Tuesday, January 10, 2006

We're calling it Dananbilla Cottage.

I found it on the internet.
The tiniest house I've ever seen.
I was looking for a cheap investment property that my daughter could invest the three thousand dollars she had saved from working at harvest time when I found the little house for sale at Bendick Murrell.
I'd never heard of Bendick Murrell, my wife had never heard of Bendick Murrell and my daughter had most certainly never heard of Bendick Murrell so the 'White Pages online' was summoned and the very useful place search put to good use!
Between Young and Cowra, about 20 k's from Young....nice area.
Young was Googled.
I'd been there before but it's always nice to research the weather etc to get a better idea.
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/how/index.shtml is a not too hard to find page on the Bureau of Meteorology site that has weather information on NSW towns for up to 100 years back.
Slap bang in the middle of the best agricultural land west of the Great Divide the Young area looked well worth further investigation.
Virtually drought proof, with a better than 90% chance of reaching the 26" average annual rainfall it looked to be a nice area to be investing time and money in real estate.
The decision was made that Eliza and I would take her CRX for a spin and check the place out.....a phone call to John R Barton, the agent, and access was arranged.
It was a bit strange really, the New Years fires that had burned huge areas around Junee and through to Illabo and beyond really exaggerated the dryness of the countryside there and made it a vivid contrast to the almost lush vegetation we drove through from Cootamundra to Young.
The orchards that covered the rolling hills around Young provide a summer green that we never see out on the flat, dry country and provide instant appeal.
Throught the busy centre of Young and on to the Cowra road our journey took us past the orchard country and into a broad valley dominated to the east by the hills of the Dananbilla Nature reserve.
Past the turn offs to Monteagle and Murringo the little township of Bendick Murrell soon appeared on the left, a couple of hundred metres off the main road.
First impressions are not the best here, the first few homes you see aren't at all inspiring.
But as you drive further up the street there is a change, the gardens and houses reflect the pride of the occupants in the older homes and there are some near new houses and a magnificent bluestone church.
The ugly duckling amongst these nicer dwellings is, of course, the little house we had come to see.
The house is small.
The house looks as rough as guts!
The western wall looks about stuffed.
The floor's uneven.
The cielings in two of the three rooms sag.
The wall linings sag.
The dunny wobbles.
My daughter hated it instantly.
There are times as a father when you know for sure that there's no way in the world you are going to talk one of your kids into doing something and this was one of those times.
Funny thing was I liked the little bugger.
It's got electricity with new wiring, town water connected, a septic system, a rainwater tank, good fencing, a great view, a niceish climate, the garden's a blank canvass with an easterly aspect and the little house is repairable!
The more I looked at it the more I liked it.
The trip home was a lot quieter with none of the excited conversation we had enjoyed on the way up.
It was definite then, Eliza didn't want the place.
It had me thinking....the house is tiny...about 7 metres by 6 metres all up....the cost of doing the whole house up would be about the same as two rooms on a normal house. I can do all the work myself and have the tools and would have been doing it for nothing if my daughter had wanted to buy it.
That evening my wife, Robyn, and I had long coversations, Google searches other searches and more long conversations.
We drove up the next day, Robyn loved the little place so we decided to borrow the money, buy it, do it up over the next couple of years and see what happened from there.
We love gardening, have lots of plants in pots and tubs and this will be their home.

Inside ( looking down the back yard).

The Bathroom.

The Back Yard.

The Front Yard.