Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Block of Land.....

I didn't want to actually build a house. I thought about it a few years ago and after 30 seconds of soul searching I realised that not only could I not be bothered to build a house but I had the wrong personality to do it and it didn't seem cost effective.

So here I am 2 years later ....

with a block of land.

No I still can't be bothered building, my personality is still the same and yup it sure isn't cost effective. So how did I end up with the block ?. Well to cut to the chase – I fell in love….. with the position.

See its not about the house. I am still adamant that I don’t want to build a house but I am just as adamant that I want to live on my land. If the land had come with a 2 bedroom 70 year old asbestos shack I would happily be living in it now but it didn’t and since council won’t let me put a caravan on it I have to build a house.

Why did I fall in love with the land ? - Good question ye old empty space of the internet.

Well on the surface it doesn’t seem much. It’s a 505sqm flat bit of earth shaped like a trapezium with a dogleg in the outer Melbourne suburb of Wantirna. See ? it sounds exciting doesn’t it. Wow - flat …….I hear you say. Actually to most people it would sound like a complete pain in the butt. Its irregular in shape, its got 2 easements totaling nearly 200sqm of the land and its on reclaimed flood plains with the potential of a massive freeway on the back fence.

To me it is the most perfect piece of earth in the whole world and it was meant to be purchased by me.

To start with it was a little bit of fate that I actually got it. I knew about the block before it went on sale and I had the suburb on “land alert” on realestate.com.au so that when it came up for sale I could buy it the same day. Now in all fairness I had been looking to buy a house for about 8 years. I purchased my unit about 14 years ago and it was only supposed to be a temporarily location till I found a house. Well 8 years of looking turned up nothing. It wasn’t that I was particularly fussy, its just the particular suburb I wanted to live in didn’t have very many houses for sale. Therefore having the money and being raring to go wasn’t a decision made rashly, it had been in the pipes for a while. So - the land was on alert, it was going to my work PC as well as my home PC and I was ready to strike.

I remember the day vividly. I was at work and I had a meeting scheduled with the owner of the company at 11:20am. If it strikes you that it was quite a precise time then when I tell you that the CEO of the company had a meeting at 11:00am, the CFO at 11:05, the COO at 11:10 and the NSW Ops Manager at 11:15 then you’ll probably understand what was happening. Yup at 11:20am I was informed that my job was being made redundant – as was all of the senior management team. As the HR manager my meeting took a little longer than everyone else’s as I was the last person the owner was going to tell as it was up to me to tell everyone else they were going too. So at the end of a very cheery meeting that took about 30 minutes I went back to my desk and there, in my inbox was a “Land Alert” and sure enough there was my dream block of land up for sale.

I actually started pissing myself laughing. I had been waiting for nearly 12 months for my block to go on the market and it did just that – in the 30 minutes that I lost my job. An hour earlier – FINE, even an hour later would of lost some of the irony but no it had to happen then.

So after the initial shock I made a phone call - this was a phone call I had weirdly enough practiced in my head. See I didn’t want to sound too keen but didn’t know how to find out what the layout was without seeming too knowledgeable about the area. It was a careful line I had to tread.

However I had just lost my job, my income was now squat and I was in no position to buy the land. But as an endless fan of hope and karma I called up and asked the questions anyway.

Now I’ll skip the next 2 weeks - but during that time the job was ending and my resume was at about 20 different locations and people were sniffing about. Sure there was nothing in writing but there were still people wanting to hire the jinx that is me - (6 failed companies, all were either sold, in receivership or closed – but that’s a whole other blog).

So with self confidence restored I picked up the phone and made the phone call. It went something like this :


Me: hi, calling up about the land in Wantirna.

Agent: Yup, all gone.

Me: The 9 blocks off XXXXXXX

Agent: Yup all went in the first week.

Me: Look are you sure they have all gone (ok sounding a little desperate)

Agent: I know where you mean – they are all sold

Me: Are you sure (I think I was crying)

Agent: Look I can take your name and number if anything falls through.

Me: That would be wonderful XXXXXXX


So that was it - I figured it was a particular mean act by karma to tease me like that but I moved on.

Then later that day I got a call.


Agent: You called about the land earlier.

Me: Yes.

Agent: One of the buyers has dropped out, there’s a block available.

Me: which one ? (keep in mind I only wanted one of the blocks, only one was a dream block, the others were just bits of land in a suburb).

Agent: Umm not sure (ruffles paper) does it matter, you sounded desperate ?.

Me: Umm yeah I’ll take it. How much ? (yup I asked this question after I agreed to buy the block and there was only a 14% chance that it was the block I wanted).

Agent: $XXXk the others all went for a $XXX higher but it’s the ugly block and we’ve made a good price on the others (??????? Yes the guy was that direct and while I was 90% sure that he was s**ting me about the price of the others it turns out that he wasn’t, I did seriously pay the cheapest).

Me: Ok so …. Can you find out which block it is.

Agent: yeah I’ll fax it through.


So - it was quite a long 20 minutes waiting for that fax…. But as I mentioned before I believed in hope and karma and sure enough 20 minutes later the fax printed off a piece of paper and with a map of the blocks on it and a big circle around the only one I wanted saying “this one”.

Why is the block so special ?. Well its just the most perfect spot - if your me. See I have a horse, I’ve had horses for the last 25 years and for the last 25 years either me or my mum have gotten in a car and driven 10 minutes there and 10 minutes back twice a day to see the horses. The horses live in the middle of suburbia and they need care and love and attention. They need feeding twice a day, rugs checked, water dealt with and its just a paddock so we don’t have water or power on, there’s no place to store food, its just a 6 acre bit of suburbia that I have spent the last 25 years of my life spending time at twice a day.

Rain hail or shine, twice a day every day of the year including Christmas day (and this doesn’t count the extra trips for sick horses etc.) This adds up to more than 20,000 trips and the distance doesn’t get easier with time. So my perfect block ? well exactly 3.5 metres of it touches my horse paddock. To some people this is semantics, to me it’s a lifeline.

No more needing to drive to the paddock – its an hour saved a day swapped to less than a 4 metre walk dependant upon where I put the back door.
I get my car back. I’m 34 years old and from the day I got my licence at 18 my carboot has contained a bucket of horse feed, a halter, lead rope, first aid kit, horse brushes and hoof oil.
I get a bit of my life back – I no longer have to work my days around daylight hours as I’ll be able to put a light over there so I can still feed them in the dark.

But the two main reasons….
My mum gets her life back. She’s in her 60’s now and everyday goes over and feeds horses for her daughters. She’s never ridden any horse she’s ever fed but has loved each and everyone of them.

I get to stop worrying. Anyone who’s had a sick animal or sick child knows what its like to worry when they are ill - it’s the same for a horse. Sure its just an animal but if its in pain you want to help and if its 20 minutes away its hard. I won’t have to do that soon, I’ll just need to look out the window.

So there’s the story of my perfect block – sure no-one else loves it but I sure do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

luv, luv, luv your stor! =)