This time two weeks ago we moved house. It was nearly 44 degrees celsius – so pretty damn hot. But the story begins back in August.
I’d arranged to meet a friend at a cafe not far from our house. We walked there and as we nearly arrived she met us and said that it was pretty full so we decided to go to another one nearby.
After we bought our food we were sitting at a table close to the counter and I overheard the manager talking to a regular about how he and his wife wanted to buy a house nearby (in my suburb). My ears pricked up because I’d been thinking of selling for a while. JJ had finished primary school so I felt for a number of reasons it was time to move on.
When it got a bit quieter I went up to him and said that I’d overheard his conversation and that I was thinking of selling my house. He said he was interested so gave me his card.
The next day I emailed him my details and a plan of the house as it was when I bought it 17 years ago. Consequently, two weeks later he, his wife and two young children came to look at the house and said they were interested.
They dragged their heels a bit while they did some finance groundwork but made an offer, which I accepted after having done my research about what I thought I could get on the market and weighing up whether it was worth opening it up further to other potential buyers and having to pay real estate agent fees.
Things dragged on some more as they still kept on sorting out their finance but I finally got the go ahead from them to get a contract of sale organised. A spanner was put into the works as I disclosed some proposed council works which would affect them if they went ahead. This was the most stressful part for me – dealing with the council that is. They told my buyers different things to what they’d told me and there was a breakdown in communications and I thought the whole thing was going to fall through. But after a contract addendum about the council works, then another addendum about settlement date it all got sorted.
In the meantime I’d been looking at houses. I made an offer on one but was knocked back because it was a slightly lower offer with more conditions than the other offer they received. I had a break of a couple of weeks while the contract stuff was dragging on but then as it looked as though it would all go ahead I started looking again in earnest.
I looked at many houses in sought after locations, some with sparkling pools, and many houses with very odd layouts. One house that I hoped I would be interested in was quite a let-down. Its additions hadn’t been very well planned and while there were plenty of bedrooms and a couple of options for living areas it was quite strange and the backyard didn’t inspire me. Even though I sold my house privately to obviously very interested buyers I still got my garden mowed and trimmed and looking neat. This house hadn’t. There was a weird patch of fake lawn, weeds everywhere and the back fence was quite low so you could see right into the neighbour’s backyard. Other houses had too many steps inside, or one had a very steep backyard that was mostly unusable. That one’s still for sale.
But right at the time that I needed to, I found a house that had a good layout for us, incredible views and functional, usable space inside and out. Plus the kitchen and bathroom are reasonably up-to-date. I think I was the only one who made an offer, which was accepted, then it was all systems go for a four-week settlement.
I had access to the house ten days before we moved so a bunch of friends and I moved a heap of boxes and pot plants. Thank goodness for that, because it saved us time on official moving day where I was paying by the hour, plus it was goddamn hot!
A week after moving day I hosted Christmas and I even got my two sisters in the same house. They haven’t spoken for over five years so buying a new house was totally worth it just for that!
It’s been two weeks today and I still have unpacking and sorting out to do but we definitely feel as though it’s home and the feedback from friends has been really positive. I’ve already done more entertaining here in the last two weeks than I did at the previous house in the last six months.