Planning to cross the line

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Spidermonkey, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    My wife and I have found a property that might suit our purposes and we are going out for a look at it this weekend. I hope it it as good as it appears to be. It's located in northern New South Wales, is already off the grid, and already has an established orchard with drip irrigation from a bore. The house is not on the highest point of the property and my wife can transfer to a local depot with her company and continue her career. There is already two potential incomes.
    It seems too good to be true and might well be. I will have to keep a level head and inspect the property with my head and not my heart. My son has finished school now and is signing up as a Navy Chef so in four years time he can come home if he wants to and use the farm's produce for his own business maybe. Oops there I go getting carried away again.
     
  2. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    BTW I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  3. Flip

    Flip New Member

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    Sounds fantastic... here is hoping that you will be able to celebrate the dream soon!
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Fingers crossed!
     
  5. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I say get carried away Spidey.

    Envision it all going perfectly, it is the greatest start you can give it. And if it doesn't turn out to be yours, my belief is it was never meant to be.

    I have a belief/saying (its my view of the intelligence of the universe/human mind)...

    You already have everything you need, the trick is to figure out why you need it.

    That can also be taken mean... you already don't have everything you don't need, you just have to figure out why you need to not have it. By this I mean, say you desire a property of your own but you don't have it now. There is a gap between your desires and your current reality. This gap is usually a difference between who-you-are and who-you-wish-to-be. In order to bridge that gap you really need to become a new person, a slight alteration of your self.

    Thoughts and desires mean nothing if they are not accompanied by actions.

    Having said all of that I think my main point in this respect is that... Once you are the sort of person who owns (i mean truly owns) that sort of life, that sort of lifestyle, that sort of mind set, then that very circumstance will necessarily come about. If that circumstance is not coming to fruition then that just means you are not the sort of person you need to be. This is what I take from the saying "Be the change that you wish to see in the world"

    I hope that makes sense. It is as clear to me as the sun in the morning, but sometimes I have difficulty explaining it in words
     
  6. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Good luck with the process, SM. I hope it works out well for you and your family. Don't forget, if you need any planning (statutory or otherwise) advice before you sign on the doted line, I'd be only too happy to oblige.
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Grahame sometimes you are so deep you take my breath away! I'm re-reading the Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet at the moment. Have you come across it? You'd love it - Taoism for westerners explained through the eyes of Winnie the Pooh and friends. Your comments remind me of 'The Way'.
     
  8. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Thanks Eco. I love those two books. I love Pooh and folks of the 100 acre woods.

    One of the things you might find when you look at where/who your are today and where/who you think you would like to be is that the two are mutually exclusive - there is no way you can bring the two together. That is where I believe humankind have become most dysfunctional. That gap is where most waste is produced, where depression and mental illness enters. This is the source and site of most if not all dis-ease...

    Fill your bowl to the brim
    and it will spill.
    Keep sharpening your knife
    and it will blunt.
    Chase after money and security
    and your heart will never unclench.
    Care about people's approval
    and you will be their prisoner.

    Do your work, then step back.
    The only path to serenity.


    And I believe that is where Permaculture and particularly a PDC (although I've never done one) do a lot of work. Many people say that a course in permaculture brings a kind of revelation to the way they see the world. My belief is that in such cases either a) the participants view of what they want in the world is drawn back from the real consumer lifestyle to a more natural style and/or b) gives people tools with which to bring about/do more in the physical realm, in other words manifest more of what they desire.

    I believe enlightenment comes when the who-you-are and the who-you-wish-to-be are bought together into the Who-I-Am

    Oh! The Thinks you can Think if only you try!
     
  9. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all your kind words of support. We viewed the property on Saturday and it had many great aspects and a few drawbacks but unfortunately they where what I would regard as type one drawbacks so we have decided that this property is not the right one for us.

    They had some great features including a business that produces worm castings and worm tea. They had an established citrus orchard and where prepared to throw in some equipment and provide business support and training. These where the good points.

    The issues where:

    Access the dirt roads are long and washed out in several areas and we were forced to drive over piles of granite rock the size of cricket balls. The cost of maintaining access would be high, and the areas that the local council are responsible for can be in a state of disrepair for a some time until they get around to fixing it.

    House position. While not at the top of the hill they had built on the border of their property. The property was one bedroom not two as advertised (they had a pull out bed in the living room). The house size would not on it's own been an issue as usually an extension can be added, but we would either have to build out of the front of the house which would require a substantial amount of money as the extension would need to be elevated between 5 and 10 meters due to the gradient of the house site. Even if we owned the land behind the house we would have to excavate a rocky granite slope.

    Dams: They had one dam that was unable to hold water. The cost of shipping out enough clay, road base etc to seal dams would be astronomical to such a remote and difficult to reach location.

    Power: While they are off the grid, the batteries where old and at one point the owner let slip that the microwave won't usually trip the power. If I was starting from scratch with an empty patch of land I could factor in the cost of my power system to the cost of building the home. If we were to pay the asking price we would not have much money to overhaul and upgrade the power system.

    We did look at some other properties however and we found one that we think would do us nicely. The problem is its up for auction this Saturday. We are trying to get pre approval for the funds to allow us to take part. I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  10. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Great to see that you are going through the process using your head as well as your heart, SM. Trust me, when you do finally find the site that ticks all (or at least most) of your boxes - and then live there for a few years - you'll be glad that you did not rush the process. We can't plan for and eliminate all possible constraints when acquiring a site, for there are and always will be unknown unknowns. However, we can at least try to maximise the opportunities that any proposed site presents by matching each with our own personal attributes. This way it makes the journey just that little bit easier.
     
