Big move draws nigh

Last updated 05:00 01/06/2014

Settlement day looms and the to-do list grows for new buyer GEORGINA STYLIANOU.

Boxes and bickering dominate my life at the moment.

Our rented flat is an obstacle course thanks to our disorganised packing efforts and my partner Robbie and I have vastly different views on tackling the work that needs doing on our new home . . . hence the bickering.

We've got one week until we get the keys for the Orange House (our first home) and lists have become our friend. We have a list of what needs doing to our Dallington flat before we move out. We have a list of what supplies we need to buy before we move in. We have a long-term list that drafts out what work we would like to do by when.

Our coffee table is home to Robbie's semi-architectural drawings of the property's floor plan and my Trade Me watchlist is full of second-hand appliances and renovation supplies.

I've taken two days off work next week so I can focus my efforts on making the new house liveable, and I intend to get through about 100 sticks of incense and 10 bottles of sugar soap in those four days.

The carpets and curtains are coming out, most of the kitchen is getting ripped out (goodbye orange!), a subfloor is being laid to cover asbestos-containing tiles in the kitchen and every single wall, ceiling and floor will experience some serious scrubbing. I don't care if it's snowing, the windows are going to be open the whole time - take that, 60-year-old nicotine fragrance!

Thankfully, my pre-mortgage jitters have abated and I'm feeling far more prepared than I was last week. We have decided to each put $300 a week into our joint account to cover mortgage repayments, rates, insurance, power and internet as well as a little extra.

It's a lot of money - double what our current rent is - but we're used to living on a budget and I know we can make it work.

I was the organised, bossy one back in the house-hunting days, but Robbie has really shown me up since our offer went unconditional. I woke up one night to find him propped up next to me watching DIY videos on YouTube. He's booked a wallpaper steamer, researched lath and plaster walls, insulation options and second-hand materials, and he seems genuinely excited to trade his guitar for a hammer in the weekends.

We've promised to set aside non-house time once in a while so we don't go crazy and once the house is liveable, we're going to down tools until we've come up with a long-term plan.

I feel like an adult.

Georgina Stylianou is a reporter at The Press. This is part of her weekly series about buying her first home.

Email georgina.stylianou@press.co.nz or tweet @gstylianoupress

- The Press

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