Would you buy a house you hated? Could you make an offer on a home with an interior you didn't like at all - a home that was actually a particularly ugly example of the era it was built?
Home owners Craig and Emma Croxford did – buying a 1970s Willetton house that was so depressing and needed so much work that it actually brought Emma to tears on various occasions!
But with many weekends of work and a vast quantity of DIY, Craig and Emma have managed to turn this diamond in the rough into a friendly, comfortable family abode that is now a perfect family home for them and their two young daughters. The house (and their renovation story) actually reminds me SO much of our house and our journey (the houses were built in the same year, too).
I met Emma through my close friend Heather Robbins, whose name you might recognise as the photographer behind many of the lovely photos you guys see on House Nerd.
Emma and Heather have a funny meet cute. They met four years ago when they were both new, sleep-deprived mothers to five-week-old newborns, each venturing out of their houses to get a caffeine fix, with respective newborns in tow. They spied each other in the café (or in Heather’s words, “I accosted Emma and pounced on her,”) started gabbing away in the way you do when you have a small baby and proper adult conversation is rare, and immediately became firm, fast friends. Now their husbands are also friends and so are the kids (now four in total).
Emma and Craig met as youngsters back in 2004. “Craig and I met in a Canberra nightclub at 5am in the morning in 2004,” laughs Emma. “We were both amongst the last people left in the nightclub when they turned the lights on. Yikes!”
After buying a unit in Canberra together and renovating it, they relocated to Perth in 2010 when Emma was offered a position as a junior academic at Murdoch University. Once here, Emma and Craig quickly discovered they hated renting and became desperate to find a home of their own.
“We originally took a six month rental in Bicton but we hated it,” admits Emma. “It had no heating, Perth had a historically cold winter and we just wanted to get into our own place where we could feather our nest.”
Wanting to buy a house in an area that would be close to both their workplaces, good government schools and on a larger plot of land, Emma and Craig started house-hunting in Palmyra, Fremantle and the surrounding suburbs. But they soon established that homes in those areas, that were within their budget, sat on plots of lands much smaller than they wanted.