I hate moving house. But like death, taxes, and work, it’s one of those inevitables in life.
I finally got the prod to start nosing around when rent went up from a nice round $500/fortnight to $560. Still cheap, but we’re both sick of our one-person kitchen and keen to get a garage where T’s motorbike can reside (do you know what the difference in excess is if stolen from a garage vs not? More than a thousand dollars. Might even be closer to two grand, if I could assed getting up to check).
The hunt didn’t actually take anywhere near as long as I’d thought. I think our current place was the first or second we looked at, but in 2008 I literally lost count of the number of rentals I viewed and applied for (didn’t help that I was a student at the time). T and I literally pulled up outside this house and were underwhelmed, but seeing as I’d dragged the agent out there, figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it the once over. And know what? It was surprisingly A-OK.
- Mixer taps – a non-negotiable
- Modern bathroom
- A touch of stained glass
- A minuscule second bedroom that can be T’s domain, aka mancave
- A spacious kitchen and dining space
- Lawns are done for us
- A single garage
- Outdoor patio
- Busy road
- Closet is in the hallway outside the bedroom. (The property is half, or possibly 2/3 of a converted bungalow, which is split into two self-contained units, so our main bedroom was probably once a lounge)
- Roomy kitchen, but very little storage space
- Ancient light fittings and somewhat dingy carpets – but those are minor details, and I kind of prefer not having the pressure of keeping a brand new place pristine
While I really didn’t want to pay more than $300 a week, I gave in a little on this one – $320. We are, after all, doubling if not tripling our space easily; it’s almost excessive. We also had to pay a letting fee (boo!) as it was through an agency. Four weeks’ bond, first week’s rent and the letting fee came to nigh on $2000, all of which I paid last week (that seemed to surprise our agent).
No more living under our landlord – we’ll just be next door to a single lady.
This means a new supermarket, new route to the office, new local park and mountain, and I can finally sign up to Powershop! I’ll be about the same distance from work; T may be a little further from the motorway, but we are back closer to friends and family, which is important to him.
It also means furnishing the place. I don’t care for home decor, so I’m totally happy to take castoffs from T’s family – they may not have money but they have stuff and we are welcome to it – and will Freecycle/TradeMe/garage sale anything else we need. We’ve had more furniture in the past when we lived in an actual full three-bedroom house with flatmates, but couldn’t obviously bring it to our studio. The biggest priority will be a fridge, and after that, stuff like couches, clothesline, cutlery drawer, table and chairs (possibly x2 for outside on the deck) and a second TV because T insists on one in the bedroom.
It kind of got me thinking about the future – I always imagined getting married closer to my 30s, and buying a house right after. If we go ahead with a 2013 wedding, that’s simply not going to happen. Possibly we could afford a unit/small townhouse, but I’m in the “house for life” camp. Moving is bad enough when renting. Landlording doesn’t interest me, and honestly, the market here is not for smaller dwellings (particularly new construction, often leaky apartments and terraced houses) but for the traditional Kiwi family home. And, you know, there’s the whole travel idea.