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Hickinbottom’s Aussie Ramblings

Archive for May, 2008

Youre ‘avin a larf!!!

Posted by captainbeaky on May 31, 2008

Ok – so straight off the bat, we didnt get the apartment. But now through any fault of our own. Despite ripping our hair out dealing with prima dona estate agents, errant and absent solicitors and constant hassling of UK banks well into the early hours here (dont ask…PLEASE dont ask!), the effort was all in vain. A ton of people turned up at the auction and bids were flying in. The estate agents had valued it at $400k-$440k, and it eventually went for $488k!!! Well out of our budget. Our funds could have stretched up to $460k (well we could have got a mortgage up to $850k but it owuld have crippled us with high payments) so theres nowt we could have done.

And this may sound a bit like sour grapes, but when we saw it again today, it didnt grab us in the same way it did last week. Knowing we couldnt have a dog in there, some clause in the rules about an upcoming payment for replacing old brickwork and that the buildings electrical wiring needed to be checked out soon, at considerable cost I bet. Sounds stupid, but both of us felt somewhat relieved when we realised we couldnt afford it.

So now were on the market again, scouring the interent for a bargain. Whats become apparent from today is that joe public seems to put nice furnishings ahead of size. I would much prefer a bigger apartment with middling wallpaper etc… then do it up gradually, as we did in the UK. Going to look at an promising apartment tomorrow so I’ll keep things updated. At least the hard work of transferring money and getting pre-approval has been done. And we know what needs to be done the next time we see a nice place.

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Bloody hard work!

Posted by captainbeaky on May 29, 2008

Without boring you with all the details of shitty estate agents, bloody mindy attitudes, hours on the phones an much stressing, everything looks as though its in place to go forward with the auction on Saturday. The mortgage pre-approval has gone through, the building inspection is taking place tomorrow and we’ve managed to scrape together enough cash for the deposit. I dont remember buying a house to be this damn stressful. I mean, for christs sake, moving to the ther side of the world was less stress than this – its ridiculous. Ive now got my car back as well, but driving it like a twat as Id gotten so used to the Hyundai. Not really got much else to report without recounting the multitude of arguments and disagreements we’ve had with a bunch of folks over the last 2 days. I’ll keep you updated on what happens tomorrow.

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Temples tighter than a ducks arse!

Posted by captainbeaky on May 27, 2008

Yes. Im starting to get stressed. A lot. With something as large as buying a property, I like to take my time. I like to take my time on a daily basis let alone when Im going to be spending nearly $500k, but in this case we cant affod to do that. Things MUST move quickly if we are to stand a chance of bidding for the unit, its just annoying they have to move SO quickly. Cutting long stories short, mortage pre-approval looks like it will go ahead with a bit more information, got a solicitor sorted (we think) and will arrange for building inspectors tomorrow, when hopefully I should be getting my car back.  Still got the pain in the arse of getting $5k together, but were gonna try goingto a bank and getting an overdraft for the interim in between paying the deposit and recieving our UK funds.

Its all pretty stressful and its not helped by the folks next door having their TV on loud at 1 in the morning (for the 2nd night in a row). Had to go speak to them about not taking the piss earlier on, and they were quite apologetic. However, actions speak louder than words (and hopefully, their tele) so we’ll see what happens tonight.Im hoping for a good nights kip, or I’ll be fit to explode! More tomorrow….

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How could they……..

Posted by captainbeaky on May 26, 2008

So everything is moving along towards the auction on Friday. We’ve got forms to fill in for mortgage pre-approval, solicitors to ring, appointments for building inspections to book. The only 2 sticking points are the fact that we have to put 10% deposit down on the day of the auction, or 1st business day thereafter. However, the money from the high interest UK account the money is in, takes up to 4 days to clear, let alone how long it will take to transfer that from UK to OZ, which to be fair is usually 2 or 3 days.  We could have just payed out $5k as a partial-deposit on the day and payed the rest upon arrival of the funds, but our rent just came out, like, today so we dont have half that ammount.  So unless ING pull their finger out and get the money sorted FAST, we may be screwed, and have to let it it go.:o(

