House hunting

Squatter: A person who occupies property or land to which he or she has no legal title or right.

I just had a new experience and I LOVE new experiences but this one takes the cake!

This afternoon I went to view a rental property. I know, I know, it’s a bit early to start looking because the ink isn’t quite dry on the contract on the sale of our house, but I was curious to see what sort of house you can get for your money and this one sounded great!

“Grand & Spacious!! – Gardener Included! Architecturally designed five bedroom home, all with built in robes. Two bathrooms. Formal lounge with open fire place. Second living area, meals area and kitchen (including dishwasher) overlooking private courtyard. Other features include ducted heating, air-conditioning, large yard, balcony with views, double carport, cellar and pool. Close to Highton Village, the beautiful Barwon River, local schools and public transport, this property is sure to impress!”

Located in one of ‘Old’ Highton’s best streets, I was ready to be impressed! And let me tell you, at $595 per week I’d want to be impressed! Or at least pleasantly surprised. Well I can certainly say that I was surprised!

When we arrived at the front door, we noticed that although it was locked, it was left slightly open. Through the partly open front door I could see into a bedroom – complete with bed, clothes on the floor, guitar in the corner, desk, light left on, books lying on the desk….you get the picture. A typical Uni students room is what I thought. No big deal.

However, the house is actually supposed to be vacant!!! The poor young 20-something real estate chick (let’s call her Renae) was too scared to even go in the front door. But I was all up for a new experience so I started opening cupboards and checking out the other bedrooms to see what the story was. Not all the rooms had beds but there was a folding chair and a couple of big bean bags and plenty of clothes hanging in the cupboards! There were toothbrushes and deoderant on the bench in the bathroom and towels folded neatly over the towel rails. One room even had a photo in a frame proudly displayed on the desk! The kitchen also looked like someone was living there – that’s if you can actually live on contents of the fridge (Vegemite, tomato sauce and a bottle of Vodka!). There was a toaster, a kettle and a microwave and a few basic utensils! The rest of the house was empty and poor Renae was so freaked out that she rushed me around the house so fast I hardly had time to get my bearings!

In summary, yes, there are 5 bedrooms. Yes, there are 2 bathrooms. Yes I saw the open fireplace. Yes, I even saw the pool!

Just so you know, Renae closed and locked the front door…but I don’t think that will much matter because the boys had left the back window open! (Perhaps I should have told her!)

I couldn’t wait to tell Tim and he reminded me of one time, very early in our marriage when we were house hunting and we walked into a very dark house only to find the owners/tenants passed out drunk on the couches in the lounge room! For the whole inspection, they never stirred.

Oh, house hunting I have missed you! So many opportunities for new experiences and stories to tell!

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