Tag Archives: Property Inspection

One more day to go ho!

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Well my brain is positively exploding! I’m going to see the property on Saturday morning and I can’t wait. Can’t concentrate at work, can’t concentrate at home. I feel really restless but that could just be the full moon. I spoke to the bank yesterday and my finance is basically organised. The guy told me to go ahead and make an offer if I wanted to YAY! I’ve been thinking about all the things I want to do to the house. Not that it needs much work mind you, it’s perfectly liveable the way it is (apart from maybe the bedroom carpet which is WILD! This is just a snippet from one of the listing photos).

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It’s just the things I want to do to update it and make it MINE. In a way it’s been good that I’ve been daydreaming about building my strawbale house for almost 2 years as I know exactly what I want and I’ve refined those decisions a zillion times. I still wish I could build my strawbale place, particularly for the insulating properties but that’s life eh. The good thing is that most of the things I want to do like the bathrooms and kitchen are things I’ve already done before so that will save me some money. Just need a good electrician and plumber for the fixings.

And have been thinking about outdoors, what I’m going to plant where, what I’m going to build where. Thinking about compost and where I can find a stack of hay/lucerne for free πŸ™‚ My brain is a tornado I tells ya… 1 more day to go πŸ™‚

And PS. I’m not calling you a ho, just makin’ sure ;}

damndamnbuggerpoop!!!

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Well I went to go check out that property on Saturday and it’s not “THE ONE”. Bloody Google Earth getting my hopes up. Well it’s not really their fault but I feel like I need to blame someone hahaha. Anyway it’s a gorgeous spot, really top notch and in the right price range (tick) and exactly in the area I want to be (tick), it’s got the river (tick) and is mostly bush (tick)… BUT the one negative is a pretty big one to get over and not something I really expected. But let me start from the start.

Off I trekked (35 mins exactly from work so ummm not exactly a trek but shoosh I’m telling the story here) on a fine and sunny Saturday morning. I always find it so odd when I’ve obsessively looked at some land from the air via Google Maps and Google Earth for so long that when I actually see the place from the road, I know it so well despite never having been there. It’s a very odd sensation. So I found the turn off, drove through the gate and down the reasonably potholeless road (tick). Passed this cute lil fella and a few dozen of his mates: (he turned at the last minute to give me his good side, he sat there staring at me for a while when I stopped. Probably as if to say “whatchoo lookin at starebear, take a photo it lasts longer”… so I did) :

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And there, exactly where the agent said it would be, was the gate to my block. Gorgeous spot. SO quiet as I got out of the car… just the birds and the locusts/crickety type things clicking away in the grass. So I ignored the faded “Trespassers will be prosecuted” sign and strolled on in. I did have the agent’s permission to be there by the way… just makin that clear before the lawyers are called.Β  Strolling up the hill, further up the hill…. the hill that’s slowly getting steeper….. til I get to this:

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Hmmmmm… The spot that I was thinking of building after looking at it from the google maps is at the top of that… And on the other side of that hill is also the river. There is NO WAY that a concrete truck is going to be able to get up there to lay the foundations for the house….. BUGGER!! And once I get up there and find the area I’d looked at so many times on Maps, it’s not actually flat, it just doesn’t have any trees and is rocky and hilly. DOUBLE BUGGER!!!! There are suitable building spots on the other side of the hill but the concrete truck thing just makes that all impossible. And the only other real spot to build is roughly here which is about 5 mins from the gate:

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but that means you’ve got to proper trek up the hill and down again to get to the river… which is not exactly what I had in mind. Pity because I really liked this spot. How’s the serenity? πŸ˜‰

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(this is actually taken from the highway gate)

I did actually have a bit of a cheeky idea about another bit of land as I was driving home from my expedition but I don’t think I can quite tell you about it until I’ve done it (nothing illegal). I’ll certainly let you know if it pans out!

 

Hai there!

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Poor lil neglected blog! It’s been positively ages, my apologies, hope you didn’t miss me too much. Things have been super hectic in the last month. Spent a week packing and shifting my stuff into storage and am now ensconced back at my Mum’s house. While I was moving I had some odd moments of looking at all my things after playing a massive game of tetris with them in my storage unit and just feeling really strange that my “life” fits in a 3m x 3m box. As I was talking about in the previous post, the things that define who I am and what I’m about. Pare that all away and it’s just me πŸ™‚

It’s always weird being back with the parental unit but it’s different this time and in all reality I have it pretty good so I have no complaints. Probably the only one is that I miss being alone πŸ™‚Β  So the house is sold, the money’s in my bank and the new house owners have moved in. Hope they’re enjoying it and are immune to incessant irritating dog barking. I’m enjoying the peace and quiet at my Mum’s. Only thing bugging me there is the carport gate banging in the wind but that’s nothing that a lil foam tape won’t fix!

