Friday, 16 January 2015

Big ambitions - and real estate euphemisms

Real estate agents always use euphemisms.  And our place had all the clichés.  The ad actually said “brimming with potential and possibility”.  It also said “appealing to the savvy renovator”.  Which clearly means – caution – it’s a disaster and most likely a money pit.

But after missing out on a number of other auctions, and getting to the end of my patience for open inspections, I somehow chose to romanticise this.  That and I thought that we were indeed “savvy renovators”.  On the initial inspection the place smelt strongly of the dogs which had lived inside for years, looked like the tenants hadn’t bothered cleaning up (later I found out they weren’t tenants but actually the vendor) and generally was the antithesis of the overstyled tiny places we had looked at previously.  We were mostly overjoyed that we might be able to afford a place in Rozelle.  We could both walk (in opposite directions) to work.  And cafes , the markets and “the village lifestyle”.  And possibly best of all – it was not an auction but a private treaty sale.  The decision was made pretty much before we left the open that we were going to offer and get this place.
Hidden delights of Callan Park - such a great park and close by.

So the house was bought, and settlement was 3 months later (at the request of the vendor) – suited us fine as we had time to plan the renovations we wanted to do before moving in.  Had I known then what I do now I am not sure I would have been so ambitious! 

The initial list of plans included (in no particular order) – paint throughout, polish floor boards, lift up floating floor in kitchen (assuming there would be original floor boards under there somewhere), new carpet upstairs, new toilet and vanity in the ensuite, test for asbestos and remove if found, new kitchen, new front door, security doors, fix windows (which were original sash windows with broken panes and sash cords) and extensive gardening.  And this was just the first round.  On the “later on” list was new bathroom, conversion of previous shower room to a walk in pantry, doing "something" to the deck to make it more liveable, fixing the verandah, redoing the fence to name a few.  And I wondered why everyone laughed at me when I said we would get the main list done in two weeks between settlement and moving day…….

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