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How did you choose your land?

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  • #257954
    Frugal Girl
    Member

    Hi All,

    In approximately 2 years I will be able to accomplish my 40 year dream of buying a property and living a simple lifestyle. Now that I have a date in mind the reality of it all has sunk in. How do I choose my land? Do I just go by price? Or do I throw a dart on a map and hope it lands somewhere green? I know I want over 4 acres but as I am vegetarian I don’t wish to use the land to fatten livestock for their meat. To keep the grass down do I adopt a couple of cows as pets? It seems a better option than wasting fuel on a ride on mower.

    How did you choose your land? (And how do you keep your grass down?)

    #534095
    Snags
    Member

    A few cows on 4 acres and there wont be any grass unless its incredibly fertile and has a high rain fall.

    Pick a climate, Pick a State, Pick a Location

    See if you can afford it

    #534096
    Frugal Girl
    Member

    Thank you for your reply Snags. I do have an area in mind and it is very fertile with high rainfall. But that can be a ‘problem’ when you want to keep the grass down. Four acres is my minimum size in land I will be seeking, and I was using a cow as an example to keeping the grass down. You didn’t tell me how you keep your grass down?

    As nothing is keeping me to any particular State of Australia, I am curious as to how I choose where I should buy. What was your criteria when you bought your land? I am not after suggestions on what I should be considering, but what you considered when you bought your block.

    #534097
    Snags
    Member

    Frugal Girl post=358748 wrote: You didn’t tell me how you keep your grass down?

    I dont have much grass,bad soils,six months of no rain,shade from trees and mulch keep most of the grass down.

    I whipper snipper in the wet season maybe once or twice.

    Frugal Girl post=358748 wrote:

    What was your criteria when you bought your land? I am not after suggestions on what I should be considering, but what you considered when you bought your block.

    I fell in love with the view first and the climate second and I could afford it.

    The soil is the worst I have ever seen,just rocks and dust,virtually zero top soil.

    Its in the middle of nowhere which is good and bad.

    Im probably not a great example to follow.

    If I was looking today, it would be with different priorities,but I still love the view and it would be virtually impossible to replace and I have improved the soil massively over 10 or so years and still continue to do so.

    If only I had more grass to mulch.

    #534098
    pavbenth
    Member

    Very fertile and high rainfall usually equates to very expensive.

    Forgive me for sharing this link, but I wrote a post on the technical aspect of this very topic just the other day. Check out: “The ‘Bentham Process’: How I Research Property” (excuse the tongue-in-cheek name.)

    #534099
    pavbenth
    Member

    Very fertile and high rainfall usually equates to very expensive.

    Forgive me for sharing this link, but I wrote a post on the technical aspect of this very topic the other day. Check out: “The ‘Bentham Process’: How I Research Property” (excuse the tongue-in-cheek name).

    My criteria is cost, accessibility, services and community. I need to be able to afford it without going into a huge amount of debt – and vender terms must be available. There needs to be some sort of public transport nearby as I don’t drive and will rely on it to get to services. I need to be near at least some services – a supermarket, etc – but they don’t need to be in town, just accessible. As for community, I want to be near some decent people – not a bunch of rednecks.

    My search has taken to me to a little town in the Western Region of Victoria. The town has nothing more than a post office but is on a daily bus route to a number of towns that have the services I require. The initial block I tried to purchase fell through but I have a few other leads on the go. (Asking around is the best way to find property, I reckon.) Rainfall is around 600mm a year and the soil is sandy to sandy loam.

    #534100
    pavbenth
    Member

    One additional thing, if you’re after ‘the simple life’, don’t go into debt. How simple is life when you’re having to work your butt off, allowing for little time to spend on the things you enjoy or nothing at all, to pay the bills?

    #534101
    Snags
    Member

    Agree

    Working hard at crap low paying jobs to pay off a mortgage in paradise, sucks way harder than paying off a mortgage in suburbia.

    Thats a rookie mistake

    The other one is so many people go to paradise and buy a business in order to stay in paradise.

    All you are doing is bailing out someone else’s failed dream of doing the same.

    You stay in a tourist town for a few years and you see that repeated over and over.

    As people put their house on the line lose it and move on.

    Very few businesses actually work, a tourist comes to town in tourist season, falls in love with the dream and buys a business a few years later they leave broken and the next tourist takes their place.

    #534102
    Frugal Girl
    Member

    I once bought a bush block in Queensland when I was younger. Looking back I thought I had bought a bargain, but the block was over 2 hours from civilisation and it didn’t take long for thoughts of bush fires to enter my mind. It was also too far to be even used as a weekender by most.

    Today I could buy my land and commute to work to continue paying my mortgage. But then I will have no time to enjoy the land. If I play my cards right I could have up to 2 years without needing to work while I set up my new home. But I will have to work again so I have to make sure I am not too far from a town with employment.

    #534103
    Ashilleong
    Member

    Interesting question.

    What do you want to do on the land? This should give you a start on where to look for.

    We made a short list of desirable features – 5 acres, creek, some flat land for aquaculture etc. We also picked a state and a general are we’d like to live in …and went to stay there for a holiday to make sure we weren’t kidding ourselves.

