As we are on the eve of taking part in our very first house auction as bidders, I cannot help but feel doubt as I immerse myself in second thoughts. The realist in me says we won't win the auction; we've seen similar houses go for way more than we can afford. But the question remains: are we stupid to give away our combined six years worth of income just like that?
With such immense weight hanging over the decision I comfort myself with the notion that I would have second thoughts no matter how good the house is. I would actually be worried if I was to find myself spending so much money without second thoughts.
On the positive side, the house we're talking about - it's living room is featured in the above photo - is probably one of the best looking houses I've ever seen in Australia, certainly of the houses that can be considered affordable. The photo simply doesn't do it justice; it just goes to show how uninspired the real estate agents are when they take their property photos, because given the material at hand and a proper sunset I could have come with heavily drool inducing photos of that living room.
So what is it about the living room that we like so much? I'll put it this way. In our search for houses, we noticed that the houses we're attracted to the most are those that connect its residents with the outside world in a positive way. In this particular case I'm talking about a house where the entire north wall of the living room (the sunny side when you're in the southern hemisphere) is an openable window to a deck over a nice, open backyard. Just looking at it makes you feel good.
And there's more. As you can sort of see with the photo, the roof's shape is a bit unconventional, giving an extra roomier feeling to it. My description sounds pathetic, I know, but that house worked on me. I liked it, and I could immediately see myself living there.
The point I'm trying to make is that with most of the houses out there being conventionally designed to follow the latest fashion (including, for example, having more toilets than bedrooms and having minimal outside spaces in favor of more and more internal living spaces), a house that doesn't follow suit yet makes you feel alive is a house for which I would go a long way.
But probably not long enough.