  11. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    Hi Guys,

    We had bad news from the mortgage broker, we will not be able to raise the finance in time for the auction on the property that we did like. I'm not too worried though, I thought this might be the case. It's still a buyer's market in this part of the world so we will continue with the per approval process and watch for the next viable property that meets our wishlist requirements.

    I'll keep you posted.
     
  12. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Well I believe everything happens for a reason. You may be not meant to have that property and another one is just waiting for you at the right time. Stay positive.
     
  13. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Here is an update on where my family and I are with our planning. The last suitable property we missed out on was because we could not raise the finance in time. Learning from that we have decided to adopt the following strategy.

    1) Financial Health. We have consolidated our debt to enable us to save. In September 2014 we plan to start the ball rolling on obtaining pre approval for a home loan so we are in a better position to act when we find the right place. It can take 3 months + to organise a home loan.

    2) We will also spend this time planning for the infrastructure and equipment we may need for the first 12 months. While much of the first year will be spent observing the property there are some things we will want to get established from day 1.

    > A Greenhouse or polly tunnel
    > Hen House
    > Zone 1 Veg and Herbs
    > Fencing in Zone 1 where needed
    > Water security
    > Waste management systems for the home (Zone 0) such as Grey Water and Composting Toilet
    > Solar Power
    > Tools or Tool hire as required
    > Consultant fee - For earthworks and off grid solar and other expensive infrastructue we will want advice so we don't muck it up.

    We will cost these items and add the cost to the price of the house minus any of the above that the property has already. However some materials may be obtained cheaper if they can be obtained second hand or recycled.

    Well thats our next step...
     
  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    100 hours of thought, 1 hour of action…. You are very wise.
     
  15. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    Hi Guys, Here is the latest update. We have our deposit saved and pre-approval for the new property. We hadn't planned to start looking until September but it does mean we are ready if a place comes up that does check all the right boxes. Our options are:

    An established property with a house that needs very little doing to it. Pro - reduced effort, established infrastructure. Cons - could be more expensive or require more retro fitting.

    A property that has a house and needs some work. Pro - Probably cheaper and would have somewhere to live even while the work is carried out. Cons - Obvoiusly more effort but this may be a positive as it allows scope for re-design. May take longer for systems to become productive.

    A site with no established property Pro. Cheapest option. Blank canvass for creative design. Cons- Planning permissions, inspections etc would have to be allowed for. Longer period for full productive systems although short term zone 1 and poultry could reduce impact.

    Obviously the land itself is more important than the house but it is something we need to think about.

    I have a question though. If we find a good site in the Tenterfield area (to allow my partner to continue her career), I have noticed the area has granite hills and a tendency towards sandy / gravel soils. Would it be possible to construct a straw bale home? What I mean is is there an alternative to clay in a straw bale render? I first encountered straw bale structures at Zaytuna farm during my PDC and I was quite impressed with their insulation properties and aesthetics.
     
  16. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    That is totally awesome! Congratulations! You must be really excited : )
    I love the Tenterfield area ... I looked at a place there once called ... um ... Dingo something ... Dingo Gully maybe? Dingo Gorge? Can't remember but it was spectacular! Maybe it was Dingo Den??? I dunno. but the granite cliffs & boulders were just breath taking : )

    When you ask is there an alternative to clay are you asking because you think you might end up with a place with no suitable clay on the property?

    Have you got the straw sorted - is there suitable straw available close by?
     
  17. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    it may not be impossible to bring it in by the truckload when you need it for a fairly reasonable price. worth checking out with various suppliers local to where you may be going.

    as clay is an important part of soil, i would not really want to get into a site that has no clay at all, you don't need much, but you do want some. all sandy soil soaks up water and compost so quickly like it's not even there, a bit of clay goes a long ways towards making the water situation more tolerable and manageable and will keep compost/soil organic levels higher and nutrients available longer...

    good luck no matter where you land and safe journeys : )
     
  18. Spidermonkey

    Spidermonkey Junior Member

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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the feedback. The amount of clay will depend on the individual site but from my visits to Tenterfield so far the soil seems to lean towards sandy and being in the granite belt is often rocky. Having said that most properties have dams, bores river access or a combination. I would have to assume that there is either some degree of clay in the soil or it is viable to bring it in from somewhere. Having looked at the weather bureau's records for the area
    https://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_056032.shtml and the annual rainfall seems suitable for our needs (about 850mm on average with good distribution throughout the year) and the temperatures seem well suited for a mixed farming small hold.

    I don't have any building materials yet as we haven't chosen a site yet. I was just considering options so I can better assess potential properties. There is two we are looking at so far but there are a number we have rejected too as the real estate adds were misleading, omitted important detail or access to the property was just ridiculous.
    The first property was perfect for our needs but way overpriced. We are watching to see if they are willing to come down to a more realistic price but we are not prepared to go into a hefty negative equity situation. It’s a shame as most of the hard work is done, the house site is neither at the highest point or the lowest, and two of the three dams are higher than the house and can gravity feed water to where it is needed.

    The second site is far cheaper, no house on site, access to a river and dams, access to sealed road not too far from the village. However I have not viewed it yet and a house would need to be constructed.

    We will try and go for a look at it soon but even if this one doesn't work out, it’s just a waiting game now. Sooner or later the right place will come along and this time we will be ready.
     
  19. uber39

    uber39 Junior Member

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    Hello spidermonkey,
    I wish you well on your indevours, you asked earlier about time spent working your system. I was asked this same question on friday as part of MY pdc. We've been here 19yrs ( still love it ) and we worked out we spend 1.5 - 2 hrs a day on average, thats chooks, goats, cows, pigs, fish, fruit and veg . All to be 90ish ℅ self suff.
    Hope this helps in some small way, but above all ENJOY THE JOURNEY.
    Ian
     
  20. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Why not build in rock if that is what is available to you? Or sand bags?
     

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