Good morning all,
Remember that two bedroom cottage we wanted on the semi-rural property?
We got it :)
We are moving to a new (old) home. A charming two bedroom cottage surrounded by cattle breeders and horse paddocks. We even have our own paddock out front, and gorgeous views of peaceful trees and rolling hills. I will have my vege patch and stretch of garden to go for walks and enjoy the sunshine. We will have a cosy little nook to live together and be happy, and it will be our space with our things. We will be paying almost half of the rent we currently pay, so we'll be saving precious $$'s; always a bonus in today's world.
So what is the catch?
We knew from the get go that there would need to be a lot of work to be done on the house. For one, the outside was in desperate need of a repaint, and the garden was sorely neglected. The large paddock out the front hadn't been mowed in goodness knows how long, and there were several pieces of tin and old wood "fixing" the holes in the fence.
Then we walked inside.
The previous tenants were moving out, and they were... Well, they had obviously lower hygienic standards than me and Troy. Again, we knew we would need to work on the place a lot. But we were taken with the location, the views, the size of the actual house, and the price tag. We were prepared to sacrifice a few luxuries to save our pennies so that we would become closer to owning our own home and leave the land of renting forever.
This brings us back to last Saturday when we met the agent at the property to collect the keys. We approached the house and started taking mental notes of what we needed to do first.
The carport alone looked like it housed all of the rejected funnelweb spiders within a 20 km radius.
The bins were full of foul smelling rubbish and hadn't been left out to be collected, so the full Australian summer sun had done it's work and made it smell even more pleasant.
The yard and had been mowed (so they did own a mower!), but the catcher was obviously detached so there was a heck-of-a-lot-of-raking to be done.
The carport was so filthy and thick with dust that it took me over an hour just to sweep it out!
The outside walls were so dirty they made the house look light brown. It is in fact off white.
The guttering was so full of leaves and filth that they were completely blocked, and there was no avenue for the rain-water to refill our water tank. It should also be noted that this was completely empty - no running water until we could get some delivered. That meant limited cleaning options.
The entire house stinks of filthy wet dog - the previous renters owned three large dogs that lived inside - all the time. Judging by the stains on the carpets, it was also their lavatory.
The spiders that were not welcome outside had decided to move their residency inside the house - in the windows, curtains and door frames that contained webbing so thick it resembled Santa's beard.
The windows didn't even shut properly - unless they were the ones that were painted shut.
The inside needed repainting too, despite the fact that the current paint job is only three years old. This is because the previous renters apparently liked to throw things, including darts at the walls and doors.
The sinks were all putrid.
The oven was deperately unclean. Inches, unclean. The stovetop burners are not all working either.
The bathroom was left black and brown in places with scum and filth - they didn't even bother rinsing out the bath after the dogs had obviously been washed in there (apparently they did clean some things).
The toilet was black. Yes, I said BLACK.
The first thing we did was let of 6 bombs in the house, and shut the doors for 2 hours whilst we decided our course of action. We returned with vacuum, brooms, mops, rake, bucket, and every type of spray, bleach and disinfectant we had in our current house. We opened the windows and doors to try and allow the house to breathe, and proceeded with the extermination of unwanted apparent guests.
After two days of cleaning and exterminating, we tallied up 32 confirmed dead funnel web spiders and countless cockroaches, moths and flies.
We are still clearing the windows which are impossibly clogged and difficult to reach at times.
We've also been accepting generous "home" donations from family... And now have some lovely shadecloth on the side of the carport, and some on the back of the house shading the living room (this room gets horribly hot in summer). We've also been offered some cream roman blinds too. The cleaning is never-ending, as is the burning of incense and lighting of scented candles to try and rid that horrid smell from the house. but I think it's slowly working.
I'm also treating myself to some lovely NEW curtains from IKEA on Saunday (when they're reduced by 60% - woo!). I've always made them in the past, but these ones are so pretty and practical... And I really really like them :)
So that's how the house is coming along in the first week... We got the keys last Saturday. It's been mostly cleaning. We've managed to start moving some furniture in too, but we're not sleeping there until we've fixed a filter onto the water tank (now about 70% full), the black-mould issue is addressed in the main bedroom, a cleaner is called to fix the kitchen, laundry and bathroom, and the carpets are replaced. These are all health hazzards.
Aside from that, we're pretty darn happy. We have made so many improvements in the last week alone... Imagine after a month! All it needed was som TLC. I'll have to upload some before and after photos, but until then I'll leave you with this one... Look who we found swimming in our guttering enjoying the downpour we had over Christmas?
One of our friendlier neighbours :)
Ta-ta for now!