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Rent or Buy?

With one of Vickie's houses in Cairns having been sold, we've been doing some serious thinking about residence. In our minds has always been the plan that we'd buy ourselves a house somewhere with the proceeds from the sale of both houses going toward a deposit; I believed that the loan replayments would be cheaper than the rent we've been paying.

That idea took a battering when we browsed the papers and the windows of real estate agents. I'm sure this is no surprise to Sydneysiders, but house prices around here are astronomical, and they only appear set to go higher. I think the average house price is around the half-million dollar mark. The idea sunk entirely, though, when Vickie started using the mortgage calculators on the web-sites of various banks. At the moment, we pay a little over a grand a month in rent. If we did take a loan out, we'd be paying about three times that amount every month; we simply can't afford it, even if we found a place in Berowra (an idea I'm not fond of, simply because it's so far away).

So, we've been taking stock of our situation and our options this morning. We've decided that we'll stay where we are for the time being. Even with the traffic noise and the hill, this place has been "home" for most of our time here thus far. It's also conveniently located; it's a little closer to everything than Mt. Colah was, and most of our friends can get here with few problems.

It's meant we've had to let go of some of our plans (ones that we were really hoping we could put into action), and perhaps placing our fate in the hands of the owner. However, the owner has given no indication of selling the house over the past year-and-a-half, and we believe that she's not intending to sell for the foreseeable future. Also, it'll mean we can keep some more money in the bank.

Vickie's also seriously considering putting her remaining house in Cairns up for rent; there haven't really been any serious offers on it since it went up for sale, so renting will give us some more income and help Vickie offset her mortgage on the place.

We'll have a couple of things coming up soon. One is that we'll finally clear out our previous residences. Vickie's son, Karl, is going to be sending all the belongings Vickie still has in her house down here, and I'll need to head back to Mt. Colah and get all the stuff I have stashed away in the wardrobe of my old room. Of course, we won't have room for all of it, so we'll be going through what we need and don't need and holding a garage sale. All you IMAGinES readers who can get here are getting first notice: We don't know when we're having it, but we'll definitely have it!

We'll also be putting together a list of things we want to do here that we'll present to the real estate agent. Nothing really major; we just want to put up some more pictures. But as we will be long-term tenants, effectively guaranteeing the owner an ongoing revenue from the place, we think it's reasonable to make a few requests. Heck, we've had the real estate agents tell us that we're fantastic tenants during previous inspections.

The upshot of it all? This house in Fraser Road was just going to be our temporary residence until we could get the Cairns properties sold and a buy a house. In the meantime, it became our home in our hearts. Now, we're actually accepting it.

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