Friday, 30 November 2007

Round And Round We Go

Returning to more mundane matters after the recent rantings, we've hit another crisis with respect to securing our new land and home. I am, at the moment, pondering the workings of councils, wondering how they end up achieving anything given that one hand does not seem to know what the other is doing, and that they are invariably working at cross purposes even whilst attached to the one being.

We have been informed that, contrary to all previous advice from the particular person, that having a DA for our house on the land is not actually enough to secure things through the boundary change that is pending upon the lot. The thought now is that we need to also have a construction certificate. Advice I have been given from other quarters seems to see this as redundant, one is much the same as another given that both documents are tied to a particular folio number. If one is at risk of disappearing when the folio number changes, then surely the other is just as likely to evaporate.

I generally don't enjoy taking a grim view of people's actions. Most act from their own knowledge, doing what they think is best at the time, and for this reason I think even foolish actions can often be forgiven and attributed to lack of complete knowledge. I'm having serious doubts in this case.

Why would a person, who is hired to perform a particular task, not actually know the things involved in the performance of that task? Why should there be such a great shift of knowledge in such a short span of time? What was true and proper yesterday, becomes today something that is false?

Building a house is a big job, whether we're doing the work ourselves or not, and the decisions that go into it are not to be rushed or taken lightly. We would ideally have liked to have at least a year to consider things, before turning the first sod. This attempt to require us to have a construction certificate prior to settlement is rushing things along way to swiftly.

To top that off, chances are we may not even be able to get a construction certificate. We were considering owner building, and to do that we need another certificate. To obtain that one, a person needs to own the land they intend to build upon, or at the very least hold a three year lease on that land. Now why on earth would we want to take out a lease on the land that we are hoping to finalise purchase of within the next month or two? For that is the only way forward. We cannot purchase until we get the certificates, and we cannot get the certificates until we purchase. I get the feeling we are going around in circles!

The option of taking on a builder is similarly mostly a non-option. Besides the greatly increased costs we would be facing, how many builders will sign up and pay the construction insurances for a block of land, the purchase of which is in doubt? More pertinent, would I be wise to sign on with a builder in such a case? That worthy tradesman is sure to want some compensation if it all went sour.

I like to contrast my thoughts here with those I had in the earlier stages of this adventure. I seem to recall writing that the universe was helping us along, looking after us and ensuring everything was going to work out at the right time and in the right order. Do I still feel the same now?

I think that I do, though I am also hesitant to decide which way to go next. There is certainly a lesson in this, but the trick is figuring out what it is. Is it that I should not lie down and accept without question what council has to say in this matter? Should I fight rather than flow? Are there times when we should swim against the current and on into calmer waters? Or is it that this is actually the best course of action (if we can somehow work out the issues surrounding the certificates) but I just don't yet see all the variables in play, so cannot comprehend the value of the course?

One thing is for sure, regardless of which course of action is chosen, only time will tell.


Chookasmum said...

Hi Geoff,
I to ponder on the workings and machinations of our local Councils. We are finding here that there seems to be one rule for one and one rule for others. I am spending a lot of my time trying to get some sense out of them and I am still awaiting an answer to a letter I sent approx 6 weeks ago. Mind you I call in at least once a fortnight to ask why no answer, the standard answer is that they are still working on it, but I think that tthey are hopeing that I will just give up and go sawy into my little corner like most other rate payers. NOT.
Hang in there and fight for what you want and need from them.

Geoff said...

Thanks Chookasmum, yesterday saw a couple of lights appear at the end of the tunnel, just hopefully not a train :-) We don't want to have to give up, but also have to be sensible about how far we do push it. It could become too expensive, and painful, to bear.

The Duck Herder said...

OH dear. That is very tricky Geoff. sometimes it is very hard to be zen about these things - my advise (which is actually Rhonda Jean's advise to me about a similar thing), is to breathe and drink tea. It is tricky when we really WANT to universe to support our next steps.....

hang in there. I guess the trick is to not rush and to somehow be OK living with uncertainty about big things..... (hard I know!)

Ula said...

Good words.