Tuesday, November 03, 2009

For Sale

And so it begins. Hippybro, wants his inheritance. So do I, so does Babysis, so does Babybro. We are four siblings, two are 'investors' and have a larger share, the other two receive a straight inheritance from the place where two of us currently reside.

My father died in September 2001 and we decided that the time was not right to sell. The place hadn't been rezoned for development so the four of us met and decided that we would hang on for a variety of reasons. A sale was not well timed, two of us still lived here, I had two teenagers in year 10 and 12, the market was slowly rising, so we agreed that we'd hang on.

The first hurdle was the provision of a rail corridor which would have demanded 150 metre width of our back property and all the hassles and devaluation that goes with housing around a railway line. I had meeting after meeting about a 'proposed' rail corridor that would have devalued our property. I (and a bunch of other residents) attended councils, lobbied Government and finally the rail corridor was removed. The process was exhausting.

In April 2003, my Babybro was considering capitalising on his renovated house and buying something else. The market was high and so he 'bought out' most of Hippybro's share and moved in next door. Hippybro moved up to the Blue Mountains and bought a block of land and had his architect designed house plans drawn. We all get along pretty well so it was no big deal.

In March 2004, we were gazetted into 21 x 700square metre building blocks along with our neighbours to the south. Our immediate neighbours to the north were zoned "Educational Facility" and have been bought with the intention of building a school.

We waited for developers to knock on our door with their bowler hats and suitcases full of cash but it didn't happen. Again, my southern neighbour rallied to the cause and we had meeting after meeting with developers. We approached them directly, we spoke with them, we negotiated, we set prices and conditions. We even had an offer that we accepted in 2008 only to have it withdrawn due to unmitigatable conditions. I was out of pocket for legal fees to the tune of $2,800 which at the time I could ill afford.

That brings me to 2009. Babybro and his family live next door, I live in a house built for two small children and now have two adults and a dog. Babysis bought a knock down which is still waiting to be knocked down and we have been on the market for five years. In hindsight, we should have sold when Hippybro wanted out but we didn't. We didn't see the housing market fall coming. We certainly didn't see the global economic crisis and the new 'lending' arrangements between banks and developers. In short, I think we were greedy.

We took anecdotal advice and really believed that our land was worth the asking price. I don't think it was. So now, we are in that uncomfortable, familiar and familial conundrum of how to sell. We'll drop our price. Babybro won't like it. I'll be comfortable as I have the largest share. Hippybro will take what he can and finally finish that house on his lovely block in the Blue Mountains. Babysis will knock down her 'knock down' and build her dream home and I will be free . . financially at least.

Time for a new round of letters to a plethora of developers, multi-list with an army of bloodsucking real estate agents and more exhausting lobbying to Council to reduce a very hefty 'contribution' tax put on the land which deters developers and hope that in the long run, our family relationships will remain intact.

How to go about it during a 'recovery'. Any suggestions? I'm thinking of a banner on the roof for helicopter bound speculators . . .Property for sale! Any reasonable offer.

Much as I'd hate this . . .


To be turned into this . . .

It really is time. Whatever we sell it for, I am eternally grateful to a 50 year old man who took a huge punt on a huge mortgage with a young family
to provide this legacy for his children.
I just hope we all remember that!

44 comments:

Sandy Kessler said...

If only I could have it.. Loved the remark about Dad's work through the years!!

Ribbon said...

I wish I could buy it :)

I'm thinking of you and wishing you all the very best with this endeavour.
No matter the circumstance it's often difficult when it comes to selling a family home.

take care
xx Ribbon

Cinnamon said...

Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

there always comes a time to move on...

Brian Miller said...

good luck on the sale...your last line struck me, remembering the one who provided...nice.

Kurt said...

My father will be leaving behind an old ugly couch for his children.

Leah said...

Very poignant, but the beginning of new and good things for you, I hope!

kj said...

rushing to work, dearest friend, but i know this is huge and i have to admit i had a bit of excitement that maybe sooner instead of later you will walk up my driveway.

i'll be in touch. for now, i know it's right. and what's ahead is glimmering.

love you, love you
kj

Ocean Girl said...

My experience says just to take it easy. What will come, will come. It is really not within your control. Advertise through a good reputable agent may be the only thing to do.

Thriftcriminal said...

Such a beautiful spot. Sigh.

otin said...

You waited this long, maybe a little more time would not hurt? The home buying market here is actually on the upswing. Maybe it will come back? Nice tribute at the end!

nick said...

Hopefully you'll do better than the last time you tried to sell. A shame you have to give up such a fabulous home but if needs must. No idea how to attract buyers, the housing market's so unpredictable right now. Unfortunately the dreaded "development opportunity" is probably a good sales pitch.

hokgardner said...

Good luck with the sale.

JeffScape said...

eBay?

Or put a mock-up of the USS Enterprise somewhere on the foundation and sell it to an insane Trekkie from Iowa.

Yeah... both bad ideas. I'm off my game lately.

Renee said...

Yes dear friend, never forget it.

The property is beautiful and I hope you are able to sell it soon.

Excellent post.

Love Renee xoxo

...mmm... said...

Sadly, I can well relate to the housing bubble. We are in a position that we are foreclosing on our lovely house as unexpected things happened and now we can;t even sell our house for what we bought it for in 2001, let alone paying a realtor. It is hard not to feel the anguish of having nothing to leave my children, just as my parents did as well. And no I am in a little flat. How life has digressed since just the beginning of this year!

Well, I will certainly be wishing you and your fam the best. Let us know how it goes. I enjoyed reading your perspective on this.