    Distance from services/town did become an issue. We found some great blocks and beautiful houses, but the distance we’d have to travel for work etc was just too great. This lead to us focusing on a tighter radius around the towns.

    We looked at a few different blocks with the basic features we wanted. One was on a steep hill which didn’t work for us, another was a private sale in a MO where the seller was dodgy. A couple we walked in to and just didn’t click.

    The property we ended up getting has some positives and negatives. The light availaility and aspect of the block isn’t ideal – this can be a problem if you’re looking at growing your own food.

    The block we brought is on 5 acres, with a substantial portion as rainforrest (regrowth and replanting with narives will be an ongoing project) as this meant the lawn needing to be mown was a managable amount and we knew there would always be an undeveloped pocket of nature. It had enough water sources, which was important to us. It was also within our budget. Never borrow the maximum amount the bank is willing to lend you. We wanted something we could afford if one of us lost our job or we decided to have kids. We also plan to retire sometime in the future, so repayment time was important.

    Most of all, it was the block that we walked into that felt like home. There were some other blocks/houses that made more sense on paper, but this was the one that felt right for us. There was nothing that ‘needed’ to be done to the house, but plenty of small jobs that will make it our own. Don’t let your heart decide the block – give your heart a list of sensible options and then you know that the emotional choice isn’t going to be the stupid choice.

    #534104
    Ashilleong
    Member

    pavbenth post=358754 wrote: Very fertile and high rainfall usually equates to very expensive.

    Forgive me for sharing this link, but I wrote a post on the technical aspect of this very topic the other day. Check out: “The ‘Bentham Process’: How I Research Property” (excuse the tongue-in-cheek name).

    Excellent post!

    #534105
    pavbenth
    Member

    Snags post=358759 wrote: The other one is so many people go to paradise and buy a business in order to stay in paradise. All you are doing is bailing out someone else’s failed dream of doing the same. You stay in a tourist town for a few years and you see that repeated over and over. As people put their house on the line lose it and move on. Very few businesses actually work, a tourist comes to town in tourist season, falls in love with the dream and buys a business a few years later they leave broken and the next tourist takes their place.

    Sound observation, sir. But I suggest we go a step further with the critique and question the concept of self-employment entirely. (I say this as someone that is self-employed – I am a contracted consultant at a large infrastructure company and run a small service business). People often delve into the ideal of self-employment on the premise that it will provide them with freedom and they will only be answering to themselves, not a boss. I think this is a misguided interpretation of being a business owner. Sure, some people find themselves doing something they’re truly passionate about and they struggle to consider it work at all. But most small business owners find themselves as employees to themselves – on shit pay and conditions.

    Thankfully, for me, I have found myself in a position with my business were it requires very little input for me. Maybe 4-5 hours a week spent doing paperwork, fielding a enquiries, coordinating staff, doing a little marketing. I put in the hard yards (and got burnt out) but have been fortunate enough to find a balance that I agree with. Now, I could go out and find myself in debt, and invest more input to satisfy a bigger version of ‘the dream’ but I am content to keep things where they are and enjoy the spoils – rather than spoil it.

    #534106
    pavbenth
    Member

    Is that so, Frugal Girl?

    I know in Victoria there is a lot of land in the <$100k category within commuting distance of the CBD. If you can find work in a large regional centre, you're laughing. What sort of work are you in if you don't mind me asking?

    #534107
    pavbenth
    Member

    Ashilleong post=358771 wrote: Excellent post!

    Thanks, Ashilleong. Great contribution above.

    You’re right about not allowing emotion to dominate. I wrote on this topic too, in “Buying Land: Emotion, Rationality, and The One“. And I quote:

    This feeling, this internal fight, has been with me for a few weeks now. As I increasingly tell people my intentions I am made to feel that I need to be more rigorously rational about this process. But why aren’t other people made to feel that way? Home ownership is core to the “Australian Dream”. One ought to aspire to home ownership, we are lead to believe. Well so say the banks. Those that rent for too long are looked at as people of poor character or poor credit. To be treated equitably, it would seem, one has to toe the line: to live the normal life. To buy a suburban block. To live with the burden of a mortgage until just before retirement. If my choice was to live that life, it would be cause for celebration. Finally I am growing up, people would hail. Welcome aboard the property latter they would say. Too emotional a decision, buying a house in the ‘burbs? Not at all. It’s a sensible move. After all, rent money is dead money John Newcombe told us – in a television commercial for new homes.

    #534108
    Andre
    Keymaster

    We were lucky I guess.

    As land near Daylesford was over-the-top expensive, we looked further afield.

    Clunes is just short of 2 hours from Melbourne (and featured in the Mad Max film).

    I had been looking at a 10 acre block for $105,000 but later saw a 60 acre block for $120,000 which I purchased.

    So for us, it was looking at the area for a reasonable size/price and then getting lucky.

    It has no power or water – a bonus if you ask me, but only a few minutes (by car) to the town-centre.

    I intend to owner-build out there – getting closer to the date too!

    https://www.aussieslivingsimply.com.au/forum/property-tales/197097-hybrid-house-in-clunes-vic-your-thoughts?limitstart=0

    Good luck with your plans too :tup:

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