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Our Blog

Our blog features the news and views of a variety of our employees, suppliers and residents. From expert, leading commentary from our Managing Director Mr Danny Murphy through to thoughts on what makes a great community from our local residents, our blog is designed to provide insight into what it takes to make sustainable communities in which people can live, work and play. If you have any ideas for future topics, please email us.

What does community really look like?

by Heather Awcock - 22 Apr 2015

At LWP our aim is to create sustainable communities for people to live, work and play and has been for the last 20 years.

However, the term creating communities has gained popularity in recent years, so potentially has lost the meaning it once had.

So what does community REALLY look like?

For us, it is a place where people know their neighbour’s names, where children play in the street, where the local shop owner knows just how you like your morning coffee.

It isn’t just words on paper or promises of a great community life.

Community is people. People living, working and playing together.

We are fortunate enough to have been developing new communities for over 20 years and recently celebrated a community in action at our flagship community of Ellenbrook, Western Australia.

In the early hours of Thursday 5 March, local residents woke to find a very large box in a park in the village of Malvern Springs.

It came with a set of simple instructions. ‘Return at noon on Saturday 7 March with at least 20 of your neighbours and friends to open the box. Wait for the buzzer to sound and then press all 20 buttons at the same time.’

People were baffled and took to social media to try and guess what was in the box and who was behind the big surprise. All three Perth TV stations also got in on the act, reporting live in the days leading up and asking people to guess ‘what was in the mysterious Ellenbrook box’.

Over 1,000 local residents gathered in the Malvern Springs park at midday on Saturday 7 March and all worked together to open the box and were treated to a fantastic surprise when they did.

The residents worked together to press the buttons simultaneously to reveal a burst of balloons, confetti and coloured smoke with the WA band Boys, Boys, Boys performing. Food and icecream, circus entertainers and facepainters also magically appeared much to the delight of the crowd.

This fun initiative was designed to highlight great community outcomes when people join forces, even in the smallest ways.

Local residents at our communities, such as Ellenbrook, often say the best thing about living where they do is the sense of community, that they know their neighbours and that people look out for each other.

To be able to orchestrate such a massive surprise and to see twenty residents get together to open a mystery box and then join together in what was a great street party was truly something special and exactly what community is all about.

To check it out for yourself, visit our video of the big box reveal in action at
www.mylwpcommunity.com.au

EQUIS LAKE – Escape the ordinary

by Stacy Norton - 14 Apr 2015

A guest post by Stacy Norton, Project Manager at Equis Lake

Remember when you were a child and summer days seemed to stretch for weeks?

Think back to family time by the river or at a local park, hours exploring nature and lazy Sunday picnics shared with friends. Life moved at a slower pace – you had time to smell the roses. To explore. To relax and revitalise the senses.

LWP has been working hard to create this same sense of tranquility at Equis Lake.

Nestled below the Darling Range on the doorstep of the Swan Valley, this private pocket of The Vines has been carefully planned to offer seclusion, without foregoing affordability or convenience.

In its past life, Equis Lake was an equestrian estate used for the training and agistment of horses. The property contained numerous stables, trainers’ quarters and a manor house.

Today, the picturesque Sawpit Gully – with its natural lake – runs through the middle of the development and forms a stunning focal point.

Walking trails, a family park, picnic areas and gazebos have been thoughtfully designed to help residents connect with the beautiful surroundings and soak up the views. They are being constructed in stages along with look-out decks and seating areas.

And, in a nod to the buildings that once stood on the estate, the development will feature contemporary-rural houses with a timeless style. Think wide verandahs, traditionally pitched roofs, gables and a mix of materials.

Underpinning LWP’s commitment to create a private sanctuary at Equis Lake, less than 250 homesites (ranging in size from about 300sqm to 600sqm) will be created.

Around half of the homesites have been sold since the development was launched in 2013 and it has been a pleasure to watch the first houses spring up over the last year.  

While retreating to a private estate is a charming ideal, location and convenience remained front of mind for LWP when we planned this new community.

For those of us needing to return to work or school at the end of a relaxing weekend, this picturesque development is close to the Ellenbrook Town Centre, Midland and only 35kms from the Perth CBD.

If you’ve been yearning for a quiet neighbourhood that still ticks all the boxes for modern living, Equis Lake may just hold the key.

