I have a passion for property – all things property. While Alice can spend hours looking at clothes on line - I spend hours scrolling through property listings on trademe.
The beauty of property is there is opportunity everywhere. Opportunity to find properties undervalued, opportunities to add value, opportunities to express your vision on a blank canvas. However hand in hand with this opportunity comes uncertainty – did I pay too much, will the finished product match my vision, how much will it cost, will it appeal, do people want to live in this suburb… The list goes on. From my experience, some of these items you will never know – and that is part of the attraction to me. No two properties are the same and no house renovation is ever the same as the one before. For me, this underscores the importance of doing your research and numbers before you rush out and buy a do up at the next auction.
After finishing The Block, catching up on sleep and getting back to some normality, it didn’t take long for us to get the renovation itch again. It never really stopped. I kept my eyes open for opportunities, but we weren’t determined to buy anything, so only viewed the occasional open home. I had seen a house for sale in our neighbourhood which had been listed for a few months, a deceased estate which hadn’t been lived in for a couple years. It had opportunity written all over it, but also hard work.
I checked it out, did a feasibility to see if it was a project that would stack up financially. Working out what it would sell for if it was renovated in several options, I then worked backwards deducting all of the costs to complete the project, contingency, interest etc. What I ended up with was the top amount I would pay to buy the property. Having talked with the agents – this was more than $50,000 less than the owners wanted (and an earlier offer), so I ruled this house out as an option.
After not selling for several months the agents took the house to auction. We walked through the house just before the auction (the first time Alice had seen it). I genuinely did not think we had any chance of buying this place, so I told Alice not to stay for the auction and I hung around out of interest. She was a bit in shock when I arrived at home an hour later letting her know the news!
The auction was on site, there was a good crowd but I soon found out most were nosy neighbours. The bidding started and it was quiet. A couple slow bids. All of a sudden my heart rate was up, shortly followed by my hand. The bidding stopped and I had the top bid. It hadn’t met the reserve, but within 5 minutes the agent had confirmed that the owners wanted it sold that day and I was in the leading to seat to own it. 15 minutes later I was signing a sale and purchase agreement for a house we had just purchased and a huge project on our hands. Time to head home and tell Alice to block out our calendar - we have some planning to do!