Well, it’s been a long haul – but we’re finally in our new home. For a while it seemed that the day would never come! It was only a few months after we returned from our round-Australia trip that we put our family-size home in Shellharbour on the market: we listed it in June 2011. We watched aghast as the property market dropped lower and lower (as did the asking price of our house). It took 11 months for the ‘sold’ sign to finally appear.
We opted to rent for a while because we couldn’t decide whether we wanted an apartment, a villa, a house with a yard big enough for the caravan, a cabin in a caravan park or an over-50’s ‘lifestyle’ village, or a unit in a retirement complex! So many choices; so many pros and cons for each one.
As it happened, our rental choice was a small 3-bedroom house that had been completely renovated. It had a good-sized yard that was mostly lawn, and a detached garage. During the six months we were there, we realised we liked having an enclosed backyard for grandchildren to play in – and that we wanted a bigger dining area for large gatherings of family and friends. (The rental house had an eat-in kitchen with a very small dining area.) We also wanted a flat block and not too many steps (definitely no stairs!) since we plan to stay in the house as long as possible.
Once we knew what we wanted, we started looking. For the first three weeks, there was virtually nothing (in our price range and preferred suburbs).
Then one Monday (during my daily online search) I spotted what looked like the perfect house, just on the market. We’d missed the first open house, two days before, so I arranged with the agent to see it on Wednesday. When I met her at the house, she told me that there were already two offers on the property and the owner’s representative had instructed her to ‘see what the lady seeing it today offered’, or otherwise take the highest offer.
I walked through it, loved it, beat the highest offer, and four weeks later we moved in. That was two weeks ago today, and we’re as pleased as punch with it. We had 17 family members for Boxing Day lunch, with room to spare – yet the house isn’t too big; it’s just well-laid out, with flow-through living areas that allow us to bring in a trestle table and extra chairs.
Sometimes things DO work out! It even has a small office, so I can write my books and blog posts without taking over one of the 3 bedrooms.
Now that we’re settled (albeit with a garage still half-full of unpacked boxes) we’re eagerly digging out the road atlases and making plans. We’ve already booked a few caravan parks for our first trip in March.
More about that later…