-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Monday, January 19, 2004

email minutiae: no rain

Water is a problem, most definitely. This from Mum a few days after she'd viewed it. Can't remember if I mentioned it in an earlier post or not, but there is of course no mains water supply to the property, nor any prospect of there ever being one

Mum's email warning about it being dry - 19th Jan 2004

Dad has talked to someone who lives at Maryborough. She says it is the dryest region in state and that is why people are selling out. She has (or friends??) a 2 acre dam (is that acre feet? - Dad may not have picked up on that, Dave will know no doubt) dam that is empty.

Also said soil so all pebbly etc. Which is what you already know of course. Dad said he said no stones as he was meaning bigger than your fist - and in that sense, there are no stones.

Just letting you know asap.. can't ring you from work.

Personally I think with sensible management and care you should be alright for water once we get good rains - even if they come only once every couple of years, if you catch lots and store it with little evaporation. Dad says you need height to gravity feed, do not bury tanks therefore or no pressure. Your hill above the house is not that huge - and if you need pumps for pressure then you will be putting an awful drain on solar power. If you are not OK for water eventually please do not hold me responsible!

Anyway I figure Dave knows well the sort of rainfall etc in the area.
Love Mum

My reply - 19th Jan 2004 - It's all off

Hi, thanks for letting me know. We're not going ahead with it, at least we don't think we are. It's a bit of a bizarre story... we decided after talking to you both and researching things like cost of solar power, rainfall etc to go for it, so called the agent late Saturday night for us, Sunday AM for him. He said great, that we'd got it, etc etc... then when we called back Sunday night our time, Monday morning for them he said sorry, no we hadn't, it turned out his partner had already sold the property on the Saturday but not told him! It does seem a bit ridiculous but then we knew it was priced to sell and there was a lot of interest.

Anyway, he's taken our solicitor details just in case there's been a mixup with the other person but I don't expect so. If only Molly hadn't been ill we would have been all sorted by then... I had at one point been worried about leaving it till the weekend to think about when more people could see it, but figured that they mightn't be able to move as fast as we were and besides we had to deal with Molly.

I'm taking it as an omen that the block isn't for us, even though Dave was and still is really keen about it. Having a look at some others; there is one at Heathcote (in the north so lots more convenient, around Seymour / Nagambie region) - 24 acres, undulating to hilly, 85k. But I will leave it to Dave to decide which if any are worth pursuing... we might just wait till something pops up that is so obviously with potential, like the one in Amherst. As Dave says, if we wait a while too perhaps the A$ will go down again, which automatically means we can buy more in A$ terms for the same in £. We'll see anyway. Thanks again for all your help with this.

Mum's reply - 19th Jan 2004

oh dear. That's a bit like me buying this place = a sort of silent auction!
undulating to hilly - wonder what they call hilly? cliffs?
I know someone who had a block of land in Heathcote, may still have it in fact - if you give me details maybe whe can give you some local knowledge. She had it as a sort of holiday retirement place.

My reply - 20th Jan 2004 - It's back on!

Well, the latest news as I guess you will have heard from your answering machine is that now we are going to be buying it after all! What a bizarre thing.

Apparently the other person missed their deadline to call in with more details. They were supposed to call by Monday lunchtime; they didn't so gave them till end of day and then when they still hadn't called they ditched them in favour of us. Which, despite the news about it being so dry up there, is still brilliant news especially as Dave was so disappointed not to have gotten it. For the price, I don't think we'd be able to find *30 acres* plus a house with potential anywhere else within easy reach of Melbourne which is so useable. I mean, you consider Heathcote which is fairly dry too, I've driven near it... they want a similar price for 6 acres less, without a house, and land that is hilly, rather than gently sloping like this one.

With regards to water... As Dave says, you can overcome the dryness provided you're willing to invest in making sure you have enough water and don't skimp on it. We have plenty of potential for capturing water from the forest run-off, so we just need to build another *big* dam or two and get some storage tanks in, erring on the side of having too much rather than not enough, which means we should be fine to survive during drought. It's not like we're going to be keeping loads of animals or having to keep the entire block green.

With regards to power, there is a pole only about 50 metres away from the house, in the neighbours yard. Wayne is getting a quote at the moment from the power company, but has had a verbal estimate already of circa A$12,000. Which puts it at about the same level as the minimum solar power system.

Love Lyn.

Mum's reply - 20th Jan 2004

That power pole is far more than 50 metres from your house position though. It is 50 metres to your gate. From there to house, 400 metres maybe??? Gate is far side of dam from the house. You can probably see it in one of the photos.

Must go listen to the answer machine now! I have to say I am glad you are getting it after all. I was a bit disappointed you weren't, after all that.

My reply - 20th Jan 2004

Well it is a moot point anyway since if it costs the same to go solar as it does to get connected to mains, solar would be the choice.

Yes, I was disappointed too, but I try really hard not to get my heart set on anything like this until it is 100% sorted. Even now am holding back a little because we have to get finance through... not that I can envisage any problem but still don't want to tempt fate. I told a few people at work about it though and everyone thought it was so exciting.

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