24th July 2015
The date of handover.
If I were a normal person, I would have said that it was such a significant day and I would remember it for the rest of my life. Truth be told, if not for Google calendar, I wouldn’t have been able to put the date down on the blog. It was memorable alright, but life isn’t always quite how I imagined it to be.
Just a few weeks before the handover, I got a letter from the builder, trying to schedule me in for a pre-handover inspection a week before the official date. My first reactions were not of ecstasy or relief after almost 2 years of what I had set out to do. In fact, my first words were…
I recall ringing my brother relating the news in a state of panic. I knew there were lots to be done, and it felt overwhelming to try and get everything happening quickly. I guess it was because all these while I didn’t have to physically do anything apart from making complaints if anything went wrong, but with the handover, I’d have to do everything else myself from then on. So, I whipped out my calendar and started putting dates to everything. Here’s what went on:
2 weeks before handover
1) Get quotes for fencing and driveway
I found that when I am trying to do something that I have absolutely no knowledge about, asking for dozens of opinion is the way to go. Each person quotes a bit differently, and it was useful to see what is different and research about it. That gives me a lot more insight into picking the best at the most affordable price.
2) Sourcing for rainwater tanks
It isn’t too hard finding rainwater tanks, but I haven’t seen many places selling water detention tanks at affordable prices. So I have decided to pick up a friend’s rainwater tank with a little leak. After all, that’s what detention tanks are meant to do – slowly release rainwater into the sewage system.
3) Notifying my landlord of end of lease
I’ve lived in the rental property for 4.5 years! That house has seen many of my milestones in life, and it does get a bit difficult telling the landlord about us leaving. I picked the end of lease date to be 2 weeks after handover. It’s crazy, I know. But when you have a mortgage to pay, and supporting brother in uni as an international student yet can’t claim any dependent tax for, you do all sorts of crazy things just to get by.
4) Pre-handover inspection
So, so close to getting those keys! There were a few issues here and there regarding bank inspections and bank cheques which resulted in me marching down to the bank and giving them a piece of my mind… Well let’s not go there. What you need to know is, I was in such a bad mood with all the lack of communication and responsiveness that even my boss was avoiding me.
1 week before handover
1) Concreting driveway
It was still winter, and it was muddy everywhere. I decided that if we were going to move that soon, then I should at least get the driveway in so we have something decent to walk on. So, I sent of the request to the council and builder if they were agreeable to me getting that happening before the handover. I managed to get concreting started on the day of handover.
2) Gas meter installation
Honestly, I think having been a city kid two-thirds of my life, I was too privileged having everything done and mapped out for me with elaborate step-by-step instructions. So it turns out I had to arrange for the gas meter to be installed. Actually, that wasn’t too bad. Wait till you hear about my home phone and ADSL relocation.
3) Packing up
I remember half a year ago, I was grumbling away as I packed up most of my stuff into boxes so that I would have space in my room to share with my brother. It turns out I didn’t have to put too much effort into packing up, because everything was already in boxes!
4) Organise address changes
I’m really glad I live just 7 minutes from my old rental place because somehow I still have mail going there, and I can always drop by to pick it up!
Well, even a couple of nespresso pods could get my heart racing more than that day. To refresh your memory, the keys came like this. In fact, the house wasn’t even finished! The builder forgot about wrecking my retaining wall and how they promised they would fix it. The skylight wasn’t in yet, which caused a whole lot more issues. The range hood and oven wasn’t delivered because they didn’t want it stolen if we weren’t living in it yet.
Now you know why I haven’t been blogging those past few months. More stories about post-handover in the next post!