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Weddings to a back seat



Caitriona Ledgewood and fiancé David Floyd are among a growing number of couples swapping wedding plans for house keys, choosing to use funds saved for ceremonies postponed due to COVID-19 for a deposit on a new property.

Ms Ledgewood said when COVID-19 put a hold on their dream destination wedding in Ireland, the couple were able to find a silver lining by bringing forward plans to purchase their first home, in the Ellendale community in Upper Kedron.

 “We had been saving for our wedding with the dream of buying our first home not long after, but with all that’s happening with COVID-19 we decided to do things a little differently and buy our home first,” she said.

“When we initially started looking we never even considered building, because we had this preconceived idea that building would be more expensive and stressful than buying an established home.

“While searching suburbs close to the city we quickly realised our choices as first home buyers were pretty slim with our only options being small townhouses or renovation projects and neither worked for our family.

“We started to consider moving further away from the city but didn’t want to add travel time to our work commutes, so when we came across Ellendale in Upper Kedron, just 12km from the CBD, we felt like we struck gold.

“With our wedding in Ireland on hold, we decided we didn’t want to settle for anything we weren’t happy with and building meant we could design our perfect home.”

Building a four bedroom, two bathroom home with Fresh Homes, Caitriona says despite the couple's  initial reservations, building their first home has been an exciting journey.

“We are currently renting so we were a little worried about if we could afford to rent and build but after speaking with Fresh Homes and the Ellendale team, we realised it was a lot easier than we had anticipated,” she said.

“When we visited Ellendale for the first time we immediately fell in love with the area.

“The area was very family friendly and we noticed there were lots of kids our little girl could play with. We wanted to live somewhere we would feel safe to raise our children and Ellendale ticked a lot of boxes for us.

 “Upper Kedron is also such a beautiful, family friendly suburb with a really relaxed vibe to it. There are lots of options for parks, walkways and the park is proving a big hit with our pups.

“Finding out were weren’t able to have our dream wedding had really put a damper on this year but  deciding to buy our first home and waiting to get married has been a blessing in disguise and we’re excited for our future here at Ellendale.”

Ellendale is being developed by Cedar Woods Properties, with Senior Development Manager Peter Starr saying activity from young buyers has been strong, counting towards nearly $$30 million in sales made in the community in 2020.

"We have seen a number of first time buyers and young couples looking to upgrade decide that now is the right time to do so for a number of reasons, including low interest rates, competitive land pricing and the $25,000 HomeBuilder incentive," he said.

"Some, like Caitriona and David, had not been planning to buy this year but have found themselves in a position where they have funds set aside for weddings or travel that have now been postponed, and have decided to tick another goal off their list by purchasing a home instead.

"They are also realising that while they will be able to get married and travel in future, blocks of land do get snapped up quite quickly in popular areas like Ellendale, so waiting may mean they miss out on their preferred lot in their dream location. "Homesites in Ellendale are priced from $385,000.

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