Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Exciting news!

Well I thought I was going to have wait until November to share our exciting news, but have realised now is just as good a time as any.

We are buying our home! (As in the one we've been renting and living in for the past two years.)

Our own home.

The contract went unconditional yesterday and we settle on 1 November. It's really happening.

I'm having to pinch myself as I type this because this deal has been months in the making and several times I've thought it was going to fall through.

We negotiated the purchase privately with our landlords, who asked us if we would be interested in buying the house.

A private sale has its definite advantages - money saved on real estate agent fees, not having to fight it out with other house hunters, having the time to do our due diligence with builder's reports and building quotes etc, not having to move houses.

However, the disadvantage for us has been not having a real estate agent to guide us through the purchasing process. We've never done it before and have had to figure out a lot of things as we go, which I've found quite stressful.

We got there in the end though and are tantalisingly close to being able to call this house our own.

Several of my friends have commented that it's great I won't have to give up all the gardens I've been working on. That is so true.

When I was planting my fruit trees and natives I did think the advantage would mostly be for future tenants, but figured it was the right thing to do anyway and tried to think positively about the fact someone else would get to enjoy my investment.

It's a bonus that it will be me enjoying my hard work after all.

That said, the gardens are going to look significantly different soon, as we will be able to do some major landscaping once the place is ours.

First up we are going to replace the front retaining wall, which isn't in a good state.
Existing dilapidated retaining wall.

We're going to take the opportunity to turn it into working terraced vegetable gardens with stairs up the middle so I can access all the levels.

Since it's right outside my kitchen door, this is going to be a lot more convenient for harvesting vegetables for mealtimes.

I've already started pinning images of retaining walls to my Pinterest Retaining wall board to get an idea of what's possible. Feel free to check them out and suggest others I might like.

Inside the house I'm planning to get painting as soon as possible.

At the moment our bedroom is red, the lounge and dining rooms are yellow, the girls' bedroom and office are dark blue, the kitchen is maroon (including ceiling), the hallway is orange, the bathroom is white and green.... it's just a bit much!

And actually quite dark. I want to lighten everything up pronto. Check out my Dream home board on Pinterest for an idea of the sort of look I'll be going for.

One day/year soon, when we have the funds, we want to build a large deck off our lounge and master bedroom at the back of the house. A deck will make it a lot easier for us to enjoy the outdoors here, since we're on a sloping section and the lounge is two stories up.

However, the deck will also shade out some of my existing vegetable gardens down the back of the yard so those will come out and what's left of our backyard will be converted into an orchard.

So those are our short term plans. There are more things we would like to do over the years, as finances allow.

Keep watching this space...


  1. yay! you guys have done really well being first time home buyers! We have been through buying and selling a couple of times now, and would be pretty happy to do it privately, I don't find that the real estate agent adds much value, as long as you have a decent lawyer involved :) looking fwd to seeing that you do with the place once its finally yours to renovate!

  2. It's funny how you can suddenly start looking at your home in a whole new light when you go from renting it to owning it. Well, I don't know this from first hand experience as we still rent ours, but our landlady also offered us the opp to buy it recently, and suddenly we're seeing potential to do the things we've thought about but never wanted to do with a rental (repaint - whoo hoo!). That's so awesome that you've been able to buy the home that you've truly made your home - it was meant to be. :)

  3. So excited for you, Emma!! I've had other friends recently purchase the house they were renting. They are loving making changes too!
    Funny, we've just gone through the stress of selling our first home! That was a steep learning curve. We're grateful we had an incredible Agent who helped us tremendously, though we paid her handsomely for the privilege. Oh, well! It was worth it as we really did need some guidance! :)
    Enjoy the wonderful feeling of homeownership come Nov 1st! :)
    Oh, and I need to ask you sometime about kefir in oats - as my Dr has suggested it for Melody. Not quite in the headspace yet though - too many boxes lying about the place and cluttering my headspace!! :)

  4. Congrats!!! It's so exciting owning your own home and being able to do whatever you like with it!!! Cant wait to see what you do! Am going to check out your pins now. M xx

  5. Oh congratulations! I am so happy too that you will manage to reap the benefit of the plants you have already incorporated into the garden. Those terraced veggie gardens with a pathway up the middle always look so functional - great idea. Your pinned painting ideas sound very different to what you already have.

  6. Hooray!! Such exciting news! When you come to painting indoors, you might like to know about this company (if you don't already): http://www.biopaints.co.nz/


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