We bought a house! A house! I never thought it would happen but it has and I can honestly say I’m thrilled. As is Spouse. We’d planned on a unit close to the city but realised that we are completely and utterly over high density living. We have done our time in Units/Apartments. It’s over. Plus there’s the whole ditty of Sydney prices. $700K for a unit? Nah bro. Is it true Sydney is now more expensive than NYC? Crazy. I mean Sydney is a beautiful city and I love it, but let’s face it, Sydney ain’t New York.
We are simply at a stage in our lives where we need space. We need a yard for our child and room to move without tripping over fecking Duplo and ultimately each other. Right now, our bedroom is a storage box. I wake up to a Christmas Tree box, an ironing board and a bookshelf crammed with 5000 pieces of crap staring me down. Clutter depresses me. We are squished like sardines.
So we have taken the icky mortgage leap and purchased a house about 50 minutes from where we are now. It means a commute for Spouse but he doesn’t mind. The pros were too lengthy to not do this. My favourite pros are a mortgage that is cheaper than our rent, a huge backyard, my BFF 2 minutes away, my parents being closer and the whole being able to travel freely each year due to a great price. Happy Days.
And so in celebration of our impending move, I give you 4 reasons why after 10 years of apartments I won’t really miss high density living…
1) Weird Smells.
I can smell your dinner. It smells spicy; good luck with that later. I can actually smell it in my bathroom thanks to our shared wall and fan. I see the kids are having fish fingers though. Good move, spicy food and nappies aren’t always a good combo. Upstairs? Yeah, your cigarette smoke doesn’t smell as good as downstairs’ dinner. Especially when it wafts lovingly into our bedroom and I wonder if Spouse has taken up smoking…in his sleep. Next door, perhaps you shouldn’t use the shared hallway bin for the poo nappies. Spouse just came back from dumping some rubbish in there and his eyes are watering.
Seriously, is parking a big thing in every unit block? Can people not read? Does the HUGE no parking sign not mean anything? The whole parking in people’s spots things is such an outrageous issue round here. Actually, it’s been an issue in every complex we’ve lived in. You have to follow a procedure for dealing with it. First you have to beep the horn for like, 25 minutes. (Everyone comes out and stares from their balcony at this point. And they generally won’t stop staring until the whole issue is resolved.) If no one appears you have to park them in. But be careful not to park any innocent parties in also. Then you wait. Finally they come to your door with some bullshit excuse such as, they didn’t know it was a spot or there was an emergency involving someone’s grandmother. And then you kinda feel bad and have to do this awkward walk to the cars and chat and then move your car and wave to show all is forgiven etc etc.
It’s exhausting. I’m looking forward to our own driveway.
Oh noise. What can one say? Negative Nelly’s report that houses are also noisy, but I lived in my family home for 23 years and not once did I hear our neighbours fart in the bath. True story.
Domestics, people screaming at their kids, music, bad music, cars hooning, TVs blaring, people who enjoy debating ice cream flavours on their balconies at 5am, special cuddles noise and the worst? Hearing upstairs going to the toilet. Way too close for comfort. I look forward to no one above or below us.
OK, so this isn’t such an issue, more of a first world annoyance. We live up 4 flights of stairs. At first I looked at the health benefits of climbing them daily. Then after a while I realised I couldn’t get a baby, our bags and the shopping up; all at the same bloody time without dropping something. And then I suddenly had a toddler who wanted to climb the stairs, and takes an hour to do so which is difficult when you’re trying to avoid the old last downstairs who demands to know who you are and why you are climbing her stairs. The Woolies delivery man actually told me some drivers refused our neighbourhood run because of our stairs. I don’t blame them. I gave up hauling the groceries up after I dropped a bag of grapes down the stairs and the old Strata biddy told me I was a disgrace for not ensuring every grape was picked up. (I tried OK, I really tried.) Though; of all the parts of my body, my calves are the only part I like. Why? Because the stairs have made them quite shapely.
Spouse and I will always look back fondly at this place, and all the places we’ve lived. After all, they were home. And we definitely have some crazy stories.
We’ve debated this move for 12 months now. Each time we moved forward, I pulled back, hesitant to move from our current suburb; to take on a mortgage. 12 months to make the right decision for us. And for the decision to feel really and truly right. For us. Because after all, that’s all that really matters right?
House warming wine is on me!