Amazingly it’s been a little over a year since the auction day for our humble house on Wallace. Ever bought a house at auction 15 minutes after you’ve seen it? When 37 weeks pregnant? Of course not, that’s crazy right? Despite being two rational people, that’s exactly what Mr Wallace and I did! I’ve taken longer buying a pair of shoes than I did buying this house! I was recently telling our auction day story to my good friend Rebecca, who is well versed in all things property related, and she was intrigued. You might find it amusing too!
Since moving to Sydney in May 2011 we’d looked at houses with varying intensity but never found the one. We weren’t set on a suburb and really our expectations weren’t high. Our poor boys had been dragged to so many open homes. We’d gone along to auctions and either gotten cold feet or been massively outbid.
The day of the auction on Wallace we’d gone to yet another open home, this time at a suburb slightly further a field. On the way home we noticed an ‘auction today’ sign at the top of a street. Hmm, it’s a good location, we say. That was the beginning.
At home we whip out the IPad and check out the house online. Despite the fact we’d never looked at a house in the suburb, we are rather fond of what we see. The auction is at 4.00, with an open home at 3.30. We figure we might go along and have a look. Mr Wallace (before he acquired that name, obviously), casually asked what our budget would be if we were to buy it. Such an impossible question given we’d never stepped foot inside the place! Strangely however this was the point at which I thought to myself, we’re going to buy this house.
We grab the cheque book, drive to Wallace for the open home, admiring the street as we arrive. At about 3.45, we bundle the boys inside to check it out. They of course run from room to room, bounce on the beds, generally cause mayhem. My ability to properly ‘inspect’ the house is somewhat restricted.
It’s auction time
We dash back out to the car and among the noise of the boys try to have a conversation about whether we should bid on the house and if we do, what our limit will be. A strategy is set, I’ll stay at the car with the boys, Mr Wallace will do our bidding. It goes swimmingly with the boys, eventually I put them in the boot of the car (it’s a 4WD, don’t worry) and they wrestle each other. I can see Mr Wallace at the back of the large crowd and can hear the auctioneer but can’t keep track of where the bidding is at or who the bid is with.
The auction goes at a cracking pace. Eventually the hammer falls, and it’s not until Mr Wallace turns to look at me with a “holy smoke, did that just happen” expression that I realise we BOUGHT A HOUSE! Whoa, we were both a bit shell shocked.
The boys and I head back in to the house to look at it with an entirely different perspective. The real estate people look at us strangely as we head into the house and I have to explain that we were the purchasers! The agent himself was rather bemused that a family he’d never met before had bought the house. As we’re heading home a guy (who is now a neighbour) wanders past and causally says to me, did that house sell? I tell him that yes indeed it did. He asks me how much for, and I had no idea, I look at Mr Wallace desperately for the answer. Mr Wallace tells him and the guy shakes his head about ‘property prices’. Little did he know…
So many people told us in our hunt for a house that when you find the house for you, you’ll know. I didn’t immediately feel that Wallace was the ‘one’ for us, yet a year on it absolutely feels like home. We’ve discovered some termite damage (remember the new dining room floor that nearly drove me to despair?) and I’m still adjusting to the paint scheme. Despite the somewhat spontaneous purchase, we landed on our feet!
That’s the Wallace auction day story. Not your standard way to purchase a house! What’s your biggest but fastest purchase?