House

Did I ever mention that D and I bought property? Cause we totally did. We even built a house on it.

Honestly, I can’t remember if I mentioned it here. I’m not very good at blogging. I made that joke in the precis on Twitter, or at least one very much like it, and I probably mentioned it on Facebook while I was still using Facebook1. But I can’t see it in my archives here, so I guess I never did mention it.

We lived in our previous rental villa for fifteen years. It was small and pokey, too small for a couple with a teenager, really, let alone one with a young adult. The kitchen was cramped, the carpet and walls were tired and worn out when we moved in, so imagine what they were like after fifteen more years. The backyard was a failed renovation by the landlord’s son. We’d out-grown it. So we decided to buy a house. We’d paid our dues, it was time.

As if it is that easy. We saw a bunch of properties that were either knockdowns or grabbed sooner than instantly. I walked through a house with holes in walls, filthy washing in the sink, tenants moving around ignoring the people viewing the property complete with a sullen teenager glaring out her room. I tried to view properties that had already under contract but not taken down off real estate sites, presumably because the contract might not survive the cooling off period. Which I understand, intellectually. The final straw was a property I tried to view on the day of the last federal election, but was under contract before the open house could occur. The agents were apologetic when I arrived, and good work them for selling the property so quickly, but it was so deflating and emotionally draining.

But what about building? We’d been dismissive of the idea before hand, but as D and I drove to Canberra that afternoon2 we decided that we needed to give a new house and land package some serious consideration. D being D did a ton of research on the road, and picked out a few possibilities not far from where we were already living. We actually looked in on a display home the next day after returning from the smoking wreck of our nation’s capital before we even went home. It was definitely a thing we could do.

Almost a year to the day after that trip to Canberra, we moved into our brand new home. It’s fantastic. D did an amazing job doing the interior decoration. It was completely her, all I did was not find a reason to object to particular choices. She insisted on certain upgrades and she made all the right choices. Even the value appraiser from the bank cooed over our kitchen top. We also replaced almost all of our old funriture, and again almost to the item, D picked out that as well. My sole contribution was putting it together.

Need an allen key?

It’s such a massive change to our lives. So much space; now when I lose my keys it takes two, three times as long to find them again. The day our new furniture was delivered, I got up early because the truck was scheduled to arrive between 7am and 3pm. I was waiting in the front room, D’s craft room. One of the smaller rooms in the house. I was sitting on the carpet looking around and it struck me - this ‘smaller room’ is as big as the living room in the villa. D and I need to be careful these days or we could both drift into different rooms - formally or informally designated as her room or my room - at either end of house and not see each other. In the villa, you couldn’t breathe without the other person hearing you wherever you were in the house.

Every night I come home to a house I own3, that I can choose to do with as I please, that allows me to stretch out. Things I don’t want to see are hidden away, because there is a place for them, not a place they occupy because there is nowhere else. Really, I’m pretty pleased with myself right now.

1. Did I mention I stopped using Facebook? Yeah, I did that too.

2. It was clear Tony Abbott would win and we were going to pre-emptively burn down the joint rather than give him the satisfaction.

3. Ssh, the bank is letting me delude myself

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