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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Thoughts on buying my own home

I’ve been very slack with this blog in the lead up to moving house, so I wanted to touch base again before the big move on Friday this week. I know that will keep me out of action for even longer as I unpack and get things organized, all while I’m also working full-time. 
The idea of owning my own home has always been a dream for me and it’s now a reality. In Australia, home ownership has always been described as ‘The Great Australian Dream’, and most people aspire to it. Home ownership usually comes with a degree of security that the rental market doesn’t have and the idea that it is much better to have your hard earned money going into something that will benefit you rather than someone else, and that you can do what you like to your own home without needing permission from someone else.
While I have achieved the dream in some degree, I still have a long way to go before it is truly mine. I am in co-ownership with the bank, who certainly won’t let me forget that for the next 20 years, or however long it takes me to pay it off.
And there are other things to bear in mind. While I was renting I used to just call the landlord when something went wrong and he paid for it and fixed it. All this is now my responsibility. I am now responsible for council rates as well. So ultimately a house is a ‘big-time’, long-term investment.
Also while the house is in my name, and people insist that ultimately it will pay off for me, life is just so uncertain. We don’t know what the future holds for us in the next few months or years, or indeed minutes and hours, that can change everything. Councils can re-zone land, and personally I could be struck with illness or worse.
All these thoughts have been tossing around in my mind over the past few months. I have read so many articles comparing the benefits of home ownership over rental and vice versa and there are valid arguments for each. But ultimately I wanted to make a decision rather than be always undecided.
So here I am - sitting in a hollow sounding house, with furniture stacked in corners ready for the removalists on Friday, and a mountain of boxes in the shed, ready to embark on this home ownership venture at a time of life where most people my age are already well past the finishing line of that part of their lives. And I’m truly happy and excited about it, but aware of how rapidly circumstances can change. This time last year, I would have laughed if someone had told me that within a year I’d own my own home and be writing a blog post  about it… but that’s another story. It's a story about the past 7 years of my life where I learned how uncertain everything is, and of the need to seize the blessings when they come.
So roll on, Friday, when I can move into my own realm and set up my own castle and be queen of my own domain for as long as it’s intended that I should be.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Coming to you from 'Carton Town'

I've been very busy these past few weeks with packing to move house, having recently taken the big step to move out of the rental market and sink my funds into something I can call my own. I've been living out of cartons for the past few weeks as I prepare for the big move, but I've moved so often over the past 7-8 years that I don't find the process too stressful. I'm an organised mover and have everything down to a fine art now.

As I'm down-sizing, it's also meant that I'm planning a garage sale for this weekend so I can get rid of some surplus items. This is something I haven't done before so the nerves are a little on edge hoping it goes well. I've read almost everything out there written by the experts and have picked out some tips that I like the sound of, including having some heating out in the garage (it's now winter here), having some background music on, and one I've invented myself. I'm going to have a slow cooker simmering with some wonderfully enticing aromatic concoction, like spiced tea, or this recipe I found yesterday for dried fruit compote on Robin Ellis's website.

I'll probably have to have another sale when I've moved to fit everything in because it's so hard to part with some things. I'm hanging on tenaciously to little knick - knacks that most people would pass over, but I'm hanging on to them because my sons gave them to me as birthday presents, Mothers Day presents and so on, when they were very young.

My busy-ness has meant that lots of things have been left behind for a while - reading, my work in progress, studying basic travel French for my trip at the end of the year, and also this blog. Apologies to my regular readers.

I have also put aside Mine to Avenge promotion - though that was deliberate in some regard. I'm trying to see how well it stands alone now, as I want to put more of my time and energy into the work in progress. In just having a brief check though, I've been pleasantly surprised to find that the book is still doing fine and readers are still interested, with slow but steady sales. I have two promotional opportunities coming up that I had forgotten about. I organised these some time ago, and the dates are almost upon me. I've been also pleasantly surprised to see that Mine to Avenge is climbing steadily in the AUTHORSdB cover contest, and so is my listing in their directory. Thank you to those who have been visiting and tweeting and liking.

Anyway, this note is just to let you know that I haven't forgotten you all. I will be back on deck more regularly in the social media sphere once I've moved and settled in, but it will be sporadic until then. Meanwhile, thank you all for your wonderful support and faith in Mine to Avenge. Don't forget to pass on the word to any of your reader friends who love a good suspense/part historical fiction combination.