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Investment property and new home in three years for Tauranga couple

Investment property and new home in three years for Tauranga couple

For Richard and Elizabeth Vialoux, the decision to build with Generation Homes was a match made in heaven.

Having recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary, the Vialoux’s also just completed their second new build with Generation Homes in Tauranga’s Milford Estate. They first partnered with the company in 2014 to build an investment property, located across the road from their new home.

Richard and Elizabeth met while training as teachers in 1984, and have five sons. Paul, 28, is a graphic designer who lives in London; Andrew, 25, is a qualified pilot and flight instructor at Massey University; Aaron, 23, is a builder; James, 19, is an automotive technician and Josh, 17, is in year 12 at Mount Maunganui College.

In 2001 Richard left his teaching position with the New Zealand Police to become a priest with the Anglican Church. After a time working in Auckland, he accepted the role of Vicar of the Mount Maunganui Anglican Parish, prompting the family’s move south from their property in Auckland’s North Shore.

After three years of living in a house provided by the church, and building a rental property with Generation Homes, Richard and Elizabeth secured the perfect section on the edge of Milford Reserve to build their dream home. Their new house is a customised version of Generation Homes’ 210m2 Pembrooke plan, which features four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious family room, separate formal living area and double garage.

 

 
Quote from Elizabeth Vialoux
All of our contractors were superb and we used their guidance and expertise throughout our build. They really listened to us and understood what we were trying to achieve, which made the whole process so easy.

Elizabeth Vialoux

GH

How did your partnership with Generation Homes develop?

ELIZABETH

We didn’t know the Milford Estate area and we had been looking at a number of different building companies. There were a couple of building companies that we wouldn’t touch because we know people that had negative experiences with them in Auckland. But the first time we came across Generation Homes was when we were driving through Milford Estate and we stopped at Generation’s original showhome on Doncaster Drive. We met our new home consultant Debbie Kennedy and we just connected. The process to choose our house plan and section was really easy, so we signed on the contract and got the build underway.

GH

How was your experience working with Generation’s staff/subcontractors?

ELIZABETH

Our first homebuilding experience with Generation was so easy. We knew we weren’t planning to live in the home so we let Debbie take charge and lead the build because we hadn’t done it before. We used her guidance and expertise a lot. As we were building a rental property, we never really deviated from the plan, so we didn’t have any major variations. She helped us pick a colour palette that would work best in a rental property. The second time around, knowing that we were building our home, the design process took much longer because we were adding a number of different variations to the design, and we wanted to take a much more considered approach.

RICHARD

 

What amazed me was how Debbie was willing to take us into her own home to show us different design ideas and colour schemes. She had just built her own home before us, and we went over three times to look at different design features. We actually modelled parts of our house based on her property because we loved the overall look.

GH

How did you choose your section?

RICHARD

When we started looking at sections we actually wanted the one that we’ve got now but it wasn’t going to be available until the last stage of the development’s release. Generation Homes advised us that we wouldn’t be available to build on it for five years, so we pencilled our name in for the section. We built our first Generation Homes’ property across the road and, a couple of years later, the team rang us saying they were miles ahead of schedule and asked us if we were still interested in purchasing the section. That’s when we put our investment property on the market. The section we’ve got now is absolutely brilliant. We back onto a reserve and the other side of the house is a reserve entrance so we’ve only got one neighbour at the back of the house. It’s a large north-facing site. It’s just wonderful.

GH

You had a clear vision for your own home – what were the key things on your wish list?

RICHARD

I really wanted a good indoor-outdoor flow so we could get maximum use of our outdoor areas. We have a small alfresco area and a larger outdoor dining area. Inside we just wanted smart, clean lines and nothing too fancy. The kitchen was initially designed as a galley-style kitchen with an island bench and we swapped the kitchen and dining area over to position it against the outside wall so we could have a sliding window looking onto our barbeque area. It was quite a major variation because we had to redesign the kitchen as a more traditional u-shaped kitchen.

ELIZABETH

 

The kitchen is much bigger because of it. We’ve got a lot more cupboard space and way more bench space. One of the key things that I wanted was a separate laundry, so we built a separate alcove at the end of the hallway. We’ve also got a really good study nook with ample shelving and cupboard space in that area too. We are very minimalistic so our home is like a picture-perfect showhome. Everything’s got a place and it’s all brand new.