The 2nd bummer is the fact we’ve just recieved the contract of sale from the estate agents, and the rules say NO DOGS! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! To be more specific, the rules said you couldnt keep nuisance dogs on communal property but some twat tabled a motion last year to curb all dogs on site….and it got passed!!!!! So thanks to the body corporate (the bunch of folks that maintain the property and consists of all the other residents) there are no dogs allowed. We’re going to question that tomorrow, with the solititor and the estate agents, to see if he can get anfo from the current owners. It stinks and we dont know if its a deal breaker. opinions needed! :o(

So there you go. After quite a positive day of movemnt on progressing towards a mortgage, we both feel deflated at the fact that we may have to hold off getting a dog, and more importantly, might have to let it go after all. I dont know if a property that nice will come on the market again for that price. Not a good end to the day. Just have to see what happens. Once again, fortunes favour the banks.

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Hangovers & Houses

Posted by captainbeaky on May 25, 2008

Today has been pretty crap. Its been hangover central in our apartment. Went out last night with a pommy couple we’ve hooked up with and spent many an hour drinking in a local bar….and paying the penalty today for it. However, the sun and the sea air does wonders to sort it out and we now feel ok.

Yesterday we went to one house viewing……and it was fantastic! Nice place in St Kilda East. 2 bedrooms, courtyard, off street parking and immaculately kitted out. Owned by a pair of interior desingers so it look fantastic. Details in THIS LINK!

We like this place so much, were gonna see if we can go to the auction and bid on it. The price is so good for what yorue getting that it seems  shame ot let it slip. Both of us really like it and could see ourselves living there. Only downer we can find about it is that it has no dining space, but in teh 5 years we had our table in the UK, we used it once to eat off, then it was just a surface to put stuff on. So its not really that much of an issue to us. Will keep you posted on how it goes.

Right Im off now to get some stuff for making nice soup (cheese and crispy bacon) then watch Eurovision – no spoiling it for me, so Shhhhhhh!!!!

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Oz is good!

Posted by captainbeaky on May 23, 2008

No real reason for this post other than to express my fondness of this place already. Got out of the car today (courtesy car – mine still in garage waiting for matey boy to pay his excess) and stood there for ages watching 3 or 4 cockatoo’s screeching and playing in a palm tree. Looking down at me and their yellow crest on their heads came up, squawked at me, then bit the shit out of the palm tree, ripping chunks out of the trunk and throwing them on the ground – it was great! And despite the fact that is the equivalent of late November, its really pleasant. Its been the coldest May day for years apparently, as it got down to 4 degree’s at 6am. However, it ‘warmed” up to about 14 degree’s which aint bad for nearly December. I remember 6 months ago being in the UK and it was down to -10 degrees with wind chill, so this is comparatively tropical!. Anyway, the photo above was taken today, so even in Winter, this place looks amazing. Rounded off the day and welcomed the weekend with a meal in a nice cheap Italian restaurant – tasty!

No house viewing this weekend, as we’re giving ourselves the weekend off. Need to recharge our batteries as the we find we’re now walking around houses pretty disinterested and apathetic. Need to get the impeteus back. OK, time to go and watch Eurovision on TV – bring on Wogan over the weekend!!!

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Somewhere. Somehow. Someone.

Posted by captainbeaky on May 20, 2008

Best. DVD. Ever!!! Ive spent a lovely afternoon watching this DVD, I bought ages ago then plain forgot about it! Shame on me! However, good things come to those who wait and god damn it was worth it!

As the name suggests, its the definitive edition of Commando, and for only the 2nd time Ive ever seen it, features the awesome head scalp/circular saw blade scene, and even the chopping off of the arm of the shed attack guy! Fantastic! The DVD also features a few documentary type programs that are ok, but are the usual affair. What DID excite me were the alternate “Let off some steam, Bennett” lines! A small thing, but I DO love this film so its all good. 10/10!!!!

