Friday, August 12, 2011

Why I Want to Own A House (Or I Hate the Sydney Housing Market)

My Aussie friends are probably all sick of hearing me complain about our current housing situation, but I thought I would post an update for our friends and family back in the States.

Our landlord has decided to sell the place.  Of course, it is to her benefit if it is lived in until it's sold.  Consequently, we haven't been kicked out, but we've had to deal with showings (called "inspections" here) twice a week. We agreed to take the dog for a walk during this time, which is a huge hassle because frankly, he's an asshole.  40 minutes of walking with Fievel is 40 minutes of dog owner hell. We also have to clean our place up twice a week, which is annoying.  We do get $50 a week off our rent, which apparently is uncommon here.  If it hadn't been offered, like hell I wouldn't have asked for it.  This is a huge pain in our ass.

So you're asking "Why don't you just move?  Or not bother cleaning the place up?"  Well, we've been told by the selling agent that there's a pretty good possibility that another investor will buy the place and want to keep us on.  She could totally be lying, but I'm taking it on faith, partially because I'm super busy and don't want to look for places right now.  In this case, it behooves us not to make the future buyers think we're living in a sty.  We don't want to move if we don't have to because it's not fun and we'll take a financial hit with the utility contracts we have to break.  The utility companies are all over this tight rental market like white on rice, so they've made it so that you have to get 18 month contracts for everything, knowing that you'll probably have to move and then they can stick it to you.  Nice, huh?

The owner has decided to put the place up for auction on Aug 25th.  Auctions are a popular way of selling here; I'm not sure why but I suspect it's because with the tight market, they can actually drive the price up.  Once the place sells, we will find out pretty much immediately if the new owner will let us stay.  If not, we have until the closing to move.  This is about a month.  If they let us stay, but then change their mind once the place is theirs, then our lease rolls over to a standard lease which specifies 90 day notice for us to move out.

Ethan and I have a bad feeling that we're going to get kicked out.  But there is really nothing we can do, aside from looking for new places and keeping our fingers crossed.  Rest assured, you'll hear from us whether we're moving or staying, because this is likely to be on the forefront of our lives for the next couple of months.


Anonymous said...

hooboy, here's hoping this changes soon. If in fact there is a housing shortage, surely the house will sell quickly and end your agony.

Uncle C.

Anonymous said...

The utility situation certainly speaks to why monoplies like here in the states are a good idea! Even those w/o monoply (Phone, Cable, Internet services etc.) are pretty likely to transfer your account to a new location w/o a charge or problem.

8/25 is now not too far away - hope it goes well for you.