Other than that just been busy with work work work. And now on to the housey stuff! A friend sent me a link to a straw bale house builder that I hadn’t come across yet:

http://www.vivahomes.com.au/Strawbale-Homes-Design-And-Build.aspx

I really like their philosophy and will probably give them a call to see what we can do. Reading their website has made me start seriously thinking about what I want my house to look like and get down to some of the nitty gritty details.

ooooh which reminds me, did I mention that I’ve found my dream bit of land? 40 mins away from work, mostly bush with a little bit of cleared land and with a giant stretch of river. BUT there are two problems…. 1) they want more than what I want to pay for land (although there are existing unapproved “house” structures on it that I could live in which are actually glorified sheds) 2) they may not accept my offer as it’s on the low end of their price range and c) I may not be able to build my house on it. I went to have a look at it last week and it’s glorious. Very hard not to fall in love with it. I’m going to have to talk to the council to see whether it’s eligible for building approval because the way the agent was talking made it sound like it would be tricky. Not sure why as there are other houses in the valley. The sheds are livable as the current owners have been living in them for the last 9 years but that’s not my “forever home” ideal. So if I can’t build there’s that property out the window 😦 And if I can then that means that I’m going to have to wait a few years before I can afford to build as it’s over my land budget and eats into my house building budget. So… we’ll see….

hmmmm…. a contender…

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So I went out to look at the place I mentioned last week and wooowww…. It’s awesome! The river is gorgeous, the block is really pretty bush, lots of firewood and a really nice house site facing the river, overlooking a little valley. Can’t really see the neighbours up the back and I could probably fence the access road if I really wanted to. The old sand mine is pretty interesting. I always find it quite strange to actually see a site after I’ve been perving on it on google maps for so long. The sand mine looks nothing like I had imagined and it looks like they’ve done quite a bit of preservation work on the mine site to stop erosion and restoring the vegetation. Still lots of sand and pebbles left if I wanted to use them :). The bottom of the mine now has a pond which drains towards the river so with some nice reed plantings etc it could become a nice habitat.

The view from the top of the sand mine (you can see the pond at the bottom). It’s tiered down to the bottom. (click to enlarge)

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And the river… wow. I walked straight through the property towards the river and was just blown away. It’s kinda hard for my tiny brain to comprehend that I could have that in my back yard for my enjoyment at any time that I wanted. It’s really quite lovely, there’s just something really mesmerising about the sound. There is a really nice sandy beach area close to where I would consider putting the house and the rest is a little rocky. But hey I’ve got my own sand mine so I could just truck it over to the place I want to extend my beach haha – truely lovely.

The first pic is the view from the access road down towards the river crossing then me standing in the middle of the river crossing looking upstream, then downstream (and as always you can click the pics to enlarge them) Taken from my phone so they’re not the best quality.

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The rest of the block is basically bush with lots of kangaroos around and a few wombat holes as well.Β  Wombats have this weird habit of shitting on things like rocks or tree stumps – and wombat shit is square which is another brain warping concept. I assume it’s a territorial thing but its pretty funny to walk past a big rock with a shit on it and think how did it get it’s little butt up that high to deposit it? (edit: I just had to google why they have square crap because my brain is warped like that so here’s a good link in case yours is too http://zactopia.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/why-you-should-give-a-square-shit-about-wombats/). The block has a nice little valley running through it with a natural cleared path through the middle which was a bit eerie when I first found it cuz it’s really random – thick bush vegetation then bam cleared path… yes yes I have an over active imagination πŸ˜› ). It’s very lush and the ground at the bottom it quite mushy and a few little watering holes around so that could be good for planting fruit and veg (with a little plant relocation of the irisy looking plants. There are two dams on the property but I could only find one which was so cute.

The bottom of the valley with the cleared path, the second photo would be the potential house site facing north, and another shot of the valley.

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Strange the things you find on a property! On the top of one of the hills over looking the valley there was a little bit of rubbish… and an old kiddies firetruck. Very cute!

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One of the little dams that I could find and a shot of the bushland.

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And the negatives… the road noise for one. It’s not deafening or anything like that but you do hear the whhhhhwwhhhhh in the background, even out the back of the block near the river. So I’m not quite sure if that’s a dealbreaker for me or not. It’s not an irritating noise but it is there so over time I may tune it out but I don’t know that for certain. It could end up pissing me off to the max and I don’t want to have to sell because I’m irritated all the time. Heheh that’s the whole reason I’m trying to move! I’m thinking of going back again next weekend to sit and listen and think πŸ™‚ Considering it ticks all the boxes in regards to price, bush block, water and close to work (40-45 min drive) its weird to find some completely unknown factor that could be the deal breaker.

