Friday 19 August 2005
Posted by kim @ 11:10pm
Well, what can I say? We got our new employment contracts handed out to us at work today, and I'm not the only one that isn't impressed. Let me just say that their idea of 'above award wages' is a whopping 7c above award, without the convenience of them giving us 2wks notice when our employment has been terminated. What's even more impressive is the lady that did them up was so brave and confident about her work that she waited until about 10mins before leaving for the day before handing them out. Really brave. The MD was especially impressed, since, in her absence, the brunt of the cranky-workers' complaints went to him.
As you can probably tell from the time stamp, I'm still wide awake, and likely to be for some time.
We shall see what Monday brings.
Update: Needless to say, *no one* has signed those contracts and they are being re-done - 4 Sept 2005
Wednesday 17 August 2005
Back to the drawing board
Posted by kim @ 6:12pm
Well we went to see Netting St, taking Iain's mum and L&AB (two of our friends) with us for extra opinions. On second inspection, it would have been a great project home, but it needed a lot of work and would have been a pain trying to live in the house while doing it up. Then we headed back around to the Nardie St one so L&AB could see that one as well and we could compare them better, having seen both in the same day. After which we had pretty much decided that regardless of the agent being a right royal cow and the ventors being bastards, we'd go with it and put down a deposit that afternoon.
But as it got closer to the time, and particularly when driving there from L&AB's place (we'd had lunch with them to discuss things), the feeling got worse and worse the closer we got. So, detouring to Iain's parent's place to see his mum quickly, one last time, and getting the advice that 'it was a nice enough place but if you weren't getting the right feeling about it, don't buy it - don't ignore intuision', we decided to go with our gut and rang the agent to say thanks but no thanks.
And the funny thing is as soon as that was done I went from being teary and totally stressed out to, and Iain said that he felt it too, feeling a lot better, not stressed out and not like I had a huge weight bearing down on me.
And besides, there are plenty more houses out there; its a buyers market atm, and we have plenty of time yet.
So, having had such a bad experience with this one, we're changing our tack a little: this weekend we're going to go talk to PW, the agent for Netting St, because he seems pretty good and Iain's parents had purchased their investment house through him and recommended him. Then if he doesn't have anything of interest just yet, we'll add LJ to our list, she's the agent that Iain's parents purchased their current home through, then if she doesn't have anything either, we'll widen our search back to any place that looks appealing from their internet/realestate window advertisment.
Update: Realestate Agent JE, the guy who L&AB purchased their house through, has also been added to our list for Saturday.
Posted by kim @ 8:40am
Thought you could do with an update on the house-hunting front.
The short list of four have long since been cancelled out for the following reasons:
1. The little place in Strathairlie Square: way too small - it looked even smaller in daylight when we went back to see it a second time.
2. The Blue House: for before mentioned reasons.
3. The Villa: strictly no pets - the agent was even iffy about us being able to keep our fish (what kind of place doesn't even allow fish?!?) and the gardens are tended by a hired gardener - this might be great for those with little time and little passion for gardening, but I'm an avid gardener (or would be if I wasn't currently living in an inner-city apartment) and I intend on doing our gardens how I would like them... plus the backyard clearly had a drainage problem.
And No. 4 (Netting St) is back on our list after being crossed out due to a contract being drawn on it, which later fell through.
We headed out last Saturday to see another five places that we'd made bookings to see - all of which didn't really appeal to either of us, and all were crossed off for various reasons. Then we'd decided that we may as well look at the place that we keep driving past every time we visit Iain's parents/my mini, so we made an appointment with the agent to have a walk through on Sunday afternoon. Well we liked it immediately, single storey brick, a bit on the old side but very solid-looking, nice big lounge area and great outdoor entertainment area and yard, and nothing that would need done to it immediately. All was good. Until we tried to buy it. Let me just say that due to the owner/vendor giving us such a go-around and just being an absolute pr*!k, we are very close to telling him to go shove it and go elsewhere - 'elsewhere' being to the Netting St place that is also $42.5k cheaper, in the same zone for public transport to work everyday (and also being close to said transport) and on a much bigger block, so big we could subdivide if we wanted to in 5-10yrs or so, it does need a little bit of work done on the bathroom for instance, but with $42.5k to spare we're not worried about that. And no amount of pointing out that we are in no hurry to buy (we still have 3months on our lease for the apartment) and he is, apparently, in a hurry to sell since he's purchased elsewhere, would get him to even negotiate the slightest on price or fixing a few of the trouble spots in the house.
So he may miss out. And we have an appointment to have another look at Netting Street today at 11:00 (today being a public holiday for the Ekka Show), and this time we're taking along Iain's mum so there is someone else besides us that has seen both the brick one on Nardie Street and the Netting Street one, so we can have another opinion/person to discuss the pros and cons with, before we head back to meet with the agent for Nardie St, and either sign a contract for Nardie St or tell her the deal is off.
Wish us luck.
