Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Home Sweet Home - Part One - The Search

Home, sweet home...

It all started on a sunny Saturday afternoon, while sitting in the beer garden at my old local 'The Bruns' with Micko and a couple of our best mates (Chuck and Krabes). They had recently had their first angelic child and the topic of discussion was of a very adult nature - property. As we sat, the boys happily drinking their schooners of gold, and myself and my girlfriend sipping on a West Coast Cooler (much to the horror of the bar man), the conversation turned to living on the North Coast and the problems it presents... namely property is ridiculously priced and well out of our league. It got us all a bit down... Surely it's not like this everywhere? We might be desensitised, to a certain extent, to astronomical house prices because of our geographical location.

We consider our options and nut it out over a massive plate of Nachos. We speak of future plans... Perhaps buying a property on the coast in Vic and building 2 houses on it. Krabes will have plenty of room for the angelic child to run around and for her horses to play (or perhaps the other way around)... I could put more focus on building up my business and the boys would buy a Mexican restaurant that served the world’s best frozen margaritas. The property would have ocean glimpes and would be somewhere between Johanna and Peterborough on the Great Ocean Road. It all seemed like a grand plan! We quickly scoffed down the now cold plate of nachos, took the last swig of our drinks and headed back to Micko and my sardine can of a flat.

After cracking open a few beers and sucking down a couple of durries, we head to my 'office' and jump on the computer... the destination? of course! We do a few searches around the areas we are keen and realise all hope is not lost in the quest to becoming a home owner. The blown out North Coast prices aren't exactly reflective of the rest of Aus - just parts of it. We chat for awhile and Krabes and I realise why we moved away from Victoria in the first place - the extreme weather! We look at other places that are a little warmer. Micko's grandparents lived in Nambucca Heads for years, his mother grew up there and he'd head there for every school holiday... Chuck used to holiday as kid in Valla Beach (the next town north). Property was affordable, it was still a warmer climate and more importantly, coastal.

Time went by and Micko and I spoke of moving to Vic. Micko had just finished working on the bypass and the job prospects in Byron were limited. We thought, what the hell, let’s give it a crack! It was close to my family and friends and work was plentiful. My folks had a second house in Barwon Heads. It was the house my parent bought when my Dad first started working in Geelong. I’d spent many a weekend there and for me, it felt like home. I discussed the option of moving in with my folks (not actually in with them – fuck I couldn’t possibly do that again)... They had tenants in there at the time and their lease wasn’t up until 6 months after we’d planned on moving. We looked into renting a holiday house over the quiet period and finally, after much fucking around (those who have tried to rent a house while living interstate will know it’s a total pain in the arse) and found the perfect place in Ocean Grove.

In June we packed up our rad pad in Bruns into a Europcar truck and headed on the long journey to a new beginning – and one we expected would end with a house on the Victorian coast. We spent 6 great months in the Ocean Grove pad... it had 180 degree views of the ocean – sensational! The first Victorian winter was cold, very cold! I had a hard time adjusting to, not only the cold, but being away from my mates up north. It was around this time we first considered a move back up north, but we really hadn’t given Vic a good go yet.

We blinked and the first 6 months were over and we were moving – yet again – this time into Mum and Dad’s old place. Felt like I was coming home! That place had so many memories tied up in it... great parties, weekends away, holidays and now Micko and my home. The backyard was the bomb! So many arvo’s and nights were spent sitting in the backyard, cold beer in hand, taking in the greenery (quite a novelty for Vic

Often, during my stint in Vic, I felt very isolated. I was only an hour and a half from Melbourne, but felt like I might as well have been on the other side of the planet. Some people just weren’t willing to ever take the trip down, although, would ask incessantly when I’d be in town next. These, I know, will be the same people who will want to see me each and every time I’m in Melbourne but will not once, ever, visit me here. I’m not quite sure what it is about people... sometimes perhaps they are too comfortable in their own space and never want to venture out. Originally, it bothered me, but these days I’m not fazed. I know they care about me and I will see them again, even if it is on their turf.

After just a few more months, we were considering our options again. We looked at property in Vic but the places we would have liked to settle were a little out of our reach... So we opened our options and once again Nambucca popped it friendly head. In Feb, we came across a place online that we both immediately fell in love with. Micko flew up to check it out shortly after and he confirmed what we were both thinking... Time to commit!

Then... the fun stuff began!

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