A street called Hope

It's been an emotional time here at World of Hurt HQ. Peter and I have been trying to find a home to buy. We've been scouring the internet real estate pages for months, and many evenings after work, or saturdays have been spent looking at places to live. We have found a few places that we really liked, but have been out bid by people with more money to spend. And last weekend we visited a place that made our hearts race.

It's hard out there, as unless you have loads of cash to spend, you're very limited. After falling for this place, the estate agent told us that the owner had been made an offer just before christmas and it was turned down. We were horrified, as that offer was more than we could afford. He told us to make an offer anyway. He tried to get us to come in and sign a contract 'subject to finance', but we needed to check with our Credit Union. On monday I made an appointment to talk numbers, loans and repayments. And I was heartbroken, after we added stamp duty in, we realised that we would need to drop our price range even lower. The place we loved slipped through our hands.

It sent me in a spin. How would we ever afford anywhere? Would we be stuck renting a nice but small flat forever? I spoke to many people at work and I heard something funny. A colleague said she was listening to the radio that morning and heard Red Symonds say "what's the definition of a Collingwood supporter? Someone who can't afford to live in Collingwood". Funny, true and just a bit sad. It makes me wonder how these inner city suburbs which were slums in the past, where public housing buildings were commonplace as were houses for migrants, student sharehouses and drug addicts, have become sought after and out of the reach of the average person. In talking to another colleague, he wonders how is teenage sons will ever be able to afford their own homes in the future. It made me wondering if the 'great Australian dream of owning your own home' had now become a myth. Peter and I read an article in the paper about a pub in Coburg being renovated, and that with house prices soaring, the old suburbs were now becoming full of 'economic migrants'. We had found our label.

Were we just kidding ourselves? Peter and I don't want to borrow more money than we can afford to pay back - even though the credit union would happily lend us crazy amounts of money. The reality is, of course, that things like bills also need to be paid, and heaven forbid you should want a bit of a life too. So we now know exactly what our budget is. But it also meant a week of tears from me. I was just so depressed as all I could see was our options becoming more limited. I guess trying to juggle finding a home, with full time work and part time study and the limited few hours I get with Peter each weekend, made me wish we could find somewhere so we could have our lives back. Many people have joked that it becomes almost a full time job, trying to find a home.

Towards the end of last week, I was contacted by an agent I have become friendly with. She knows our budget and what we're looking for. She said she had somewhere for us to come and look at. And it made me realise something. I don't function very well when I don't have hope. I need to feel that things will get better, that things can be achieved, that there are possibilities. And last week all that left me and was replaced by exhaustion and sadness. But the tears have dried and things are slowly taking steps forward again. The search continues and maybe there will be a home for us. Peter and I have rented this flat for almost 18 months. It is in Hope Street. When I found it, we thought how prophetic it was. We laughed even more when we saw the sign out the front for the body corporate - managed by E.J. Love. Hope and Love in one location seemed like a good place for us to start.

But the time has come for us to find somewhere of our own. Somewhere larger, with more possibilities. A future. Wherever we find a home, I can assure you we will take hope and love with us. Wherever and when ever we manage to find ourselves a home.


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