In Search of a New Home

Looking for a new home is a lot of work, we’re beginning to find out. At the moment, we are just renting a small apartment near Melbourne and we’re now thinking of finally getting a house we can call our very own. We’ve already thought it over sometime ago (see old post: To Dream of a Dream Home – March 23) but we didn’t have money then. But now, if we keep our sights to a cheaper house in a far away suburb then we may have enough for a loan at least.

We’ve come to realize that it’s truly a very expensive undertaking. We have attended a seminar hosted by Aussie Home Loans last Saturday where we learned a big deal on going about getting our own house. The seminar tackled topics such as pre-approval loan processing, a need for a conveyancer, tips on dealing with real estate agents and so forth. We intended to drop by the nearest Aussie (Home Loans) office last Saturday to talk one-on-one with a consultant but we lucked upon a seminar that was to take place later in the day. So, Raquel and I happily snapped up the chance to join the free seminar. We still got to talk to the manager about our situation after the seminar so all in all, it was a very educational day for both of us.

What we absolutely need before we start looking for our dream house is a pre-approved loan. A pre-approved loan gives us the loaning institution’s guarantee that a specified amount would be available for loan to us. Think of it as an uncashed check. What this does for us it that we would know our absolute buying limit when looking for homes. Upon choosing the house we want, we would be confident that we could indeed buy the house within a short amount of time and without hitches because of the pre-approved loan.

Since we still do not have all our documentation and funds in order, we haven’t yet applied for a pre-approved loan. Even so, we are already in the process of searching the right neighborhood for us. With the budget we’ve set for ourselves, we may need to look further afield for our dream home (because it’ll be cheaper there).

The big houses in Cranbourne were pretty cheap so that suburb has definitely caught our attention. So much so, in fact, that we drove over there last Sunday to check out the neighborhood. I thought it was very nice but unfortunately, it was very very far. Well, I think a trip to Mandaluyong from Las Pinas is farther but I’ve grown used to living near the city so living in a far-away suburb again is not quite appealing at this time. Another down side is that since it is far from Melbourne city, it’s in the train rail’s zone 3 area. That means that living there would cost us approximately double our usual monthly train fare.

We drove around the suburb to look at the houses anyway and we stopped by the Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre to have lunch. Afterwards, we went to the nearby Royal Botanical Gardens Cranbourne. You can see our pictures in Raquel’s Photoblog. We still liked the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne better.

This weekend, we may try looking around the suburbs of Altona, Werribee, Sunshine and/or some other far-away south-eastern suburb. Hopefully, we’ll be ready to apply for a pre-approved loan by this month’s end. Then we could stop neighborhood browsing and go into actual house hunting. Fingers crossed.

On a somewhat related topic of searching for a new home, we’ll be moving to a different host maybe in the coming couple of months. I’ve just realized that by having an ASP host instead of a PHP host, we’re missing out on a lot of Open Licenced or freeware PHP web applications out there such as WordPress (for blogging), phpBB2 (for forums), Coppermine Photo Gallery (for an image and photo gallery), PhpWiki (for, er, Wiki stuff) and a lot more other useful scripts.

To start off the process, I’ve transferred the registration of our domain name from Brinkster (our current host) to GoDaddy. It won’t be free any more but it’s not that expensive to maintain anyway. This way, too, we can quickly switch to another host if we so wish.

Speaking of new hosting, I was thinking at the start to leave behind Brinkster in favor of either PowWeb or BlueHost. Sure they offer over 4GB server space and over 100GB of bandwidth, but I decided not to go with them because their Terms of Service prohibits my site from having nude pictures even if it is artistic. So, posting a picture of Michaelangelo’s Statue of David on my blog would be a violation of their Terms of Service. I couldn’t even link to my friends’ blogs if their site contains some form of nudity. Since, I have a few artist friends and I want to link to them, I couldn’t sign up with these two hosts.

In the end, we’ll be signing up with LunarPages which has a comparable service with the two hosts I previously mentioned but not as anal. That’s not to suggest that there will be nude art or pictures on our new site, but I don’t want to have to worry about that later on.

When we move to a new host, this blog will probably go offline while the domain name gets refreshed. I’ll just inform everybody of possible downtime when we do the actual move. I just hope there are no problems with signing up on LunarPages and migrating the site over to the new host. Fingers crossed.

Published in: on August 2, 2005 at 6:32 pm  Leave a Comment