Category Archives: realestate

This has to be good

My parents’ unit was shown for the first time last Saturday. Apparently there were 20 groups through, of whom 8 asked to see the documentation – vendors’ statements, etc.

One of them came back through today for a private showing.

Tomorrow, the house is open again.

I am optimistic that the outcomes will be good.

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Posted by on June 10, 2009 in realestate


And three weeks zipped by ..

Last time I counted, it was 6 weeks till we left.

Ah, heaps of time.

Now, it is three-and-a-half.

Just to put that in perspective:

  • The girls and I have three weekends left in Australia. This weekend, Fraser and I will be at BorderCon in Albury – so there are really only two weekends left before we go. And we want to have a party the week before we leave – so really only one weekend to pack things up.
  • I have a project to finish for a client. It involves writing a whole battery of PRINCE2 documents. That will be achievable.
  • I have another project to finish for another client. It involves lots more writing. That will be partially achievable, but I will probably have work to do when I get to Germany. The client is not happy with some of the work that I didn’t do, and has asked for me to work on that area. While her faith in me is touching and flattering, I am nervous that it might be misplaced.
  • I have two games to translate. The urgent part of one is half-done. I’m hoping to finish the urgent bits by the middle of the week.
  • I have all sorts of things to organise for our trip. More on this elsewhere. I need to stop overthinking the small stuff.
  • Mum and dad’s house has its first Open-For-Inspection on Thursday. I have not been there for a week. I need to find time to go there.
  • I still do not have a British passport. Nor do the girls have Australian passports (long story). Lots of chasing things up to happen on Monday morning.
  • Fraser and I need to get international drivers permits. We tried to do this on Saturday, but the RACV shop closes at 12 noon (where every other shop in the centre closes at 5pm).
  • I have to go to the luggage shop and ask if they can order the new model of Trunki for Otto. Failing that, I need to order one online. This is becoming urgent.
  • We need to organise parent-teacher meetings with the girls’ teachers. These would normally happen at the end of this term but they have been delayed to early next term.
  • Fraser and I need to move back to our “2 boxes a night” packing philosophy.
  • I need to do invoicing and tax. Urgently.

*bounce* *twitch* *bounce*

Settlement on the old house is in 44 minutes.

Regular readers of this blog may occasionally feel some empathy with my husband. Especially when I am – well – excited about something.

melissa: how do you feel?
fraser: Fine, why? Do you mean waiting for the mythical money? ๐Ÿ™‚
melissa: yes
should I call Stuart about the keys?
fraser: I don’t expect to see any of it today, or probably even tomorrow.
melissa: yeah
fraser: I left the keys in the old house
melissa: even the one that was on my keyring?
fraser: Ah possibly not that one since I didn’t know about it. It is still mine for another 90 minutes, you could drop it off (not that I expect that you have the time)
melissa: hee
I have to show you this doc I have been working on, tonight
it was soooooooooooooooooooooo bad
I think I made two different friends cry at various times during the night
fraser: There’s two door keys, a bunch of window keys, the oven and burglar alarm manual and some spare kitchen cupboard handles in one of the kitchen cupboards
melissa: omg less than an hour
am I booking your ticket as well?
fraser: No, more than an hour. Is booked for 11:30
melissa: 11am
fraser: 11:30 I believe
melissa: 500 bucks says 11am
fraser: 1000 bucks says we don’t see any bucks today
At any time
melissa: we should see it as uncleared funds though
fraser: If you got 11 from Stewart I am in the money
He had the date wrong the first time
melissa: I have 11 from Partricia and Stuart
fraser: Oh yes, Patricia said 11
melissa: then again that could mean 4 ๐Ÿ˜‰
fraser: Indeed it could
melissa: omg
hey you know what we WILL see today
is the closure of the old house mortgage
fraser: Should yes
melissa: so that is money
so maybe I should take the thousand bucks
I got paid by [work]. I am tempted to go book my flights RIGHT NOW THIS MORNING
while I get the key cut
then I have 5 days to pay anyway
fraser: Or you could pay your back pay…
melissa: omg I totally could
fraser: and then book your ticket.
melissa: I could BOOK. MY. FLIGHTS.
Do you wnat me to book yours too?
fraser: I presume you know my dates? I don’t
melissa: lol
fraser: Dream on!
melissa: I can work out your dates
the con starts wednesdya 19th
Fraser gmail: Tick, tick, tick…
melissa: you want to go to anywhere before? You were talking disneyland with Anna but now she may not be interested
lol nice message
fraser: Too busy instead…
melissa: well quite
I am trying to work out when you should fly over. You want to get into DFW on Wednesday 19th for setup
So do you want to fly over on Sat 15th and have a few days in LA first? Or somewhere else?
and do you want to fly straight home again on the Monday 24th after the con?
and what name is on your passport
and why are you ignoring me?
<< jumps up and down
You cannot call because Fraser gmail is using chat in Gmail or another chat program other than Google Talk.
fraser: Cos I am working!
melissa: so I should not book your ticket today then
when I book mine
booking my ticket
fraser: Correct
fraser: Just so long as no credit card is involved
Still 33,623.93 owing on the old house
melissa: the 93 cents are a killer


