Foreward – There’s a House in there Somewhere

A city girls experiences on acreage
Julia Schafer
Foreward- there is a house in there somewhere!
We were spoilt for seven and a half years.  Managing a country resort on 90 acres in the Gold Coast hinterland with our own sewerage treatment plant, water treatment plant and lake we (or at least my husband) learnt heaps about living on acreage, we had space, more space than we had ever had before and that got us thinking…  when we have our own place…
So after years of moving from resort managers apartment to rental property, to another resort managers apartment, to another apartment we were finally ready to buy our own place.  The search was long and disappointing.  Prices on the Gold Coast are notoriously high and anything over 4000m2 was priced like gold.  Used to camping we figured that even if we could buy a block that was large enough to put up a big shed and a deck for our BBQ and outdoor setting we would be happy.  But even that was hard to find (at our price).  
We put a contract on a large peaceful block on the way to Springbrook and then backed out once we worked out that by the time we put all that we needed on the block we would be bankrupt.  After months and countless trips to view vacant blocks, out of the blue an agent phoned us!  Unheard of in this real estate market, we were stunned and surprised.  The property he described sounded like just what we were looking for in fact more than we were expecting, so automatically we knew we couldn’t afford it.  I went on the net and looked at the price and sure enough it was more than our budget.  But the agent assured me that the vendor was keen to sell having bought a block elsewhere, suffered a marriage breakup and wanted a fresh new start.
We went to see the property on a day when another agent was showing another family through, so as not to run into them we decided to start at the back and work our way towards the front.  Set on two acres, we walked down one driveway to the back yard skirted by palm trees and other indistinguishable foliage was the good old Hills hoist, a couple of rubbish bins, a chook run (SOLD), a performance stage (SOLD), and a three bay garage (SOLD). We walked further down the back to see an industrial shed (husband SOLD), further on to see a mown patch of lawn surrounded by a grove of palms, mock orange and assorted other trees, a secret garden no less (SOLD).  Up we went to another level with an additional house pad already cut!  Well, needless to say by this stage we didnt need to see the house, we were already SOLD.
But there was a house as well, in disrepair, a swimming pool, not registered and non compliant pool fencing, a half court tennis court, no net, no posts and lots of overgrown unkempt gardens.
PHEW!We were home.

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