House update

Alan from the Teachers Credit Union came around last night, and we filled in the paperwork to sign our lives away for the next 40 years. Yes – 40 years, not a typo…

And just after midday today, he rang to say that the loan was approved (provisionally of course).

The two provisions are a) that my parents sign a stat dec that they will give us $X when the time comes (Mark’s parents have already given us their contribution). And b) that the valuation comes back around the amount that we have offered for the house.

Part a won’t be a problem. We’ll have the stat dec on saturday night (having dinner with the family for Adam’s 40th birthday). Part b could.

Here’s the thing. The property is considered to be “Flood Affected” in both a 100 year and 20 year chance. Which might mean that the credit union won’t give us a cent to spend on that property. Or, they might take into account that the block slopes towards the back, and the house itself is much higher than the level of the land.

If that is taken into account, they’d probably find that although the backyard may get wet every 100 years, the chance of water coming into the house are very, very small.

There is an open house scheduled for saturday morning. Although we have had our offer accepted, and the Credit Union is willing to give us a huge amount of money, the owners could still accept a higher offer at any moment – unless we give them about $1000.

But if we give them the deposit, and the credit union knocks us back, chances are we won’t get the money back.

So we have to decide whether or not to make a $1000 gamble.

In good news, the building inspection went well. Ron, a builder mate of Bev & Ted’s gave the place a thorough going over, and reckons that it’s a good buy for the price. So I think we’ll take the chance.

Has anyone got…

…A copy of “Simple Knits for Cherished Babies“? I’ve always wanted this book, but haven’t ever felt justified in buying a copy. Now I have the justification, but the money is promised to a higher purpose (putting a decent roof over Ampersand’s head is probably more important than knitting the perfect cardigan, especially when we have already been given so many clothes!).

A sad but beautiful story

For a while now, I’ve been reading a blog called “Path to Freedom“, the journal of a family that lives almost 100% sustainably on a normal suburban block in the US. Today I read a post that made me cry (because let’s face it, everything makes me cry at the moment), and it might just enlighten one or two people that think that humans are superior to animals because animals “don’t feel emotions”.

Read the story of Leda and Lola here.

Everybody else is talking about this guy…

So I am going to too.

He won the competition by the way – I didn’t see any of the other competitors, so I can’t say whether it was deserved or not. I suspect it was.

I’m a sucker for a tenor, have been ever since I married one.

And I loved Turandot when I saw it at the Opera in the Park earlier this year.

And in big scary buying a house news, we have signed the loan application document, and should get an answer on the pre-approval by friday.

I feel a bit woozy

Yesterday, Mark and I offered someone a couple of hundred thousand dollars (that we don’t have) for a house that we have only seen once.

We’ve been looking for weeks, and have mainly seen “fixer uppers” in our price bracket (which is well below the average Sydney house price) because we need both a large-ish house (for the impending spawn) and a good sized yard (for the Disco Divas of Denistone, AKA the chooks). So the house we saw on saturday afternoon was somewhat of a revelation.

It is one street away from another property we have looked at, but technically in a different suburb that we hadn’t considered before. It has a manicured garden, new cladding, a security alarm system, “sparkling” floorboards (I kid you not, the real estate brochure described them that way), a new-ish kitchen, a huge living area, three big bedrooms, a spa bath, a second bathroom in the rather large laundry, a ducted air conditioning system, a lock up storage shed, and a stained glass panel with kookaburras on the front door.

And a price tag in the ballpark of what we can afford.

Unbelievable.

We wondered why it was so cheap – apparently it’s because the area is zoned as flood prone. Except that a storm water drain was put in a few years ago just behind the property, and the house is on the high side of the drain. Even with the heavy rains we’ve been having lately, the water was still many meters away from the height of the back door. We won’t be able to get flood insurance, but that is a risk I am prepared to take.

We haven’t offered the asking price, but we have offered only $10k less. We saw the house at 1pm Saturday, and by 11am Sunday when I rang the agent, there were already two other offers on the place. Saturday was it’s first showing, so we know that others are as impressed with this house as we are.

So chances are our offer won’t be accepted, but what the hell. We lose nothing by trying, right?