July 16th, 2015
I bought a house!
Well, technically, I bought a piece of land. But the concrete slab is going down by the end of this month with walls and roof to follow in quick succession, so all-in-all I think I’m validated in claiming it as buying a house.
In fact, the plans are in with council as they approve it’s large, welcoming front door and the timber and stone highlights. I must have looked at the drawings a thousand times so far and have fallen in love with my soon-to-be home a little more each time I do. Complete with a media room and butlers pantry (whatever I will use that for is still unbeknown to me), I am bursting with excitement for the day I get to live there.
And for a first home buyer, I think I’m doing okay not to be biting my nails down to the brink of non-existence about it all. In actual fact, it has seemed that this whole house-buying thing has been falling into place ever since i started, and I can’t help but feel that maybe, this was just meant to be.
What started out as a bit of a whim back in March has turned into a very big life altering event, and I’m loving every moment of it.
After managing to save a quite a bit over the last year and half (and trust me, saying no to further investments in the shoe collection has been no easy feat), the initial plan was to buy a new car. Currently I own a little Getz as you will know, but after turning eleven years old this April – he’s probably looking at retirement as being his next big roadtrip.
It wasn’t until the landlords of the apartment I rent decided that an additional $40 to the already overpriced rent fee was reasonable that I started to veer away from shiny new things on four wheels and quite seriously wondered whether I would be better to put my money spent on rent each week into a house repayment. At least then my hard earned money wouldn’t be depositing into somebody else’s pocket.
So I investigated. And possibly more out of curiosity than anything else, applied for a loan with the bank. When they came back with an estimate for $425,000 I almost couldn’t contain my shock. And thinking to myself that that was actually quite a decent amount to purchase a small house here, I started scoping out what was on offer.
It was a warm March Sunday afternoon when the answer quite literally fell into my lap. Sitting on the couch with strawberry milkshakes in hand as my Dad and I quite often do, he swiftly threw the middle section of the Sunday Newspaper over to me while he read the outer. There in the corner of page 69 sat a little advertisement for a new estate due for construction in April, and something about it felt promising – I can’t quite explain that, because I honestly didn’t know a thing about it aside from it’s perfectly situated location, but it felt like it just fit.
So after making a phone call, I arranged to meet a real estate agent at the end of the week to find out a little more about it. The way they decided who could buy the land was different than a lot of estates I had heard of, and for a first home buyer, it was all a little confronting. They had asked that all interested buyers placed three preferences for Lots within the estate and then intended to separate the potential buyers into three groups for a lucky draw – first home buyers, residential family households and investment property owners. The idea was to create a ‘community’. The catch was, the draw was at the end of the week and if I wanted to place my preferences I had to do so by within the next two days.
And if I happened to be selected from the lucky draw at the end of the week, I would then need to make a deposit within the following 24 hours. It was all a bit frightening, and while I was serious about buying a house – it seemed to happen so quickly I started to worry whether I was ready for a commitment like that. After all, I’m only twenty-two – what do I know about being a grown up really?
After talking it over with Dad (he’s good at helping me with the big stuff), I decided to enter the draw figuring I could always turn down the offer. Besides it was the best offer in comparison to the other estates I had researched. So what did I have to lose?
A week later I received a phone call late on a stormy Friday afternoon. The lady I had spoke with a week earlier excitedly announced that I had been drawn for my first preference and offered congratulations through the phone. I wasn’t really sure what to say, I felt a little like I unknowingly jumped onto a ride that was going too fast I couldn’t properly smile for camera and instead got caught mid blink with an unsightly expression on my face.
It was a little overwhelming, but when I managed to process the news I realised there was excitement budding in my heart and again, it just seemed to fit. It was the perfect opportunity. I had scored one of the bigger lot sizes in the estate, on a little secluded lane where I could set my house up to avoid the harsh sun yet benefit from the coastal breeze and fit all my dreams on a piece of the earth entirely my own.
So I said yes.
Four months later I’ve been busy organising everything that goes along with buying a house. I’ve had to put my big girl pants on and do things like get a solicitor and sign contracts boasting a fifty page length (I was so nervous I spelt my own middle name wrong – but let’s not mention that again).
It’s been a whirlwind trying to pull the bank, the builders, the real estate and the solicitor all into one brightly shining package that one day I’ll call home, but so far I think I’ve managed it!
In fact, two nights ago I was able to stand on my newly divided piece of this planet and felt excitement envelope me as I realised it was mine. The jumping up and down, and smile ear to ear couldn’t have provided a bigger piece of evidence to show that this has been one of the most amazing things to happen in this little life of mine yet!
#2 on my bucket list is to buy and own my own house: no debt!…well, we’ll have to call this one a work in progress. But it’s a start!