The other potential negative is the access road through the middle. There was no sign of the people up the back so I’m not sure how often they use that road – whether they’re commuters as well or are farmies who only go into town once in a while. In a way I’d like to meet and talk to them before I decide one way or another as they’d basically be driving through my land, and potentially twice a day. I might have another chat to the real estate agent to find out what he knows about them and also if I can get a squiz at the contract for sale to see what other info it contains. When I spoke to him on Friday he mentioned that the driveway requirements had changed so I’ll have to find out exactly what that means and also the impact on my price reduction πŸ˜‰

So it’s a bit of food for thought… It’s not 100% perfect but it’s close – I may not find something that is 100% perfect so does that mean that I need to sacrifice some of my “wish list” stuff to get something that’s close enough to what I want? There’s a part of me that wants to hold out for “the one” but my impatient side says BUGGER THAT in a very loud voice. And it just annoys me that land-wise I’ve already found the perfect one which wasn’t perfect price wise… but I’m trying to move on from that ;}

The one thing that finding a contender has spurred me on to doing is to actually list my property so that if I do find “the one” then I’m ready to make an offer. Where as if I find it tomorrow I’m going to have to wait til I sell my place and I could potentially miss out and that makes me nervous (and I’d be EXTREMELY pissed off…). So I’m going to finish off the last of my improvements and get it listed. If it sells before I either find “the one” or have decided to buy the contender then I can store my stuff and move in with my Mum. Had a chat to her about it on the weekend and she’s ok with that. So there ya have it… will keep ya posted πŸ™‚

a property visit!

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So it’s been a while between updates. Basically because there’s been nothing good worth even looking at on the web let alone in person. Trying to keep my chin up! πŸ™‚Β  I went back through some of the old listings that I’d already looked at and written off and went out to look at 2 old properties and one newly listed one last Saturday but they weren’t suitable. Figured I’d go and check them out for the heck of it. Beautiful blocks but just too steep/hilly for what I’m after and want to do and the soil structure isn’t the best. One did have a house on the block already but it needs extensions and to be made a bit more environmentally friendly so it’s not really worth the money for me and I’d still rather build my own home. The first one I went to creeped me out a little bit because the gate was wide open and the gate chain had been cut but there was no one there and no sign of disturbance so it was probably just stealing firewood from the block as it was covered in fallen timber. Some pics for ya:

Creepy gate and the road to the house site

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The cleared house site below and pics of the block

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When I was going through the old listings I came across another one that I really liked before but wrote it off without looking at it as it does have a few issues like being right on the highway and it has an access road through it to a property up the back (plus a old sandmine!). When I spoke to the agent about this place he said that the sellers were willing to negotiate on price due to the fact that they’d had quotes to install a new driveway on the property at around $25-$50k so thats a good bargaining chip for me. The off the highway thing I obviously can’t change but I’m going to go out there on the weekend to have a look and to listen to the traffic and see how noisy it is from where I’d potentially put the house (and the rest of the block obviously). That highway can get a lot of traffic as its the way to the coast from the city. So… those are the only two drawbacks so might as well go and have a look anyway.

It’s a lovely looking block which is 143 acres and the back border is all creek so thats a big plus. It’s got two little dams on the land as well and running through the middle of the property towards the creek is a little valley so it looks like a good catchment area so potentially another dam site. So the price is good, its got good water and is a bush block… but it’s on the highway and there’s the access road….. so I’m not getting my hopes up because they could both potentially be deal breakers for me. Anyway I’ll keep you posted.

An introduction part deux

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Previously on A Modern Hippy… your hippy guide was recounting her journey so far… we tune in and join her now for part deux.

So last week I found another property that looked great! 100 acres, 45 mins to work, semi bush block, with a creek and 3 dams, a converted barn to live in… sounds promising! I rang the agent and he was able to take me out there the next afternoon. I was pretty impressed when he handed me a site map with drainage drawings, contour map, an ecological study including flora and fauna on the land all that the owner had compiled. The land that I got to see was stunning although windy and I went back on Saturday for a good hike around as the agent didn’t have time for me to walk around the full property (which was fine as it was late in the afternoon anyway so would have been getting dark). While the land was really well cared for the bush part was just too steep. The terrain was just not pleasant to walk around where as Number 2 had some gentle slopes so much more pleasant. The creek was a bit of a trickle and in some areas completely dry so thats not exactly what I was after either. A dam is better than stagnant water in my opinion. It did have a converted American barn with solar and wind generator on it but it would have needed some work on it to make it full time livable as the current owners only come down every 2 weekends to stay there and tend their cattle. I’d need to insulate it and put a better kitchen in it etc etc etc. AND the price is too much for what I want to spend on land. So… its not suitable. 😦 But it is very pretty…. (and again you can click the images to make them bigger if you wanna)

