As most of you* guessed from my hints about The Project, it is indeed a house!
Our first house!
And it’s wonderful and adorable and I love it sooooo much, even though I seem to spend all my time trying to get it to the state we want it at, and cleaning it!
Mr D and I house hunted for over 3 years. New Zealand has some of the most unafforable housing in the world, and while Wellington isn’t as expensive as Auckland, what you get for $400,000 (the average first home price in Wellington central) isn’t much. So we scrimped and saved and looked, and looked, and looked. We put offers on houses, and tenders (blind bids) and paid thousands for building reports and valuations, only to loose to higher bidders on tenders.
Then, in Mid-January, our landlords at the flat where we’d lived for over five years asked us to move out as they wanted to move in. Eeek! If we had to move and rent, we’d have to sign a year long lease, and it would be that long before we could buy and move into our own house.
So the house hunt went into overdrive, and I freaked out and burst into a rash all over with stress, and on the last day before we’d agreed we’d have to give up and rent somewhere else, a house came on the market that ticked most of our boxes.
And we managed to buy it!
We put in a tender offer on a Thursday, along with other bidders, and found out on Friday that we’d won. My knees gave out and I couldn’t stop shaking for three hours.
The next Thursday our offer went fully unconditional.
The Wednesday after that we took possession.
The Wednesday after that, we were fully moved in.
Yes: offer to in in under three weeks! Oh, and the day after we took possession, I drove up to Napier for Art Deco Weekend, because I’d already fully booked and paid for it. And the day after we moved in I flew up to Auckland to spend the weekend with a friend and see Bruce Springsteen, because once again, it was already booked and paid for! And in between taking possession and moving in, I completely repainted the master bedroom.
No wonder I was a bit busy and scattered and not good at posting for a time!
And ever since we moved in, I’ve been painting and fixing and cleaning and unpacking and rearranging, and the list of things that needs doing will never be done!
So it’s not perfect, but it’s still wonderful, and it gets better with every little thing I do to it (and now I can actually show them off!) and we are so happy with our little castle!
It’s a mid 1920s California Bungalow, 110sqm, in reasonably sound condition but in need of a new coat of paint everywhere, and general love and updating. It’s on a quiet road, so safe for Felicity (yes, that was a top consideration!), in a neighborhood we love, and (very important for Wellington!) gets good all-day sun.
Would you like the tour?
Felicity will lead it:
Mommes said something about replacing the icky black curtains with pale green damask ones, so I’m testing the fabric to make sure it’s strong enough. The heater is my favourite thing. I lie on the rug and worship it with my tummy. When I get too hot, I lie on the chest, but right now Mommes has her project spread all over it.
Next to the lounge is the bedroom – when they bought the house it was PURPLE, but I never saw it light that because Mommes painted it before I moved in, which is good, because even in photographs the colour makes my eyes hurt.
The windows aren’t done yet, because windows are hard and Mommes is painting them slowly. I try to help but Mommes says she doesn’t want white pawprints decorating the floor. Sometimes that woman has no taste!
Next to the bedroom is the bathroom – it really is just a bathroom, because a lot of old houses in New Zealand have separate rooms for the bath and toilet. I like to sit on the sink and watch people take baths, which Mommes says is cute but creepy. Well, duh, I’m a cat! That’s what we’re for!
Also, it has a lovely shiny table for me to make pretty paw prints on, only Mommes is always wiping them off and muttering some nonsense about me being ‘a floor cat, not a table cat’. Seriously, no taste.
So the only thing left is the toilet, which I’m not going to show you (really, do you want to see my litterbox too?), and the laundry, which has enormous exciting cupboards full of fabric and boxes piled in all the corners and a window that I like to sit at while I tell Mommes about all the birds that I see.
So that’s it! As you can see, lots to do – Felicity will never be bored or lacking in new paint to sniff or bits of fabric to sit on while they get made up into cushions and headboards and chair covers.
Thanks for your patience with the big reveal! And I hope you’re looking forward to a little bit of home decor interspersed amongst the clothes sewing!
* Except for Laurie, who cheekily suggested that I’m pregnant – that would be quite some feat to hide for almost six months while continually posting photos of myself in corsets and fitted knit tops!