Sunday, July 3, 2011

Room with a View-Sunrise, Sunset

The real estate market in Australia is, um, interesting.  Buying a house anywhere near the city nowadays is pretty much impossible; costs are at least double what they are in the United States.  And you purchase them by going to an auction.  To look at potential houses or apartments, you go to an "inspection."  This is a set amount of time on a certain day where anybody who's interested in the place comes.  It's a fifteen minute window (thirty minutes for houses I think), and the property owner's real estate agent is there.  For places with high demand, there can be lines to get in or seventy people all looking at the same place.  Then you submit an application, and the owners get to choose who gets their place based on your application.  It's not uncommon to get turned down several times before finding a place.

Sunrise over the city-Zack was up to go biking!
So a few weeks ago, I went to several inspections.  With my flexible schedule, I was able to make it to the ones of interest, even if they were on a Wednesday afternoon from 4:00-4:15pm.  How do working people do this?  We knew we liked the St. Kilda area, so I limited my search to those near the bay or in the Fitzroy/Acland Streets area.  Fifteen minutes is not a lot of time to make a pretty important decision, especially with the owner's agent staring at you.  The most people I ever saw at one of my inspections was six, and a lot of the places were pretty rundown and old.  But then I came upon Unit 11F at 12 Marine Parade.  I took one look at the view, and I was sold.  It's only a one bedroom place, but the living room space is pretty big, the kitchen is decent-sized, it's got new paint and carpet, and we're within easy walking distance of several tram stops and all of the places we frequent.

Sunset over Port Phillip Bay
I submitted our application the day after the inspection, along with a cover letter explaining our home owning and renting history and why we would love to be tenants in this property.  Apparently this kind of thing can help improve your chances.  We've also heard that owners frequently dismiss you if you have kids or pets, so this is one instance where we're happy we have neither right now.  Zack was trusting enough to believe me when I said that this place was a keeper, because he hadn't even seen it or gone to any inspections.  And I guess our application was good enough, because it worked, and we moved in here on Friday!

Sunrise over footy field-cars along edge setting up for the market.
The view is by far the best part.  We have two off the kitchen and one outside our bedroom. The living room has huge windows.  And we overlook the bay and the city!  We get to see the gorgeous sunsets over the water to the left and the lights of Melbourne straight out.  We're right above Luna Park, an iconic St. Kilda amusement park.  To the right is a footy field where markets take place on the weekends, and you can see the sunrise if you're up early enough.  On Friday night, I could even see a fireworks show that was taking place at the Docklands in the distance.  Basically, the view is awesome.  We will never live in a place overlooking so many cool things again in our lives.  We have a one year lease, and we're going to enjoy it!  Once we're a bit more set up, I'll post pictures of the inside.  For now, enjoy the pictures of our view (all taken from our balconies), and come visit if you want to see it for yourself!  

Sunset over St. Kilda's Luna Park


  1. How exciting and what a fantastic view. I can't wait to see it in person!

  2. Wow! Who cares what's inside? Emily hayes

  3. Congratulations! What a wonderful new home.