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Getting Started / Home Building /10.05.24

Real Life House & Land Package Journey

Wondering what it’s like to buy a house and land package with Clarendon Homes?

Wondering what it’s like to buy a house and land package with Clarendon Homes? Ben and Michelle Ryan share their journey from empty paddock to slice of family heaven.

With a growing young family and experience as investment property owners, Sydney couple Ben and Michelle Ryan knew the time was right to take the next step: invest in putting down some roots. That meant looking for a house and land package in an up- and-coming suburb. But where, and with which builder?

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For the Ryans, it didn’t take long to decide it had to be Clarendon Homes. “The first thing was that Clarendon’s reputation is really strong,” says Ben. “We knew that from word of mouth, from family, from people who had built with Clarendon, from the website with the 5000-plus five-star testimonials.”

At a time when other builders were on shaky ground coming out of the Covid pandemic years, the Ryans wanted to go with a company that would weather tough economic times. “We wanted the confidence and security of an established volume builder,” says Ben.

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With a house and land package, Clarendon takes all the hard work out of finding a block of land for a good price, pairing it with a suitable home design, and building a beautiful home – with the combined costs quoted upfront in one fixed price. Erin Rudd, Project Sales Manager, CPG Estates, says that at the beginning of this process, clients’ main concerns are “keeping within budget, along with getting the biggest possible home on the most affordable block in the best possible location”.

For the Ryans, High Grove Estate at Box Hill in Sydney’s north-west ticked all these boxes. As they could see by browsing on the website, a range of packages was available in the area (currently from $1.08m to $1.8m, with single storey homes on 280sqm lots all the way up to five-bedroom, double-storey homes on up to 500sqm sites).

“We picked Box Hill because it’s an up-and-coming family suburb, and we wanted a home with close proximity to schools,” says Ben. “We also chose it for the investment. We realised Box Hill is, loosely speaking, one of the last Hills District suburbs before you start getting out to Windsor. We thought: ‘We have to buy this now, because there will be people desperate to get access to 400sqm block in this prestigious area in western Sydney.’ That was a major factor.” After some window shopping on the website, they went to inspect a block of land. “The Clarendon Sales Consultant from the Box Hill display Centre who initially showed us the block was really approachable,” says Michelle.

“We called him the night after we saw the site and he took the call and was so kind – he walked us through the process. He was really helpful and it gave us the confidence to go with Clarendon.” When the Ryans put down their deposit for the house and land, the 410sqm site had some unusual tenants. “It was an empty block with goats on it,” laughs Ben. Were they nervous? “It was a big decision for us as we’d only ever bought existing investment properties before,” he says. “But Clarendon did a really good job of describing how that all worked.”

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Erin says pricing transparency and value for money are a core part of the Clarendon way of doing things. “We fix our prices and honour our word,” she says, adding that they also offer flexibility. “If the client wishes to upgrade, we offer transparent pricing to ensure they can factor in all the costs in the early stages of planning.” 

That was important for the Ryans, who chose a two-storey, four-bedroom Waterford 27 design from the budget-friendly Aspire range with the knowledge that they would put their own stamp on the design via upgrades. “The first thing we did was increase the ceiling height – we did that straight away when we signed on,” says Michelle. The standard floorplan features not one but three living areas, one of which they adapted by choosing the Home Theatre upgrade. “The sliding doors create a separate movie/family room on the ground floor,” says Michelle.

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A visit to the Lifestyle Studio gave the couple the opportunity to customise details and upgrade a few carefully selected elements of the design, in their case focusing on the kitchen, where they have added a butler’s pantry. The Lifestyle Studio is a wonderland of a showroom, with arrays of fixtures, finishes, flooring and much more. It would be easy to splash out – but with so many quality inclusions already built into their Aspire home, the Ryans managed to keep their upgrades to a minimum.

“We went very closely with the Aspire inclusions: we didn’t deviate too much,” says Michelle. “We wanted a Hamptons look and the Saville facade had that in terms of the panelling and colours. Clarendon’s interior designer helped me select the right colours to get that Hamptons feel.”

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As they speak, it’s all coming together. “We are at the final stages of the build,” says Ben. “It should be ready by the end of April – in the meantime there are some bits and pieces going on inside.” The Ryans are excited about their new family home – and they couldn’t be happier with their choice.

“Clarendon gave us the ability to create the feeling of a high-end home at a fraction of the cost,” says Ben. “So even though it’s not a huge house, when we walk inside it feels like a million bucks.”

CPG Estates is a residential property builder working in partnership with Clarendon Homes. They currently have house and land packages in estates across North West Sydney and the Hunter, including Rouse Hill, Box Hill, Oakville and Anambah, with packages coming soon to Elderslie and Lochinvar. Explore house and land packages available.