Friday, 26 September 2008

Off To Market

We reached a point the other day at the Flood Street Farmlet. A special point, where we realised were faced with spending the rest of our lives finishing up all of the odd jobs and changing things here and there, to get it just right. We could see that we would potentially carry on in that fashion for quite a while to come. We seemed to be procrastinating over putting the place on the market.

We're unprepared, very unprepared for moving, but then, we've never really been prepared before, and we've moved a fair bit. The DW put her foot down and said she wanted the place on the market, wanted to be off on our next adventure. I "ummed" and even "aarghed". I said "what about if we just get job X done?" ... "and then perhaps job Y?", and it was pointed out that this was why we were never going to put the place on the market if we did not do it straight away.

I like to finish (some) things. The problem is that a home, especially the unusual kind of home that also includes food production elements, is an ongoing, life-long project. It never stops growing and changing, so the bar for "complete" was always going to be creeping off into the future. Each job done was seen in terms of better saleability (well, sort of, I've always enjoyed changing things around, even in rental properties), but they would only reveal more jobs needing completion that also affected the perfectness of the place (let me tell you it's far from perfect!) I needed to accept that it would never be perfect, and that it needed to go "as-is".

And so we made the call and the agent has been for a tour. He tells us it's a challenge. Not because the place is bad, mind you, just because it is relatively unique, given that it's a big house on a big block in a small village, with the orchard, berry patch, vege gardens and poultry houses. It's a lifestyle in a package, but that in turn somewhat limits it's appeal to only those within the demographic to which that lifestyle appeals.

Sure, it could sell to anyone, but the value of the changes made over the last few years would not be apparent or worth anything to such an "anyone", which is where the challenge lies. The "anyone" might see all the changes as needing a bulldozer to make the block suitable for something as horrendous as subdivision.

Within a fortnight or two the contract will be drawn up, and we'll be able to go on the market. We've got that long to finish off a few jobs, and transport a lot of our resource piles away to neaten the place up. And a lot of mowing to be done. And, a lot of hoping, for we sincerely hope that someone with similar ideas to ourselves comes along and takes up the Flood Street Farmlet challenge.

Given the current economic climate I doubt we will be able to be choosy. "So you plan to bulldoze it eh? Can't sell it to you then, sorry!", sounds all nice and idealistic, but when it comes down to it, our resources are currently spread thin, and we really need to concentrate them again so we can get moving on the new place. Time and money spent on this place would be so much better spent on our new block. It's up to the next people taking this place on to put their stamp on it, and much more stamping on our part will only make it harder for them ;-)


han_ysic said...

Have you thought about listing it in the permaculture type magazines eg earthgarden, down to earth? They have a real estate section and you might attract someone who would continue to develop the property enquiring.

Bron said...

That's a great decision and obviously one that needs to be made to get you thinking more of the future and the new block. One of my favourite sayings is "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen". So don't worry too much about the jobs. The right people will only see endless opportunity with they view your current home. Jobs done or not, I don't think it makes too much difference if someone really wants what you have. Good luck with the sale and I agree with the previous comment... those magazines are being read by many dreaming about buying just what you have!

Geoff said...

Thankyou both for your comments! Putting the place in such magazines is a great idea, and something we will certainly do.

I love that saying as well Bron, and it always seems to be spot on. I just need to remember it more when things seem to be going nowhere :-)

Kelly the City Mouse said...

This is such a great blog, and such an inspiration! I wish you guys all the luck in the world in finding the right buyer for your farmlet--And even better luck in finding a new place to call home!

Geoff said...

Thanks Kelly!

We're lucky in that we've already found our new place, we just need to pass this one on to the new caretakers before we can get stuck in out there! Check out the "New Land" labelled posts to see some pictures of our home-to-be!