It was surreal, seeing about 30 people on our front lawn. Even the rental agent looked somewhat stupefied.
They'd advertised on internet that our house was going to come up for rent soon and within days a whole load of people had registered for a viewing, and even more had shown up.
We kept showing them through, one after another, one after another, and when all was finally over we all kind of looked at each other with a stupid grin, thinking, "Holy hell."
"Did you expect that many people to want the place?" I asked the rental agent and she shook her head. No, absolutely not.
But people wanted it. Many of them said, apparently, that it's a nice neighbourhood and they want to live here.
And I thought, yeah. It's what I keep on thinking.
Old Invercargill locals have kept telling me that Appleby is a rough neighbourhood and that we should buy a house elsewhere (and we have, but not because we explicitly tried to - we just couldn't find a place here) and I don't see it. I like this place. I genuinely like this neighbourhood. It's next to city centre, walkable, large sections, large reserves alongside and like in many cities beforehand, I think Invercargill people are finally starting to come 'round to the idea that it's nice being near the centre.
In Auckland there used to be downtown suburbs which were the pit of the city, and now they are one of the highest price fetching suburbs instead. And okay, Invercargill is not Auckland and the 10-minute drive is not the hour-long commute aucklanders are doing - but still.
People are starting to want to live near the centre.
And, man!, I feel like we got in just in time...