An update on the property situation: it sucks.
It sucks worse than it did when we started looking for our first home, all optimistic and chipper, in early September. It sucks worse than I ever imagined it could, even more than in mid-October, when I allowed myself this little rant.
It shouldn't be this hard. We have a good deposit, no debt, no kids, good incomes. We are pre-approved by two banks. We have helpful, wily parents, a good knowledge of the area and the market, and 87,000 agents on the look-out for us.
Last night was our third serious attempt. For me it crystallised the unfairness of the system.
We'd been first to view this place, quickly ordered a building inspection and valuation, and made a pre-auction offer. The offer was way under what we're pre-approved for, because as first home buyers the banks will only let us go as high as the valuation. Annoying. But the vendors thought our offer was good enough to bring the auction forward.
We had 24 hours to rustle up more cash - if there were other buyers ready to bid, we knew we may need to fend them off. We came up with what we thought was a really good buffer.
We were optimistic. But as soon as we arrived at the auction we knew we were screwed: there were babyboomers everywhere, crawling all over it, all with their chequebooks and their greedy, glinty eyes. Some of them clearly thought it was fun, and funny, to dick us over.
The house went for way more than anyone expected, to a boomer who was obviously buying it for his little 20-year-old princess. She actually giggled and clapped her hands.
We and the other young couples at the auction were trapped by the valuation rule. We never stood a chance.
We'd spent $900 on the reports for this place, not counting lawyers' fees. I thought I would cry. But instead I raged. I wished a capital gains tax upon the boomers. A plague, on all their houses.
So today it's back to the house-hunt. Every morning there's a glorious half-second, right when I wake up, in which I think everything is fine. Then I remember, and it's like a heavy, itchy blanket settles over my head. It's a feeling of panic, of being smothered: come February we will have nowhere to live.
So if you live in Beach Haven, and you want to sell your house (or rent it to reliable, clean, quiet tenants), seriously, call me.
Did you have a hard time buying your first house? Did you get done over by babyboomers with their free educations and their stacks of cash and their investment portfolios? Please tell me we're not the only ones feeling mad and sad and just plain exhausted by it all.