House hunting misadventures

Another weekend has come and gone with Gj and I spending most of it on the road or looking at potential houses to purchase. We looked at the south-eastern suburbs the previous week and found that the houses on offer were too expensive, too ran-down or worse, both. The first week was depressing and tiring, with no real prospects. This past weekend, we headed westward to Werribee to inspect the houses on sale there. As this is quite a ways from the city, we short-listed several properties that were within walking distance from the train station. With the rising prices of petrol and the cost of parking, we thought we’d still like to take public transport to the city on weekdays and just use the car on weekends, as is our practice now. The trip was okay, with light traffic in the Western freeway, we were in Werribee in about 40 minutes.

We’ve been to Werribee once before when we went to the Werribee zoo with some friends but this is the first time we looked at it as a possible place to live. I once quizzed a friend who lives and works there as to why he chose to purchase a property there. He said that for him, the decision was simple since he works around the area and the local vibe reminds him of his hometown in the Philippines. Incidentally, we came from the same town and now that I’ve had a pretty good look at Werribee, I could have to say that the place does indeed remind me of home. The only thing still holding me back from deciding that we should get a property there is that it is quite far from the city (27km) thus translating to a more expensive train ticket and longer travel time. There is also the concern that taking the public transport passing through rather some scary suburbs may not be a safe proposition.

Anyway, the first house we went to was huge with well-maintained gardens and interiors and very near the train station. I loved the place while Gj was a bit hesitant, saying that the house and the garden would require a high level of maintenance – to which I agreed, it was quite over the top anyway and also pricey compared to the other houses in the area. The second one was a bit more modest than the first, although it is also located near the station. Gj actually liked this one better than the first but this time, I am the one who’s hesitant. The layout of the rooms weren’t very well thought out and didn’t take advantage of any natural light coming in thus making some parts of the house, such as the kitchen and the bedrooms, quite dark even at noon on a sunny day.

The other properties were a blur, with one property meshing in my mind with the others. It was interesting to see how some people lived and how well (or not) they took care of their abodes. The palatial home we first inspected was so well maintained that it looked like it came right out of a magazine. There were others though that seem to have not seen a lot of cleaning before the doors were opened for potential buyers. One property we went to has an incense stick burning in the lounge area, which does practically nil at masking the strong smell of cat piss and dog poo in every room. At that same house, there was soap scum covering the shower panels so thickly that what should be a transparent divider is now opaque. Then there was the one with the strong smell of human urine in the bathroom with only a bathtub installed (the toilet was in another room). Which makes me wonder, was there a problem in the house’s plumbing or did someone thought it would be a good idea to convert the tub into a toilet? Either way, the picture wasn’t pretty. Another property we went to looked great in the photos supplied in the internet but turned out to be a big disappointment. The photo was taken at night, with the house well lighted from within and the lawn well maintained. Well, when we got there, we found out why they decided to take the photo at night. The roof looked like it has seen better days and would be ready to fall piece by piece on the ground any day now while the interiors were okay but shows its age as well.

Needless to say, we didn’t find any of the properties suitable to our needs. Fingers crossed that this weekend’s search would yield better results and better smelling places.

Published in: on September 5, 2005 at 3:40 pm  Comments (7)