travel and life with lee mylne

Hunting for a new home

Tentatively, I have dipped my toe into the piranha pool that is the real estate market. Yes, I am looking for a new home. Now settled in Brisbane, it is time to forget about renting and buy a place of my own. I’ve been through this before only three times in my life, but my heart sinks as I contemplate  what lies ahead.

I had a taste of it last weekend.  A few weeks ago, house-hunting friends assured me they’d found the perfect place for me.  “Too small for us,” they said. “But perfect for you.”  And it was just a few streets away from where I live now, so off I went for the Saturday morning “Open For Inspection”.  It was an Art Deco place, split into two townhouses.  The outside was painted bright pink.  On the steps to the front door, a pink flamingo stood sentinel.   At the doorstep, about 40 pairs of shoes had been kicked off.  Inside, the owners of the shoes prowled and muttered, while the female real estate agent smiled at all.  Her sidekick, a younger woman, took names, phone numbers and email addresses of everyone who arrived to view the property.

Alas, it was not for me.  The rooms were tiny, and I had the sneaking suspicion that it might be a place that might – down the track – need quite a bit of maintenance.  I’m after something where I can close the door behind me when I’m travelling – no lawn to mow, few (if any) trees to trim – and leave it alone.  And there was no garage.

But now I was on the realtor’s mailing list. And the next week into my inbox popped a notice of “Open For Inspection” properties for the coming weekend. I scanned it idly…I’m not quite ready to seriously start looking, but I will be soon.  And there, it seemed, was the perfect place. It ticked every box for me, was in a suburb not too far away, close to shops and transport…yes, every box.

I arrived a few minutes after the advertised opening time. My hopes were high. The street was lovely.  Could it be as easy as this? As I walked in the front door, the same real estate agent turned to greet me. There were no other prospective clients.  “Good morning!”  she trilled. “Now…YOU’RE a familiar face!”

“Yes,” I said. “I came to see a place you had open a few weeks ago. The pink place.”

“Of course! I knew I had seen you before,” she said (much to my surprise).  From there on, it was “Lee” at every opportunity, as she showed me around the lower level of the two-story townhouse.  Then she suggested I head upstairs to look at the bedrooms.

While I was doing this, another group of buyers arrived.  I came downstairs, and dodged around the group to go and look at the garage.  A few minutes later, they had gone  upstairs, and I came back into the entrance hall.

“Good morning!” came the bright and brittle greeting.  “Now…YOU’RE a familiar face!”

The young assistant looked like she wished the ground could swallow her up.  My face must have said it all.  “Yes, I was here a few minutes ago…I’ve just been upstairs!”

“Oh yes, of course, now….you’re….Bridget?”

“No, I’m Lee.”

I didn’t like the house anyway, in the end.   As I said to my friend Annette, as we sat over a glass of wine that night on the verandah of the house she’s lived in for nearly 25 years and which had been her late husband’s childhood home, it just didn’t grab me. 

“When you find the right place, you will just know,” she advised. “It’s like meeting a man. You just know, in the first few minutes. And you have to love it, not just have it tick the boxes.”

We laughed and had another glass of wine.  My house-hunt continues, and I’m in no rush.  The right place will turn up, I’m confident of that.  And Annette’s right: I’ll know it almost instantly, and I’ll love it.

15 Responses to “Hunting for a new home”

  1. melanieb107

    We knew with our house in Euroa, Lee. First of five, I think, that we saw in one day, the only day we went looking. Put in an offer, upped it marginally and it was our. Getting the lone was another thing; several banks seduced us with welcomes and confidence only to reject us down the track. But it is ours and we love it. Happy hunting and enjoy the wines when it doesn’t go to plan!

  2. melanieb107

    Apologies for the dreadful spelling. Typing too fast! That should have been “and it was ours” and “loan”. Sighhhhh

  3. Virginia

    I think every realtor in Elsternwick, Gardenvale, Brighton and Hampton knows me by name now. I am surprised they haven’t started asking me to dinner. Lygon St I saw from the outside on Thursday, looked at it on Friday, phoned Mr Moustache and, with the “good to go,” bought it on Sat. With the one I am currently moving into, I liked its feel, its light, the position and the opportunities it presented.. I missed it first time round, but it was destined to be mine…as it is now. (I guess I should qualify that statement by saying the ANZ also has a big chunk of it, alas.) Happy hunting. You become an expert in reading through the blurb. Go straight to the floor plans – saves you a lot of time. And if you really need help, my services are quite reasonable.

    • Lee

      Thanks V. So great that you eventually got the house you loved the most – that really was meant to be. Look forward to seeing it sometime!!

  4. Tommy

    Don’t care much for the house hunting, but I’m rather keen on the Iced Vo-Vos

    • Lee

      You will see I was very restrained and only had one. But I am partial to an Iced Vo-Vo. Not quite as good as a Tim-Tam, but still very satisfying with a good cup of tea.

  5. candidkay

    I remember sitting in this house, now my home of 14 years, before we bought it. And thinking it felt like home. It’s a feeling, Lee. I know you’ll find it!

  6. Penny Ramsdale

    Yep, we weren’t even house-hunting, but my cousin was … Grant saw a house just around the corner from ours that had just come on the market – private sale – and said he’d go and have a look, see if it might suit my cousin … half a hour or so later, he was back and said – you really should go and have a look at that house … we bought it that same night!!

  7. Browsing the Atlas

    LOL. This made me chuckle. House-hunting and moving is so stressful. But at least your realtor provided a bit of humor — even if it was unintentional. Good luck!

    • Lee

      Well, the hunt is over…and now I’m immersed in paperwork as I complete the purchase. Standby for (eventually) a blog about actually moving! And it’s happening very fast, which I THINK is a good thing.


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