Real real real

I’m ready to pack it in and move to Queensland where they have giant cockroaches that feast on your toothbrush bristles and crocodiles and big spiders but at least there might be a lot less chance of getting a new kind of cold every three days. Today I have no voice, which is fine if you don’t have to yell “AMELIA! I SAID DON’T PAINT ON THE WALL!” and other such things every five minutes or so. I have developed a ferocious whisper that can stop any toddler dead in their tracks.
Yesterday afternoon Big-P and I went out to have a look at a house for sale in Blackburn. It was quite a nice house in a rabbit warren kind of way, but there were a few problems with it, the rabbit warren nature of its halls being a big one. Big-P and I agreed that it was ok and we could live in it at a pinch and probably be quite happy for a time and that was almost enough to make us go home and start working out a serious offer.

Two years (or so) ago when we were last looking for houses it was mid-housing boom. We would turn up for an open inspection and there would be lines of people milling through the house. There were young couples like us and old crusty looking investor types measuring the land and imagining how many units they could squeeze onto the property. These old crusty investor types were the reason we couldn’t find a house. I blame them entirely. Everyone was in a house buying frenzy and prices continued to climb week after week. So I would stomp around these open houses glaring at anyone who looked like an evil investor and we ended up renting for another year and then moving in with mum and dad.

Which brings us to today. The boom is over, in fact there is still much speculation about prices of houses not just slowing but falling in the next few months. We turn up to an inspection with our same amount of low expectations that we had two years ago to be pleasantly surprised that not only is the house halfway decent but there are only one or two other couples wandering through. Real Estate agents return your calls and almost fall over themselves to help out.

It’s hard for us to realise that we might actually find something we like. It’s hard not to see house number three and think “We must buy this now before a crusty investor gets their hooks into it!”.

On Saturday night Ben was telling us about a friend of his who hired a real estate expert to do the looking and to find a house for him. The expert’s philosophy was that you needed to look at 90 houses before finding the one you like. 90 houses. I think we can safely say that we have a bit of work to do yet.

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14 Responses

  1. on the flip side honey, this IS one of the major investments you will make in your life. Do not settle for anything! Get what you want. It is easier to rent than to sell and sell till you get what you really like. Trust me, been there done it. I know it is frustrating, I KNOW, but it will be worth it and you WILL find your home! okie? Keep pluggin on and oh! Get better soon with that nasty cold!

  2. says:

    OMG I live in QLD and it’s sooo true, giant cockroaches DO feast on your toothbrushes (and visit your kitchen area – there’s a cockroach stuck to a piece of masking tape above my stove, I think it died of starvation) and giant spiders share showers with you..*shudder* not a good thought for an arachnophobe like myself, but it DID happen to me (the BLOODY GIANT spider in the shower) and I am officially freaked out by my bathroom now. πŸ˜›
    But I must say, yesterday was a lovely 26 degrees ;D

  3. says:

    When you find the house for you, you will know. One cold but sunny morning I found mine home. Walked around it for five minutes, it felt right. Few hours later I rang the agent and made an offer Β– it was mine. HavenΒ’t regretted it for one moment. 90 houses, what a load of rubbish, I looked at three houses. Make the right compromises and you wont regret it either.
    Happy house hunting

  4. says:

    I’m planning to have walls FOR paintings, storytelling and drawing. Of course I don’t have any children yet, so my plans may fail.

  5. Yes – and living in your parent’s house – as we do -tends to make a difference to this kind of idea too! Perhaps we will have a crazy Amelia mural in our new place.

  6. says:

    You know, I’m sure it seems frustrating for you to take so long in finding a house, but that’s probably more practical than what my husband and I did…bought the first one we looked at. We weren’t even THINKING about buying a house.
    Yikes. 90 sounds more like.

  7. We looked at a total of 4 houses and ended up going back to the very first house we looked at and bought it. And I couldn’t be happier. I love my house and our decision. I hope your house buying is as simple as ours was….this time around!

  8. I totally understand what you are dealing with. I am in the same boat, we Looking for a house San Francisco while trying to amuse our 2 1/2 year old at the same time is just insane! I wish you the best of luck!

  9. my sister found her house after looking at 45 of them.i found mine after looking 5. it’s just question of luck, so… good luck! πŸ˜‰

  10. I have purchased a unit and a house and both were impulse buys!

  11. says:

    My wife is an impulse buyer of, well, virtually everything, but especially land. Deborah looked in the paper one Saturday morning, liked the sound of the land, badgered me into taking her there (she does not drive) & we bought it. No research, no looking. I am an architect so we feel I should put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, so living in a house someone else has designed is not really an option for us. Her next trick was to drag me out to Moreton Bay (the Brisbane River runs into it) to look at land on one of the islands. This time we looked at some twenty or so blocks in under an hour and a half & then bought the second one we saw.
    24 degrees, sunny & lovely today. Sorry.

  12. says:

    We just moved to our first Own Home yesterday :)! We looked at 5 apartments and then went back to number one, which was It.
    I’m a mother, but not tough enough to visit 90 houses with our three kids: 5, 2 and three months…

    “xx please, don’t touch that”, “yy, stop digging the garbage” “zz, honey, please don’t cry so hard – uups, where can I change the diaper around here?”

    πŸ˜€ – you get the picture?

  13. I imagine things are somewhat different over there, but I found that workign with two real estate agents (was upfront with both of them) helped improve the chances that one of them would “get it” with regards to what I wanted in a house.
    Agent 1 found 10 listings for me… I looked at 3 and clearly she was not “on track”, so I pulled out the list from Agent 2.

    The first house on Agent 2’s list was one I said “I could live here… I like this” about. The second house was *it*…it was perfect and I loved it immediately. I made an offer less than 24 hours later.

    So if you’re not getting food results from your agent (presuming there is such a beast), get a new agent! πŸ™‚

  14. Claire at least the prices are more affordable in Vic. I live in Sydney where the house prices resemble mobile phone numbers.