Sunday, May 30, 2010

House hunting yesterday - help me

Yesterday I looked at homes here. I went to 8 open homes and was truly amazed. Some were so small on such small blocks they shouldn’t have even been in the same price range. Some stunk so bad I got a headache as soon as I walked in and couldn’t breathe. Others were in the 70s still.

I don’t mind a house that needs updating as then I can do it how I want it. Problem is the price. Houses are so expensive where I live and I just don’t feel they are worth what is being asked. I am really wondering if where I currently live is where I should live. I see so many other beautiful areas that have lovely homes for less than where we live. The reason everything is so expensive is because it is a small capital city.

I am wondering if I am better off continuing to rent and trying to invest elsewhere. Problem is I so desperately want a house of my own, with a backyard for the kids and a study for me. How do I suppress that desire and put up with what I have for longer?

Where we live is a great place to raise kids, but once they get to be teens, I don’t feel there is much here to do unlike other areas. I have looked around though and just can’t decide. Nothing else feels right.

I did see one home yesterday that I am tempted to go back and see again. I am not in a position to buy immediately, and it would need to be renovated, but it has an ensuite (no other property in my price range has one), a double garage AND enclosed carport, storage room, garden shed, 3 bedrooms, and a few other features I like. It felt very light, but very private which I really liked.

It has some draw backs. There is wood panelling from the entry up the hall into the lounge. The kitchen is pale blue and the bathrooms burgundy, so to me everything would need to be done, but it is all in good condition. One of the rooms was bright yellow, sunflower yellow. It hurt my eyes and my 2 year old thought it was gorgeous! Lol. She stayed in that room and danced for ages. She didn’t do that in any of the other homes.

Would you live in a house you have to completely fix? And how did you decide where to live?


  1. We bought my current home when I was still married. It was hideously decorated in a noice old-lady style, but the bones of it were good. Except for the kitchen, which desperately needed a reno.

    13 years later we're still here. The kitchen and bathroom were renovated when I went back into full-time work, and with the fullness of time the rooms were all painted, floorboards polished and the cladding outside was ripped off.

    We're in a perfect location for teenagers (I thought ahead) 10 minutes away from the best school in the area. (I ended up working there too, which I didn't expect but am very thankful for!)

    The price was afordable (thanks to the godawful ugly cladding) and it had an extra bedroom, which my large family needed. The location was great too.

    My advice would be to work out what are your "must haves" and prioritise them. Look ahead! No point being near an awesome kinder if the high school is crap. Then go from there.

    I desperately wanted to live in a particular suburb, but realised that if I went literally 5 minutes up Centre road I could get a house for 100K cheaper. I decided to do just that, and we found our home.

    Now that I've written a blog post in your comments section, I'll go now....

  2. Thanks Frogdancer. Sounds like you're really happy with your home.

    I think I'll keep looking. Overnight I think I decided the suburbs were just that bit further away from everything than I'd like.

    I had a list, think I will have to do a new one! Thanks.

  3. If it is a house in your desired area then I would say go for it. A bit of painting isn't much to do and a lot of people end up painting anyway. You know what they say, buy the worst house in the best street, you can fix it up easy especially if it is already in good condition.

  4. Hi Kylie, your city is very expensive for real estate. My Mum and Dad live in one of the older northern suburbs and to buy a run-down house there in need of major renovations would be more than our much newer (western suburbs) Sydney home. Have you got family there? I think it's really important to stay near your support network when you have a young family. If you are not able to buy yet, can you find a rental property with the backyard and study that you need? As far as buying a property to renovate, it might be ok if you have the necessary skills and time but can be a disaster if you don't. Around here it's generally cheaper to buy an already renovated property. Also living with young kids in a reno-in-progress is a real nightmare (we renovated when my eldest was 2.5yo - not a good plan!)

  5. KJ - your right, paint is not much. Most of them need mroe than paint, but I htink if I find one i like that only needs a few things done I will just go for it.

    Rachel - It is very exy here. My family is here which is why we moved from Syd. We have a house in the Western suburbs and you can get really nice homes there for the same price as a dodgy townhouse/unit here. I am fairly confident in most reno stuff as I have done bits and pieces before.

    I have considered renting a bigger place, but I would not be able to save anything then. Sucky city I live in! lol.

    Thanks for the help guys. :)

  6. Kylie are you still living around where we went to school? Or somewhere else completely? We bought a house last year, we looked at about 60 houses before we found this one, and it felt right! We bought at the very maximum we could borrow, and honestly thats what we had to do. Every house we were looking at had about 20 other people looking at it aswell!! Our house inside is a bit dated, but easy stuff like old doors (we can replace and paint with the modern ones from bunnings) all rooms needed a good paint job (hubby is a painter!) there were ceiling roses which we are in the proces of cutting out to modernise the place a bit more.
    We had our heart set on one area because of family but the bank said if we went over the boarder a little into NSW we could have a higher purchase price amount because as first home buyers in NSW (under $500k) we wouldnt have to pay any stampduty at all, whereas in the ACT we would have had to pay stamp duty on the amounts aove $320or $340k.

    We saved every bonus we got from the goverments surplus spending, every cent from our baby bonus etc. WE also shopped around for banks because some of the main banks charge SO MANY differnt fees associated with their homeloans and application fees etc. And when interest rates have been rising our bank doesnt put our rates up for nearly a month after the main banks.

    I agree with you on block sizes though. We are happy becasue we have an older house it is still on a decent block, some of the new house and new house and land packages are so squished together that you can probably hear the neighbours going to the bathroom!!

  7. Yeah, we are near school, sort of. We have a house in Syd, so don't get the Gov bonuses etc... and now over the boarder is just as exy as this side. I will live pretty much anywhere and was where I am guessing you are until last year, when we got a cheaper better rental.

    It certainly does pay to shop around wiht the banks, MASSIVE differences! lol. You would've had to pay stamp duty in ACT no matter where you bought, coz I have not seen a property under the threshold.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.