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Project Description

Sally and Les’s home is part of Oakside Gardens, an eight townhome development in Berry NSW based on the Strongbuild Classic Country Style Streamlined Building System.

Sally’s story.

Serendipity … the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
We were irresponsible retirees in 2000 when, to the complete surprise of our two adult children, we sold the family home in Sylvania and set for a life on the road.    Australia is vast, and we spent the next six years living in our off-road caravan, following the seasons and exploring this wonderful continent down under.

It was in 2006 that we found our wings and took flight.   Serendipity was with us!   The United States initially held no appeal, but the Americans spoke English and motorhomes and cars were relatively inexpensive.  So, with just one suitcase each we flew to Houston, Texas, and began a five year romance with that magnificent and diverse country.
We became, what the Americans call, a snowbird … again following the seasons.  Our 36 ft motorhome took us from the awe of Alaska down to the Mexican border, and from the extravagance of Las Vegas to the flamboyancy of Florida and beyond.  Canada and the Caribbean did not escape us.  We saw it all.  Or a lot of it, anyway.

Responsibility returned in 2011 when we decided to sell the motorhome, return to Australia, and begin our search for a stay-put place.   Serendipity, where will you lead us now?
Nick was adamant he did not want to live in Sydney or suffer Queensland’s humidity, and I was equally adamant that Batemans Bay was too far south.   Living in a retirement village was a possibility, although not a preference, and we decided to spend a week in Berry to explore all our options.
I searched the web for accommodation in Berry and, to my astonishment, Serendipity B&B popped up.   My favourite word!   How could we go wrong!  I made the reservation and during the course of the conversation was told about Strongbuild, of their very high reputation as quality builders, and of a new development called Oakside Gardens.

Nick and I first met Chris Francis in the Strongbuild office and we were immediately impressed.  Oakside Gardens was to be a Community Title development and had just been released for sale.   We told Chris of our priorities for a north-facing home with open views across farmland to the Illawarra Escarpment.  After so many years of travel we couldn’t bear the thought of being hemmed in.   It was then that Chris said House 8 was still for sale and he took us to see the vacant land where the eight classic design cottages were to be built.   We instantly fell in love with the concept!
The following day we were introduced to Jamie Strong and the Contract to Purchase was signed.  Chris had given us the flexibility to change the internal layout, so Amber drew up the revised plans and suggested the front French Doors.   Meanwhile, Emma ticked the boxes and kept a record of our preferences   To all of you, and especially those behind the scenes … thanks for a fantastic job.
Never in our wildest dreams did Nick and I think we would ever live in a classic timber cottage with a tin roof and a white picket fence around it!    But Serendipity was still with us!   She had guided us to our little stay-put place in beautiful Berry!  And we love it!