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Our house [Pictures]

August 8, 2011

Some of you may have seen glimpses of our place from social sites, while other more privileged had the honour of visiting us and seeing our place with their own eyes.

Even if you don’t fall into the above categories, I would like to present today a quick tour of our home.

But first the background story. When we were getting married, we decided that we want to buy a property instead of paying rent. So we started casually looking on real estate websites. Eventually we were checking every day for the latest properties that were on the market and if the house met all the basic requirements we speed-dialled the agent and requested an inspection.

Its amazing how quickly you get to learn the market, and differentiate between a dud and a bargain. Unfortunately it so happened that when we were house-hunting it was the last lap for the First Home Owners Grant. This meant that every man and his dog were snatching-up every house in sight, before the bonus ran out.

I think it’s always good to view property with at least another person. It provides a form of check & balances, allowing us to see each others opinion from a different perspective. There was a number of times when I was happy with the property and would have given my first child (if I had one) as a deposit, only to get cold water thrown in my face by Charmaine who would find faults with the property, and make me wait, to think it over. After a day or two I could see the many problems with the house and was glad we didn’t go with the deal.

Finally with a couple of months to spare until the wedding, I was robotically refreshing a real estate site, when I saw a property that really looked really flashy but had a good price. Keeping in mind the rabid crowd who would also want to get their grubby paws on the place, I punched in the number and called the real estate agent to make an appointment for the inspection.

Sometimes the inspections are with only you and the agent, other times it’s with the whole public. In this case the first available time was for a group tour. Regardless, when the day came, we pulled up to the house before the agent’s arrival and saw a dozen plus families all waiting there probably thinking the same thing; “go away its ours!”.

When the agents finally drove-up and hobbled to the door to open it, we all walked in and began inspecting it. Both of us really liked the place, but I was weary that with such competition we didn’t have a chance. Finally at the end of the tour the agent approached us and asked our names. When I told him who I was and our interest in the property, the guy said , since you were the first that called up, I’ll offer it to you guys?

Next thing we know, we are in his office signing a contract and withdrawing money. To secure the property, one must pay the 0.25% deposit to the agent; otherwise everybody can still show interest and put in bids.

The house

The house looked great in our eyes, but there were a few odd items that we just didn’t like. On top of that, the place smelt like an ashtray. The smell eventually went away. The photos below will show you what the before & after looked like. We still have a number of ideas and items to get, but with time we’ll make it even better.

NOTE: the before photos where taken by a professional photographer, so the colours look richer

Before

After 

Removed some plants, and planted hedges instead, also trimmed the old hedges

Before

After

Changed lighting, installed downlights. Changed the set-up of the furniture.

Before

After

Downlights visible. Vertical blinds installed behind the curtains.

Before

After

Before

After

Changed colour of the room, arrangement of bed is different.

Before

After

Removed the bougainvillea that was a nightmare, planted vegetables instead. Installed grape arch. Improved the grass.

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