The Courier-Mail - Home - - RIVER COMMUNITY - EMILY BLACK

You are never too young, or too old, to build a home of your own, as is the case for two first time builders tak­ing the leap in Ca­bool­ture. With 66 years dif­fer­ence in age, So­phie Abel, 18, and Wendy Riek­stins, 84, will soon be neigh­bours at Peet’s River­bank com­mu­nity. Both women in­de­pen­dently took the leap to build a home of their own, on their own.

Mrs Riek­stins said she de­cided to build new af­ter the main­te­nance on her three-bed­room fam­ily home had be­come too much for her.

“I stayed on for four years and tried to main­tain the prop­erty on my own with­out (hus­band) Dai­nis, but it was just too hard,” she said.

“Cut­ting down trees and work­ing from 6am to late at night was no life.”

Mrs Riek­stins said she con­sid­ered re­lo­cat­ing to Mel­bourne to be with four of her five chil­dren, but didn’t like the idea of mov­ing away from friends and los­ing her in­de­pen­dence.

“One day I vis­ited my foster daugh­ter who lives here in River­bank,” she said.

“I looked at her new home and de­cided this was ex­actly what I wanted.

“The lay­out was just right, the block was small enough for me to mow and there are lots of chil­dren and dogs in the area.

Hav­ing only just turned 18, Ms Abel, will move into her new house by the end of


With help from her grand­par­ents and un­cle, who al­ready lives at River­bank, the teenager has set her­self up for the fu­ture with the help of some trust money from her father.

“It has been an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said. “My grand­par­ents were keen for me to do some­thing with my money and my un­cle and his fam­ily love liv­ing in River­bank. We looked at the other es­tates but I didn’t like them as much.

“River­bank is beau­ti­ful, with walk­ways, a dog park and very con­ve­nient with the shop­ping cen­tre and rail­way close by. Choos­ing colours and fit­tings was fun … and one of the hard­est three hours of my life.”

First home builders at Peet’s River­bank, Ca­bool­ture South, Wendy Riek­stins, 84, with her dog Daisi and So­phie Abel, 18 (right), are proof you’re never to old, or too young, to build your first home.

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