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Looking for our own patch of green - As close to Melbourne as possible

 
pollinator
Posts: 210
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Hello Permies friends,

Long time no chat, I have missed the discussions dearly.

I've been busy working two full-time jobs while trying to keep up with home-grown and cooked meals as much as possible. It has been a whirlwind, but it's all leading up to something marvelous.

The hard work is finally paying off though, we are looking to buy some land. We're hunting for at least 4 hectares, ideally as close to Melbourne as possible. We're aiming for a commute of 90 minutes or less to the CBD because we'll still be working in the city for the foreseeable future.

I've been keeping an eye on the usual spots and found a few places that have some potential. Then it clicked - why not ask here? If anyone in Melbourne area is considering selling some land, or knows of available properties that might fit the bill, we'd love to hear about it. We're passionate about regenerative agriculture and keen to bring that approach to our new home.

While we're quite flexible and ready to make things work, we do have one specific need: the ability to build houses on the property. This can be a tricky one, especially on farm-zoned properties under 40 hectares. And of course, it's been a challenge to find land that's within a reasonable driving distance from Melbourne CBD.

Don't hesitate to drop me a line if you have any questions, know of any leads, or just want to chat about our plans. Any and all help is hugely appreciated. Maybe with a little help from our Permies community, we'll find just the place we're looking for.

Looking forward to the discussion

-Aimee
 
pollinator
Posts: 5159
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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What is your budget?
I am in Bendigo, the soil is rubbish,but many commute on the train.
There are a few questions;
- what direction out of town is preferred
- would you use the train
- what soil type are you after
- Do you want good rainfall
- Can you work from home
- open countryside or bushland
 
Aimee Hall
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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My absolute maximum budget is $800k for property with a home at this time. For just land, it is $500k. And of course either way the bank has to agree it is worth that much.

-We are not too picky about which direction out of town and have been considering all options. I just check how far of a drive it is from the address to the CBD to arrive by 10am on a weekday. (Fortunately, we both work with flexible employers which would let us start at that time when there is a bit less traffic, anything over a 90 minute drive has been dropped because it would just be too much to do more than 3 hours driving per day. Especially with 2 full time jobs, I already am lucky to get a solid 4 hours of sleep with only a 45 minute commute each way.)
-My two sisters are both in Uni and have to go to the CBD they would have to take a train, my partner and I could either take the train or drive. We typically do take the train if only one of us have to go in.
-Soil type, I will work with almost anything. I built my last farm on nearly pure clay. In many areas it had absolutely no soil and was just bare red clay with the odd rock here and there. Not even grass would grow there. Now, the only bare spot on the farm is the driveway that has been purposefully rocked.
-Good rainfall certainly helps, but is not strictly required.
-I get to work from home a few days a week but my partner definitely cannot and my little sisters have many mandatory classes they must attend in the CBD.
-Open countryside or bush-land is fine, however we prefer it be a "rural living zone" as we know we want to build individual houses. I love my little sisters but we definitely drive one another crazy.

There is a huge wish list of course but outside of the travel time and being able to build multiple houses most of it is pretty flexible. We do have to be able to get decent internet as both our works and uni for the girls would depend upon it.

Thank you for your interest, please let me know of any further questions.

 
John C Daley
pollinator
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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Here is a link to a site which helps with time travelled from anywhere to anywhere!
https://withinhours.com/1.5-hours-of-melbourne-australia

You may not be able to build more than one house, but if you built or used small homes, which I promote, you could create a house with different areas and one communal area.
If you build what you need and not what you want you may be able to afford it.

I am 15 km from Bendigo and get the internet, but when I hooked to Starlink, it was 80 x times faster
 
Aimee Hall
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Thank you very much for the link.

The reason we are talking about the multiple buildings is precisely because we intend to build what we need and not what we want. I also strongly support small houses and communal living areas.

The being able to afford it, that part is hard, we have a lot of dependents and only my partner and I to work. No choice though, MIL is disabled and my partners two little sisters are in Uni for several more years, so we will keep doing the best we can! =D

But a lot of councils do not care so much if it is a small home or a big one, they do not like to allow homes on small farm zone properties. Depending on the shire, they straight up will tell you to go buy a house somewhere else and won't allow it. It is unfortunate, but it is what we have found in our years of watching and searching.

I will keep checking in, in case there are permies in the area looking to sell until we have found a property.

How is your property going down near Geelong? It is good to know there are permies not too far away. =)
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 5159
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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I am near Bendigo, not Geelong.
But things move slowly, the soil is rubbish, but I have sorted the water, now I am creating soil.
 
Aimee Hall
pollinator
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Ooops, my apologies for remembering wrong. I have heard the soil there is very difficult. I hope the soil building is going well, and it is good that you have water.

I hope it keeps getting better! =)
 
pollinator
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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A family member recent bought a farm outside of Melbourne - approx one hour drive.

It is big by UK standards. 300 acres.

She described it as falling into the sweet spot price wise. Too big for hobby farmers. Too small for real farmers. The cottage was too small for city folk wanting to buy a bit of the country. It was also steep land, unsuitable for pretty much everything except livestock.

It is a stunning place, but a proper working farm.

____

Your search for 4 hectares is exactly in the range that EVERYONE else is looking for.
 
Aimee Hall
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I am very glad they could find what they were looking for Michael, that is very exciting. I am thrilled she loved it.

The 4 hectares is our absolute minimum, we are after quite a bit more. We put in an offer on a place with 12 hectares but we were out bid today. We will keep trying, I just felt letting the Permies community know what we were looking for couldn't hurt. =)
 
gardener
Posts: 1776
Location: Gulgong, NSW, Australia (Cold Zone 9B, Hot Zone 6) UTC +10
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Hi Aimee,
Land in that sweet spot is just so difficult.  Have you thought about a long term lease on the corner of a larger holding, or asking to buy it outright.  With tight times in agriculture, around Melbourne and other capitals, farmers are either selling up to developers or cutting off bits to balance the books.  Not too long ago Dalesford -  Hepburn springs was going for a song.  But alas ..

As to the house, It sounds like you are looking to build a gallery/ studio style home.  As John suggested, have a central living area and build galleries off from it, taking into account the prevailing wind, and sun etc.  I saw something on the TV where the couple built a long gallery and used a sun facing (North in our case) corridor   with a wall on one side and glass on the other.

There is a house in Fed Square which is totally self contained with nothing, not even Styrofoam leaving the property.  here is the link https://www.futurefoodsystem.com/

Hope this all helps a bit towards your search.  Best of luck with it.
 
I child proofed my house but they still get in. Distract them with this tiny ad:
NEW BOOK: Pawpaws: The Complete Guide to Growing and Marketing
https://permies.com/t/152725/BOOK-Pawpaws-Complete-Guide-Growing
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