Nervous time away from new 'baby'GEORGINA STYLIANOU
I've been having a long distance relationship with my new house this week.
A scholarship in Wellington meant that I spent the week living it up in a flash apartment while spamming my partner Robbie with endless questions about the wellbeing of our new "baby".
We only moved in a couple of weeks ago so spending a week away from it was so soon was tougher than I thought.
However, Robbie did my confidence no favours with text messages along the lines of "I'm trying out my plastering skills on a wall in the living room" and "I'm covered in paint".
I felt equal parts guilty and anxious. Guilty that I was spending a week in the parliamentary press gallery feeling far more important than I am while Robbie slaved away in our home. Anxious because I'm a control freak and the thought of him sanding walls, skim coating small cracks and painting ceilings was worrying. On top of all the housey stuff Robbie was in charge of keeping our pets alive, feeding himself and fulfilling my constant desire to vacuum.
I'm making him sound bad so let me say that Robbie is more than capable of carrying out said tasks ... just not as well as me.
I monitored the news coming out of Christchurch and saw the council had voted on a rates rise of an average of 7.5 per cent, the third big increase in as many years.
When we made the decision to buy a house instead of tackling the city's rental market, we were naive when we calculated that our weekly repayments would only be about $50 more each than we were spending on rent. We didn't factor in rates, insurance, maintenance costs and the like. While our weekly mortgage repayments on our new home are $216 each, we put $300 into our house account to cover the aforementioned financial burdens.
For me that's still affordable but it's tight. Home ownership is a mixture of sacrifice and reward.
I've walked past clothing stores boasting sales and ignored my need for new shoes without worn heels but in less than a couple of weeks' time I'll be enjoying a glass of wine and cooking up a storm in my brand new kitchen. Sacrifice and reward.
Being away from Christchurch and the house this week was a much-needed mental break for me though. The stress of packing, cleaning and moving from one house and gutting, cleaning and renovating another did take its toll. Long nights of sanding and painting saw my performance at work slip a little as I fought the urge to run away and sleep.
I've felt bad leaving Robbie in the thick of things but I think we're out of the worst of it.
Soon we'll have an 80 per cent complete bedroom, an 85 per cent complete living room and a 95 per cent complete kitchen - I can definitely live with that.
Georgina Stylianou is a reporter at The Press. This is part of her weekly series about buying her first home. firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @gstylianoupress
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