Kat and Mr Rusty

Katrina Holland


I first became aware of Ardoch in about 1983. I remember the day like yesterday. My Mum was driving, and she had picked me up from school. We had to stop, and I remember thinking what lovely buildings they were and that would be a cool place to live … of course at that stage, it was a school.

Flash forward to 1989. I was living in a share house at 130 Union Street Windsor, and I went walking with my camera and took photos of Ardoch. By that stage everything was derelict. Quite creepy looking back – I think I took photos of the property I would eventually purchase. I remember thinking, “Someone needs to renovate this, and I hope developers don’t destroy these beautiful buildings.”

I followed newspaper articles (which I still have to this day) about what was going to happen to the site. In 1995 I remember attending an open for inspection. I looked at 2/9 Ardoch and another in number 9; also, the smallest apartment in the red brick building. I had $50,000 in the bank and the choice was to travel or to purchase 2/9 for $150,000. I chose travel.

In 2000, my boyfriend at the time was looking to buy in the area. He played cricket on Saturday mornings so I offered to look at some properties. Then I thought to myself, “If he can do this then so can I”, so I started looking.

My limit was $220,000 and I was outbid at an auction and could not afford other properties that I liked. 

At my desk, I tossed the real estate glossy on the floor and it opened on the page to 2/9 Ardoch. That is the same property from 1995! “Bet it is out of my league,” I thought. The price quoted was $180,000. “Well, that is a load of rubbish”, I thought, as at this point in time the quoted price was not at all realistic.

Also, by this time I had my dog Mr Rusty to think about. But I could not get the property out of my mind. I remember going for a walk around the Green after an inspection and meeting a lovely couple walking a dog. We struck up a conversation and it turned out you could own a dog and live at Ardoch as well.

I was ready for the auction, dressed in my business attire, hair done and wearing my sunnies. The bidding began. I put in first bid at $180,000 then let everyone else bid. Up and up the price went, past my limit of $220,000. I was feeling very miserable as I was going to miss out yet again. 

The price stopped at $225,000. It was like a spur-of-the-moment decision: “I will make them pay an extra $500 as I am not going to get this property and will have to tell everyone that I missed out.” “Going, going … will someone go an extra $500?” UP WENT MY HAND!

OMG, I have the bid!!!

“Last and final call. Going, going … are we all done … all silent …. SOLD!” 

OMG, that is me! I have the property!

I thought to myself, “I will be able to sell some shares to get the extra money”, but I was feeling a little light-headed.  As I signed the deposit, I asked for a glass of water as I thought I was going to faint. They asked me if I was buying with my partner and I very proudly said, “No I am doing this by myself!”