In other non-bennett related news, we’re feeling somewhat relieved about the whole housing thing now. Not because we’ve bought a place, but because we’ve extended our lease on the house we’re in now. Yay! We’re in here until end of September, AND have the option to extend agin if we dont have a place at by then too. I bloody hope we DO have a place by then. Im checking real estate websites multiple times per day to see if anything takes our fancy, and while there ARE nice properties appearing, non of them fit the billfor us. We’re becoming right old fussy so-and-so’s!

Right I better get off now as Ramsay is on soon. Oh, and buy Commando NOW!

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Aussies = Shit Drivers. Confirmed!!!

Posted by captainbeaky on May 18, 2008

So we’ve spent anther weekend loking at more houses, except we’ve widened our horizons and are now looking a bit further inland, to a place called Prahran. Its kind of like St Kilda, but bigger. No beach, but a LOT bigger. We saw 3 houses there yesterday, some of which were nice but werent spot on for one reason or another, and went over again today to have a look at a couple more. Only to return to the courtesey car and see that someone has opened the door on us and scratched down the side! What the fuck is wrong with these people? Are all Aussies totally inept when behind the wheel? It certainly looks like it. Ive now just got to hope that the repair shop dont notice the scratch or I can say it was there beforehand (there is already a big scratch down the side when I got it, so I might just try to say it was a continuation of that). But for crying out loud….1 month into owning a car and Ive got 1 car int the garage thanks to someone smacking it, and another with scratches down it . Bloody Holden owning bunch of dickheads!

Saw another nice house in Brighton, a very nice house indeed, but…..its in Brighton. Dont get me wrong, its a very lucrative area. Its where all the gAy.F.L. players live and several celbreties, but as a place, its kind of dead. Lots of nice big houses, but the shops are all pretensious and middle of the road. its all very sanitised and fake, so despite the fact that was lovely, I dont think we’ll be putting an offer in. Oh well, the search goes on….

Thats been the top and bottom of it really. Oh, we met up with a bunch of Brits on Friday evening from the forums that helped us out with or visa application, and had a really good night. Nice to know its not only us that think Oz TV is terrible! But mostly, we’ve spent our time on real estate websites, hence the lack of updates. I mean, I get home and spent 2 – 3 hours looking at different areas, different prices, different number of bedrooms etc…. so by the time Im done, the last thing I want to do is spend more time on my computer writing a post.

So there you go. I dont know what it is about Sundays and stupid pricks hitting my car, but its getting to be a very unwanted habit. Looks like I’ll be going everywhere on public transport after-all!

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You expect me to drive THAT!?!?

Posted by captainbeaky on May 14, 2008

Who’d have imagined that after only 6 weeks with a license, Id become a car snob. Dont get me wrong, Im grateful that Ive at least GOT a courtesy car, but damn….compared to my MX5 this Hyundai Getz (pictured) is terrible. I feel like Im driving a van Im so high up. The steering wheel feels like its been stolen from a bus, the brakes are spongy, and the thing handles like a slug. In mud. The only thing I like about it is its rear wiper. The heated screen on my MX5 takes an age in the morning to demist, so Im going to get a wiper thingy so I can see out the back. However, I suppose beggars cant be choosers so I’ll grin and bear it.Only got it for a week so I shouldnt moan.

Im now starting to have doubts at the longevity of GTA IV too. After youve got past the gloss of the new things and explored the city, essentially, its the same old “go there, kill someone” missions, and no amount of fancy stuff can hide that. Im 23 hours in and its starting to grate a bit. Maybe its just backlash from the overkill of the game, I dunno.

