Sunday, 28 August 2011

Only 4 weeks to go...

And then we're winging to Adelaide. Sounds ridiculous.

We've had our second open home yesterday, and there have been 6 groups of people through. My mum (who arrived last Thursday) and I were on the golf course, were I played golf, and she attended the flag stick, raked bunkers, and pushed trolleys around.

Age cleaned the house and mopped the floors in the meantime :-)

Sooooooooo..... yes, only four weeks to go.

By the way, we have the most beautiful weather! We've even watered the garden a couple of times because it became quite dry, and the plants were looking a bit sad. Not something you'd think of when it's winter.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

House'n things

This week I have been busy working on the redesign of a course, for a distance learning organisation here in NZ. Very nice, and there may be more work on the way.

I also started a golf rules course, held at the Nelson Golf Club. My friend Anne dragged me along! She mentioned that the previous week it was a very cold 2 hours in the clubrooms, so I came prepared for this week's session. As I've told you on this blog numerous times, New Zealanders have something against heating their homes and other premises. I haven't figured out yet why that is exactly, but in winter when you go out for dinner, go to the pub, go to a golf rules course at your local club, or go to someone's house, you need to be prepared to get cold. The strange thing is that kiwi's complain about the cold too!

Anyway, this time the clubrooms would be even colder, as a bitterly cold southerly blasted us almost from the carpark, and during the day we'd even seen some snow here! Luckily for me Anne brought a blanket to put over our legs (she wasn't the only one!). After the course, when I got home I had a very hot and very long shower.

Age, meanwhile, was in Wellington - see our previous post - where they had a real wintery blast with snow at sea level, which hadn't been seen for over 40 years. A wonderful short movie clip about the snow in Wellington can be seen here. Yes, people wear t-shirts year round.

What else... ah, we witnessed something fabulous: Ziva who started pooping, and then suddenly went to her litter tray, dug a hole, pooped in her tray, and walked away. That she wasn't finished yet was just a minor glitch.

And we have had our first open home today. According to the real estate agent, who left a quick note on the table, we had 10 groups of people through. Good news! He'll ring those people tonight and will then brief us on the feedback he's got.

O, and just when we wanted to leave for the open home, we got into the car, reversed off the driveway, and something didn't feel quite allright: a puncher! Really great, one of the rear tyres flat, grrrrrrr. Age got the air thingy for our bicycles and pumped some air in it, and then we suddenly had a mission: going to the service station to get some air. There Age found out that something was stuck to the tyre, a piece of metal or so. Anyway, after a cup of coffee (with cake), we came home again, and had a good look. Yes, there was definitely something sitting there. Age got a tool and pulled it out of the tyre. Halfway through: psssssssssjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj. Our tyre was now really empty, and there was an enormous screw, something that can absolutely hold your house together on its own. Well, we rang the AA, they came round, and fixed our emergency tyre. So tomorrow I'll be on a mission to get the bloody thing repaired :-(

Monday, 15 August 2011

Winter weather

Quite the extremes yesterday: snowstorm in Wellington, where they haven't seen so much snow in over 40 years, and a lovely sunny beach in Nelson.

Snow shower seen from Metservice today

Snow on the Makara hills near Wellington.

Today we had some snow flurries here in Richmond as well. Very unusual. And cold!!

- Evelyn

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Getting ready for sale

Last week we've finished almost everything that was on our to do list to make the house ready for the market. Our to do list was rather small, which felt a bit strange really. We even added some things on the list that weren't very necessary, like touching up the verandah. That particular one ended up to be the biggest job. I had to paint the whole verandah, because the colour of the paint I used was clearly different than the original paint. I used the correct pot with leftover paint, but the verandah was a bit discoloured by the sun!

On Tuesday I spent the morning tidying up and styling, because the photographer would come along. It was the most beautiful day, so we're very curious at how the pics are. We'll know in a couple of hours, as we'll go to the agent to select the pics for the website, advertisements and sign.

Age was away last week, he went to Wellington and then to Adelaide for business. He said it was really strange to go back to NZ again! It is all coming closer now, we're busy house hunting for example, and where this started off as a taste of what you can get for your money, it's becoming a bit more serious now. The properties we have in our shortlist at the moment may very well be still on the market when we arrive.
We have also found some really nice furnished rental properties for the short term - we have to live somewhere when we arrive, don't we?

What else? Ah, job opportunities for me! I'm keeping an eye on the job boards, and now and then something interesting comes along. But it has to be very interesting will I give up on my business or put it on the backburner. There should be a lot better perspective for my business in Adelaide than here, so I'm looking forward to spending energy in building it up further.

Next week the advertisements for our home will be written, the first ad will appear, and we'll have our first open home. I can't wait!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Full steam ahead

Last Friday when we opened this nice bottle of wine, we made a planning for the things to do to get us to Adelaide. We also set some crucial dates. Although you never know how things will work out exactly, you can't think too much about all the if's and when's - otherwise nothing ever gets done.

So we used as our starting point the scenario of getting ourselves as soon as possible in Adelaide, because that's what this is all about, isn't it? Long story short: we booked our one-way tickets and leave New Zealand on the 24th of September.

Now that we have a departure date we also know how much time we have to sell our house. Not that much, but we just heard on the news that in the last month or so the market has turned around from a buyers market to a sellers market :-)

Anyway, we had some trouble with the decision of 'selling privately' or 'selling with an agent'. We went to Green Door, a company where you can sell your home privately - you buy marketing packages from them, and don't have to use their agents. Green Door is widely used here in the area, and seemed a good option to save money. The lady who discussed with us their packages wasn't one of my favourites, but I agreed with an appointment to let her have a look at our house, because 'that's what they usually do'. Well, she didn't turn up! So after that, plus the fact that their marketing packages were totally inflexible, we thought they could stick it in their @$#^$&^.

One of the things the lady pointed out to us was that the difference between the rating valuation (RV - what the council uses to base their rates on) and the price we bought the property for was very big. So we may want to consider to get a re-valuation done. We thought the same, so made an appointment with a valuer. The thing with the RV is that potential buyers often use that as a starting point for offers. The RV gets updated only every 3 years, and a lot can happen in those years, like major renovations, or just an increase in value in a booming market. In our case the property had been improved by major renovations. Long story short: the valuer was totally impressed, wanted to buy the place himself if he just hadn't bought a section to build on. And brought the value up with a jaw-dropping amount.

Very good news indeed! Now we have to find this buyer who is willing to pay more for the house than we did :-) We left Green Door for wat it is, and signed up with an agent from Bayleys. We opted for a Deadline Sale on the 8th of September (unless sold prior of course). To be continued I guess!