October 8, 2014

Buying a House: An Irreconcilable Difference?

My fiancé and I decided to get married after almost a year of being together. We were both adults at age 32, and in fact he proposed on my 32nd birthday, just a month after he celebrated his. We both have stable jobs: I’m an obstetrician and gynecologist specialist at one of Sydney’s leading hospitals having graduated from the ANU Medical School while he has a degree in computer engineering and is a computer and technology professional at one of the multinational companies based in the city. His parents like me while my parents dot on him. The most important reason for the decision to marry was because we were in love, only to realize that love was not enough to reconcile all the differences.
Buying a House: An Irreconcilable Difference?

The storm in the tea pot started brewing when we were deciding where to live after the wedding. I wanted to buy a house in the suburb while he insisted on buying an apartment in the city. You see, he was a dedicated apartment dweller for almost half of his life. Of course, he has moved up from a one-room studio apartment he shared with a friend immediately after leaving the university to an elegant 1-bedroom unit in one of the city’s new developments, but he is still renting. I, on the other hand, have always lived all my life in the beautiful 4-bedroom house of my parents at the historic town of Camden, except when I had to live on-campus while in the university, which I hated.

In the months that we were together, I have stayed in his apartment plenty of times, but apartment dwelling never appealed to me. I have always dreamt that when I have a family of my own, I too will have a lovely house with a beautiful garden for a front yard and a well-manicured lawn at the back just like my parent’s house. He tried convincing me to go with his idea by listing all the advantages of apartment living in the heart of the city such as the freedom from worry about repairs & maintenance,  since he said he is no use as a handyman inside the house; the convenience of being walking distance from all the restos, bars and art &entertainment centers that we both love; and the lack of the need for a commute. I stuck to my guns, and insisted that buying a house is a good investment that we can afford with all the amenities for a growing family. You see, we were in accord about having children, two at the most.

The raging battle was happening at the same time that we were planning the wedding – a beach wedding, the entourage, the guest list, and all the nitty-gritty details that go into planning a nuptial. Everything came to a head when he adamantly refused to accompany me to view some properties for sale listed by an agent friend. That was when I questioned my decision to marry this bull-headed guy who is so heartless to deprive me of my dream house.

Fast forward, four years after. I am now 6 months pregnant with my first baby, living in a beautiful house in Lane Cove which is an easy drive to the CBD, and with the same bull-headed guy. So, did he give in? Yes and no. Actually, after realizing that our love was big enough to surmount the differences, we decided on a compromise. After the wedding, we lived in his apartment while looking for a house that serves both our purposes. We bought this house two years ago and he loves it as much as I do. He even designed the landscaping, worked on the pathway leading to the pool from the lanai at the backyard himself, and is as crazy about gardening as I am.