Househunting day today, even if we did only get to view one house! Troy and I dropped the kids at school and then drove to Ballarat for our inspection appointment. We were a little early, so we did drivebys of the other houses we are considering, and took a little random tour of the estate just to get a feel for it.
The house we saw could definitely work for us. It has five bedrooms, and although the master bedroom is smaller than what Troy and I have now the other four bedrooms were bigger than I was expecting, which was good. The living room in the front of the house would be Troy’s study, and would make a lovely, bright and big office for him. The house has a lot of storage- walk through robe in the main bedroom, double door built in robes in the other four, lots of laundry cupboard space, a really big linen/general stuff cupboard in the hallway, a coat closet by the garage door. The kitchen is lovely (better than I expected from the photos online), not masses of cupboard/bench space, but with a really big walk-in pantry that also has power for the microwave/toaster etc. The living room is good too, pretty big and with several windows it’s really light and bright. The outdoor living area I loved- there was a big section under the house roofline, then they’d built a pergola beyond that, some of which is roofed with Perspex and some of which is open, and the whole thing has a timber deck floor. Of all the houses we’re considering, it’s the closest to the primary school, and it’s in a court which I think would be great for the kids in terms of riding bikes/ practising hockey/ rollerskating/ whatever they do.
The negatives to this house are not insurmountable. The two main things (and this is why I think it has a lower price point compared to some others) are that the backyard looks like a bit of a disaster, and the house doesn’t have loads of visual appeal in a lot of ways. The backyard isn’t a big problem for us. It’s a pretty reasonable size, and although it’s messy and overgrown we can fix that up. It has a garden shed that would be useful, and with the outdoor living area so nice it would definitely be worth spending time out there to make the garden fit in with that.
The visual appeal of it is also something that we could improve a lot. I mean, we can’t do anything about the façade, which is extremely square looking, but while I don’t love it I can certainly live with it. Inside, it really needs painting. The whole thing is currently a darkish beige, which I suspect has been the same since the house was built ten years ago, so there’s quite a few chips and scratches out of it, and it’s pretty dingy. By itself, this doesn’t bother me – I am happy to paint and it really will make a huge difference. Other things like ugly blinds are also easily changed. I have to admit that I found the whole kitchen/dining/sitting room kind of dark, since the outdoor living area blocks light from coming in – I don’t like this but I think new paint would help, and maybe getting an electrician to install some more lighting? It’s all downlights at the moment.
I think the biggest question mark over this house is space though. Like I said, the kids’ bedrooms are a really good size- they would each have their own room that would fit a bed, a desk, and a shelf, and still leave them a bit of floor space for playing. So that is a definite gain on this house. Troy and I would have a smaller room, but that isn’t a problem. It’s the living space that I’m not totally convinced about. I was thinking that the kitchen/dining/lounge room would be bigger than it is, I guess I had Mum and Dad’s house in mind and this set up is smaller than that. The dining space is fine, but we wouldn’t have enough room in the sitting area for enough couch/armchair space for all of us to sit down and watch tv. The other living room is a good size- we could probably fit everything that is in our current living room in there, as well as an extra armchair or two seater sofa so that we all have a place to sit. That leaves all the stuff in my study, as well as what’s in the library, to be fitted in to the living area in the kitchen/dining or into Troy’s office. The other thing about space is that this house didn’t have a shed (well, only a garden shed) for storage. There is a double garage, and we could fit shelving along the sides to store all our camping stuff and whatever else we can stack on there, but it would obviously be a little more limited than what we currently have. So, really looking at the space issue, I think we could totally make it work, it’s just not an immediate ‘yay, love it!’ kind of feeling.
Anyway, I think the house is a definite possibility, although quite frankly after the amount of talking, thinking, and staring at online photo galleries and floorplans I have done I am no longer I sure I know about anything.
At the moment our next step is for Troy to talk to the bank on Thursday to find out where we actually stand financially. We’re also hoping to go back to Ballarat and view another house on Saturday. Hopefully these two things will give me a little more to go on and help to clarify my thoughts.