Saturday, September 02, 2006

House hunting blues

Just finished first official day of house-hunting feeling decidedly glum.

It's not that there aren't that many good places out there (though there aren't) or that at every inspection we attended there were fifteen other people looking just as desparate as I felt (though there were), or even that at the last house on our schedule - one that we were expecting a lot from - the tenants didn't turn up to open the door, the agent didn't have a key, and fifteen people trooped awaylooking pissed off/shattered (yes, you guessed it, this did happen). I think it's a combination of all these things.

I love and hate moving in equal measures (I think - I started off at love and am cascading towards hate right now).

The 'love' part comes from the anticipation of the unknown. You just might find your perfect place, and will PROBABLY end up somewhere that doesn't have all the features you've grown to hate about the place you currently call home. (Last house: that was the outside toilet - even though I didn't actually want to move that time around. And distance from somewhere nice to walk the dogs. This house: the 20 minute walk to the train station and laughable bus service. And same distance from a decent coffee and newsagent. And anything, really, apart from The Boy's school and a very nice park, where we don't walk the dogs as often as we should.)

The 'hate' part: the enormous hassle of finding a new place to live. Prostating yourself before real estate agents. Packing. Cleaning. Discovering subtle ways in which you have altered the house and which will cost you bond money. (Previous discoveries include dogs having scratched paint off the back door, dogs leaving urine stains on carpets, brother/flatmate having cracked glass door panel moving a cupboard, child having daubed blue paint on white weatherboard exterior). Twisting your stomach in knots over whether you'll find a property worth applying for/be accepted for the dream property. Spending your hard-earned savings on overlapping rent and bond and other moving costs. Unpacking.

More good things: having a clean, sparkling new start of a house. Getting rid of all the crap you've stockpiled since the last move. Discovering a new neighbourhood - or at the least, a new corner of your neighbourhood, if you haven't moved far. (Mmmm ... stomach knots slowly untwisting as I think of a return to civilisation and PT.)

I have been dying to move out of my house for the past six months. We locked ourselves into a two-year lease before I realised how much the public transport thing would kill me, as a non-driver. I have to admit that my partner told me so.

I just hope that it turns out and that we manage to make ourselves look good enough on paper (grrr, grrr) to elbow fifteen other applicants out of the way.

And, yes, Virginia, I believe that Melbourne is in the middle of a rental housing crisis. It's all true. Even in the West.

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