Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

Well now that we have seen the back of the current House of B (well almost), Mr B and I have set our sights on the future. We are extremely keen to regroup in a new house and move onwards from the last 14 month challenge . So we have been keeping our finger on the local market and checking out houses along the way.

Now comes the dilemma.....our ultimate aim for quite a few years has been to slowly upgrade to an acreage (finances permitting). The luxury of where we live is that you can still be sort of urban but feel like you are living out amongst nature without the acreage. Currently there is nothing (read zero) that appeals and those that have appealed to us have turned out to have serious mold problems (or landslip issues...eek!!) :-(

But we have found one gorgeous little 1920's cottage that has been renovated some time in the past ( not period). It is big enough for us (so small to most of the general population) and has the obligatory garage fr Mr B and some fab areas for Little B to play and me to to garden. Drawback - it would have to be in the most suburban area of the Hills. Very very 'burban' as we would say. But you cant see the neighbour's too much and the roof is perfect for solar (couldnt be more perfecter).

It is also a fairly flat block, a house with no stairs, and I can park very very close to the house - why is this important?? Because we still dont know how extensive my arm and leg damage is, whether it will continue or whether it will get better. I had my first fall recently due the weakness in my legs (all I can say is ouch!!) so this is at the forefront of my mind as we search.

So the question is do we settle?? I know I'm answering my own questions here but after our quest to buy acreage it feels a bit weird to look at something so suburban when we have spent the last 6 years moving heavily away from that. I know deep down the answer is yes...we can obviously only work with what we can find within the parameters of our life at this moment.

I draw inspiration from blogs such as Bec and her Urban Homesteading, from cittyhippyfarmgirl and her adventures as well as Amanda from Soulemama who was more 'burban' and has now realised her dream of a farm. This sweet little house we are looking at obviously has like minded owners as it already has a decent size veggie patch, water tanks, and 4 fruit trees. They also used to have chickens.

It's early days yet but maybe this will our next house LOL.


  1. It sounds like a decision is on the way. I know that downsizing your ideas from acreage probably feels strange but the reality is that circumstances change.

    When we moved to our place our ultimate goal was acreage someday. The thing is I never expected to hurt my back, thus being limited in the heavier work. Very quickly I recognised that having all the heavy maintenance on one set of shoulders makes it an arduous job. Increasing that with the demands required by more land just doesn't seem worthwhile.

    I later, when I was touring some permaculture properties in box hill, I came to realise that most of us really overestimate the land we need for what we hope to achieve. Apart from the privacy aspects of neighbours, as much of a gain as a curse, most of us really don't have the drive to fully use anything above an acre.. those with more land generally just have more under used space.

    Kind Regards

    **btw I got flipped to the malware screen on the way in

  2. Thanks Belinda,

    I sooo appreciate comments like this, and the appreciation that goals can change :-)

    I think I need to look at more permaculture properties and open gardens in the burbs.

    PS Have changed pic to one of mine - that will teach me to google for pics

  3. It is a dilemma, isn't it!! When we were looking to buy here in Canberra, we had been dreaming of something with space, for vege's, chickens, the future. But what we decided (and the mortgage decided too) was that being closer to work/ facilities/ family, but with a decent block and a comfortable house was what we needed, could afford & had the time for now. Our block is 994m2, we are covering it in productive gardens and bee-friendly natives, and that is more than enough for us (ie. me!) to take care of when our kids are little, and I work part time. Yes, we are setting all the gardens up from scratch (except some mature fruit trees already here) so it's more work at the moment, but when I have my little dreams of having acreage or a farm, I realise it's idealising it alot, and quite possibly, I wouldn't be able to keep up with it. Esp. those times when we are not well, and I think, thank goodness we don't have livestock waiting to be fed now!! But we have potential by having a larger than average suburban block... we have room for chickens, bees one day, but *sugh* not likely for the Nigerian Dwarf Goats I dream of!

    Like you said, you make the most of where you are, anyways... and what I am saying is, there is nothing wrong with being a bit more suburban than you thought, and in fact, it has it's advantages... closer to hospitals, schools, public transport, community groups, chemists... things that don't necessarily feature in my 'little self sufficient-ish farm' fantasy, but in reality, it's right for now.

    Of course, it's expensive and hard to change when it comes to buying a house, so why not reach for the stars, rather than wishing in a couple of years that you'd done differently?? So maybe holding out a little longer to see if you can chase your dream might be worth it? If not, then make sure what you buy now has good resale value, so if you want to go bush in a few years, it will be easier to do. Hey, can you rent something for a while, see if the country life is what you want/ can handle?

    Anyways, enough advice from me, we are not experts in any form... but I really wish you luck, as you must be 'once bitten, twice shy' when it comes to buying again!!

    Worth a read, perhaps relevant?

  4. I wonder what you decided? I struggled with the urban block vs acerage for years. But i've finally settled on the urban block (for now). I find that my small patch is more than enough for now. Looking after more would take more time than I have.

    It sounds like a lovely place.