BTw, thank you for signing up for the Tea. It's good to have opps to jut be free adn not think of all the stuff going on around one. I am so looking forward to it and will see you "there."

laughingwolf said...

do as you see fit as a family, baino, much as it may hurt financially...

Megan said...

Fingers crossed for you and the sibs!

Ronda Laveen said...

Your father had wonderful vision. How nice of you to remember his hard work and how nice you all get along. My family is like that. We're not perfect but we work it out. Best of luck. It is a lovely property.

Ropi said...

What is the problem with the second photo?

Dot-Com said...

It looks great! Good luck with the sale. Write a note outside so everyone can see it :)

Kath Lockett said...

I wish you the very best of luck and know that whatever you get for it will be a very helpful 'bonus' for all four of you.

Letter dropping the neighbourhood? Sometimes existing locals might want to 'upsize' but stay in the same area or try their own hand at redeveloping.....

Word verification is SALEIZER - very good karma

Melanie said...

wow. you have so much grown up stuff going on that I wonder how you keep your brilliant sense of humour. If any lady can do all of this it is you. And it will be over one day.

laughingwolf said...

hey BIMBIMBIE... how come you've locked me out? :(

Darlene said...

Unfortunately, timing is everything. At least you don't have to worry about being foreclosed on as so many others do. Property always retains it's value if you can hang on long enough. It might take years, though.

Babysis said...

Well said Nellie, and remember through all of this I always appreciate your hard hard work and am your STAUNCHEST supporter.

Remember dad saying "If you get $1 million for it - take it!" Bless.

Most of my memories are from this property - I was 11 when he bought it!

Babysis said...

Hey, you know what? Stuff the note on the roof for helicopters.

Can we get one of those groovy fabric men with hot air blown inside that makes them move and stick him on the roof? They're funny.

kj said...

get a real estate agent you really like and who will really work her/his ass off to promote and market your property, baino.

once you decide to sell, everything starts to look and feel different. prepare for that emotionally so you won't get blindsided by it.

how sweet to see babysis' comment. i love your family. and seeing your house and land in this vast photo: wow. i imagine this won't be easy to let go of. but don't forget your future is bright, honey. you never know what or who might be waiting for you. the universe is a trickster like that.

i'll be in touch soon. thinking of you with love,
kj

River said...

Need to sell, but don't really want to? I've been in that position. Twice. It was easier the second time, since I was kind of expecting it. I've been renting ever since. Someday I'd love to own a house, but I can't see it ever happening now, unless I win lotto.

Baino said...

Sorry Darlene, missed you there. We've hung on long enough. It'll still take a while for things to happen but reducing our price will still also see us comfortable if only we can get a buyer

Candie Bracci said...

Hi Baino!That is great that your dad had the ability to do it for his children.I don't know how you can do,don't know shit about selling houses or promoting them.I hope it all goes well.Aren't you a bit sad though about the memories from that place?I'm sure I would be,but then if you are several children,you need to share it's normal.Have a nice day.

Kate said...

Good luck with it all - I always thought I would be looking back when I sold the family home to move here but, the truth was it took so long to get it all settled and find this place I never wanted to look back! x

Ropi said...

Well, It has importance whether I reach 75% or not. It is about 1.5 litres of beer.

Miladysa said...

(hugs)

My heart goes out to you. I have my fingers crossed that it progresses as smoothly as it can for you under the circumstances x

Renee said...

I love you.

And believe me I scream help 'I need some fucking help over here people.'

Even with a large family and health care it is hard.

You know what, I know you are there for me.

Love Renee xoxo

The Jelly Monster said...

I missed my Baino! I'll give ya a tenner for it...thats all Maxi gives me every week :(

Tom said...

my thoughts are, will your share be enuf to put you in a comperable home? i can say if we tried to move right now, we'd end up having a mortgage larger than the one we started out with 15 years ago,but with the kids still hanging about for a few more years at least, moving would be silly. Good luck with the goings on.

River said...

I do sincerely hope that your wonderful property ISN'T bought by some developer who then fills the entire space with blocks of flats. That would be so much harder to take than a McMansion or three. Hope it sells well and soonish for you.

Baino said...

I did big comments last night and none stuck! I can't be bothered now. I did read all your comments though thank you.

No, our block is subdivided into 21 700square metre residential blocks which is the standard suburban block and the houses over the back fence as you can see are not exactly your triple fronted brick veneer homes, some sell for as much as 2.5 million! There is money to be made by a 'canny' developer. It is a waiting game but after 6 years we are getting a little tired of waiting. We've had no luck with markets and yes, hind sight is a fine thing but it is time to be more proactive with the promotion of the place.

I don't want a comparable home. I just want a 'base' that I can visit when I'm not travelling and to retire in when I become too old to carry a backpack. I'm very lucky in respect of the fact that whatever we sell for my retirement will be secure. It's always been my superannuation plan.

It's just that . . well, you know, one or two people do all the lobbying and the work while the others just stand there waiting for the hand out. All a bit trixy at this point in time.

One good thing! Adam's getting work from the two agents vying for our custom!

Renee, email me. Your comments don't make sense to anyone but me!

And yes, my dad had great foresight. He wanted it for himself but also realised it's potential for his children. Bless his soul.

Can't believe blogger ate my individual responses! Fwoooar!

Grannymar said...

I am late to the conversation. Selling a home is never easy, more so when it involves other family members. Be thankful that your father was so caring, not all are so lucky. I hope the journey to completion is smooth and more trouble free than you anticipate.

Ces said...

Good luck dear friend.

e said...

I hope all goes well for you and the sibs, Baino! Please keep us apprised.

unstranger said...

Trust in providence Baino.
Sometimes, even in Australia there are angels doing what needs to be done!
You've probably already spotted your one.

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