House hunt: A Mt Albert orphan

11 November 2016


So. The Mt Albert orphan.

Mama, papa, the agent and I walked in, and around, and out, and in again, discussing the structure, checking for rot etc. (Ok, I defer many of these not-so-aesthetic investigations to papa).

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The front of the house has a big bay window, with stained glass panels up the top. The rooms are spacious and have wardrobes with the best spaces on top – mama said they’re perfect for putting your vintage leather suitcases on (I do agree), but my first thought was that they would make the best hidey spaces for little mattresses and duvets. I grew up sleeping in lofts with my cousins and siblings in my aunt and uncle’s rustic mansion.

The laundry would be difficult… We would take out the existing basin to replace it with French doors, and either build an extension to the house which included a laundry, or hide it somewhere in the kitchen.

But there were all these sunny bay windows, rimu floors (pro: already stripped = much less work, con: some borer in the non-heartwood), and a big interesting living space with a woodburner. Yus.

We liked it. A lot. More than Mair St? Maybe. It would fit our house spot better than Mair St would.

And you know how I said we were writing our budget for Mair St? Well, when we got back in the car to hit the highway once more to Hamilton, we went through a new budget – for Mt Albert.

There would be less structural work needed (aka walls knocked out), less work on the floors, no need for a new kitchen, and we hoped insulation below the house (we couldn’t check – there was a padlock on the under-the-house hatch). On our highly improvised budget, we would be saving up to $60k on Mt Albert.

So, it works financially, and it looks good. Next step: pay $700 for a building inspection. They’ll also check to see if it was ever used as a meth lab.

We’re trying not to get too excited, but this could be the one. Is this what finding a spouse is like?? Ha.

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