Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

An opportunity presents itself

Buying a home can be a very scarey proposition, particularly in this economic climate. Then there is the environmental impact of climate change, which very few homes are designed to deal with, and the effects of the peak of oil supply - which we are just beginning to feel.

I've looked at a couple of places in the past, while they were affordable they were also in country locations with very poor public transport - while I was living in the city. Moving out of the city (Melbourne, Australia) was a big step, which I made about 4 years ago. That's given me the time to get to know the local area and meet local people. I've also picked up useful practical skills and created some of my own work, which generates a small income. Simple living has allowed me to reduce the amount that I need to work to earn $, so I can focus on doing things that I love instead.

I didn't want to borrow a whole heap of money to enter into the housing market, so I waited for an opportunity to come along. It came at an executors auction that nobody bid at. I offered almost all of the savings that I had and after some negotiation, my offer was eventually accepted.

House as viewed from street.

I didn't think much of the place when I first inspected it, but then I got to thinking about the 12th principle of permaculture and the proverb "vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be". The location is close to town, with great access to public transport. It's next to a creek, has laneway access and good soil. It's got lots of (neglected) fruit trees and a magnificent Red Gum. The house (if you could called it that) has power, water and sewage connected and gas available. It's small, dark , in very poor condition with no solar access as it butts up against the north east boundary. The garage and shed were about to collapse with termite and rot damage. While not very exciting as they stood, they provide a source of building materials to begin a new project.

Garage / Shed as viewed from street.

Massive Red Gum on the north-west side of the house block.

Kitchen, sink only has a cold water tap.

Living and bedroom viewed from kitchen.

Bathroom, laundry and toilet.

Across the road is Whiteheads Creek.

Also see 'street view' here.


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2 comments:

McCabeandco said...

Wow Richard, you're starting afresh! A man with a mission, and great things will happen, I don't doubt that. It is great to know where you and your family reside and hey, I might just get the bug and one day become a near-neighbour. Kindest thoughts dear brother. I too have a blog and I hope to share with you in the near future. Go well, Big Tim

McCabeandco said...

And Richard, the house, it looks great and the location...wonderous stuff!!!

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