Our guide to buying land – Part 5 – The Big Build and Moving

by Stacy Norton - 25 Mar 2015

Congratulations! The planning is done, the paperwork has been lodged and you can now focus on pre-start.

Think colour schemes and fixtures, kitchen fittings and more…

It is also a great time to consider and perhaps arrange relevant insurances or financial protections so they are in place once you’ve made the big move.

Covering the following topics, the videos in The Big Build discuss some of the personal touches homebuilders can add to their homes, as well as practical advice to help you enjoy your new investment for many years to come:

  • Designing a great bedroom
  • What to expect at your pre-start meeting
  • Consumer protection insurance
  • Tips on building and contents insurance
  • Choosing a functional kitchen design
  • Living room designs you’ll love
  • Income protection insurance

Find out on YouTube now.

Our guide to buying land – Part 4 – The Paperwork

by Ryan Milroy - 18 Mar 2015

Building a home can sometimes feel like a time consuming and stressful experience but there lots of things you can do to help avoid delays and streamline the process.

At LWP we are all about creating communities to live, work and play in.

We want to help remove some of the pressures that may arise before construction commences and that’s where our Sales staff come in. They are more than happy to help answer all of your questions and walk you through this vital process.

You will also need to engage a Settlement Agent to liaise with your financial institution and other relevant authorities.

It’s important that you get the paperwork right so we’ve created a series of short and informative videos to get you thinking about property settlement.

In this series of videos we walk you through the following:

  • Applying for the first home owners grant
  • The role of a settlement agent
  • The importance of signing and returning settlement documents on time
  • Paying stamp duty
  • Nominating a settlement agent

Find out more by watching the YouTube clips now.

Our guide to buying land – Part 3 – The Big Decision

by Stacy Norton - 11 Mar 2015

Finance is locked in, your budget is in place and now it’s time to make some exciting choices about your home’s design.

From its orientation and elevation, to choosing low energy appliances or water saving devices, there are many things to consider.

In The Big Decision, our Urban Design guru, Stacy Norton, shares some handy tips to help you comply with any covenants or guidelines relevant to your development without compromising on you’re the design of your dreams.

Covering the following topics, this series of short videos will help you get on with the business of bringing your home to life in one of our great communities:

  • Making changes to your home design
  • Keeping your design within budget
  • Choosing a home design that suits your block
  • How to ensure your design complies with relevant design guidelines
  • Creating a more environmentally friendly design 

Learn more on YouTube now.

Our guide to buying land – Part 2 – Money, Money, Money

by Ryan Milroy - 24 Feb 2015

So, you’ve decided to build a new home and it’s time to think about finance.

At LWP we are committed to bringing each of our vibrant communities to life. We understand that first homebuyers may need a little help along the way and that’s why we've compiled a simple and comprehensive land and home buyers guide to help you learn more about the process of building.

When you consider the many different lenders and financial products on offer, government grants and fees and other associated costs, it’s easy to get confused.

Budget and finance are the focus of our second series of videos, Money, Money, Money, where we explore topics such as:

  • The benefits of visiting local branches or engaging a mobile lender
  • How online tools and phone mortgage calculators can help you determine just how much you may be able to borrow
  • The importance of creating a monthly budget
  • Making extra loan repayments
  • Mortgage brokers versus banks?
  • How mortgage repayments are calculated
  • The different fees you may have to pay

Watch now on YouTube:

Attention to detail meets old world charm at Annie’s Village

by Melanie Carpenter - 11 Feb 2015

There’s inspiration aplenty at the new display village at Annie’s Landing in Ellenbrook where verandas, metal deck roofs and large gables have emerged as popular trends.

Opened late last year, many of the 28 new display homes take their cues from the strong sense of character and natural beauty of the Avon Valley.

The Avon Valley itself offers a range of architectural styles, from the Australian homestead to New Norcia’s Spanish Revival designs. Many were introduced from Europe and adapted to withstand the challenges of the Australian environment – a factor that’s just as important today.

A high level of detailing – think pitched roofs, local Toodyay stone, weatherboards and face brick in warm, autumn shades – can be spotted throughout the display village.

Light-coloured render, simple forms, painted brickwork, vertically proportioned windows and wide verandas also feature in many of the display homes.

