In the spirit of wringing every last drop of personal drama out of the auction , I present to you a timeline of my pantswettingly exciting Sunday:
8am: wake, feeling smug. Did not drink last night, rugby, guests and all. Wallow in luxurious feeling of wellness.
9.30am: arrive at work. Nearly clip wing mirror on entry to basement car park. Look up house online.
10.30am: how many cups of tea are too many before midday? Drink the place dry of Earl Grey while on a filing rampage. Produce nothing of any real value.
10.35am: look up house online.
10.45am: return to producing nothing of any real value work-wise.
12 noon: give it up as a bad job because only hard things left to do. Look up house online, then leave office.
12.10pm: arrive home to P on couch, watching old James Bond. Eat cruddy noodles and get progressively more and more anxious.
1pm: pull out marketing material, lawyer's advice and re-review.
1.10pm: raise "WHY SO NERVOUS?" question with P. P reflects, then replies "because we might actually have a shot at this one." We look at each other glumly. We've gotten all hopeful again; not a good sign.
2pm: finally discuss with P what our top price is. Get all desperate, shout: WHATEVER IT TAKES! Realise this = very bad tactic if I don't want to get ripped off.
2.30pm: leave house. Feel ill. Haven't felt this ill since one of the acronymed houses I very nearly bought.
2.40pm: arrive at property for open home before onsite auction. Greet agents. Sneak around property, checking out details and eyeballing the competition.
2.41pm: OMG I LOVE IT MORE THAN I THOUGHT I DID. This is most definitely not good. Distinct possibility of tears if we lose, which is more likely than not.
2.43pm: OMG GUY IN ORANGE PANTS IS HERE. This is most definitely not good. While Orange Pants Guy has been really nice when we've seen him and his partner at other open homes/auctions, we think he's got more to spend than us. Start the decline into juddering-sigh-resignation.
2.50pm: gather at front of house. Awkward milling. Small talk with auctioneer, who recognises us from various failed attempts to purchase real estate.
2.52pm: eyeball the competition. SO MANY PEOPLE HERE. NOOOOOOOOOOOO. Very cute couple with excellent taste in sunglasses takes a spot next to us. They look ill; must be potential purchasers.
3pm: Starts lightly spitting with rain, sky darkens ominously. Cannot take off sunglasses because people will see the abject terror in my eyes.
3.04pm: auctioneer starts talking throught the contract.
3.08pm: auctioneer calls for opening bid. OH GOD SOME GUY ON THE STREET PUTS IN A BID STRAIGHT AWAY. He must want it and we are dooooooooomed.
3.09pm: I shuffle my feet a lot. Feel like heart is going to pound out of chest. Clutch P's arm as bidding goes up, but slowly. Another couple on street enter the bidding.
3.10pm: cute couple enter the bidding. They are slightly hesitant. This is a good sign?
3.11pm: it is a good sign! I think they've topped their limit already - there are meaningful looks and whispered discussions with each bid.
3.12pm: P enters the bidding. I lose my shit and cannot stand still. Playing with my hair, shuffling my feet, clutching his arm.
3.13pm: P is slamming a bid straight back on anyone else who bids. First guy has dropped out; very cute couple are having serious conversations before each bid, I can't see the others.
3.14pm: Auctioneer starts taking the piss out of P - "he's a robotic auction machine ladies and gents". It is quite clear we are nowhere near cool calm and collected.
3.15pm: Bidding stalls on our bid. We writhe with nervousness. Finally, auctioneer goes to talk to the vendors as it hasn't yet reached reserve, while the agents work the rest of the potential purchasers.
3.17pm: Auctioneer comes to us: $10k more and I think it'll be on the market. P agrees.
3.18pm: We're on the market. Auctioneer invites any more bids.
3.19pm: Third and final time - I bury my face in P's arm. Where is Orange Pants Guy? Is someone going to try and do a last minute sniper and bury us?!
3.20pm: SOLD. People clap (which is nice) - I am surprisingly dry eyed. Notice rotten weatherboard on deck. Think, oh well, that's MY rotten weatherboard.
3.21pm: shake vendors' hands, sign contract etc. Three months ago, we paid off the remainder of P's student loan, the largest single transaction we've ever made. This is at least 17 times bigger than that.
3.30pm: leave house. Hey, Orange Pants Guy! Turns out he just bought the house next door and is our new neighbour! Meet other neighbours. Such nice people.
3.35pm: Straight for Glengarry's to pick up a bottle of champagne. Start calling family, disappointing them with news that we're indebted, rather than pregnant.
BLAH BLAH BLAH the rest is basically irrelevant - mostly repetitions of HOLY SHIT WE JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE and HOW GROWN UP ARE WE and WHERE ON EARTH ARE WE GOING TO STORE THE SHEETS?
The auction process really does suck, let me tell you. We could have just made the stupidest financial move of our lives, given its a hot market. Or not, perhaps. Either way, I'm relieved and excited and scared in equal measures. Four and a half months, likely 20 or so auctions, three building reports, six or seven valuations, a truckload of legal advice, a squillion open homes and here we are.