I spent yesterday afternoon pottering around the block pulling out the worst of the weeds. With the dandelions now over a metre high I figured it was time!
Despite my regular visits, this is probably the longest time I’ve spent at the block in one session. Although pulling weeds is one of my least favourite pass times, it felt nice, the outlook is amazing. I think I fall in love with it a bit more every time.
The water was almost glass. The two boats mid river looked pretty sad drifting backwards with their spinnakers sagging. It was so quiet and it seemed my company consisted of a few cows in neighbouring paddocks and bees who always appeared to decide to target the weed I was about to attack. Later, some young kids started playing on scooters down the street. It took me back to my skateboard and billy cart days in Melbourne. It would be a great street for billy carts, maybe a modern equivalent will return to fashion in time for grandkids (but in this day and age they would have brakes and that takes all the fun out of it). I can just see the kids slowly progressing up the street and the daring ones mastering starting at the top of the court.
I met the new neighbours from across the street. They moved in two days before Christmas and had both their families descend from interstate to celebrate with them. I hope we manage to get in with a bit more breathing room before next Christmas!! They have a young bub and a 4 year old boy. From what I saw their house went up in record time. I’ll have to ask but my guess was about 10 weeks from start to handover. He did mention that it took him 3 months to get it through council; I’ll have to ask if that was planning and development or just development. Their place is all weatherboard, which is interesting given they had the same covenant as us in respect to the external finish being 70% masonry or textured. Apparently the developer is reasonably flexible. In their case, the builder had built a very similar place in Brighton and the developer was happy with photos of that.
The real estate cruisers where out in force. Mostly couples, they cruise by pretty regularly, probably at least one every 10 minutes. I’m sure we will probably come to resent them over time but it wasn’t that long ago that we were one of them. So for now, I look at them and smile, and in my mind I wish them success in realising their dream. The self-interested part of me thinks, “go on - buy that block next door, keep the demand up and push values up”. On that front, there is a place going up about 4 blocks up that looks pretty nice. It is on the block next to the one we originally looked at (but was sold a few days before we decided to commit). It looks massive with lots of glass. It is mostly constructed out of superblock, basically a double size brick specifically designed to be rendered. They look to be getting pretty close to rendering and the interior is well progressed. I imagine they will be joining the neighbourhood pretty soon.
I spent a fair bit of time staring at the block below us, trying to imagine what someone might build there and how it will affect us. I’m confident we will be twisted around enough to be looking mainly down the street and whatever they do will have very little impact. With a fall of 1m in about every 4.6m anything they build will be at least 4m below our lower floor level, probably significantly more if they want to use the depth of their block.
This picture is taken from close to the top NE corner of the block and is close to the angle the house will be on. You can see the driveway for the block below us and the green electricity box (and if you look closely a couple of stakes) which mark the border with our block. The developer has recently started developing the next stage, which includes the hill to the left which you can see the brown line across. The front blocks along there will be amazing. I noticed the first of them sold the other day for $280k. Ouch! It looks like it will be a while before those titles are issued, they have only just started carving out the road and putting in the initial survey pegs. When complete, that stage will include about 23 blocks. Our stage included 18 blocks, of which only about 7 have sold.
Another developer is also developing some more blocks just down the road, that looks like at least two reasonably long cul-de-sacs with the beginnings of joining up the two parts of Oceana Drive across the top. It will be great when that gets joined up, it is only about 680 metres of road. I suspect the current development will probably take care of about 200 of that! I hope it isn’t another 10 years before they close the gap! There are encouraging signs of fill being dumped in the gully at the Howrah end which is the only really challenging bit, maybe moves are already underway!
The picture above shows where I’m talking about. The current gap in Oceana Drive is represented by the black and red line. The black lines are an approximation of the subdivision that has started. The orange ring is approximately where someone has started to place fill in the gully. If you are interested in where Clarence Council are looking at taking the area and you suffer from insomnia, you might what to have a look at their strategic plan. The main item of note is their goal to eventually link Oceana Drive with South arm highway (I suspect via Tollard drive). With the North Point development continuing along Tollard Drive around the other side of the peninsula, it is inevitable that these area’s will eventually link up. It makes sense to me that that will happen in the undeveloped valley.Anyway, I managed to clear about half the block of the worst of the weeds before it got too much for me, next time I’ll bring a spade! I took my first load of garden rubbish from the block to the tip. That’s a place I’m going to get even more familiar with over the next few months as I clear out all the stuff from the old place. I came home to mow our existing lawn. It feels like a chore and our current block is only about 700sqm, I’m going to have to cover as much of our new 1150sqm with things other than grass as I can! I dread mowing those slopes! The amount of garden, and how to establish some privacy on a corner block is going to be “fun”. I think it is time to price some rock!