Amson, Jan 16, 2021
I can't believe that I have nearly 900 words! Oops...

Allison Pennington - Nesting
Pink Reptile Design - Mixed Emotions, Like Mother Papers
Soco - Moving Day Kit, Merry Memories Elements

Thanks for the challenge.

The story begins one weekend in May 2014 when Sel and I go to spend a weekend away in the hills of the sunshine coast at Kin Kin. We arrive tired and exhausted with colds from weeks of long commutes to work. The seed is planted – it takes another week or so and we decide. We need a change - we need a tree change.

We had been thinking of moving in together for a few months so now that rough location was decided we started searching after we had decided on an amount that we could jointly afford. On weeknights after work, we studied all the real estate sites that we could find looking for houses and on the weekends we travelled up and down the coast looking at properties within our price range and up to 10 acres in size.

A few months went by and we had looked at so many homes. Some required too much work, some had no gardens (we wanted at least a mango tree), most were just not right. We had our list of requirements and really were not able to compromise. We then found a house which was so beautiful inside but had 10 acres of lantana and weeds outside. We thought long and hard and on the third visit (yes we really did like the house) Sel was willing to say yes but I said “lets talk later”. I had booked an appointment to view another house with another agent on the way home. This home was more than $100,000 above our budget and was only 5 acres but looked so pretty I thought it was worth an inspection.

Well of course we both loved this expensive house and its beautiful block of land with a dam. The house itself had everything we needed and even had a swimmable pool but it was so expensive. We sat down and calculated total cost for both homes including establishing gardens etc. The expensive house was still far outside out budget. Later that week when Sel and I were scrolling through more real estate adverts, we started talking about that dream of a house. I remember distinctly the moment Sel stood up and said “Let’s put a bid in and borrow from our Superannuation to make up the shortfall from the sale of both our houses”. I was stunned to think we maybe could afford it. Could we really borrow from our Super?

Next day we found out that yes we could borrow so we rang the Estate Agent and said we were interested in putting in an offer and wanted to view the property again that coming weekend. Looking at the house again, we knew it was for us and was so much nicer than either of us had thought we could ever afford. So we put in an offer a little under the asking price and a week later it was accepted. We had asked for settlement in 3 months which we hoped would give us enough time to put both our homes on the market and hopefully sell one or both.

Now the hard work really started. We had to prepare two somewhat neglected houses for sale while both working full time. At my home, carpets were replaced, kitchen cabinets fixed, a retaining wall built and a massive cleanup job undertaken inside and out. Sel had similar work to be done at his place. It was exhausting but so exciting.

We priced our own homes competitively in order for quick sales, talked to a bank to arrange bridging finance and talked to our super funds to borrow. Keeping houses spotless for inspections while working, cleaning and commuting between both our homes was not easy but results paid off and we had sales on both our houses by mid November. The schedule for December now looked like this:

5/12 Settlement on our new house 19/12 Settlement on Sel’s house 22/12 Settlement of my house

This is craziness. Settlement of 2 houses in the week before Christmas!!!

Sel took time off work and I resigned but still had to work full time through to early New Year. I don’t think either of us have ever worked so hard in all our lives. After Sel’s house settled, he moved up to our new home while I lived at home with Sonia working in the day and packing at night. I was so lucky that Sonia helped so much even though both of us had to sleep on the carpet in bare rooms after all the large furniture had been moved. On 21/12 the day before settlement on my home, Sel lost concentration and ran off the road while driving down to me in the rented truck. He ended up in hospital for a day. Luckily, he was OK. He was just so tired.

We celebrated Christmas together in our wonderful new home. Cutlery and plates were plastic from my picnic basket but we did have a tree beautifully decorated at the front door. We were finally together with 3 dogs, 1 cat and a million boxes to unpack. Looking back as we start the 7th year in our wonderful house and property, we have absolutely no regrets. We are living in paradise.

This time though did teach us one thing - NEVER SETTLE 2 HOUSES AND MOVE IN THE WEEK OF CHRISTMAS.
chastml likes this.
    • Saar
      Oh wow, this is stunning. I love your page design and series of photos. I love the journal and all the details as well. What a beautiful take on the challenge. Beautifully done! :beat:heartlub
    • Amson
      Thanks @Saar for your always sweet and generous comments.
    • bestcee
      I love the way you sprinkled the photos through your page. Settling two houses and moving sounds crazy! I'm glad you were able to make it work out to be in the nicer home! Thanks for playing in my challenge!
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