FIRE,  Life,  Real Estate

6 Things You Learn Buying A House (Vs Units)

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Howdy folks!

Been full bloody on these last few weeks.


Well MiniFrugalSamurai’s arrival is INBOUND.

Less than 8 weeks left and it is ALL SYSTEMS GO over here.

So, I apologize off the bat for going missing here and there. Especially going AWOL with the Youtube channel, but honestly peeps…

I have no time.

Who has time to die these days? WTF, bills don’t pay themselves buddy. Sheesh.

From scans, to doctor appointments. Prenatal classes to baby shopping (buying things for the baby, not buying babies – that is illegal in most countries). It just doesn’t stop.


I do have a spare hour or two to punch out this quick post.

As many of you know, late last year MrsFrugalSamurai and I bought a house.

And having lived here for a good 3 months, I thought I would do an update for what has been an eye-opening experience, for someone who has lived in units their entire life.

The Maintenance

Man alive, it just does not stop.

Someone once told me long ago that houses were a money drain.

Too right! Strewth, the amount of money that we’ve spent on this place is enough to buy a decent sized family SUV with premium baby seat capacity, automatic tailgate opener and headrest monitors for those long country roads… y’know, a well deserved road-trip after a tough innings at the offic…

“Need a break OKAY, you try walking around with a cylinder on your head and fked up fingers”.

Sorry I digress.

Truly though, as a unit-owner, most of the maintenance items are taken care of for you.

Mowing the lawns? Pffft on our balconies? You’re having a laugh.

Gardening? Ha! Someone else’s problem.


That was before.

These days I think I spend more time maintaining the appearance of the house than my own physical appearance.


However with great power comes great responsibility. And owning your place means nothing more so than the ability to do what you want, when you want.

For example, when MrsFrugalSamurai and I were rentvestors – over the years we may have accidentally dented a wall here, or scratched a door there.

Who needs DOORS these days? Just go through the wall. Life’s all about shortcuts.

Which meant that each exit inspection was akin to somewhere between the ATAR finals exam and scene from Judge Judy.

“Did you dent this wall?”


“Admit it, or it’s 4 weeks bond”.

“Y…yes Ma’am”.

But all this differs when you own your own place.

I remember the first week we moved in, and the first time we put a dent in the wall (moving furniture), MrsFrugalSamurai was so giddy with excitement that there’d be no repercussions, she put in ANOTHER dent just for good measure.

Freedom, you gotta love it.

Within reason of course, I can’t burn the house down for example. That is deemed “suspicious” by the po-lice and is generally not keeping up with the neighbourhood appearance.

Apparently an excuse for a photo-op in other places.
The Neighbours

Speaking of neighbours, owning a house usually means you need to get on well with your neighbours.

Unit neighbours are kind of different right? I mean, the most would be 2nd hand smoke wafting over, or some loud music pumping away, or pieces of men’s lingerie dropping onto your balcony.

These can all be solved by requesting your neighbour to stop, or reporting them to strata, or simply handing back the lingerie and politely declining their invitation to stay.

With houses though, it gets a bit trickier than that.

Your trees drooping into the neighbour’s pool? Or maybe a fence that needs to be fixed.

Or some elderly couple that bitches about the length and colouration of your lawns.

Mind you, I have absolutely nothing against elderly couples whatsoever. Zilch, nada, nope.

But I do take issue with elderly couples who gossip loudly about you in the middle of the street with some other neighbour because your grass is too long.

Come ON.

The grass is not even THAT long Mrs D. Haven’t you seen The Lost World?

Latest Velociraptors GIFs | Gfycat
This places needs a VICTA mower quick smart.

Neighbours, a delicate issue to navigate.

Size Does Matter

Although I must say that the biggest difference between living in units and houses… is the space.

Pwoar, there truly is a lot.

MrsFrugalSamurai and I were living in a compact 2 bedroom apartment before, and it did get quite cramped sometimes.

Now, even with my in-laws and all of their things, there’s still ample open space to hang around in.

This does make sense though, because the average 2 bedroom apartment (most common) in Sydney these days is around 75-85 sqm, with 3 bedders at around 100 sqm.

A standard 3 bedroom house though, is 175 sqm – with the average free standing house at around 230 sqm.

So much space! Could fit a kid or three.

Creepy Crawlies

Unfortunately this is an area which you can’t get away from.

By being on the ground level, expect all sorts of critters big and small.

MrsFrugalSamurai has that phobia of spiders, vertigo or whatever you call it.

Unlucky for her, that we have spiders in all shapes and sizes at our place.

Big Bob saying “Good Morning”. Unfortunately Big Bob never got to say Good Evening.

Me, personally I am neutral towards them. On the one hand they spin their webs at ANY opportunity they get, but on the other hand they don’t complain about the grass being tall.

So it kinda cancels each other out.

Although that’s not all we have.

Pretty sure Disney will be able to film an animated movie in our backyard soon with its array of ants, bees, beetles, spiders, cockroaches, dragonflies, ladybirds, mosquitoes, moths, flies, caterpillars, crickets, worms, lizards, and a possum named Dennis.

All Worth It In The End

But despite all the craziness that goes into the maintenance. And all the petty neighbourhood disputes. Or even moving past the living things which brush against your leg at night… this place is home.

And home truly is where the heart is.

I guess the biggest difference between living in a unit versus living in a house, is to be able to provide MiniFrugalSamurai with a safe and nurturing environment for him to grow up in.

To have the space and the environment to live.

To appreciate the outdoors and mother nature.

And to understand that his Mother and his Father worked bloody hard to try and give him a leg up in life.

Oh and the $125k equity uplift helps as well.

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