What a difference four weeks makes. In our case, we made a major decision this month that it was time to sell our home.
Just the right time we thought. We have lived here for 21 years and it has been fabulous, allowing us to achieve all the things we wanted when we settling in the country.
Sometimes, it’s hard to explain to people that although the house was built in the 1980’s there isn’t a wall, or anything else, that is the same as that which we bought all those years ago.
Back in 1995 we lived on an acre of land on Ormiston Road, Flat Bush. At that time, Ormiston Road was in the country but the acre of land didn’t allow Brian to follow his dream of having a broodmare.
Then, my brother-in-law, who was in real estate, rang to say he had found a property we might like in Runciman Road. We drove in the gate and that was that, I had to have it!
Our Ormiston house was not yet on the market but with a six month settlement available on the new place we thought all would be fine. So we made an unconditional offer.
Typically, our Ormiston property took seven months to sell so there was a lot of stress before all was finally done.
The property cost more than we really had to spend so I promised Brian that all the house needed was a bit of paint and papering.
Six months was a long time to ponder on this so, I secretly contacted our friendly architect and showed him the plans of the original house.
I still have the fax (from 21 years ago) on his thoughts about what we could do and a note on the bottom – ‘ For C ….sake Reay, don’t let Brian see this!’ And, with that, he had included a great sketch of his vision.
Two years later plans were drawn up for the first of many alterations to the house. Over time, we have added more than a thousand square feet and not one wall is in its original place. We love the property but the house, thanks to me, is now too big and with everything done I would like one more challenge.
The friendly architect, who has overseen every change to this house, and two previous houses, will hopefully have one more hurrah in him to do another house, albeit on a smaller scale. This time I will keep my promise to Brian and not go mad with changes.
But, honestly, the rubbish that we have collected over 21 years is just ridiculous. We have been filling up garbage bags with the help of my Waiau Pa friend who is the best throw away person I know – she has been a godsend.
I thought I had cleared out the dressing room but she took one look and suddenly five more rubbish bags were filled. I think everyone needs a friend like her as she just says it how it is and after 45 years of friendship I think we understand each other pretty well.
Where to from here? Who knows. But one thing’s for sure – we are not leaving the area!
Reay Neben is a Franklin resident and publisher of Rural Living.