When we told a friend of ours that we had purchased a house, he said that we were now a lady and a gentleman of property. We knew then that we had a perfect blog title (and all profits from this blog will be shared with this friend).

So what is this about? Obviously, we bought a house. We'd been looking for maybe 5 months, scanning the online for sale ads, attending Saturday inspections by the half dozen, and through the long, convoluted, stress-inducing process of a house sale in New South Wales, we finally ended up with a giant mortgage and a set of keys, and Mr Wiggins lying on the floor, screaming, What have we done?

When we were looking we had a few things in mind. First, we are very picky and pedantic people, so we wanted a place that would suit our specific tastes (when we can ever agree on them). Rather than find someplace that had been finished to a tee and had a price tag to match, we finally conceded we needed something that could use some fixing up anyway, so we could stamp it with our own "style." We also wanted something that we could turn into a family home, that had room, or could grow, and that would be a good long term investment. Although there were a lot of apartments that were cheaper, we went with a house so we could have more control over choices, especially with respect to sustainability (I think it would be a tough haul trying to get a strata corporation board to agree to a black water treatement system). After two years we really didn't fancy apartment life any longer (will whoever lives upstairs please stop stomping?) and a house was within our reach financially. Finally, we had a particular area that was important to us: close to our friends, close to work, familiar geography, and had a vibe that we liked. Since we'd lived around Newtown for the past 6 years we didn't really consider looking any place else.

But why write in a blog about it? Well, for one thing, we spend a lot of time online and so do our friends. Given that one of us is a much more recent arrival in Australia, some friends and family members are on another continent and this is the easiest way to disseminate news & share our lives with them.

Also, given the astounding amount of effort two extremely lazy people have put into this undertaking so far, we thought we'd share our research and lessons learnt for other people in the same situation. We have attempted to find out a lot of information online, and some of it just seems to be hard to suss out, so if our bumbling helps make someone else's life easier, all the better.

So here she is, our repository of all things Old Brick Victorian Cottage in Newtown. We hope you find it interesting, enlightening, or at least somewhat amusing (cue circus music).

Coming soon...

  • We are not calling it "Cumberland" — Introducing the house, why we liked it, its history, and more.
  • Buyer beware! — All the tedious things you didn't want to know, but probably should (and we're going to tell you anyway), about first home purchasing.
  • Renovation dreaming/ on a winter's day... — Short term & long term goals (and finding out our imagination is way bigger than our equity).
  • Pictures! — Before for now, let's hope there's an after.