Thursday, 21 July 2016
It's worth the wait
We didn't even own a camera and the few photos taken by friends are buried in a cupboard somewhere, so I can't show you any before pictures.
In fact, it didn't come onto the market, instead we approached the owners, and they were pretty amazed that we weren't daunted by the task ahead of us as they showed us through the house.
After selling our homes, Brian's and mine, we needed a small mortgage to fill the gap and we wanted to become mortgage free as soon as possible. That was important to both of us so we knew we were in for some hard work in front of us to get this old home livable and the property running productively.
You might think that the house was the priority, but making the land productive was first on our minds. We needed to be producing food as soon as possible because this was what was going to save us lots of money.
Trees were planted, a vegetable garden was established, fences were built and shelter sheds were erected to house the stock that we needed to bring in.
In our spare time we worked on renovating the house, room by room. At first we lived in three rooms, the others were unlivable.
We had no bathroom for one entire winter as we renovated and were forced to bucket wash in the outside laundry that had only two walls. I still appreciate our bathroom every single day.
I became very fit shimmying up and down the high ladder to paint our 14ft ceilings. I learned to be the queen of "cutting in" on the paint work, polishing floors and Jill of all trades.
We employed electricians to do the electrical work, a stone mason to re build parts of the house that had collapsed, and a kitchen company to fit part of the kitchen.
Brian made the bench tops out of some discarded timber that we found, and I lime-washed the cupboards, to save money.
More storage space, and there seems to be more space in the overall kitchen. Through the hole in the wall you can see the living room built-ins that were fitted on the same day and waiting to be lime washed.
Previously our TV was a really old square box thing that I was able to camouflage by sitting a plank of wood on the top to extend beyond the TV on both sides. Onto this I placed books and a lamp to detract from the TV taking over the room.
The new TV, as you can see, was impossible to camouflage, so my long time dream of built in shelves and cupboards came to fruition.
I know I'm going to sound really old now, but I'm gobsmacked at the size of the mortgages that people take on these days.
I wonder if it is really necessary to have everything all at once. I wonder what happened to the anticipation aspect of planning and saving to buy and then that enormous sense of achievement and appreciation of the item that we waited to have.
There will always be different priorities among us, but I guess I'm one who enjoys the anticipation almost as much as the ownership.