Until late last year when Greg Batchelor was asked to design a display home at The Village, he hadn't imagined soon he would also be designing his own home in the community.
But now, the business consultant for the Independent Builders Network North Queensland is putting the final touches on the exciting and innovative design for his three-bedroom home in stage 10 of The Village.
Even more impressively, Greg's creative two-storey home, as well as including three large bedrooms, will also feature a plunge pool and secure undercover parking for two cars within the confines of a terrace.
His two-storey 195 m² home sits on a compact 125 m² block, but makes great use of both the Street frontage and rear laneway to maximise access and space.
"There is certainly a challenge to designing on a block 5m wide, but the attraction of living in The Village and all the benefits that terrace housing brings have made the design experience exciting and rewarding. While terrace housing is common all round the world, it's a relatively new idea for North Queensland but one that really suits the growing move towards more compact and functional housing close to our city centres."
Greg and his now retired wife only recently moved to Townsville after living in Melbourne, New Zealand, and elsewhere so they could be closer to their son and his new family.
"We are currently renting a traditional home with yard in Annandale, but have previously lived in all sorts of housing particularly apartments. The terrace style homes offered at The Village offers the best of both worlds, bringing all the lifestyle benefits of living in apartments (like not having to mow the lawn) with the freedom from body corporate fees and the shared ownership that a freestanding freehold home brings. So it's neither upsizing, downsizing but perhaps upgrading."
Asked who the builder will be, Greg laughs and says he's spoiled for choice with the local members of the Independent Builders Network, one of whom will make his dream concrete.
Arriving in Townsville partway through last year, Greg realised the potential of the city and the attractive lifestyle but decided to keep his options open in terms of what and where to build.
"We didn't really look around that much before we settled on building at The Village, once I started to get an understanding of its unique location, facilities, and amenity to aid me in designing this display home for IBN; we were pretty much sold on this community and decided to make it our home."
As a professional designer, Greg sees The Village's main points of difference as being the mix of housing types, choice of land sizes, its great location close to the CBD and on the river, the preservation of the huge trees which dot the estate, and the extensive park and greenspaces.
"This area has huge potential, being so close to the city centre which is set to really go ahead with the developments of the whole waterfront precinct and integrated stadium and entertainment centre, as well as really easy transport links both into the city and onto the ring road. It's also really well served by the growing Fairfield commercial precinct which is literally two minutes down the road. I might be biased, but I can't think of a better place not only to live in Townsville, nor one which provides such great investment potential."
Greg sees the growing move away from traditional estates which are pushed further and further onto the city's fringes in search of land at reasonable prices, and towards creative and sustainable medium density developments like The Village as being the way of the future.
"When I can build a three-bedroom home within just a few minutes of the city centre and is in the middle of what is already a leafy green riverside suburb, why would I want to commute o?"
"Terraces themselves work really well in close to the city centre. I think they are going to be more and more attractive both for professionals who are time poor and for retirees who are looking for lifestyle benefits without the hard work required in the yard."
They say real estate is all about location, location, location, and Greg believes that The Village has it all.
"I want my own home, and the display home I'm designing, to really showcase to people all the great things about living in Townsville, living in The Village, and living in a terrace."
One final thing that Greg is quietly looking forward to is standing on his front balcony and looking out over Cleveland Bay to Magnetic Island. "People don't realise just how close to the coast The Village is, and there's really nothing standing between us and the sea so I'm pretty confident that this home and others nearby will have sea views."