Monday, September 19, 2016

Moving on…….

At the end of 2015, I sold the house my late husband and I had built in the mid 1970's - and added to over the years as needs changed…….additions which included my large, purpose built studio. But the property was out of town and on five acres and I was finding it all too much to keep maintained after Bob died very suddenly in 2013. So I let rationality over-rule my heart and I bought a solidly-built sixties brick bungalow in West Launceston and made the momentous move. This is what I left behind, with a few regrets but a desire to forge a new and different life for myself.

A few views of my old house

The actual move was a bit - no, a lot - fraught, because the previous owner for reasons known only to herself had not done a thing about moving out when the settlement day finally arrived (and I'd given her a month extra at her request!) So I gave her a new date. Then another one. I had to extend the date with the company that was storing my things and put off the changing the utilities into my name for more than a week. It was a stressful nightmare, but eventually the house was vacated and most of the previous owner's things gone. Then another nightmare began! Not a thing had been cleaned………for about ten years. The house was filthy and reeked badly - so much so that I just couldn't sleep in it for a few days. Some good friends mucked in and with a lot of scrubbing, ripping out of old, stinking curtains and carpets, the reek level was reduced to tolerable and I moved in.
There were a few urgent problems with plumbing and glazing that needed immediate attention, such as these strange solutions to leaking taps - the wadded cloth, wire and old-hammer-jammed-in kind of solution! You gotta laugh!

"Imaginative" plumbing solutions!

It's hard to describe the smell of a badly neglected house, but it could probably be best described as the smell of abjection and it is a tangible manifestation of a life gone wrong. In the mix are things like animal excrement, stale nicotine, dust, dirt, grease and old food. It seems to permeate the very fabric of the house and it simply seeps and oozes out. I must admit, in those first few days after moving in, I was having serious doubts about what I'd taken on, but what I'd seen when I'd inspected the house was a solid building with good bones and a once-beautiful, but seriously neglected garden. I KNEW I could make it into a lovely, inviting space with a lot of hard work. My friends probably thought I was mad! But because this house was so badly presented for sale, I got it for a bargain price. Simply fixing the plumbing, ripping out old tatty curtains, taking up smelly carpets and scrubbing surfaces probably added $20 000 to the value before spending much at all. Once I'm finished with this I imagine the house will be worth $50 000 or $60 000 more than when I moved in, without me spending much more than lots of time on it. I don't have unlimited amounts of lazy cash, so this reno will be done on a very strict budget, with me doing much of the work myself.

Initial cleanup - a few pics.


  1. I look forward to seeing your "afters"pics! It looks like a challenge but I am glad you have found your new place and are making it yours.

  2. Thanks Tracey…….I certainly having fun trying!