Our dream was always to renovate a little cottage and transform it into something of our own. After renting for years we were on the look out for our own place. I spent hours trawling through real estate searches on the internet and looking for something that fit out brief. That being ..cheap,run down, and the worst house on the best street! Then...I found it! The one! I was so excited I called and booked a viewing straight away.
Off we went to see our new house and to say it was run down was an understatement. This particular house was brick, there were cracks down the walls that you could pretty much walk through. The most appealing thing was the powered shed out the back that we could live in while doing up the house! As we walked out the back of the house I was scared out of my skin as I saw in the corner of my eye a guy smoking a bong amongst some old boxes. Alas we quickly vacated not before being blasted by the ghetto beats being pumped from the house next door. Hey I love ghetto music...but from my own stereo, bopping like a fool with my sister & bestie pretending to be all gangster. But from a ligitimately ghetto house that looks like a place drug lords and bikies frequent...no thanks. If the house had been timber we would have probably considered buying it as Ian's a carpenter. However being brick and needing so much work it just wasn't worth it.
Off we drove back up the street, disappointed. We admired all the cottage houses and beautiful gardens. I sighed,"...our house will be around here somewhere iany" In my mind I thought yeh sure, we we going to be renting forever. 10 years down the track and I'll still be hiding my cat at my brothers and throwing everything in cupboards 10 minutes before our rent inspections! Defeated, I stopped searching for houses and got on with life.
A month or so later we were down south visiting family. We had always considered moving back to the country and we casually looked at a few houses that would be suitable for us. But buying a house is a huge deal, we didn't want to jump into home ownership somewhere we didn't really want to live. Ian mentioned to me that the real estate agent said he would let us know of any run down houses that would suit our needs. We agreed he would never contact us. He didn't strike me as the type who would remember our names let alone the email I gave him. As fate would have it the next day I checked my emails and found this in my inbox.
When you viewed the property at X a month ago I suggested another property may be coming onto the market.If you are still interested, please do a drive by X. It is in ordinary condition, but has a tenant so is liveable.He is not putting it on the market, but if you are interested let me know and we can take it from there. The asking price is $350,000. Cheers.
I got onto google maps quicker than a flash and saw the little house! On the same street! This house was one of the ones we had pointed out longingly a few weeks prior. To cut a long story short. We bought the house! I wasn't able to view it prior to purchasing but I trusted Ian's opinion. I saw a few photos prior to signing my life away and it was definitely what you would consider 'shabby chic' In fact a few statements came to mind... 'renovators delight' or 'renovate or detonate' Emphasis on the detonate! I went to pick up the keys and promised Ian I wouldn't go have a peek before he finished work. As soon as he pulled in the driveway to our rental I ran to his car and we sped off to our new little house! It was a rainy evening, this paired with the fact our new abode had no electricity made it an awkward first meeting. As Ian lifted a few off the floorboards and we found the house was sitting in the muddy clay I had a few thoughts...
"what the hell have we done"
"we are ruined"
"its okay I mean we can do it rough, actually no we can't!"
"we have a month left on our lease...theres a YEARS worth of work needed here!!"
With all these thoughts running through my mind. I looked over to Ian who's face pretty much said it all - "we're screwed!" We looked at each other and laughed. Rental lease finishes in a month, baby due in 6 months, Ian's working 2 jobs full-time, I'm studying, working and pregnant. There was only one thing to say...challenge accepted!