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So back to the daily real estate trawlings again…. Except I think I made a mistake with my money calculations and I think I may actually be able to offer the owner of Number 2 a little bit more to at least get more in the zone of what she’s asking without being exorbitant for basically a piece of land. So I’m pondering whether I should do that or just keep looking…. I’m a lil torn. Maybe it wasn’t “meant to be”… maybe I’m just over thinking all of that…. *sighs* who knows eh

In terms of my master plan for the land and the life I want to be living –Β  I’m looking for vacant land so that I can build a straw bale house on it. The best type of house for efficient and low cost heating and cooling and it’s majorly fire resistant which helps being out in the bush (and which kinda goes against normal logic it being made of straw I know but it is).Β  And I want to plant veggies (I already have a 4 plot veggie garden at my current house) and an orchard. Maybe some goats or sheep or cows. Definitely chickens for fresh eggs and maybe even geese or ducks for fresh eggs as well. All using permaculture principles too mind you. That’s where my hippyness comes in. Organic and free range as much as possible. And for the modern part… I’m not into banjo pickin country style. I’m a modern, clean lines, mod cons kinda gal. So while I’m building a straw bale house its going to be modern with mod cons and I’ll be mixing the best of both worlds. I’m planning on being completely off the grid with solar power and solar hot water. And after visiting the last place I could even put a wind generator as I hadn’t considered it before and it might be windy enough (Number 2 is 5 mins away from the place I saw on Saturday).

So for the moment I’m just gonna keep dreaming and work out what the hell I’m going to do about Number 2… and keep you posted on happenins n stuffs. So there you go, my introduction. Nice to meetcha πŸ™‚ I’ll be seeing you round I’m sure!

An introduction of sorts

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So I don’t really know where to start this only that I need to start. So get yourself comfy cuz this is probably going to be a long one as I need to catch you up a lil bit, actually I might break it up in a couple of parts just so I don’t make your eyes go all screwy. For the last 6 months or so I’ve been looking for a property. It’s gotta have good water with preferably a creek or at least a crapload of dams. It’s gotta be within an hours drive from work and needs to be predominantly a bush block. And I’d rather not be able to see my neighbours but that’s not one of the mandatory criteria. I’m looking for between 50-100 acres. So that’s not too big of a “must have” list is it? Allow me to repeat that I’ve been looking for the last 6 months…..

I’ve seen some great properties but they either don’t have the right water, are too far away or too expensive. One of the first properties I fell in love with was perfect except it was 20 mins over my time limit and while its only 20 mins thats still 2 hours and 40 mins a day of driving…. so its juuuuust that lil bit too far away (dammit!!).Β  I hiked around it for a couple hours daydreaming and imagining and found no erosion and only a little bit of blackberry by the river (blackberries are classified as weeds here and the council mandates that they’re kept under control so its something I need to look at when inspecting land). Other than that it was perfect, 100 acres on a large river that even had its own sandy beach, beautiful bush block with cleared house sites and within my price range. But noooooo…. too far away.

The land and the path down to the river (you can click the images to make the bigger… I think)

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the river with the sandy beach

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Looks beautiful huh…. *sigh* if only I could transport it 20 mins inland πŸ™‚

So I went back to my daily trawling of the internet real estate sites and was introduced to Number 2 (aka my heart’s desire haha). My defacto brother, who is a real estate agent, took me there asΒ  an aside to some other properties he was going to show me but I fell in love with it.Β  150 acres with a 4 acre lake dam! Beautiful bush block with not too much cleared land with a little clapped out (unlivable) 2 br cottage and a shearing shed…. and a LOT of junk on it. As in there are 11 car wrecks in amongst the junk. BUT before you roll your eyes at me, there is a lot of reusable stuff on the land, building materials and things that can be repurposed or sold for scrap. Yes there is junk on there but it’s not so much so that it’s a deal breaker or nothing that can’t be remedied. If you see past that stuff and look at the land it’s great. No real weed problems, found one tiny blackberry bush and one thistle plant but that was it. Part of the drive needs a lil erosion remedy but nothing drastic. It’s 45 mins away from work (tick), massive lake plus lil house pond/dam (tick), bush block (tick)… within my price range…. well it’s been on the market for 2 years so my bro thought that I could get it for a price within my range. BUT the woman won’t negotiate from her unreasonable price….. (cross). Broken hearted doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I kinda counted my chickens before they hatched with that property in that I have already mapped out the orchard/veggie zones, worked out a site plan for the house and sheds and that sort of stuff. Yes yes I’m a dreamer. So that was highly disappointing.

So I’m not going to show you all of the photos of the junk, just some of the beautiful parts and the lake πŸ™‚

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The potential view from the house site and the view of the little house pond/dam (with the cottage in the background)

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And the lake…..

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Stunning huh…. *sigh*

And I know you’re on the edge of your seat, dying to know what happens next but… dun dun dunnnnnn… a thrilling cliffhanger! I gotta get to bed so tune in tomorrow for part 2 πŸ˜›