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A new home for us! Apr 18

Wow, its been a very busy few weeks for Tonto and I.  We are all settled into Sydney and have now finished getting the place looking good.  All kitted out on a red and black theme which looks great.

Then just when its all done I got the bug to start looking for a place to own!  Was like i can't buy any more furniture or other stuff for the house, so I might as well but a new house.

Search for a new home as been a huge learning curve and very interesting.  Have spent alot of time learning the market, locations, pricing, mortgages and all that stuff.  Wow, its a big thing.  I've spent hours and hours researching this now.

The housing market in Sydney seems to still be in high gear.  There is talk that prices may stabalize this year, but I'm not sure if the people saying that are turning up to the open homes!

I thought the rental market was bad for many people turning up to viewings.  Well the buying market is just the same.  There is a huge market in the <500K space as if you are a first time buyer there is no stamp duty (which can be horrendous) and you also get a nice grant from the government.  It means that in this price range there are lots of people looking.  The agents even price into this zone.  There are many places listed as offers above 480K know that it will attract buyers in the sub 500K market and will then go for much higher than that.  

I've decided to go for an off the plan apartment.  It sort of just arrived on a phone call and went from there.  The building is at the link below.

http://www.brittanyapartments.com.au/apartments.html

Its been abit of roller coaster as I originally visited the agent with intention to view the finishes and number 34, then got some silly notion in my head and changed to another apartment.  Holding deposit down we started all the contract stuff, and was supposed to sign today, but after another look at the plans and current building structure I pulled back.  My luck held and the original apartment on the top floor (aka semi penthouse) was still available after some nail biting while they worked out if it was still available.  

It is, and I love this layout and location.  Even better its significantly cheaper than the other so the plus factors keep adding up.  Basically I swapped a two level and two car parts to a single level and turned the second car park into balcony space.  The internals are slightly smaller, but being a single level give a better layout that uses the space smarter.  There will also be huge amounts of light and windows with a very nice west facing sunset view. (with no one looking in)

The lift from the carparks is just outside the door and a single level layout is better for the days I can't walk to well.  After living in Japan for 5 years and the extreme heat you get there in summer having a north facing apartment isn't actually something I want.  In summer its just more heat you have to get rid of, and lets face it the climate in Sydney isn't that cold so winter heat isn't a big issue either.

Tonto has been to the site and given he pee and crap of approval so he is all on board with it as well.  Actually its a great location.  About a 10 min walk to the train station that will get me to the city in 35 mins, so commute wise its probably going to be just a little better than were i am.  That 10 min walk include a 5 min walk up the road to the back of the village shops.  It is close the rail tracks down to Cronulla beach, but its all electric and I've been at another place right next to the trains and they are whisper quiet.  My apartment isn't even next to them so its not an issue at all.  Given i lived close to an express way in Tokyo its seriously not an issue.

There are going to be some extra lawyer fee's as they redo the contract, but the bulk of the work is done, and i the overall scheme of things a few extra dollars upfront to get the right place is not an issue.  (and in the overall cost of the mortage, its peanuts).

So so so so happy that things are on track now.  my wonderful friend Jane worked through it all with me Sunday night when i was ready to walk away and between us we have gotten it all sorted.  (on the pic my apartment will be the one on the top floor where you can see the glass balcony).  I've seen the interior finishes of what this place will look like and I'm really happy.  

Hopefully contracts will be signed this week and we are done!  Move in will be later this year, but that works for me fine!

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