House move looming!
We have been house hunting. Not to buy, sadly – too many residual “battle” debts for that at the moment. We needed more space.
When I moved into this house in 2007 it was lovely for one. Lovely even for two! It is three bedrooms, lounge, diningroom, kitchen, laundry, bathroom with shower AND bath and a separate toilet. To the American readers: yes, we Aussies like our toilets NOT in the bathroom. I know, you think we are strange. Our water swirls in the other direction when we flush too: that IS true!
I had one bedroom set up as my study. The other thing I love is the huge amount of cupboard space. Linen closets to spare! All rooms have built-in wardrobes.
Housing six people? It is too small. We knew this would be the case, but it was a roof over our heads and the rent was reasonable and the nearby schools are great. Originally we planned to stay just to get ourselves sorted, then buy a place of our own. Any chance of THAT disappeared during our very expensive twelve months. So we are still here.
There is no space in the bedrooms for desks for homework. There is no family room for the kids to have their own space away from us – or more importantly, us away from them! The backyard, such as it is, is small and the clothesline is fine for two maximum.
The landlady increased the rent by $80 a week when the lease I signed just before the family arrived expired. That is a hefty increase, so Mr O and I decided for the money we would see if we could get more space. The problem was we didn’t really want to change the kids schools, given they were settled in so nicely. We felt it was just too much upheaval given they have only been here twelve months.
This area, though, is rather expensive. There are a few lovely homes for rent for $1,000 a week. $1,000 a week is
just a little a great deal out of our budget range at the moment! Luckily, there are also some very nice not-quite-so-pricey ones!
We saw one house we liked as far as the space inside was concerned and the price was right. Close to transport and the kids could take the train to school. There was one problem: it has NO backyard and no nearby park. No, there was a second problem! No clothesline! So we passed on that one.
One agent had great homes, but each time I called, the place in question had just been leased. I’m not sure they had any at all!
Apart from space, we wanted two bathrooms and two toilets.
Oh well, you can’t always get what you want! The more modern homes have ensuites, but the houses are small. When we came out of one that had LOOKED lovely and large on the internet Mr O commented, “That is smaller than where we are!” The kitchen was certainly not nearly as large as the photo had implied!
I spotted a house not far from us. There was only an external photo on the internet. I was a bit worried as this can be a bad sign. Also, for the location, the rent was within our budget – just! Was it a dump inside?
We saw the house on Saturday. The oven door doesn’t seal (which will be fixed before we move in), but other than that this house really looked more than suitable. The downer? One toilet AND it is IN the bathroom! Damn, damn, damn.
We thought about it. We both liked the house, lots of living area, large bedrooms, great backyard without being a farm, terrific security door on the front meaning we can open the front door on hot nights and let the cool night air through. A lovely big clothesline for large-family laundry. But: one toilet AND it is IN the bathroom! Damn, damn, damn.
Location is perfect. Heating, cooling, dishwasher. According to Mr O, Mr O Jnr 2 “jumped with joy so high he nearly hit the ceiling” to hear there was a dishwasher!
In the end we decided a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and we applied. I will admit with all the talk of Australia being racist lately, I was a little concerned. Also, we don’t have Mr O’s permanent residency yet: would that be a problem? Would we have difficulty? I am VERY happy (and I admit actually quite proud of my country) to confirm there were no concerns at all. Mr O being a budding horticulturist was, I think, an attraction given the garden and hedges!
OK, they asked us to pay an extra $10 a week over the advertised price but I think that was either because they checked with our current agent OR because we have four children. The average number of children in Australia is 1.9 and people seem to worry that four kids may be a problem!
We decided to go ahead. This will feel more like “our” home, I am sure. Not only is it bigger, it is something Mr O and I chose together, rather than just continuing where I had been since 2007. If we were buying, no, we wouldn’t go with the bathroom arrangement, but this will do nicely until we do buy. Rostering of showers will continue!
Moving and packing tips for us, anyone? Horror stories?
To all those I follow, please forgive my sporadic visits to your sites. House hunting on top of everything else in our lives has eaten into my reading time dramatically and now I will be packing and preparing to move. I am not even going to pretend I will catch up! I know you will all understand!