Not a year after we moved into our current place ("We love it here! We're going to live here for ages, aye?!") we're dipping our toes into the real estate market again. We're currently at the stage of looking online to work out what is available in the inner Auckland suburbs for what price, so we're simply dipping in, not plunging into, the real estate sinkhole.
We're trying to find something reasonable, within a budget that allows us to save a fair bit of money. P is willing to spend more than I am (this could really be a blanket statement applicable to most areas of our lives except my shoes). Living somewhere reasonable has become something of a priority, given the chequered real estate past we've had.
Places I Have Lived Since Leaving Home: The List
2001 - Hall of Residence, Dunedin. I had my own bedroom, shared three showers with eight others (co-ed) and had to queue for dinner. Not ideal. However, it had insulation so the next four years were a significant downgrade, independence be damned.
2002 - The "Fancy" North Dunedin flat. I paid what I thought was the EXORBITANT sum of NZD$85 per week for my room in a six bedroom flat. I thought it was PLUSH. I had my own external door, which was never locked in case any of my 5 flatties or their hangers-on found themselves without keys returning from a night out (roughly 5 nights out of 7). Led to several interesting night-time visits, not all from people with whom I was acquainted (for those of you unfamiliar with the general North Dunedin milieu, people entering your flat without permission are generally just looking to raid your fridge and steal the mince. Still, a wee bit scary). Shout out to P's flat that year, in which he had an outdoor bedroom (yes, you read that right).
2003 - The Budget Girls' Flat, Dunedin. I loved living with three of my best friends for the princely sum of NZD$75 a week each. I thought I'd lucked out with a large front bedroom, but discovered a ground leak in my wardrobe that turned all of my shoes mouldy within a fortnight. I also discovered, thanks to a study run by the university, that my bedroom averaged temperatures at night a good degree (celcius) below that enjoyed outdoors. Which, in a Southern winter, was somewhere below zero. This was the year I set alight the kitchen by accident; an incident involving a quiche, a tea towel, a hot burner and the distraction of a Big Brother eviction. Special mention for this year goes to P's flat down the street, which housed 6 boys, had human hair outside, dead mice drowned in the sink, rats in the walls and pink and black mould in the shower.
2004-2005 - Keg Race Street Flat, Dunedin. Another 'bargain' under NZD$100 a week. The second year we lived there, we scammed the landlord into buying a dehumidifier because it was slightly disconcerting when the carpet around the ranchslider used to squish underfoot from the night's collected condensation. New Zealand weather proofing: top notch! Flatmate's car banged up in the night by a keg sent rolling after the notorious annual keg race.
2006-mid 2009 - Inner City Apartment, Auckland. P and I moved in together; a one bedroom prime piece of real estate approximately the size of a postage stamp. OH THE LUXURY: we had a dishwasher! We couldn't have more than one visitor at a time! Everyone could hear everyone else pee! Frankly, I'm surprised we have any boundaries left after living in that flat. I was just.so.grateful that P was out of town the three days of the risotto-induced food poisoning extravaganza of '08.
2009-2010 - NYC studio. Living in New York! How exciting! Paying more than I had ever paid before in order to be able to watch TV from bed! A particular highlight was having other people comment on how SPACIOUS it was. That's right, we could fit a bed AND a couch in our NY studio. Luxury folks, you have no idea. The smell of dried, cracking linoleum takes me right back there (as does Chance by Chanel, odour memories are odd, no?).
2010-2011 - Terraced House in the Burbs, London. We lived in a GINORMOUS four bedroom house with P's brother and brother's fiancee. We had a backyard! We had a grown up size kitchen! We also had a rubbish commute and a mouse problem! And a constant battle over the household's ambient temperature because in winter, I think 18 degrees in a house with holes in the floorboards is too cold, but not everyone agreed!
2011-2012 - My fave, the SE1 Two Bedroom Mews Flat. Just P and I. Bliss. Pricey, because of the ability to walk to work. But OHMIGAWD we have a bath AND a shower! A second bedroom! A reasonably sized living room! We've loved it and are loathe to leave.
There you go; another FASCINATING installment in the life of A.