We bought our house in St Clair in 2002, about 10 months after we met. For Michael it was nothing new – he’d owned property before, but for me, it was huge. It was my first home. My first mortgage! And it was so exciting!
The house wasn’t much to look at, and when it was suggested to us that we should go and see it, we almost didn’t get out of the car. But it was very deceptive from the street – when we walked in we both whispered one single word – “wow”. It was so much bigger than we had expected, and whilst it was neat and tidy, we could immediately see just how much potential it had.
And so we bought it, our 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, inground pool, separate garage home. And we started to improve it. We rebuilt the laundry and back bathroom. We re-clad the sunken family room, knocked out windows, installed French doors, added on a rear deck and a bar that was the envy of all our family and friends. We put on a carport, we built an office in the garage, brought in an outdoor spa, re-painted, re-carpeted, re-landscaped. The list goes on and on…
But as much as we loved the house, we always said that we would like to move back to the Hills area of Sydney. We didn’t have a specific area in mind, but we loved that North West corridor in Sydney, and we spent our first few months together living in that area. And we also said that if we did sell, we’d like to do it before our daughter Maddison started school.
And so over the years, out of curiosity more than anything else, I had agents come in and give us an indication of what the house might fetch if we were to put it on the market. And each time they came in, that figure crept up and up.
Late last year, we had an agent give us an estimate, which wasn’t enough to encourage us to sell, but it was certainly quite surprising. And then some friends of ours in the same area sold their house for a fantastic price, which got us to thinking again that perhaps it was time to test the market. So I contacted that same agent, and they gave us an indication that really excited us. It would be fantastic if we could sell our house for the kind of price they were suggesting. And so, after lots of talking, we decided, why not? What did we have to lose? Worst case is that the house wouldn’t sell, which was no great disaster in the overall scheme of things. Best case, we would sell for the asking price, which would be fantastic! The agent gave us an expectation that was in the middle of these scenarios, and told us not to expect a rush of potential buyers, as we were asking in the high-end for our area, but he was confident that he could attract quality buyers if we gave him the time.
And so for the next 8 weeks we worked on the house, sprucing it up, fixing little things that we’d let go which, whilst they weren’t that important to us, just made the house look a bit better. We repainted some walls, cleaned carpets, cleaned the gardens, decluttered and put a lot of stuff into storage, and then yesterday, on the Anzac Day holiday, the photographer arrived to take the professional photos for the real estate agency.
And suddenly we’re on the market! Now the waiting begins…