I live in Christchurch and I've been here since January 2004. I have lived in exactly ten different places since being here. I absolutely loathe moving house. I can't imagine anything that disrupts my life more than moving house.
The build-up, searching, packing, throwing out, finding a house, appointments, photocopies, sigining leases, getting bond moved over, moving, unpacking, reorganising, throwing out, simplifying, getting used to new areas, feeling safe with different neighbours, decorating, making home feel like home.
All up, from full start to full finish it can take months. And then it's time to a. look for a new house again or b. stay.
In alphabetical order (because that's how I roll):
Mona Vale Ave
My favourite house by far was the one on Strickland St, I stayed there the longest out of all of them, over a year, I can't remember how long. It was my last 'flat' before I got married.
My husband and I dream of owning our own house, and even more than that, building our dream home one day. That would be so awesome. But right now we're renting, and in our 4th rental since being married.
There is currently a rental shortage in Christchurch due to a number of factors namely the earthquake destroying homes, and other homes needing to be unoccupied while fix-ups happen which means those families need to rent short-term and no doubt several other reasons. But my point is, rental prices are going up. And not just the usual $5 - $15 rise they usually do after a year has gone by.
I was informed that it wouldn't be surprising if our own rent was to go up by at least $60 a week and that the 'market rate' for the rental we're in now is $90/week more than what we're paying now.
It feels criminal, but that's just the way it is right now.
When we get the (potential) 'letter of doom' in a week or two notifying of what our rent will be put up to, we may have a few serious decisions to make. If it's too high, we'll try to negotiate. If it's not too dramatic we'll then have to decide if it's worth it to stay here or to try find something better for the same value. If there is no room for negotiation, then we'll need to decide if Christchurch is where we stay.
Since we were married there have been several reasons why we decided to move from each of our rentals so far. The first house was rotten, Winter was barely survivable. The second house was too small with a baby on the way. The third house we wanted to stay but the homeowner wanted it back. Now we're in the fourth and waiting for that letter that I'm told is coming in the next week or two.
I am getting anxious, that's obvious. It's so hard to let it go, let God take this one. He always finds us a home that works 'enough' for us. We've had exactly what we needed every time, no more, no less. Well, except for our first flat together, that was pretty budget, haha.
I feel like I'm just beginning to get settled into this place. We moved here in December last year, 11 months ago.
I've been slowly, very slowly, trying to figure out how to make this place feel like home.
One day I draped a big plain sheet over our dark, plaid couch. I kid you not, it intantly made the room feel bigger and made me feel more peaceful, somehow.
Since then I've been thinking and thinking up ways to hide things or get rid of things simply by covering it up (couch cover one day) or by removing the clutter.
I turned this:
|Haha, can you spot the difference?|
Simple, still not the most beautiful thing to look at but at least it's less distracting and usually keeps my toddler's hands away from my books.
I look at it and feel satisfied that the little curtains do their job, and I feel a little closer to feeling at home.
Now I'm back to wondering about that 'letter of doom'.