More auction – and SHOPPING!

The neighbours ran a sweep on what the house would go for. Our ex-tenant got 530,000 but lost out to Sue over the road who got 535 exactly.

The guy who bought actually went around introducing himself to the neighbours that morning – “I’m probably going to buy this house” – wish someone had told us that!

Lots of people asked what we are going to do now.

  • Pay off debt (inc mortgages on both houses)
  • Buy a new sofa (I bought our current one when I was 18, the straps have broken, etc etc)
  • Paint the outside of this house (this is really a home maintenance thingy)

Also, I would like to:

  • Buy some shelves that fit beside the french doors for our games so we don’t block the windows with a bookshelf anymore
  • Get a folding table for the spare room/games room, so we have room to spill over when we have more than a table of gamers
  • Maybe get some curtains made – it would cut our heating bills and be nice.
  • Get a GHD straightening iron.

Wow, extravagant, huh. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fraser has wanted for years to have a Mac again. And a decent stereo. I think he should get ’em.

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Posted by on April 14, 2008 in realestate


Memories of the auction

The sun came out! Beautiful sunny day, vivid blue sky, despite predictions of rain.

There was a german family in the living room, talking price, confident that no-one was eavesdropping. Mwahahahahaha.

I settled as soon as I heard them saying 480 was fine – that was our ‘ok, put it on the market’ point.

The friends who showed up to watch the auction.

Blocking the back door so Fraser and the agent could talk in peace in the back yard.

Hiding in the 2nd bedroom as the agents ushered everyone else out.

Our wonderful, wonderful auctioneer.

Twittering to keep my mind off what was going on. Beeping phone annoyed Fraser.

Opening bid of $400,000 – yeah right.

The auctioneer countered with a vendor bid of $450,000 – $10k more than we had previously discussed.

Loooooooooooong wait for a bid of $460

470 – 480 – it’s going – 490 – 495 – we’re definitely on the market at this point. We’ll take $2500 bids at this point.

497,500 and it went long – sounded like it was passing in – before 500,000 and Fraser and I crack a smile.


weird bid that was

make it up to 510? sure

jump jump jump – somehow we were at 525000 and Fraser and I could hardly believe it.

530000 *wow* <– this was my best case scenario (and I tend to be an optimist)


Quote of the auction: “You can’t buy a house with just one bid, sir.”

“I’ll take ones, but why don’t you make it 535 for me?”

And someone did.

Going, going, gone.

Did I mention there were FOUR new bidders over $500,000? I think 6 bidders in all.

We were almost afraid to breathe, hiding in the second bedroom, waiting for the purchasers to sign.

They’re investors and are planning to renovate before renting it out. 60 day settlement, so we still have to wait.

Good luck to them! I hope we get to see the house post-renovation.

Agents were overjoyed as well.

Essen? Is now a reality.


Posted by on April 12, 2008 in realestate



twittering at

Clearly mobile posting to wordpress was not a good idea!

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Posted by on April 12, 2008 in realestate



About to go to bed, I remembered the auction again, so now I am awake and all tied up in knots again.

So why is this auction so important to me?