Went to a nice house viewing yesterday. Nice big top floor property, equi-distance from Elwood (Elwood is like St Kilda’s more sensible, more posh and less slutty  older brother) and St Kilda, with great size rooms and a good kitchen. However, the only downside is its location – its right on a main road, so traffic noise is apparent. Its not loud or anything, it just never goes silent. The sound in the bedroom is quiet as its off to the side, but Im not 100% sure. Going back tomorrow with Becca for a second opinion. Will let you know how it goes. We’ve about a squillion other properties to see this weekend too. A lot of them look nice, but nothing stands out and screams buy me. Maybe we’re being unrealistic, and looking for a big place with character for cheap. Lots of folks have said WE can inject character to an uninspiring building, but Id like the building itself to come across as interesting. Far too many places are just square rooms, which feels clinical and cold. I like boggles sticking out of walls, and funny corners. Not good for furniture, but it makes things more interesting.

I’ll let you know how it goes……

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Where does time go….?

Posted by captainbeaky on May 12, 2008

So this has probably been the worst stint of blog keeping ever, and I have several good excuses lined up! First is the omni-present GTA IV. This is the first game in ages that Ive played where I dont really feel the need to progres through the main story. Im walking aorund, buying clothes, helping passers by, and beating the be-jesus out of folks that cuss at me. Its just so fascinating to hang around one spot for a a few hours, see the weather change, the sun drop in the sky, over hear all the different conversations that go on…..etc… you get the idea. You can litterally waste hours and not do anything – its like a black hole of time! So thats one excuse down.

Excuse 2 – Ive been busy trying to sort out my car getting fixed. After much hassling via phone and beating my head against a wall, it looks like my car is finally being sorted out by the guy that hit it, on his insurance. I actually got a call from the repair shop today that I may have to drop my car in to them as early as tomorrow, so thats a weight off my mind. Got a poo-ey Hyundai Getz as a courtesy car, but hey….at least I GET a courtesy car.

Excuse 3, and this is probably the most prevalent one. We’ve been hugely pre-occupied with house inspections, getting a mortgage sorted and spending an-holy amount of time on real estate websites. The last 2 weekends have just been frittered away on walking for miles, investigating the surrounding areas and attending house inspections around the clock. Its been both physically, and mentally exhausting. Every place we’ve seen so far fails to tick all of the right boxes. They either have no carspace, no outdoor area, have a poor kitchen, have no character, are too expensive or have all kinds of weird and wonderful rules and regulations that inhibit buying them. We saw 7 last weekend, saw 6 this weekend, already got 2 lined up for midweek and am waiting to see what crops up next weekend. Saying that, we’ve both got our heads screwed on and are not settling for anything less than…well…..what we want.

So there you have it, 3 perfectly reasonable, legitimate excuses. Its not just blogging that has suffered though. Weve got a crapload of downlaoded TV, and recorded TV that we just havent had time to see yet. Not been for a relax on teh beach in a while either. Im just thankful that excuse 1 serves as a bit of escapism from excuse 2 and 3, or I’d be going mad right now! Saying that Ive just watched Match of the Day, and its been some of the most thrilling TV Ive seen in a while. Been a great Premiership this season, with it going right down to the wire. I just wish some of the Aussies here could have seen it, to ween them off the crapness of gAy.F.L.

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Rubbish Australian Mongrels!

Posted by captainbeaky on May 5, 2008

So, Ive not been posting recently – due to GTA IV eating up a shocking amount of time, being back at work and being tired, and well, me being crap. SO I’ll give you the short versions of whats been going on.

1, – GTA IV and UEFA 2008 are both extremely good.

2, – The friend count is going up with me meeting up with a Manucunian to watch the PROPER footy.

3, – Some twat has hit my car while it was parked up on the street. Nice big dent in the front passenger side panel and in the door. They left a note thats scribble, and has a fake phone number on it. So its going through MY insurance, having to pay $450 excess for something that was nothing at all to do with me. Bloody marvellous! Be glad when we have our own place and off road parking. Im paranoid now at how many other shitty drivers are going to run into my car, but there not much I can do about it.

Thats the short version anyway, theres been so much more minutia, but the post would be several page long and would take me more time to type it than all the people that would read it. So, I’ll be more frequent, especially as I have annoying stuff to speak of.

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