Wonder if the Landlord Would Appreciate a Feature Wall…

floral wallpaperYou have quite a bit of power as a renter nowadays. I haven’t really looked into this, but I bet when renting first became a thing, it was absolutely terrible for anyone who wasn’t the landlord. You did all your own repairs, there was no renter insurance, and the landlord could kick you out whenever they wanted, because it was legally their place. I bet the laws just steadily crept inwards until eventually, they were covering all their tenants’ repairs down to the changing of the light-bulbs, they had to give advance notice if they even wanted to come CLOSE to the place and loads of places now can’t refuse pets if they’re small.

I kinda feel sorry for landlords…or I would, if I wasn’t a broke renter. Still, I think the self adhesive removable wallpaper I got for the place is a good compromise. I haven’t ripped anything off the wall, and I’ve been assured that this wallpaper is really easy to remove. Sort of like when I was younger and I was allowed to put up these adhesive cartoon stickers because they just peeled right off. They were supposed to be reusable, but…didn’t quite turn out that way.

Doesn’t matter. This wallpaper sounds pretty good, and I really was looking hard for ways to personalise the place even though I’m a mere, lowly renter and hammering nails into the wall is one of the worst things a person can do. Except my landlord probably wouldn’t care, because he takes a fairly relaxed approach to that kind of thing. Probably healthy; nobody needs the stress of combing over your investment properties with a magnifying glass.

He probably wouldn’t even care about the lovely removable floral wallpaper I’m applying in the lounge, but…I let him know anyway. Professional courtesy, and I don’t want him raising my rent to force me out.

-N.A.

Moving Home? Not Too Likely

property advocateI’ve moved house enough in my life, so I’d really rather stay in one place for a while. Reggie keeps making jokes about how he’s only leaving this house in a box, which always makes me a little bit nervous. I know we’ve definitely crosses the line into ‘elderly’, but I’d rather not have to deal with that talk. I feel great. We all feel great!

I’ve made peace with the fact that we’re never going to be fabulously rich, of course. Having children and working as teachers isn’t going to make you the big bucks! Still, I know exactly what I’d do if I was handed a million dollars: buy an investment property. Or maybe we’d make this one an investment property and buy a new home? It’s lovely to think about that sort of freedom. I’d definitely get one of those buyers advocates I saw in that show about moving homes. They always look like they have such nice offices- mints, water in nice jugs, mint leaves floating at the top, that sort of thing- and we’d spend hours pouring over potential houses. Huge houses, that is. Houses by the coast, apartments right in the heart of the city, mansions on a hilltop in the country…so much to choose from! Or rather, I think so. I try to keep up with the property ladder, and while a million dollars won’t take you as far as it used to, it’s still enough to get you a nice place. Good bit of variety, too. I’d leave the finding to the property advocates, because it’s what they do, but I’d probably end up driving Reggie mad by trying to find the PERFECT property. He’s always wanted to live in the city, while I’d like something with a bit of land. It might take us years. Could even destroy our relationship. And then every Melbourne property advocate would blacklist us forever!

Maybe it’s best that we just stay here, out in the suburbs? At least we were able to buy our own house in the first place!

-Ursula

Rows of Perfectly-Rendered Homes

concrete renderingVerona Street shall be victorious, and this year, I plan to make that an absolute certainty.

Twenty years I’ve spent trying to get people to trim their lawns, grow some flowers, paint their fences and just generally tidy up a bit, but we’ve never once come close to winning the Best Kept Melbourne Street Award. Of course, if someone would maybe keep up with the weeding, then we might be in the running instead of presenting the judges with a garden that looks like a jungle. By someone, I mean, Doreen. I couldn’t care less if you’ve just had a new hip fitted, that’s no excuse to not look after your own property!

I keep telling people, go above and beyond. Don’t just plant a few petunias….look into cement rendering! Actually, you don’t even have to look into it; I had it done to my own house as an example of how wonderful it looks. Look at it, street! Your own homes could look this lovely, and I can hook you up with every concrete renderer in Melbourne who’d be willing to do the job!

Not that simply having your home look concrete and uniform is going to win us the grand prize, but mark my words, it’ll be a great start. A great start on our road…to victory. That victory we would’ve had, if someone had bothered to fix their picket fence, Doreen. Open heart surgery is not an excuse for tardiness, especially when it comes to winning great honour for our street. We were supposed to be renowned throughout Melbourne! And we will be. I have three months to get everyone whipped into shape, after which we’re inviting the judges over for tea, cake and some splendid houses ringed by exquisite gardens. Oh, just imagine if every single one of them decided to get concrete rendering. Melbourne will never have seen the like, all our uniform homes in a row…and the prize would be ours for sure!

Don’t mess this up for us, Doreen.

-Anastasia