Wednesday, January 22, 2014


So how many square ft is it?

Everyone seems to ask me this question after they learn about my house.

I dont know.

I still dont know, two months later after furnishing the place.

I blinked.

"Blink" is the title of a book by Malcolm Gladwell I read in 2011. It is about how people make snap decisions and why sometimes it's better not to overthink things.

Here's what happened behind the decision to purchase a house.

My first impression over two minutes during the first inspection took was very positive. It was the right size and had a layout I liked. It was also right next to where I will be working this year.

The decision was made in the first five minutes walking around the house.

That said, the purchase (and offer bid) was not made without due diligence. I had a property valuation by an independent third party. Location-location-location they say. The house is smack bang  in the middle of the town and Monash University and right next to the hospital closer than the staff carpark. Close enough to walk to the train station, yet just far enough to not hear the train. You cannot beat that level of convenience. I've been in Clayton since 2007. I've seen the town prosper and become more vibrant. Char Kuey Teow (flat rice noodles) at 9pm on a tuesday? No problem. Clayton has three malaysian places open late. The shops are bustling all week. This is a suburb that has potential for capital gain. I also know that it is one of the better parts of the suburb. Financially, I am well able to afford the repayment, and have no issues repaying the loan even if interest rates climb well above the 20-year average of 9% (it's currently at 5%). The last thing that was considered prior to making an offer was the relative price of properties next to it. A two bedroom non-landed unit, with one shared bathroom/shower/tub and a separate underground carpark is going for $400,000. I cant be too far off with a landed property with three bedrooms, three toilets, two showers, one tub, and an attached garage for $550000. Given it's about 12 years old, but still... being a landed property not having neighbours above or below you is very nice. The only issue was the down payment. I could afford it on my own, but it would have will have wiped out all my liquidity - this was my major hesitation. Coincidentally, my parents were visiting Melbourne.

Did I think too much? No. Location CHECK. Property valuations CHECK. Mortgage calculations (easily done online) CHECK. Feel of suburb CHECK. Cash falling from the sky / downpayment CHECK.

Hence, I bought the house on a whim.

The decision was made with a snap judgment... and everything checked out so it went ahead.

I blinked.

I also bought a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's book. A fascinating, insightful read.

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