Meet Waterlea new residents, Pieter and Ros Vandoorn


When the time came to down tools, Brisbane’s Pieter and Ros Vandoorn selected Waterlea at Walloon for their see-change. Running their plumbing company and residing at one home address for almost 44 years, they took two years to diligently research and plan their next life chapter. Waterlea Living caught up with Ros and Pieter to chat about why they selected Waterlea and the bright future ahead.

Ros and Pieter, please tell us what attracted you to Waterlea.

R:  Pieter and I are avid bicycle riders; however, we can do without the steep hills.  Riding from Waterlea to Walloon is primarily flat with designated cycling lanes, and it’s a great way to get around and meet the neighbours. My first purchase, once we are settled, is a three-wheel bike with a shopping basket.

P: I liked the proximity to the Walloon train station, the Walloon IGA and shops, and the Walloon Salon for meals.  Ros and I are moving from south Brisbane so travelling by train to catch up with my old mates is still convenient.  Next, it is peaceful and away from the city street noise. Plus, I like the energy of a new community – Waterlea is a mix of age groups from couples and young families to active retirees and downsizers like Ros and me.

How long were you looking before you purchased at Waterlea?

P&R: Our son and daughter-in-law were searching for a house to buy on the Brisbane outskirts, so we started to look with them. From the time we began our research to the move in date at Waterlea took nearly two years.  We are retiring soon so the timing is perfect.  Our next project is settling into our new home, making new friends, and getting involved in with community activities.

Did you consider other developments?

P&R: We looked at eight to 10 developments – each had its strong points, but Waterlea ticked all the boxes for us.

Tell us about the block of land that you purchased – why did you select this particular block?

R:  Pieter and I went about this process reversed as we decided on a house plan first then selected the block of land.  Our house plan with a three-car garage required a 17-metre street frontage so we need to find a lot with 20-metre frontage.  Fortunately, there was one block remaining in the second release that met our requirements. The price was right, so we bought it.  It is one street off the main road coming into Waterlea and on the high side of the road which suited us.

P:  We need a third garage space to accommodate a regulation sized pool table.  It has been in storage for years so once we move in to Waterlea, I will be spending the time to sharpening my game.

Is your Waterlea home smaller or larger than your home of 44 years?

R: Although our Waterlea home is smaller by about 10%, it is more liveable with an open living plan and a separate media space, a kitchen with lots of storage, four bedrooms – one set up as a study, two bathrooms and a hobby room. Pieter can be in the media room reading or listening to music, and I can be in the kitchen watching a television program without disturbing one another.

What are a few favourite features about your new home? 

R: The house is oriented to catch the prevailing breezes, and that’s an advantage so not to rely solely on air-conditioning for cooling.  The living areas are open yet with separation, and there is more than one lounge area. Having the main bedroom in a separate wing from the other bedrooms is another plus.  A bathroom feature that I know I will appreciate is a seat in the shower.

P: Our Brisbane home was over 350 sqm, but there was only one bathroom as it was built in the late 1800s.  A plumber by trade, I was preoccupied with customer work to get around to adding a second bathroom.  Our new home has two bathrooms – an ensuite in the master bedroom suite and a second bathroom for guests and overnight visitors.

Working with the builders, we redesigned the kitchen to make room for a walk-in butler’s pantry with a double sink, dishwasher and storage.  This way the messy part of cooking can be concealed. Last but not least, the three-car garage with plenty of room for my pool table.

Leaving your long-term Brisbane home and relocating to a new community and a new home, how are you feeling about your next big step?

P: Our next life adventure has been in planning for two years and it will continue to be enjoyable and stress-free.  With our Brisbane home, we are moving out slowly but surely and have sold it to a property developer! My time will be spent getting our new home set up, playing a little pool with the neighbours, and biking into town and dropping by the Walloon Salon from time to time.