February 6, 2009 at 8:30 am #246967
We have a bit of an idea and I thought I would post it to see if anyone is interested and also to gets on feedback on drawbacks and /or ways to improve it
We own our 8.5 acres in a special rural estate not very far from Perth and 20km from a small coastal town. We are both in our late 50s and on the pension me disability hubby is my Carer. I am in a wheelchair and also have trouble using my hands so hubby has to do all the gardening and goats plus care for me. We do get Disability Services funding to pay for respite and home help but canâ€™t use all of it because we canâ€™t find anyone to do it out here.
Our idea is that we built one of those barn houses as an addition to our house ( it has to be attachd like a duplex ) and find a suitable person or preferably a couple to occupy it in a sort of rental/ share arrangement. We need some rent to pay for the loan to build the house, but can also offer some small wage for about 5 or 6 hours respite care while hubby has a day off or goes to Perth to do stuff like dentist (No qualifications needed basically itâ€™s just someone to stay with me and get my lunch. The ladies now clean and sometimes cook muffins etc it could also be doing a bit of light gardening )
So it could end up being very cheap accommodation especially if the other party is also a pensioner and eligible for rent assistance.
We could share the gardens and gardening work. We can provide free goats milk in exchange for a bit of help and occasional relief milking (we can teach them how) We also have chooks and ducks with room for more, and 2 large ponds just waiting for fish or marron and an aquaponics system. So I would think (hope) it will give someone the benefits of having a large bit of land at a low cost or maybe even close to free rent ( depends on our borrowing costs ), and we can help each other and share the work.
Now the maybe drawbacks â€“ the people would need to be real power misers (like we are) and I am not sure how to work out power payment. We have a grid feed system and never pay for power â€“ we make an average of 10 units per day over the year and use 4 to 6 units a day that includes running 2 freezers and a fridge but we cook with wood or a plug in hot plate. We would hope to find someone who would also be willing to cook with wood and would use about the same amount of power so hopefully the property can stay carbon neutral or close to it for power.
With the danger of the ponds (1 is 2m deep ) plus needing to build a fairly small house it would not suit anyone with children.
The agreement would be strictly no chemicals like pesticides or strong solvents or commercial disinfectant or similar toxic stuff to come onto the property EVER because I am extremely chemically sensitive. With having a grey water system that feeds the gardens no supermarket type cleaning products to be used. strictly carb vinegar and homemade stuff . We make unscented goats milk soap and can probable work out some way to share the making and supply of that too. Scented washing power causes me major problems too. So I guess what I am saying is they need to be prepared to live a chemical free lifestyle. The house will be built chemical free so it would very suitable for another chemically sensitive person.
So what do you think? I have possibly concentrated too much on the downside but we do I realise live very simply and it maybe too much to find anyone else. Thatâ€™s why I thought we would try and find someone first then look more loosely at costs to build etc .
It is going to be a long project but we have to start somewhere.
G (Anne )February 6, 2009 at 9:51 am #392658
Sounds like a great idea…. especially the fresh goats milk 😀
if it wasn’t for the 2 little guys and my internet addiction (probably a huge power sucker):mad:
i’d be over there in a flash!
Sounds like you live a gorgeous lifestyle,
I think if you found the right person it could work out well.
Best of Luck
K 😀February 6, 2009 at 10:01 am #392659
Sounds like a great idea ggang. I agree that it is a sound idea, and for a lot of people your “draw backs” are bonuses.
We younger but are sort of in the same boat as you guys.
DH is my carer, but we live in SA and are staying near DH’s elderly Nan while she is with us.
Sorry 🙁February 6, 2009 at 10:13 am #392660
Wonderful idea Anne. I hope it all comes to fruition for you. :hug:February 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm #392661
It’s not something we could do right now (small children, M’s job, etc) but I wonder if it would be worth putting some feelers out in Warm Earth or Earth Garden? I don’t know about their fees but you might be able to find some other like-minded folk if there are no takers here.
Sounds like it could be a win-win situation for the right people (and for you, of course!)February 6, 2009 at 12:43 pm #392662
It sounds like a good way to make two families happy and comfortable. Hope it all works out well for you Anne.
