There are only a few times in my life where I’ve felt that things were “falling into place” (cheesy as that sounds). Our house hunting adventure is definitely one of them.
Although we were happy to stay in my apartment when we first moved in together, S and I planned to eventually get a bigger place that was ours. Things were paused last year because of COVID… not least because everyone was saying that property prices were going to take a nosedive and we kept waiting! That obviously didn’t happen… So when 2021 rolled around, and we realised that house prices were rising faster than we could save, we decided to take the plunge.
Now we’ve been in our new home for a few weeks, and it’s all thanks to our A Team.
Our first step was to understand our borrowing power. My friend B recommended Kaleido Loans. I’ve dealt with a few mortgage brokers, and these guys are undeniably the best. They ran through several scenarios (Should I keep my apartment? Sell it?) and explained to us all our options.
We decided to sell my apartment so that was the next step. As I wrote previously, it happened lightning fast. It took me a little over two weeks from contacting the real estate agent to getting a signed contract of sale! That included a few days over the Easter holidays! So I highly recommend the blokes at Award Group Real Estate.
While all that was kicking off, we started house hunting. We found out that if we wanted a freestanding home, we couldn’t afford the area we were in. So we cast a wider net and went to countless open homes all over Sydney to get a feel of different suburbs, discover what kinds of houses we liked and understand how they were priced.
I remember when we went to (what is now) our house. It was one of the few places that S and I agreed on. It was also the first in the suburb we’d seen. I remember telling S as we drove away: “We won’t be able to bid on this one, but I really like this area. We should start looking at more houses here.”
Things fell into place soon after that. Our apartment sold quickly. Our conveyancer, Vittoria at VDM Conveyancing, completed a contract review on short notice. Kaleido Loans expedited our mortgage pre-approval and it was granted the day before auction. S’s dad, who used to inspect buildings for council, was able to come along, inspect the house, and go through our building and pest inspection.
After all the horror stories of people getting outbid for months, S and I decided to go hard on auction day. We did a lot of research. In addition to the open home visits, there were spreadsheets and online forums and so much online research. S did the bidding – I’d be a nervous wreck if it were me.
And we did it!
I remember my coworker telling me, “That’s not fair, nobody wins their first auction”. But there you go. 😛
It was nearly smooth sailing from then on, which made us realise about how awesome our A Team was. David from Kaleido Loans was able to negotiate a lower interest rate than initially provided by the bank. And when there were delays in settlement due to COVID, Vittoria was a champ at handling the uncertainty and communicating with our vendor. She is also one of the loveliest people ever. I feel like every time we had a call I would end up belly laughing. I’ve dealt with other conveyancers in the past and her friendliness, professionalism and attention to detail are unparalleled. (I remember I had one a few years ago where I was pointing out errors they’d made with documentation.)
A shoutout to S’s parents generously housed us for two months whilst we were waiting for our house to settle. And for Belle and Ron for showering us with doggy love during that time.
So there you go, our A Team. So many people helped us get to where are now. For that, I am supremely grateful. 🙂