We don’t really HAVE to sell – it just seemed like a good time to do it. Selling will let us be debt-free which seems almost like a fantasy at this point – although it will mean that we ‘only’ have the one house. We’ve worked really hard for the last 11 years to keep both houses, so selling was by no means a no-brainer for us. I confess, I’d often thought that we’d one day sell THIS house but keep the other for when the girls are at University or working.

But selling – and getting rid of debt – opens up so many possibilities for us.

When I was at University, I caught the travel bug and promised myself that I would travel regularly. After living in Austria for a year, I promised myself that I’d go back to Europe at least every 5 years to keep my Mad Deutsch Skillz and – let’s be honest – just to travel.

I came back from Austria in 1993, and settled down.

In 1995, we went to New Zealand for a week, to stay with family.

In 1998, I won a trip to the UK and we spend 5 weeks there (Biggie was 7 weeks old when we left).

I haven’t left Australia since. Hell, I’ve barely left Melbourne since then.

Regular readers will know that I kind of have an Essen Obsession. And that I plan to go there, this year. (As compensation, Fraser is going to BGG.con).

Except that if we don’t sell the house, then I can’t go. And nor can Fraser. Because our disposable income will be doing responsible things like NOT being disposed of because it is servicing debt. I think we pay something over $20,000 in non-deductible interest a year – that’s a lot of travel. And we bought at a time when housing stock was CHEAP – I know plenty of people who are paying around twice that!

If we DO sell the house, we will ALL go to Essen next year. Actually, we’ll have a Big European Holiday next year. And there will be the possibility of one or all of us going again, in other years. Or to the US. AND/or to the US, even. Probably without even eating into the capital from the sale of the house, because we can save money instead of using it to service housing debt.

I have been responsible and mature for 11 years.

And I am so absolutely, totally, unbelievably sick of it.

If the house sells, I can live to do the things I love, instead of living to pay the mortgage.


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Posted by on April 12, 2008 in grand plans, realestate



The auction is this Saturday.

I am not doing very well at distracting myself into not thinking about it.

Over the past 4-6 weeks, clearance rates around Melbourne have dropped to below 65%. Prices for comparable properties have fallen by $30,000 or more. We will be lucky to reach the amount that the second offer was for (the one that the agent knocked back without even talking to us because it was too low).

Do I sound stressed? I am stressed. The effect of all this stress is that I am a bit miserable without any real reason to be unhappy. I am not good at being powerless – and there’s nothing I can do to improve the selling price at this point. I’m not even cheering myself up with thinking about OMG ESSEN! because even that may fall through if the house does not sell at all. And while I recognise that this is unlikely, Stress and Misery have kicked in with their nasty little messages. And I don’t like it, because I like to think that I am an upbeat and positive person.

Realistically, it is unlikely that the property will not sell at all.

It is possible that it will not sell at auction – even that it will not attract even a single bid.

The agents *think* they have 2 or possibly 3 bidders. First home buyers and investors, mostly. All they can talk about is what is wrong with the property (I am told that this is normal real estate bastardry).

We have to set a reserve price by Saturday.


I just feel a little bit sick.


Posted by on April 8, 2008 in rant, realestate


House update

6 groups through last Thursday – 1 asked whether we would consider selling before auction & asked for a copy of the vendor’s statement

19 groups through on Saturday – 3 or 4 asked the same question.

The guy who offered before is not willing to go any higher. I said well, we’re not interested in selling at that price – and the agent agreed that he would definitely not recommend it.

F has, I think, settled into the idea of going to BGG.con. Feels like it might make up a little for me GOING TO ESSEN!

*explodes a little*

In other news: 2 new projects about to start. Of course, school holidays start on Thursday for 2 weeks, too. I never have enough notice to organise vacation care.

Schedule for this week:

  • stay up really really late to try to work on rules (each night)
  • go to work Tuesday (write project documentation)
  • French class Tuesday night (still need to do homework & revision – this is suffering a bit at the moment & not getting as much attention as it should)
  • meeting Wednesday (other project startup)
  • workout with trainer Thursday (she says tomorrow is too hot)
  • Salsa Sunday!

whoo hoo!

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Posted by on March 17, 2008 in grand plans, realestate, to-do


Offers already


From one person.

Not quite high enough yet – but reassuringly close.ย  He came up $20,000 in 2 days.

Nervousness subsiding.

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Posted by on March 11, 2008 in realestate