Megan Buckland, Project Manager for the Ellenbrook Town Centre, shares her thoughts on why people have been drawn to the fantastic new designs on display.

A growing number of homebuilders are being drawn to a sense of tradition and substance.

Traditional elements are being combined with contemporary styling, creating elevations that are diverse and interesting, which is really exciting to see.

Many homebuyers are also keen to personalise their home’s exterior with details such as double veranda posts, window hoods, corbelling, mouldings and rendered plinths.

At Annie’s Landing, each builder has created an individual home, demonstrating how homebuyers can add as much or as little detail as they like while still meeting the design guidelines we set for Annie’s Landing.

Each builder has also illustrated how the building guidelines can be interpreted depending on whether the homebuyer is looking for something very classic or something more contemporary.

Before choosing a style for your new home, why not take a drive to the Annie’s Landing display village off Banrock Drive in Ellenbrook and let its natural charm inspire you. For display village opening times and further information, visit www.ellenbrook.com.au or call the LWP sales team on 9297 9999.

How to buy land....

by Heather Awcock - 30 Sep 2014

OUR GUIDE TO BUYING LAND

Building your first home can be a huge and daunting task.

First of all, there is such a choice of developments and block sizes and styles to choose from and that is before you have even had the chance to speak to various financial institutions to find out what mortgage is right for you.

For many first home buyers this process leaves them breaking out in cold sweats, which is why we have developed a series of short how-to videos to demystify the process of buying your first block and building your first home. Login

Our first videos cover the following:

Buying on your own or with someone else

  • What you need to do if your deposit is less than 20%
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Financial pre-approval
  • Determining your financial status
  • What you should look for in a development
  • The best loan
  • Benefits of ready built packages
  • Differences between a house and land package and ready built
  • Benefits of house and land packages
  • Getting financial approvals

Watch now on You Tube:


 

One resident’s journey of buying land, building and living at Trinity

by Heather Awcock - 29 Aug 2014

Thoughts from a resident of Trinity, Kendal Goulay

Picture yourself relaxing in your alfresco on a glorious Perth afternoon. The sea breeze has come in, you’ve put your feet up and are taking a moment to admire your newly constructed home.

The journey from choosing the right homesite in the right community, to building and meeting the neighbours takes lots of planning and a little patience.

As a master-planned community, LWP’s Trinity at Alkimos has set a benchmark for quality, sustainable living in Perth’s northern corridor while offering a relaxed, easy-going coastal lifestyle.

And there aren’t many people around who love Trinity more than Kendal Gourlay. She lives at Trinity with her husband Ross, children Christopher and Rachel and their dog, Harvey.

Kendal is a member of the Trinity Community Reference Group and embodies everything that is great about the sense of community at Trinity.

In this blog, we asked Kendal about her journey to becoming a Trinity resident, and lessons learned along the way.

First things first… choose a homesite

Whether you are planning to raise a family, build your first home, or find a sound investment, there’s a lot to consider when buying land.

It’s best to start with a wish list of your preferred suburbs, lot size and shape, home size and design etc.

Developer’s land sales offices and websites offer loads of information, such as LWP’s First Homebuyers Online Guides, to get you started.

Kendal and Ross purchased a 450sqm block in December 2011.

“We chose Trinity as it was good value for money and we liked its ‘village’ theme,” she said.

“We do wish that we had purchased a slightly bigger lot so we could have accommodated a larger garden but we loved that Trinity was a quiet, friendly neighbourhood.”

Help is a question away…

As this was the first time Kendal and Ross had built, they found the process confusing at times and learnt that there was a lot to gain from asking questions.

“For example, we come from the UK where soak wells are a standard inclusion but we learned that we had to put in our own soak wells here,” she said.

“We also learned that we could have brought our house forward slightly, giving us more space in the garden. Our neighbour did this but it was not offered as an option to us, so we didn't realise it could be done.

“Another thing to remember is that if you choose a corner lot, you are responsible for the upkeep of the verge area.”

Choose the builder that’s right for you

After choosing their homesite, Kendal and Ross built a 4x2 with study and theatre room through Celebration Homes.

New developments often have display villages and it’s a good idea to visit as many of these as possible (before you meet with your builder) to get a feel for the size and style of home that suits your needs.

The display village at Trinity features 21 homes from Perth's leading home builders, with eight of the homes built on 'cottage' homesites and the remainder on traditional lots.

