This week we will look at the houses that I have lived in from my first home on Mumby farm, through to our house in Waggrakine, Geraldton.
As a child, I lived in the farmhouse on Mumby. I wrote about that house here which was a walk through every room that I can remember.
My memories of this house are the whitewash walls and the verandah across the front and down the sides. One of my wishes was that I would live in a house again with verandah’s, but so far, that has not happened.
Unfortunately, a cyclone came through in 1978 and destroyed what was left of the old house.
We had already moved into the new farmhouse on the hill when I was just 10 years old. I also wrote about that house and what I could remember of the layout in an earlier post.
When Bob and I married in 1973, the one thing he always said and we have to be thankful for that now, was that we were never going to rent. His idea was that you’re only paying out money to someone else when you could be putting into owning your own home. So that is what we did and now we are debt free.
We bought our first little “dolls house”, as Dad used to call it, in Rangeway, at 27 Abelia Street, for $10,350. Dad helped us with the deposit and over the three years that we lived there, we did a lot of work on the inside, painted, new carpets, vinyl in the kitchen and built a patio out the back. Eventually, we put a fence across the front. Our 2 daughters, Helen and Melissa were born while we lived in this house.
It was at the end of 1976 when we sold our house in Rangeway so we could build a new home out on the block that Bob owned with his Uncle Jock in Waggrakine. The house was $20,000 and we borrowed $8,000 from the bank and were to pay it off over 10 years at $104 per month at 9.25% interest through the R&I Bank of WA. However, by the time we sold our house and commenced building, the prices had gone up. The house was now $22,000, so we ended up having to borrow another $2,000, paying the loan off still over 10 years, at $130 per month and 9.25% interest. We managed this on Bob’s single income as I was home looking after the family.
While the house was being built, we moved into a unit that was a closed in, side verandah on my grandmother’s (Nanna Cripps) house in Shenton Street. It was a very tight squeeze. Melissa’s cot and Helen’s bed were at one end of the verandah, right outside our bedroom door, there was a kitchen table at the other end and a doorway to a shower. The toilet was outside at the rear of the house. Our bedroom was a separate room off from the verandah and part of the main house. It took 6 months to build the new house and what a stressful time that was, but we managed, as you do! Melissa was just starting to crawl. As you can see by the photo below, she used to get so so dirty on the wooden floorboards of the outside verandah. They were cleaned every so often with a mop dipped in kerosene. She stayed dirty most of the day until I could give her a bath at night time. She would get a quick sponge bath before her afternoon sleep.
We moved into our new house in July 1977. The street was originally known as Nanson Road, but over time became Chapman Valley Road. The house was at Lot 73 until later we were given numbers and became 121. However, Chapman Road which was once the North West Coastal Highway was realigned and a large roundabout was put in. Our house number was changed to 165 as apparently we are 1.65klm from the roundabout. I told everyone that we had moved up the road a bit. Doh!
By May 1992, the house was valued at $90,000. It has seen some changes over the years from the original dark chocolate bark face brick. It was rendered to cover over the horrible brickwork that Panorama Homes did. I wasn’t happy with how that turned out, but life was busy, we were both working, the kids were all at school or moving out of home. It was many years later, early 2017 when we finally got around to changing the colour to a more modern looking grey. Bob did it all himself and did a great job. We did try to sell the house in 2013-2014, maybe if we’d done the paint job then, it might have had more appeal. But, it wasn’t to be! At that time, the house was valued at $425,000. Now in 2017, it has dropped considerably to $325,000. Guess we are staying put for a bit.
The kitchen has seen some changes over the years too. It was a 1970s house after all, so lime green and tangerine were all the rage. How I thought that kitchen looked so cool, I’ll never know! But, it is what it is. We did paint those cupboards a peach colour when we put new tiles on the floor and eventually we took the plunge in 2004 and had the complete kitchen replaced. It is still the same to this day.
Maybe the next home will be a retirement village. We shall just have to wait and see.