GH

How did you apply colour throughout the property?

RICHARD

All the brickwork is white and the aluminium joinery and roof are all black. Our carpets are black and the kitchen is white gloss with black fixtures and fittings. Our furniture is also black and white to tie everything in together.

ELIZABETH

It sounds pretty boring, but we’ve been adding splashes of colour through our appliances and accessories. In the kitchen and dining area we’ve included a beautiful garnet, ruby red and some of the ornaments on our coffee table feature the same colour.

RICHARD

We’ve also styled one of our guest bedrooms as a blue room, so it has blue bedding and blue artwork on the wall. One of the bathrooms has a strong dark forest green theme with our towels and accessories.

GH

How did you design your property’s outdoor areas?

RICHARD

The land developers wanted the row of houses which back onto the reserve to look more look more upmarket so we added more gables on the front of the house to enhance our property’s street appeal. On our property, we just wanted grass with large concreted sections for our outdoor dining area and alfresco patio. We don’t have any gardens either. We just used lime and white chip around the black fencing so it all ties in together. We really wanted low maintenance outdoor areas because we’re not gardeners at all. We’ve got a place up in the Coromandel that we want to start going to on a regular basis so it’s pointless having something that we have to look after here. We will add some potted plants around the space.

GH

Were there any challenges to overcome during the building process?

RICHARD

We had a little hiccup with our doors because the ones we wanted couldn’t be made in the size we required. Generation Homes asked us what we wanted to do and they were absolutely brilliant at providing different solutions for us to consider. In the end we ended up with the doors we wanted, we just altered part of the walls to fit the doors in. I was really impressed. Generation Homes had the approach of always saying: ‘check with the owners’. For example, our heat pump couldn’t go on the external wall so they rang us up and gave us options of where we could move it too. We were supported to make really informed decisions throughout our build, which we really appreciated. We also had a walk-through with the electrician and I couldn’t believe the lengths that they went too to make sure we had exactly what we wanted. When our kitchen bench arrived it had a tiny crack in it and there was never any question that it wouldn’t be replaced because it wasn’t up to Generation Homes’ standard.

ELIZABETH

 

All of our contractors were superb and we used their guidance and expertise throughout our build. They really listened to us and understood what we were trying to achieve, which made the whole process so easy.

GH

What advice would you offer to other new home owners before choosing a homebuilding partner?   

ELIZABETH

I would say do your homework. Planning is always a key factor in any decision. We considered a number of different building companies and we also looked at buying an existing property. I don’t know how many open homes I visited to find out whether it was better to buy an existing property or build from scratch. We also talked to people who had built new homes and they all advised us to have an extra 10 percent for a contingency budget – but we never had a contingency with Generation Homes. We were guaranteed that what was outlined in our contract was the price that we would pay, and we moved in on the exact date that we were told.

RICHARD

 

We built with Generation Homes because of its fixed price and on time delivery guarantees. We’ve heard some horror stories from people who have built with other companies. Generation Homes guaranteed the time and guaranteed the money, and you can’t ask for much more than that.

GH

Why were you turned off buying an existing property?

ELIZABETH

We really wanted a new home, and we knew it would be double glazed, well insulated with high quality workmanship and come with a 10-year MasterBuild Guarantee. The benefits of building new actually outweighed what we could have bought in the area. It was slightly cheaper for us to build than it was to buy.

RICHARD

 

The warrantees that Generation Homes offers us were really good. The other great thing was that when we sold our investment property we were able to sign over our MasterBuild Guarantee to the new owners. It was a real plus because they still had an eight year guarantee on the place.

GH

What do you love most about your new home?

ELIZABETH

The lights in the front entrance way, and we definitely chose the right section.

RICHARD

The outdoor flow and our whole kitchen area is just superb. We are big entertainers and having the ability to easily accommodate large groups works exceptionally well for us. We would definitely build with Generation Homes again. I wouldn’t even look at other firms to be honest. I recommend Generation all the time and will never say a nasty word about the company. They were outstanding.