Well we did it! We bought a house, hooray!
And at auction too, no less… seriously the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done.
We were fast running out of time as the owners of our rental were waiting for us to move out to put it on the market so we only had 8 weeks left on the lease.
Now, this house is a 60’s built basketrange fronted 3 bedroomer on 704m2 in the suburb of Fulham, just down the road from Henley Beach. In absolute original condition it’s a deceased estate but in the perfect pocket we’d narrowed down to (eventually, read about that issue in The search for The One), and it’s a short walk from school.
During the week leading up to the auction I met a building inspector at the property and talked through my plans to do a quick reno before we move in and then have plans drawn for a big extension into the rear yard. He gave it a clean bill of health and confirmed that it was in great condition structurally and too good to knock down. This was music to my ears because I knew that the price it would go for is too much to pay for land only.
I also had a bank valuation done and it came in at about what I expected, in between other recent sales so I set that as my auction limit (clearly you don’t want to pay more than bank valuation!)
We rocked up to the auction on Saturday morning still not 100% sure if we wanted it… was this “the one”? Could we make this work? Would we just walk away disappointed again?
Previously when we’d gone to auctions to bid, Andrew would sign up and have his number ready to bid (after me giving him the limit) while I stayed in the car with the kids in earshot of the action. It was no big deal as they had all gone well over expected price anyway without him lifting his hand.
Soooo, imagine my surprise when we get there and he says “You can do it, you know the limit, so if you want it, get it”
I was completely freaked out but headed in to sign up. The agent introduced me to the auctioneer and then I stood on the footpath in front of the house grasping nervously at my number 9 bidding card. Because there were quite a lot of people there we had parked 2 houses away and so I wasn’t sure if Andrew would be able to hear the proceedings.
The auctioneer started and bidding took off with several bidders getting involved in the low price range. Then suddenly it stopped still way under my limit, first call, second call, holy shit I’ve gotta bid here…. I hold up my card adding 5k to the price. A guy behind me bids again but no one else does…. first call, second call, up my card goes again and then it’s with me and the auctioneer starts calling it. I’m shitting myself, do I really want it? Does Andrew want it? Can he even hear what’s going on?
The guy behind me bids again and I start breathing again! It’s still 10k under bank valuation! I bid again and we back and forth in thousand dollar increments a few times until it’s with me and he’s out still 4k under valuation! “Going once, going twice, third and final time, SOLD to number 9, good bidding number 9”
OMG that just happened!
The auctioneer and agent rush up to me and start walking me inside to sign the paperwork and in my shaking voice I say “Um, I just have to go see my husband..” They give me a weird look and as I start walking towards the car I see Andrew and the kids already getting out, Andrew shaking his head and laughing “You f….n bought it!”
The crowd dispurses and we go inside the house to sign the contract. Andrew does a dash to the ATM to get the cash deposit and the kids start working out whose bedroom is whose before disappearing to investigate the backyard.
After the shock subsided, we both felt so relieved that the searching was over, we had a house at last… now to figure out what to do with it!
So the project begins!