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Author Topic: Setting up a house from scratch  (Read 3120 times)

Offline Savayla

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Setting up a house from scratch
« on: December 12, 2009, 08:21:40 am »
Hi

I am not sure if this email will help anyone, but here goes.   We are not in NZ at the moment, but from think it is still the same.

Before we arrived in NZ in 2003, we had been told by friends that you could literally pick anything up off the streets and get things for free or very cheap.  We thought that she was over-exaggerating. 

We rented a house with nothing in it but the curtains and the stove.  We learnt from our friends, who had done this when they first arrived , to find out where the inorganic weeks are and to get there early.  We managed to pick up chairs, mattresses, a rocking horse for our girls, garden umbrella, a chest of drawers, side tables, even a vacuum cleaner. 

I cleaned up the chest of drawers, took off the stickers, stencil painted some animals onto it, and made the missing drawer into a bed for their dolls.  It was beautiful.  We sanded and varnished the chairs and table and they were new.  The vacuum cleaner had no pipes, so I cheekily went and knocked on the house's front door and asked if it still worked.  He very apologetically put on his wellies, went down into his basement and brought  out all the pipes for me.  Turns out the plug had been cut off and the cord had rolled inside.  That was it.  A bought plug and a screwdriver later, we had a vacuum cleaner that cost $120 at The Warehouse. 

From the garage sales and op shops, we got bean bags, lounge suite, more side tables, towels, a huge swivel chair that hubby would work from for $2. 

Our car , a Holden station wagon we had picked up for $900, had roofracks and a tow hitch.  Very important. Back then , to rent a  trailer cost $17 a day and you could pick them up at any petrol station.   We had a good map and bought the Free Ads every Thursday .  From that we went and picked up a perfect fridge.  One of those old ones that have decent space and a large freezer at the bottom.  Free.  Also went and picked up two large desks, one was covered in leather with brass studs.  Very beautiful and also free.  A bookcase.  There were washing machines also listed but we ended up renting one as it was so cheap. 

From the second hand shops I bought lovely cutlery, crockery, and my kitchen utensils. 

Altogether, we put up our house for  around R250 .   :2funny:  That did not include some mattresses that a friend brought over, and some pots and pans.  Yes, it can be done.  If you don't mind going second hand and getting to the organic weeks before the Maoris and other pacific islanders.  It is amazing what people throw out.  I personally love the challenge and even buy from our local second hand shop back in SA. 

The only negative was the bruises on my legs from all the heavy carrying.  Got used to it. 


Offline mandyh

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Re: Setting up a house from scratch
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 09:10:46 am »
 :welcome: Savayla

What a great post - proving that things can be done cheap.  What a wonderful life you guys have had.

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Re: Setting up a house from scratch
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 09:10:46 am »

Offline Savayla

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Re: Setting up a house from scratch
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2009, 12:48:06 pm »
Thanks Mandyh

I feel that everyone is on a different budget, coming from different backgrounds.  BUT, we all want the same thing ... to get to a new country, to feel secure, to feel wanted.  A bit melodramatic, but I am sure it will make sense to others. 

It can be done on a shoestring.  If you "hou die blink kant bo " , don't mind second hands and see yourselves as pioneers, then have fun, and just do it. 

Offline tmprince

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Re: Setting up a house from scratch
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 05:45:49 pm »
so where are you living now and why?  ;)
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Offline Nolan

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Re: Setting up a house from scratch
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2009, 11:01:29 pm »
Look at it this way - the minute you buy something new, it becomes second hand, so what's the difference. I have second hand stuff in my house that i have bought here at op-shops, garage sales and trade me and if i don't tell you what i bought new and what second hand you will never know.

Offline Savayla

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Re: Setting up a house from scratch
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2009, 02:37:56 am »
so where are you living now and why?  ;)

I know I am doing this wrong.  I can't seem to enclose a quote and then write a message below, without my message being part of the   quote. 

We are living in Langkawi, Malaysia.  Why ?  Because we wanted to leave SA, but did not know where we wanted to go. We are familiar with SEA as we have lived in Malaysia for 4 years in the late 90's, and have returned many times.  It is like a second home.  If I had to live here for good, I would choose Langkawi if I had no kids, or Penang or Singapore if I did.  Which we do.  It is easy to get into Singapore and to get PR.  Very easy.  Not so in Malaysia.  But, we don't want to live here, we want to live in NZ.

 We had talked ourselves out of NZ after spending 3 years on a yacht in Hout Bay.  The weather was miserable.   So we took ourselves to SEA, and are now decided.  We arrive in NZ again in April next year.   :twothumbs:   We will be renting a fully furnished place to begin with, but will eventually go the op shops and recycling route.  Nelson has a fantastic recycling depot that we can't wait to wade into. 

Offline frodo/maya

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Re: Setting up a house from scratch
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2009, 06:24:22 am »
Hi  :welcome: to the family!!

 :)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 06:37:14 am by frodo/maya »

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Re: Setting up a house from scratch
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2009, 06:24:22 am »

Offline BeninCPT

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Re: Setting up a house from scratch
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2010, 09:18:48 am »
 O0 O0 Now this I like  O0 O0