In October 2009, after almost a year looking, we bid on our new home at auction. It's funny how these things happen. We'd been looking for ages, and a lot of 'right' places slipped through our fingers. Before our first inspection together I was trying to describe the location of this home to Sean. He knew the general area, but not the street. But as soon as we started driving down the street he was 'I'm really liking this!!' I can't say I blame him!
It was a nerve wracking auction - and we weren't even bidding! Our good friend's father is an experienced bidder at auctions, and since we really wanted this home we thought a cooler head bidding might be a good move. He was kind enough to bid on our behalf, while Sean, Oscar and I sat under the shade of the lovely oak out the front.
It seemed to go on forever, but about 25 minutes after it started we wandered up to the Auctioneer and explained he'd need to be taking us inside to do the signing, as our friend's father had been bidding for us!
In January we settled and moved into our new home! We wanted to suss out the area and confirm it was where we wanted to live long term. Well we were blown away <3 The street is so lovely! There is a real community feel about it. The neighbours know each other and get along well. The teenaged kids play cricket in the street, and on balmy summer nights a jazz band perform in the park at the end of the street.
It's a quiet little street walking distance to shops, schools, buses, trains and pretty much anything you could want. And we loved it!
So then the decision - renovate or detonate? We loved our cute little cottage, but sadly the figures did not add up. Rewiring, restumping, replumbing, insulating, extending and renovating was going to be a lot more expensive than rebuilding. So not without regret we started to plan a new home for the block.
A lot of thought went in to planning our new home. While a project home would undoubtedly be the most cost effective solution, we couldn't find anything which matched our particular needs, the orientation of the block, and the character of the street. Something we really admired about the street was the existing style of homes - so we didn't want to create something our of character with that. Accordingly we decided to do a custom build.
It took a long time to refine our ideas, but after speaking with a few companies, we ended up deciding on a red brick Californian Bungalow style home. While we are not trying to replicate a 100% authentic bungalow, we are trying to choose exterior finishes and dimensions which will blend the home in to the rest of the street. This has meant a few odd things for a modern home (like no garage!!) but it's something which was important to us.
So here we are. Days away from it all happening. And this is what we're hoping to create.