Natasha Hemara
The whole Generation Homes team really made me feel supported throughout the build.

Natasha Hemara

GH

Why did you decide to build a house instead of buying an existing property?

NATASHA

My job was beginning shortly after lockdown, so I came to Whangārei to look at properties, but everything was either too big for what I needed, or there was a lot of work to be done. My mum mentioned to me that there was a new estate nearby, so we went to look at Parklands and I loved the area immediately.

During my time in education, I had been a part of a school build before and engaged with the design process as well, so I had an idea of what it’d be like to build, and I went for it.

GH

What was the process like working with Generation Homes? 

NATASHA

It was straight forward and easy. I chose the lot and house plan, put my offer in and a few weeks later was signing all the official paperwork during my first week in my new job. The whole process took about six months and I moved in without any issues. I worked with Northland Sales Consultant Dan Priebs and he made sure everything went smoothly. The whole team really made me feel supported throughout the build. I really enjoyed popping in to get updates on the build progress, which kept me at ease throughout it all.

GH

It sounds like you had a very positive building experience.

NATASHA

Definitely. Generation Homes made the experience easy and enjoyable, and I didn’t have to second guess any of my decisions. The support and confidence they gave me during the build was exactly what I needed, because I’d just moved back to the area and took on a new job which meant I had a lot on my plate.

When people talk about the stress of building a home, I don’t get it. The most stressful part was picking the colour schemes!

GH

Tell us a bit about the house you chose, and any modifications you made.

NATASHA

I made a few changes to the plan so it would better suit my needs. Instead of having a fourth bedroom, I opted for a walk-in pantry. I also made my kitchen, lounge and dining room into more of an open plan that flowed together, because I wanted to be able to see the native bush from my kitchen. So now when I’m in the kitchen I’ve got the stunning view I was after. There were different alternatives presented to me throughout the build. I even made a last-minute change to the deck, to make it a bit larger, and it wasn’t a problem.

GH

When you were looking for a home, did you notice a big price difference in buying an existing property to a new build?

NATASHA

Not really, most of the existing homes I looked at would’ve needed work done to them. There was the potential to get a bigger section with an existing home, but in the grand scheme of things I got exactly what I wanted out of a new build.

GH

What are some of your favourite features in your home?

NATASHA

I ended up doing a Herringbone splashback by the oven, and I really love that detail. I also had high ceilings put in the entrance way so it would accommodate the Trubridge-style lights that I really wanted.

GH

What budget advice would you give to someone during the building process?

NATASHA

Trust yourself. If you second guess yourself, it might lead to you changing your mind. I was very clear with what I wanted in a home, and I guess that comes from being someone who is a decision-maker. I even went through the electrical plan with the electricians to make sure the light switches were in the right places for me.

GH

What budget tips do you have for those building for the first time?

NATASHA

I think it’s best to try and be frugal on the things that aren’t going to matter to you and save more money to spend on the things that are important to you. For instance, I really wanted good quality carpet, so I was happy to spend a bit more there.

So just be savvy on where you spend your money, and don’t scrimp on the features that will be there for a long time.

GH

Have you made any changes or additions since moving in?

NATASHA

 

I took my time when it came to sowing the grass, and I actually held off doing this for a couple of months to ensure it lined up with the weather conditions. This gave the grass the best chance at a good growth. It’s decisions like this that Generation Homes were patient with me on and worked with me to get the best outcomes.