:hug::hug:February 6, 2009 at 9:22 pm #392663
The idea is quite good Anne and we understand your position as well with Sandy being a DES daughter and MCS. I am not sick as such but suffer a lot with a bad back after being crushed on a building site. What your proposing is a bit like a live in carer but they are independent also. Its also like having a like minded community where people would share and help one another.
The idea of a small footprint should not be a problem but a wood stove in summer may put some off. Or is it a lot cooler where you are living. I know its far to hot here to use the wood stove in summer and we use gas then.
DennisFebruary 6, 2009 at 10:01 pm #392664
Thanks fo your comments everyone 😀
I am going to put this post at the PRI and maybe the EG forum. Also maybe the Gaia list and try and get it on our local Green annouce list even. Later I may advertise.
Dennis good points thanks I will answer them to make it clearer to people,
It isnt intended that they be a carer other than the 5 hours a week we pay for, but part of the idea is so someone is here willing to help in case of an emergency. However if anything like that did happen we would arrange some sort of deal or payment.
Yes like a community is what we had in mind. We have looked at moving into a community but none of the ones in WA seems what we want and moving is such a hassle and its not a good time now with the financial crisis, so we thought why not try and have a sort of mini community of 2 families here.
In summer when it is very hot we cook using the plug in hotplate or electric frypan. Being near the coast we do get a strong sea breeze most days so on days with a max up to 35 or so hubby lights the fire at dinner time just to cook then lets it go out.
What we really need is a solar cooker but I cant find one that is suitable – the RP ones with the vinyl smell are not for us.
Gas is an enormous problem for me 🙁 I cannot go into a house that has gas even if it isnt on at the time. We even tried a gas BBQ but even when I stayed inside the gas still seemed to make me sick so it is gathering cob webs on the front verandah.
A few other points.
The house will have a Nature – loo waterless composting toilet. We have a spare pan and shute from when we were fitting out the bus so all it needs is a couple of new bins.
We have 2 rainwater tanks so 1 will feed each house. One is 23000 l the other 27000 l. We have bore water for the garden.
Of course I also didnt mention that you would be sharing the property with 8 adorable goats 😆 probably should warn that some people might say our buck is a bit smelly between April and August but at that time he lives down in the bush a fair way from the house .
We never get frost here and in winter it is a little bit warmer than Perth. In summer it can be either cooler with the sea breeze or sometimes up to 3 C hotter.
GAugust 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm #392665
We are considering this idea again so thought I would bump it up
Any takers or any thoughts ?
AnneAugust 28, 2009 at 1:48 am #392666
wow i wish you well,trul hope you find someone soon
:hug::hug::hug:May 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm #392667
I thought I would bump this up as we are seriously looking at building a small second house in the near future ……. looking at 2 b/r Kit houses
we are more flexible about things like having/not having a composting toilet and it is not necsssary to cook with wood etc……..
we also have a good chance that the shire will let us build it away from our house ( maybe 70m away ) thus mre privacy for both of us
anyone interested Pm meFebruary 4, 2012 at 10:54 am #392668
once again I am going to bump this !!
it has taken a long time but we are ready to go with building – just dont know how long it will take as it seems all the tradies are so busy ……….
it will be a 2 bedroom barn style house ……. 1 b/r upstairs on the mezanine,1 downstairs …….. composting toilet but not going to worry about wood stove – cooking either electric or gas
we want someone who is interested in simple living/permaculure and willing to help with gardening and as said earlier do some of the respite ….February 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm #392669
Good luck with your search – it sounds like a great opportunity for the right person. I’d jump in except we do have children.
Are you north or south of perth?February 5, 2012 at 11:27 am #392670
we are north of Perth – just north of Lancelin and 3km off Indian Ocean Drive
the main problem with children is the ponds …….probably ok if they are sensible and can swim wellFebruary 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm #392671
We’ve got some woofers staying with us at the moment who after traveling around for 5 years are looking to settle down, and were looking for an arrangement just like the one you mention!
Any rough idea on when the building will be done?
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