Wednesday, August 3, 2011

House hunting with W+L

Much to the chagrine of my employers I've been spending plenty of my time hunting for our first house. I'm not sure if it's just some caveman desire, but I really feel responsible for making sure the first place Laura lives in outside of her own family's home is decent. It'll be crazy enough living with a boy for the first time let alone living in a hovel, I wanted somewhere that even on the bad days of smelly socks and tonka trucks she could be comfortable!

Most work days I send her a 'rental of the day' by email. And we actually quickly decided we quite liked the same ideas: house - yes, apartment - no, polished wooden floors - yes, shagpile carpet - no. And so on and so on. 

On Saturday we had a mammoth house hunting adventure together. We were going to inspect four houses in the space of one hour... So here's what we found:

House #1
I'd been eyeing this fellow for a while, great location, nice verandah, and a sudden drop in price on the rental market. But my tenant sensors were up - a drop in price? no internal photos?! Sure enough the pleasant faux-villa style reno finished at the leadlight window in the front door. As we moved through the house with only another edgey couple along for the inspection, we noticed cracked windows, a run down kitchen and a 'open plan' lounge/dining that would treat our furniture like the X2 impossible puzzle. The backyard was a grassless slope, and coming back inside we passed through the kitchen, as quickly as possible. I guess it was authentically Spanish after all.
I realized we wanted a place that we could not only live in, but also enjoy the mundane activities such as cooking dinner together without thinking we were in a lifeline warehouse. This place would be a great reno job, but that's not what we're after so we quickly moved on...

House #2 
When the landlord rocked up in their beat up 4x4 packed with whining toddlers my guard was up. We walked through the back entrance to this place with beautiful city views - if you could actually find your way into the house! Its state of disrepair was pretty apparent, but Laura was seriously checking it out! I was ready to move on and get away from the damp air but she was adamant - we really needed to open our minds. I wouldn't be suprised if the previous tenant had a hydroponic farm and opened their minds in certain ways as well.
Sure there was a fireplace, and sure there were city views. But it was old and dingey and run down, and who wants a place where it looks like the landlord hadn't lifted a finger to fix it for the last 20 years? If he couldn't install a front door, I doubt he'd look at some dodgey wiring either.
The hippy couple who joined us for the inspection got into detailed discussions with the landlord - we made our exit swiftly as another poor soul arrived and tried in vain to find the invisible front door.

House #3
 This house was kind of an inbetweeny - cheaper than inner city, but still conveniently close to town. This house however was blue. So blue. In fact, I really was unsure about it from the outside because it stuck out of the hill like a smurf villa. We also had another inspection booked at the same time 10 minutes away, so we really had to fly through this one.
Laura on the other hand had decided that it was her house. She even gave me a star jump of approval before we got inside. I paused for a photo of the street number on the front deck, and a few seconds later I met smurfette bounding out of the living room... "Let's put an application in!"
The next thing I realized was that the inside of the house was also blue - so very blue. But it was pretty cool too. It had big, well sized rooms, new fittings, new kitchen and bathroom, a freshly painted interior and great floors. Oh and it was blue, but also cool - it was growing on me! 
So we ended up going over the house in detail, finding pros and cons and more pros and more cons. We decided to put an application in there and then. Unfortunately we had missed the other house inspection by this point, but really - this place was pretty cool.

House #4
We drove to our fourth house not really caring what was at the end of the road. We talked and thought about Casa Del Smurfo (the blue house) and how great it was. This last house was ok, it wasn't as blue but then it was also on a corner block and had some funny little quirks from what we saw outside. I suppose I'm just suspicious with upside down street numbers like the number 8 on the letter box. We drove off after a quick walk around. 


I shall leave you in anticipation of whether we even found a house that weekend, and the next step of actually getting our application approved... But you can wait a little for that :)


  1. Great post! I think many of us can relate to that wonderful 'game' that is house hunting! It certainly pays to keep your guard up! Best of luck guys!

  2. It is such a game, isn't it! But we may have some good news to share soon :)

    Hope all is well for you in the wonderful world of wedding planning xoxo