[Sorry, I removed the picture. It’s not my house yet, so I don’t have permission to be showing pictures of the inside.]
I’ve won! Last night my offer on the Butler house was accepted. Provided nothing goes wrong with the sellers’ process, I will have a new address in a month or three.
What a relief! And what an amazing chain of events. When I first decided to sell and move back in July last year, my plan was smooth sailing – the retirement village. But it wasn’t until late (just before Xmas) that Barry pointed out the extortionate terms and conditions. I hadn’t noticed them, because I didn’t have the full brochure set. Once I realised that I’d be forever cut out of doing a reverse mortgage on it, I changed my mind quick smart. I hadn’t committed in any way. (This house I’m buying is a normal freehold property – no strata involved, so I can do a reverse mortgage any time I choose. And I intend to. There are plenty of times I wonder how long I’ve got to go, and I want to enjoy what time I’ve got left. I intend to!)
But that meant I’d committed to the sale of this house but had nowhere to go. Wanna know what that feels like? I don’t recommend it. I was just about climbing the walls.
The options seemed to be to rent, or buy, but I couldn’t afford anything close in and still retain some money for the future. I hated the idea of renting, and also hated the idea of taking on another dump of a house. This was stress, with a capital S. I said to Barry that either option was just too frightening. I thought I was going to have to just surrender to the St Ives terms.
Luckily Barry, in a moment of genius, showed me pictures of a house he’d sold three years ago in an outer suburb, to show me what could be bought for not a lot of money. I loved it, just from the pictures. Then a few days later, I visited the area (it’s only 1.5Km north of my GP’s surgery) and loved that too. It’s a village. Everything in walking distance. Beautiful parks and ponds. And a pub on the corner.
So we simply approached the current owners and asked if they were thinking about a future move. With one child, and wanting more, they agreed that maybe they were thinking that way.
So here we are about a month later with a contract signed. Amazing.
[Picture removed. PJC]
The only problem is that the owners have asked for time to find another place. Naturally. I said yes, certainly, within reason. I understand. So I have to find other places to stay for possibly three months, maybe a bit longer. Luckily two good friends have offered me places, so I’m fixed up for the immediate future, in Scarborough and then Margaret River. My furniture and effects are going into a storage unit, so that solves that problem.
I don’t want to impose too long on friends, wear out my welcome, so I’ll try to move around a bit. Minnie is the problem, of course, but Margaret River will be especially suitable for her, I think. Barry came up with another genius idea last night – the present owners have a dog, a young male, very friendly. He’s going to ask the couple if they will look after Minnie for me in their house for a while. That will get Minnie acclimatised, and allow me to travel somewhere. Minnie’s no trouble – she doesn’t need walking any more, all she does is sleep. She’s in fine health – still has control of her bodily functions, still enjoys her food and some attention, so she’s easy.
Naturally, the distance to Butler is a factor, but all I can say is (a) I’m excited by the prospect of living there; (b) I would have been incredibly disappointed if I hadn’t got it; (c) it will be absolutely the best house I have ever lived in, bar none – like a five star hotel; (d) there is nothing that needs doing – it’s near new; and (e) it’s just at the end of the Freeway, about 30 mins from where I am now. It’s a damn sight closer and easier to reach than another relative. What’s the difference? It’s an easy drive.
So coupled with another stress factor being relieved, I am much less stressed than a couple of weeks ago. Huge difference! My only problem now is getting everything into boxes and to the storage unit, and living out of suitcases and my car for a couple of months. I’m not bothered for me, just worried about Minnie. I think we’ll be OK.
Meanwhile, I’m mentally walking around the new house and planning what to do, where to put things. There are two separate living areas as well as a meals area, plus the “al fresco” timber decking area with the water feature. I’m looking forward to sitting out there with the sound of the waterfall. The whole house is ducted aircon, by the way, and has a dishwasher. Wow, at last. And of course, the two bedrooms and bathroom at the back can be closed off, so I could take a lodger in the future. One of the bedrooms could be set up as a study.
The garage is huge (two cars) so my workshop ideas can finally be realised properly.
I am excited! How amazing that it’s worked out like this. Three weeks ago, I was in utter despair, near breaking point. Now I feel such relief. I don’t need that kind of stress at this time of my life. I can fully appreciate how Dad must have felt in 1988 when he had his world crumble around him from the divorce and had to find a new place to live at short notice. No wonder he went to Rockingham as a place where he felt comfortable.
Speaking of Dad, I’ve been sorting through my filing system and found a bundle of his letters to me when I was working in Jakarta in late 1996. There are 8 or 10 letters, and it’s nice to read his thoughts of that time. I can’t scan at the moment, but later I might try to post one or two on this blog.
I must add, I am hugely pleased that Barry gets three sales out of me now — the sale of my house; the purchase of the new Butler one; and the move of the present owners to a new house. Cynics might say Barry is doing this for his own benefit, but I owe him my life, just about. He has stuck with me through thick and thin for two years. He deserves my highest praise. Barry Wood, Zoo Property, folks. I recommend him!
Also, at last I’ll have a land line and a normal telephone. I am so sick of having only the mobile. It is costing me a fortune! Sometimes a $30 recharge only lasts me a week. I’m spending far more than I ever did when I was paying monthly for the old POTS phone. [POTS? Plain Old Telephone System. Seriously, that’s a real telecomms term. Like RAID in computers – Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, and JBOD – Just a Bunch of Disks.]
I’m also assuming, (although I should know not to assume by now!), that being such a new area, I’ll have high speed broadband internet available. At last, at last …