Aspiring to Nest

Writing this blog post induces many a twinge. Since settling back in Australia my partner and I have been house hunting whilst we bounce between various, temporary house-sitting jobs. As I write this, our belongings are strewn across the spare bedroom in my mother-in-law’s house as a result of us rifling through boxes and bags to find things we need in the 6-day interim between house-sits. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the immense good-fortune we’ve had in finding enough house-sits to last the better part of a year but, it’s getting old. I’m ready to have a home again.

We’ve had a surprising amount of near misses with house-hunting this year. Everyone says, “you’ll know it when you see it”, which is a feeling I’ve actually felt on several occasions but there’s always been some major, deal-breaking detraction. I’ve never been told, “you’ll know it when you see it but you’ll find one reason or another to hold out for something better”. Are we doing it wrong?

First, there was what the real estate agents dubbed the “Hobbit House” (they know their market):

Hobbit House

The absolute deal-breaker with the Hobbit House was the busy tourist road at the bottom of the garden.

Then came a house I loved even more than the Hobbit House:

Notre Dame

Notre Dame 2

I adored this house but Mike didn’t and I have to admit, his reasons for not loving it were all valid.

Next, there was the circa 1917 guest house of the Belgian Consulate, which I love beyond all reason:


Tremont 2

Tremont 3

Tremont 4

Images do not do this house justice. It was very higgledy-piggledy and labyrinthine with amazing valley views. The tragedy of this gorgeous beast is its location. I haven’t mentioned this yet, but we’re looking for a house in the Dandenong Ranges (“The Hills”) – an area of outstanding natural beauty, east of Melbourne. Unfortunately, my dream house is located in the edge between “The Flats” (nasty suburbia) and where The Hills get good. Sob, sob.

The weekend before last we had a glut of house inspections, one of which came very close to being “the one” and another was never really a serious contender but deserves an honourable mention.

This house gave me the “this is the one” feeling:


Colehurst 2

This house had what was possibly the most tragic deal-breaker to date. Not only was it a southerly aspect with a hill to its northern side (little sun, lots of damp), but the view from the property was nothing but manky pine trees. The tragedy is that the location is otherwise spectacularly good. It’s actually situated in one of my favourite residential areas in The Hills and is in walking distance to my favourite Hills town: Sassafrass. I think we may have found the only property in Sassafrass to have an ugly view.

I actually never fell in love with this next house but it gets an honourable mention because:

  1. Mike tried talking me into it
  2. The view!
  3. The studio!


Kallista 2

Finally, there’s the house which ticked all the boxes but which was inexplicably not The One.


On paper, this house was perfect. When we actually tried to imagine living in it though, we just couldn’t see how it could work. The layout was all wrong and just didn’t seem functional.

Writing this post has been rather therapeutic! I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about finding our home after listing just how many amazing houses we’ve found – it’s actually quite a hefty number. Having said that, it is 9 months worth of houses and how long can we keep saying no to amazing places?! Huh, that optimism was short-lived.

Taking the long-view, there is absolutely no rush. There is no benefit to rushing a decision that’s going to effect where we live for the rest of our lives (at least for the foreseeable distant-future). And yet, I want a home. Can I do this temporary living arrangement for another 9 months?

6 Comments Aspiring to Nest

  1. rita maria

    this was so fun to read. i am involved now. i need to know about your house buying every step of the way. it would have been hard for me to give up the house with the studio and view!

    1. Katherine

      haha, nice to have you involved Rita. The place with the studio and the view actually had me sort-of considering a modern house, which is not my style at all; such was the pull!

  2. Roberta

    Hmmmm…….can’t you just rent a place? Those houses all looked amazing. There is no perfect house. It is kind of like looking for the perfect mate. Just saying…….

    Good luck. I hope you settle down soon. That would make me nuts!

    1. Katherine

      Renting in Australia is a bit rubbish. If the landlord decides to renovate or move in, etc there’s nothing to stop them kicking you out without much notice. It can never be a home when you don’t know how long you’ll be able to live there. And of course you can’t change anything without the landlord’s permission. Also, it’s outrageously expensive.

      I hope we’re not looking for perfect, although sometimes it feels that way :(

  3. Tyler

    I’ll join Mike in saying get the one with the studio and the view, it looks gorgeous :)

    Tara and I are wishing you luck in your search!

    1. Katherine

      Well hey there! Fancy seeing you here :) Ah yes, that studio, that view. The house was a modern white box, however. As far as white boxes go it was a pretty nice one. I see you guys now have a roof! How cool!


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