As of last week Thursday, we’re practically homeowners. We did it. We found a house. We successfully applied for a home loan and it’s finally happening. After three years of house-hunting, countless disappointments, innumerable hours spent traipsing around the most ermahgerd-awful houses and a couple hit-and-misses – we finally found one.
Look, it’s by no stretch of the imagination what we were hoping for. It’s not perfectly renovated or huge. It’s not a dreamy Dutch-style house, nor a wistful Victorian many-splendoured thing with turrets and broekie lace and weather vanes.
It doesn’t have pressed ceilings or a farm-style kitchen. There’s no pantry and no pretty arched windows. No Victorian claw-footed baths. No stained glass windows. No rosewood kitchen cupboards with gas stoves and two ovens. There’s no walk-in closet and there’s certainly no bay windows.
It is, however, smack-bang in the middle of the neighbourhood that we wanted to be in. A lovely, enclosed, leafy-green, suburban-peaceful neighbourhood. The street we’re in is lined with big green trees and there’s a huge, welcoming park with swings and slides and merry-go-rounds. It has enough bedrooms for my expanding family, plus there’s still a room leftover for an office or a study. There’s a separate lounge and dining room (something we didn’t have in our current open-plan townhouse) and a big kitchen. Two bathrooms. A pool and an outside laundry. A pool and over 1200 square metres of garden. Which is apparently about a third of an acre. (We’re currently living on less than a third of that).
The garden is lovely. It has many of my favourite herbs already growing in abundance. Lemon trees. My favourite flowers, aplenty. There’s a fireplace and I suspect that there is parquet flooring under the hideously revolting carpets. The bathrooms and kitchens are fucked, but not un-live-able. They can wait until we can figure something out to get them re-done. Most importantly is the fact that it was within our price-range. Sure, it will be a tight squeeze getting by each month, but that’s what adults do, right?
It’s ours and we can do with it as we please. We managed to get it, on our own. Without parents having to stand surety. It will be my name and his name on the title deed to the house. It’s ours and it’s a place to raise a family. It’s a place where we’re not living on top of our neighbours. It’s a place where our kids will be able to run around and swim and exhaust themselves. It’s as safe as we can get, outside of a secure estate. It’s in an amazing area, and any money that we spend fixing it up will be made up if we decide to sell. It will also be a quick sell too, if it came to that, as we’ve watched houses in that area get snapped up within days of listing on the market.
It’s a relief, too. It’s a relief not having to stress about where, in our two-bedroom townhouse, we’re going to make space for a 4th member of the family. It’s a relief not to rush from work to yet another estate agent appointment. It’s a relief not to troll the property websites day after day and to wait anxiously for the next issue of the Property Portfolio to come out.
We’ll hopefully, if everything goes according to plan, move in to our new house in March 2013. I’ll be due to pop Baby 2 at the end of May. So it’s nowhere near as tight as it was, with The Kid. In that scenario we moved into our new house, a week before he made his arrival.
We did it. It took us three years. But we did it. Whew!