Posted by kim @ 8:21am
Since Monday's effort, I've thought of quite a few more points that I could add, these a but a few:
* not dealing with incredibly slow-to-turn-up lifts
* not having to put up with an access card that refuses to work when you have your hands full (typically with heavy groceries that you just want to get home so you can put them down)
* not having gale-force winds howling across my belcony and burning the heck out of what little plants I have
* being able to easily (read: without excessive amounts of effort/time) throw the garbage out when I want to, not just need to - not being force to use very small garbage bags (we typically use plastic shopping bags (I have to go down to the shops and consciously leave behind my green bags so that I can replenish our garbage bag supply) but can only half-fill those most of the time because ...) because nothing bigger will fit down the garbage chute, which is also on the opposite side of the foyer - its either this or catch the lift down to ground floor and put it in the dumpsters in the Refuse Room (and nobody wants to share the lift with someone transporting garbage ..)
Monday 15 August 2005
Things not missed
Posted by kim @ 7:29pm
There are quite a few things that I will be looking forward to when we move out:
* not living in extreme clutter (think house-worth of stuff crammed into one room - except for our bed because it is the only thing that fits into the bedroom; our chests of drawers, etc are all in the lounge room, which leads me to my next point..)
* having enough space to have our chests of drawers, etc actually in the bedroom (because there is so much furniture crammed into the lounge room, we have great difficulty opening the drawers and accessing our clothes within)
* having separate bathroom, toilet and laundry
* having a clothes line - not clothes airers in the lounge room
* having a dining table
* having a shower rose that is high enough to not bash my head on it everytime I wash my hair (and I'm not the worlds tallest of people; I'd hate to be taller)
* not having to carry the groceries the 4 blocks from the supermarket to home, and pulling muscles or having 'dead' arms from doing so
* not having to contend with all the obnoxious people on the streets who persist in walking into you, walking extremely slowly in front of you or standing in front of you even when they can plainly see that you're loaded down with very heavy shopping bags - and ignoring all your attempts to ask them to move
* being able to buy groceries, meat for example, in bulk (we had to leave our chest freezer at my brother-in-law's place because it wouldn't fit in our apartment)
* having a proper desk/table to put the computers on, instead of on the coffee table, on the couch, or on the floor
* having a laundry tub that can actually be utilised (at the moment its behind the concertina-style laundry door so you can't get to it properly)
* having space, ie drawers, cupboards and/or a medicine cabinet in the bathroom to put all the bathroom-type stuff in so its not all on the benchtop making the place look incredibly messy and cluttered
* having more privacy - atm if you open the lounge room curtains you open your home to all the eyes in the building across the road, and because said building has mirrored windows, all the people on your side of the building and even those walking passed on the street below can see straight into your apartment. And I do mean your home - right into the shower cubicle in the bathroom if you feel like showering with the light on and have accidentally left the door slightly ajar.
* having pets
* having plants/a garden
There are probably many, many more, but those are the few that I just thought of while sitting here for the last 20 or so minutes.
Sunday 14 August 2005
Albert is here!
Posted by kim @ 10:21pm
Albert is here! Finally. :D He arrived late last night, at 11:32pm, is 8 pounds 5 and 53cm long, and both mum and him are doing great (according to Dad) :) Congrats guys! The wait is finally over. Now the fun begins.
And in other news: we put an offer on a house, but I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.
Tuesday 9 August 2005
The blue house
Posted by kim @ 7:40am
The Blue House is off our list entirely. Apparently it has been rented for some time and was an absolute dive inside. And The Villa is 'pretty small' but Iain has made another appointment for me to see it on Saturday. So we're down to 3 (well, two and a question mark).
Monday 8 August 2005
Posted by kim @ 6:20pm
Well, by Sunday evening we'd narrowed our search down to 4 places (can't say 'houses' because one is a villa):
1. a little place on Strathairlie Square. Its small, but new, in a good neighbourhood, close to an express bus to the city and on elevated land close enough to the uni and a major shopping centre that we'd be able to rent it out in the future if we wanted to. (referred to hereafter as 'the Strathairlie place')
2. an E-type in Runcorn. Being an E-type its a bit older, and blue (whatever possesses a person to paint their place blue I will never understand), but very close to a trainstation, yet far enough away that it gets minimal noise, in a pretty good neighbourhood, on a decent-sized block, but its not big enough to subdivide later. (referred to hereafter as 'The Blue House')
3. a villa in a secure complex on Ham Rd. It too is close to a bus stop, though I don't know if its express or not. Other than that, we couldn't really tell much from the gate. (referred to hereafter as 'The Villa')
4. another E-type in Runcorn, on Netting St. Its a bit further away from the trainstation but still within walking distance, and its on a big block, easily subdividable in the future. The house is ok inside, but could do with a little bit of work - the current owner looks to be a single mum with two little boys, so she undoubtedly doesn't have a whole lot of time on her hands. (referred to hereafter as 'Netting Street')
The main problem is that of the top 4, we had only actually seen inside No. 4 (Iain has made bookings to go see these this week). So we'll see if these stay as they are, or disappear off the list entirely.