Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Search for Soil

After looking around at the houses that where available on the market and what you get for your money, it didn't take us long to decide that we would go on a land hunt instead.  Land in Adelaide isn't entirely easy to come across, especially as we wanted to be within a 15minute radius of the city and preferably on the beach side.

Our Land Hunt Take 1 Radius

So we started looking in areas that where previously industrial, Woodville, West Croydon and anywhere along Port Road.  We also started looking at areas that have an older population with large blocks of land who might be looking at subdividing, Findon, Fullham Gardens and Richmond.

We had a look at all the new developments coming up at St Clair, Lightsview, Blackwood Park and Westwood Park. While we liked the idea of the whole urban development plan I missed the character that older streets have when each house is completely different and you have a mixture of old and new homes.  We also weren't keen on the many number of restrictions that the building developments had, for example the next release in St Clair will have a restriction on the roof pitch that wouldn't allow for a loft which is an idea that we love. Plus we found that you where paying premium price in a buyers market for small blocks of land, you'd be lucky to fit a garden shed and a clothes line in the backyard.

We finally came across a new land release in Findon off of Crittenden Road, the whole street was up for sale and only 3 clocks of land were left, each block with at least an 11.5m frontage and over 500m2 and it was for a good price. It all seemed to be perfect ... the land was for sale from Housing SA and some of the vacant blocks marked "Future Development" where to remain under Housing SA and they where to build 5 2 bedroom courtyard homes on the two area's, which wasn't a problem as we had our eyes on a block that was half a street away from where they would be. What we didn't realise was that the vacant block of land, which wasn't marked in any of the plans for the subdivision, right next to the block the we wanted was also set to be housing trust, which made a total of 15 housing trust homes and 16 new homes. Unfortunately there is a stigma that goes with housing trust homes and it's a stigma that we are well aware of after living 3 years in Port Augusta.  It is that stigma that would significantly reduce the value of the property if we ever came to sell.  Luckily we found this out during the cooling off period even though we had specifically asked the agent was what being built next door. So we "Cooled Off" told the agent "Thank you but no thank you" and started the whole process again.

Land Hunt Take Two left us wondering if we had made the right decision. We spent weeks researching online and our first day off together we set out to look at every property between Campbelltown and Seacliff Park ... it was a long day.

Land Hunt Take 2 Had a Significantly Larger Search Perimeter!

By the end of the day we where exhausted and no closer to finding our block of land. We had one more block to go and luckily it was on the way home as we where both ready to throw in the towel! As soon as we pulled up to the curb we knew that it was The One. It had an 11m frontage, so a little narrower than what we originally wanted, but it was 40m deep and with that we saw some great possibilities!  Plus it was on the market for a realistic price, was right between the city and the beach, on a quiet street with a mixture of new, old and renovated homes and best of all it was just what we where looking for.

That night we had contacted the agent and within two days we had the contract signed!  There will be a long settlement as its only a new subdivision and while it's been approved they are just waiting on the last of the paperwork to pass through council, but the long settlement is perfect of us as it gives us more time to save and plan.

And just this week, much to my excitement, the "Under Contract" Sticker went up.

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