It has finally happened. We have found our new home and will be moving in next week.
It was SUCH a hairy wait for finance. Despite having finance pre-approval, when it came time to finalise the loan there was an amazing drama when the bank (one of the Big 4… grrr) came back to us and said it had come to their attention that Dohn is a director of the company and was therefore self-employed, and had mis-represented his loan application.
This, of course, is the most utter BS ever.
Dohn was absolutely furious at both the bank’s idiocy and the slur on his integrity, but it turned out there was nothing to be done. The bank had declined and refused to look at it again. So it then became a race to find another bank to finance us in the limited time we had left before the property contract became unconditional. We made it, and settlement is 21st November, 2012.
That is next Wednesday! Yay!
Let me tell you about the property. (After all, it is my favourite subject at the moment.) It is 68 acres of pristine rainforest between Ravenshoe and Millaa Millaa, on the beautiful Beatrice River. The third of three waterfalls that make up Beatrice Falls is on our property, and there is a delightful waterhole for swimming, too.
The swimming pool. The other side of the river is Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
The previous owner is an ecology professor from Victoria who came up for 3 months every year to study a particular type of bower bird, but from all we’ve heard, the list of wildlife the property boasts appears to be boundless. There are turtles and platypus and tree kangaroos and cassowaries amongst many other rainforest creatures.
The property is sandwiched between Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and Tully Gorge National Park, and is classified as “Essential Habitat for the Southern Cassowary”. We were thrilled to see at least two different cassowaries when we took my parents to view the property a couple of weeks ago when they were visiting from Perth. Such magic to be within a few metres of such a magnificent bird! One just sat there and watched while we took photos, then followed us warily at a distance as we moved on, and the other was running down the driveway ahead of the car — so funny and amazing. According to some sources there are as few as 900 cassowaries left in Australia, though no one really knows. What we do know is that at least two are on our property.
Our rainforest house.
The house has just two bedrooms but all the rooms are spacious, except the kitchen. The kitchen is enough to make any lover of food and cooking weep — and not for joy. Not that I’ve wept over it. Yet. The house is solid as a rock (the building inspector asked if it was built by a German!) but the whole thing is unfinished (bar one of the bathrooms) and needs a heckuva lot of work. Still, we are confident it will be lovely in time as it’s quite unusual in many ways.
The master bedroom is huge and just a little bit different to the average bedroom.
Plus, I’ve always wanted a house with a balcony and with this house I will finally achieve my dream.
View across the rainforest from the balcony. Just ignore the palm tree and other rubbish in the foreground — that will go.
Aside from renovation challenges, there will be lifestyle ones too. We’ve never lived in rainforest before and haven’t yet experienced a Wet season in the tropics. We’ve been warned about vast amounts of precipitation, and the impossibility of keeping the damp out of the house. We’re told our clothes and furniture will go mouldy. Yay.
The house is fully solar powered, so we will also need to adjust to power limitations. It’s already been quite a Learning Experience to even begin to come to grips with that. There is no possibility of running an air conditioner, and the solar man tells us that while appliances such as toasters or hair dryers are no problem, it’s the constantly-running ones such as relatively low-powered fans that actually drain the batteries. I’m a person who doesn’t cope with heat too well, so I am just hoping it’s not as bad as I fear… but if so, there’s always the waterhole for some temporary relief.
Though we’ve also been warned about leeches…
The water supply to the house is from one of the three creeks on the property (aside from the river) and is gravity-fed. I’m expecting living with that to be “interesting” too.
It is all so exciting!
The most wonderful thing about all this, however, is that now life in Far North Queensland will really and truly begin. I will have my own home again, live a good hour closer to civilisation, and finally be in a position to create an enriching new life for myself.