A COUPLE in their late 20s, Anna Rhodes and Jack Taylder, recently purchased their very first home in Blackwall on the Central Coast. They received no financial assistance from their parents, they work full-time and they still enjoy the occasional avocado on toast.
“I grew up here and a lot of the time I’d go bike riding with my Dad,” Rhodes says. “We’d come down to the Booker Bay area, and I remember thinking this is such an amazing piece of coast. When this house came up I realised that it was in the spot that I always really loved.”
The pair were surprised when they realised they could actually afford to buy a home. Approaching the bank and talking figures seemed quite daunting, so they held off for a long time. But the bank approved them for even more money than they needed.
“We’d been monitoring the market for about 18 months but we didn’t seriously start going to open houses until we got the loan approved,” Rhodes says.
Taylder works in emergency services, and Rhodes works as a digital designer for the NSW Government. They’ve been together for nearly a decade and purchased this house in late 2016. One thing they love about it is that it is almost completely surrounded by the iconic Brisbane Water estuary.
The two-bedroom, one-bathroom house sits on a block of 300 square metres.
Taylder and Rhodes describe the aesthetic of the house as neutral colours with lots of textures and plants.
“It’s minimal and modern, but working with the older style of the house,” Rhodes says. “It was built in the 1930s, and it was one of the first fishing shacks in the area.”
Rhodes pointed out that the house used to be much smaller with a big verandah but it’s now been enclosed, hence the maze-like vibe you get when exploring the house. They believe the current kitchen, lounge and bedroom were originally part of the house.
The sunroom and second bedroom were later added on. You can tell when you look around the neighbourhood that other houses were originally like this too.
Rhodes said back in the day people would pull their beds out on the balcony and sleep there to cool off.
“This place was mostly a holiday house for a very long time,” Taylder says. “The previous owners had their elderly mother living in it, but sadly she passed away, which led them to decide to sell.”
Since Taylder and Rhodes moved in, they’ve started decorating a bit, but they’ve got big future plans.
They’ve planted Lilly Pillies out front, and they want to put a deck there as well. They plan on it being the width of the house.
“It’s also quite a nice entertaining area when we have people over,” Rhodes says. “It’s an amazing neighbourhood; all the neighbours come and have a chat.”
They don’t have much artwork in the house at this stage, but interestingly, they have a “bum” theme going so far with the art they do have.
“When we were looking for art in the house, I had all these different tabs open to help us decide what we wanted. What we narrowed it down to were two artworks, and we purchased them both and we realised they both were bums,” Rhodes says.
In their hallway they have an illustration of a montage of bums, Butts by Julia Haffernan and in their bedroom there’s another illustration of someone skinny dipping, The Swim by Suzie-Q.
“I would like to add more art to the house,” Rhode says.
Most of their furniture was transported from their previous home. The only new thing they bought was the lounge from Freedom Furniture. They have a lot of “hand-me-downs” and items from Ikea.
“I like the kitchen. That’s where a lot of our hangouts happen and cooking dinner with music on,” Taylder says.
“It’s not our forever home because we’d eventually like a garage, en suite and more space, but for now, for a first home, I think we’ve done pretty well,” Rhodes says.
As for their two cats, Norman and George, they are being trained to use the toilet, but neither have managed to learn how to flush.
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