South Center to Hope Street

We appreciate that we have so many people interested in renting our house – really we do — but can I mention how incredibly inconvenient it is to have the house always looking as though we don’t really live there?

There’s how we pretend to live (show house), how we wish we lived (surface clean show house where we hide towels and toss our messes into closets), and how we really live — piles of papers everywhere, books half opened throughout all three bathrooms, Hook’s water glass obsession obvious in the empty glasses found in almost every room in our home.  Our greatest inconvenience though is our struggle via la commode.  In the Hook house, we do our part to conserve water and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Last week we had five male 20-somethings look at the house.  The only thing that saved us from their rental was the indication on the application that there would be a big dog and our requirements forbid any big dogs.   Today, three young female 20-somethings showed up who looked like they’d like nothing better than to spill tequila and rum all over the floors and run up and down the stairs in spiked high heeled shoes that would tear at the Berber carpet all the while being chased by half naked 20-something males.

We had hoped that by putting a high rental price on the house, we could avoid any 20-somethings, but we hadn’t counted on roommate situations.   I wish I would have had the foresight to “accidentally” vomit on the floor this morning, thus turning off the young females altogether.

The location of our home in south Austin, so close to downtown, would be a dream party house to 20-somethings.  We can discriminate against big dogs, but we cannot discriminate based on age and perceived stupidity.

What we would really like, what we keep hoping for is a nice male “couple,” two males who are “partners.”   Or, how about a mid-30s married couple with a husband who has a yard fixation and uses tending-to-the-lawn as a ‘cave’ escape?

We don’t sound very renter friendly, I know, but we’ve been kind to our home, and we’d like that whoever moves into our house to be as kind as we have been to the unblemished hardwood floors, the flowing backyard of green lawn, and the newly painted colorful walls.   We want someone who enjoys weeding out the bed surrounding the Mexican oak tree.   We want a renting miracle.

Enough about what we’re leaving.   Here’s where we’re headed to:  43 Hope Street in Watersman Bay just north of Perth.

Hook had originally set up a one week’s stay at the Drake Apartments in Perth, and for an extra $10 Australian dollars a day, we could have a vehicle with the rental.  Yes, Australia is on the dollar, too, and the exchange is about even.  The difference lies in the high standard of living.  I’ve heard cheeseburgers cost $30.  I’m assuming that is a monster cheeseburger at a really nice restaurant and who wants to eat a burger at a nice restaurant.  Not us.

But then, our academic contact at Curtin University of Technology where Hook will be a visiting professor connected us with a Curtin colleague who has been in the process of moving out of their old house into their newly built home on the same property.  They have a fully-furnished, 3-bedroom, 2-bath home for an unbelievable $400/week.  Fully furnished as in not only furniture but towels and dishes, all the stuff you forget you need to have a functional home.  We said, “good-bye Drake, hello Hope Street.”

I know what you’re thinking.  $400/week — did they use to rent to hookers?   The Australians give all rates by the week instead of by the month.  Who knows why; who cares why.  The cherry-on-top news is that 43 Hope Street is walking distance to a nature preserve  on one side then walking distance to the ocean on the other side.  Walking distance to the ocean!!!!   I may have to walk a couple of blocks to catch a bus that will drop me off at a train station that will take me to the heart of downtown Perth, but I’ll have easy access to the Indian Ocean.

The best news of the day is that the small profit we’ll make on renting out South Center will mean we’ll end up paying less to live in Australia than in Austin.  It doesn’t get much better than that for a year’s sabbatical.

Bring on the college kids so long as they pay the rent on time and do not burn down the house.   The rest we’ll just have to deal with when we return in July 2013.

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