It was the second last day of my honeymoon. I’d spent the past 3 weeks traveling through Thailand and Cambodia, swimming, eating, drinking, and relaxing with my new husband. I’d been having the time of my life and I was so happy. I was enjoying the breakfast buffet at the hotel where we were staying, and since there was no wifi in our room, I thought I’d quickly check my email.
The first email that came through was an email from our real estate agent. I opened and read (what at the time) felt like the worst news ever. Immediately I burst into tears in the middle of the breakfast buffet. The emailed informed me that we were going to have to find somewhere else to live in 3 months time when our lease ended.
I was upset because I loved our house and I didn’t want to have to leave it, especially after we’d only been living there for 9 months. I was upset because I didn’t want to have to invest time, energy and money in finding and then moving to a new house. I was upset with myself because I thought I must have done something wrong to make my landlord want us to leave. And I was upset because I’d received this news on my honeymoon.
And then I remembered the number one must valuable piece of advice I have ever received:
You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them.
So I switched to a positive mindset and started to put things into perspective. My husband and I had been planning to buy a house at some point, but because were really happy with our rental house, it hadn’t been much of a priority. Maybe this news was the push that we needed to start looking into buying something. And even if we ended up continuing to rent, maybe we’d find something even better. At the very least it would give me an incentive to clear out all the clutter in my office!
By the I had finished re-evaluating the situation, I was actually starting to feel really excited about the news.
After returning to Australia, we immediately made an appointment with a mortgage broker so we could discuss our options. I was a bit skeptical about whether we’d be able to get a home loan, since I’m self employed and we didn’t have that much money for a deposit, but the mortgage broker assured us that we would be fine. We discovered that we could get a 100% home loan so we wouldn’t need a deposit, and my tax returns were all that was needed to prove my income.
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Once we had pre-approval we started house hunting. We started going to open houses and looking online. And looking, and looking, and looking… Every house we were interested in either sold within hours of being listed, or there was something wrong with it. Eventually we found a house that was perfect for us, but the asking price was much too high. The real estate agent assured us the owner was negotiable on price, so we put in our offer, but the owner refused to negotiate. What a complete waste of time! Dismayed, we kept looking.
Meanwhile, we had to move out of rental house. We were lucky enough to be able to move into a brand-new two bedroom apartment in an inner-city resort-style complex, which we absolutely loved. We also discovered that I was pregnant!
We kept house hunting but every house we liked was either already sold, or there was a problem. We kept looking for months. We were so sick of giving up our weekends and evenings to go to inspections and open houses! One Saturday morning, we decided to drag ourselves to just one open house. As soon as we walked in the door we were sold. The house was perfect. It was in a location that we never thought we’d be able to afford to buy in, but the owners had dropped down the price because they were desperate to sell. It was perfect!
After some negotiations, the owners accepted our offer and we arranged for a housing & pest inspection. But the report did not look good. The bathroom needed extensive repairs and we needed further inspections. We were devastated. My family was urging us to walk away from negotiations, while my partner’s family was urging us to stick it out. We didn’t know what to do!
But it all worked out in the end. The owners paid for further inspections that showed that the house was in perfect condition, and that the bathroom didn’t actually need any repairs, and then offered to take the cost of repairs off the sale price anyway!
Because the owners wanted a long settlement, we’ll be staying in our apartment for the next couple of months, and moving to our new place a month before the baby is expected to be born. Giving us just enough time to set up the nursery!