I have to admit the place was a mess. Almost every room of every building was filled with ‘junk. So much so that we really couldn’t get a fair view of what was where. I could see damp patches on the ceilings of a few rooms, and lots of small issues such as leaking taps, non-functioning motors for the spa bath etc… and that was just in the main house.
There was far more to the property of course other than ‘the main house’. There was a ‘barn’, a huge ‘shed’, an ‘office building’, a ‘granny flat’… and an entire second house!! There was also an empty swimming pool. Let’s discuss one by one, it might make it easier to understand both why we wanted the place and what we were up against when we bought it.
The ‘barn’ (we decided later) was actually an old ‘chicken shed’. The roof had all bar collapsed and the sides were clearly also on their way. The agent told us the best bet was to demolish it and rebuild.
The ‘shed’ was leaning at a crazy 30º angle and seemed in danger of falling at any minute. It was also filled with an assortment of odd boxes, pieces of wood and unidentifiable materials. Again the agent told us the best bet was to demolish it and rebuild.
The office building was also crammed with junk, but clearly had potential. It has a reception area, a fair sized office room and a ‘workspace’ large enough to hold several staff in comfort. It had built in cupboards and a ‘kitchen area’. The externals left a lot to be desired so required a lot of work to bring up to a good standard, tho nowhere near as much as the other two outbuildings.
The ‘granny flat’ was a surprise. It was occupied by the son of the family so was in good repair but it was it’s size that we didn’t expect. It had a kitchen/diner/study area, a double bedroom and a large lounge room with a toilet/bathroom/laundry room. More surprises were in store, but they came much later.
We were told the swimming pool was in good working order but needed a coat of paint to make it ‘pretty’ again. We were told the reason it was empty was because council regulations regarding the fencing meant it couldn’t be used and until the fencing was repaired the pool had to remain empty. We’ve had dealings with that part of the council before so it seemed authentic. Later we discovered they’d been a little economical with the truth but that’s for a later post.
The additional house was the *original* house and the ‘new’ one was added after the property had been sold a couple of times, but nobody wanted to remove it because, let’s face it, it was useful where it was and would cost a lot to remove.
That pretty much covers the buildings.
The ‘garden’? Well pretty much most was unkempt grass, with an area at the bottom (it slopes away from the house) that is a ‘bush area’… about a quarter of an acre. Some of the ground has trees on it which makes it all bar unusable because the local council refuses to allow felling for any trees other than those deemed dangerous. This bush area was filled with Lantana, a noxious weed plant covered in vicious thorns but which burns beautifully when chopped down. However it’s hell to eradicate.
Oh yes – there’s also a dam. When we arrived it was surrounded by a fence which had become overgrown with weeds and the whole are stunk to high heaven… more on that later as well.
So that’s pretty much what we saw when we arrived, and yet with all the quite clear and obvious problems it presented I fell in love with it at first sight. When I tell people we found it online at 8:00 a.m., visited it at 10:00 a.m. and signed the contracts the same day at 11:50 a.m. they think we were insane. It’s not perfect by any means but I feel that good about the place I think it’s where I was *meant* to live and despite a year dealing with the problems it’s thrown at us, I still can’t believe we were lucky enough to find it, let alone move in and call it home.