Kendal said Celebration Homes had been “first-class from start to finish”.

“The rooms are a good size, which is one of the reasons we chose this design,” she added.

“Construction started at the end of February/beginning of March and we were in ahead of schedule!”

She did however advise home builders to check their home thoroughly before handover and speak up if they noticed any defects:

“We were lucky not to have much of a snagging list but on final inspection we noticed that the main bathroom tiles on the decorative strip were a different shade from each other,” she said. “This was easily and immediately fixed by the tiler.”

Love where you live

Kendal has seen some significant growth and change at Trinity since her home was finished two years ago.

“Access to the new Butler Train Station is nearly complete and we now have several play parks for little kids,” she said.

“I love the local markets throughout the year and am also looking forward to visiting the planned local shops and cafe. A village cafe where residents can meet for a chat and a coffee is so important.”

The passionate Trinity resident says she enjoys living in a community where “everyone is willing to help each other out”:

“I love my neighbours here at Trinity and really love the community feel it has!

Then and now…

by Danny Murphy - 13 Jun 2014

As land developers, we often talk about our ‘vision’ for new communities. We try to paint a picture for future residents to help them imagine what it will be like to live in these new developments in one year’s time, five years’ time – even a decade or more later.

 A key priority for LWP Property Group is to remain true to the original vision for a new maste-rplanned community as it takes shape over many years – in the case of Ellenbrook, over two decades.

So how have we done? Have we delivered on our promises? How do future residents in some of our newer communities know that what the artists’ impressions show now will be what is on the ground in coming months and years?

Well, they could take a look at Ellenbrook for starters. They could refer back to the ‘The Ellenbrook Concept’, a document that was published in 1993 – complete with an introduction from then Premier of Western Australia Richard Court.

Here’s what that document says about ‘The Vision” for Ellenbrook:

Ellenbrook will be a modern community designed to provide housing and associated education, recreation, retail and community facilities for up to 35,000 residents. It will offer a wide choice of accommodation and lifestyle in an attractive environment designed to enhance the natural features of the site. While signifying a return to the more traditional values of community living, Ellenbrook will also pursue a leadership role in the more efficient delivery of infrastructure and in the adoption of improved environmental management techniques.

Over 20 years later, let’s review how we’ve done.

Education: Ellenbrook has four Government primary schools and one Government Secondary College. It also has three private primary schools and two private secondary schools. But before these were built – when there were just 50 residents in Ellenbrook – LWP developed Schools in Houses and Schools in Offices – an innovative way of providing primary school facilities before the community was large enough to support a Government primary school.

Recreation & community facilities: from Ellenbrook Arts – a not for profit organization that hosts art exhibitions in Ellenbrook Gallery – to kilometres of walk and cycle trails connecting and through parks, a full size sports oval, plus cafes, restaurants and a tavern, Ellenbrook is a thriving community with something for everyone.

Retail: In addition to small local shops throughout Ellenbrook, and bulky goods and hardware stores on the Promenade, The Shops at Ellenbrook in the Town Centre has 80 retailers including Coles, Woolworths, Australia Post, Dick Smith, Big W, Dymocks and BWS.

Choice of accommodation: from the traditional quarter acre block to low maintenance ‘lock and leave’ cottage lots, from apartment living to country homesites, Ellenbrook has a vibrant mix of homes. This means that not only is there always an affordable option for first home buyers, there are also options to suit growing families, retired couples and young professionals. One of the best testaments to this is the number of people who move within Ellenbrook’s villages – sometimes as many as 25% of purchasers in a year are currently living in Ellenbrook.

Environment: Everywhere throughout Ellenbrook there is evidence of the landscape that was here long before the development. From natural enhanced bushland, native wetlands, landscaped waterwise parks and stunning treed streetscapes, the natural environment is at the heart of Ellenbrook’s design. Malvern Springs was one of the first land developments in Perth to be awarded Urban Development Institute of Australia certification for EnviroDevelopment.

Still need convincing? Take a look of some of these ‘then and now’ photographs and artists impressions of Ellenbrook. More than any words, they tell the story of what we envisioned for Ellenbrook, and what we delivered. We think you’ll agree, Ellenbrook is ‘all grown up’!
LWP's Ellenbrook Town Centre

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