Buying a house and making a home

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while. Travis and I purchased a house earlier this year. Unsure whether we would live in it or rent it out or other, we figured either way it would be a good opportunity to get into the housing market and also a good learning experience. We had been looking around at houses for a while, perhaps a year, maybe even longer.

During this time we were very unsure what we wanted. Did we want to buy a house together, did we want to buy individual houses, how much could we afford, where should we buy. Near our parents? Did we want to buy a house with land, a unit or an apartment? Before buying our house we put three offers – one was two blocks of land next to each other with one piece of land having a small 3×1 house (this was more of a longer term investment as the property was far away from the city), one was a piece of land with two houses, one was a two bedroom apartment which was half way being renovated. Looking back, it was an interesting experience and the diversity in our choices really demonstrated that we didn’t have any specific, particular desires in a house. The apartment was a bit of an anomaly – there was another apartment we were very interested in. Great location, close to the river – what a life it could have been, but unfortunately someone put an offer in on the first day of inspection! The market was extremely heated during this time and our offers were often beaten by people offering more than the selling price!

Anyway, my dear mother brought us to the attention to the house we finally purchased. I remember we went to visit the place on a Saturday morning. It has just been listed on and the agent didn’t even have brochures. My first thought upon entering the property was “no way”. It was a complete mess, even compared to many other places we’d seen. The entrance to the house was by no means safe (no steps leading up to the front door), the house was hardly lived in, there was a bed in the living room, a top 20 songlist pencilled on the wall in the lounge and a billy can in the kitchen! A billy can! I’m not sure what changed our minds but eventually we discussed the benefits of the property, the reasonable sized block, the wooden floors under the carpets, the solid double brick veneer of the house, the joys and experiences of renovation (little did we know!). Anyway, we made our offer and the rest is history.

Sonya and Travis's first home

Here are some before photos of the house:

Outside before landscaping
Bathroom before renovations
Bedroom before renovations
Bedroom before renovations
Kitchen before renovations

So, after buying the house I was left thinking “goodness what on Earth have we done?”. Travis was off course, at the time, gallivanting to the Middle East for work, six weeks at a time. However, on his two weeks off he worked super hard to paint the house and sand the floors. I exercised my DIY skills polishing the floorboards with some polyurethane varnish (probably killed a few brain cells whilst I was at it). Many late nights, lots of trips to Bunnings, and we got it to a liveable, somewhat homely state.
Here are some after photos:

Outside after landscaping
Outside after landscaping
Outside after landscaping
Bedroom after renovations
Dining room after renovations
Hallway after renovations
Kitchen after renovations
Living room after renovations

After only six or seven months of living in our home, it was sad to leave…