Today we will drive two and a half hours north to meet the real estate agent and inspect the two properties. Only one property has our real interest now. The telephone discussion with the agent yielded a lot of information. Namely both properties are cheap because both have illegal houses i.e. no council approval. The property of least (no) interest has a house that is very badly built with structural timbers well under minimum standards as well as second hand roofing iron with nail holes un-patched. The property of interest although not council approved at least has been build a lot better.
Neither of these house could be brought to council compliance levels without a substantial and unknown investment.
Hence their value in a property sale is nil? But do the vendors accept this reality.
We have been actively thinking and talking about this project and writing down our thoughts. In particular making notes about the alternative of not moving. If we don't move to a clean slate property we have discussed some radical modifications to the garden to make it more readily maintained.
When you are faced with a radical change in life many radical ideas come to mind about your existing situation. The idea of a relocation has a large amount of pain involved and so staying where you are allows you to accept a greater level of pain. This project has opened many options previously not entertained as worth the effort.
These changes include eliminating one permanent bed to provide some space to build an enclosure for protection against birds etc. The concrete blocks from that bed would be used to increase the height of the existing beds and provide deeper soil. We would modify the remaining beds substantially some would be lengthened to make four beds of equal size and because they are long beds they would be broken into two sections to facilitate movement between beds. These are major infrastructure changes should make a huge difference to the operation.
There are a number of other changes which include extending the irrigation to parts of the garden that are now hand watered - including pots. The elimination of some pots or at least their relocation to reduce the obstacle course which is our yard. Replace the leaking concrete pond with a fibreglass base - a major landscaping job. And potentially eliminate a long concrete block bed on the south side and use that area to congregate the large pots we use for Artichokes, Eggplant and Capsicums in Summer. At the moment these are spread through the yard and create a slalom for the mower.
There you are we have two options for the future. Will we fall in love with the new property and find it meets all our needs?