So Matt and I bought some land yesterday (actual contract exchange is in a couple of weeks), and I had no idea how absurd the process was, so let me tell you.
For starters, the land is in Menangle, about 10 minutes from where my parents bought in 2014. We paid about the same- them for 5 acres with a shed with an apartment on it, us for a 500sqm block. That's how much the market has changed out this way
Menangle is about 70kms from the Sydney CBD. It's on a train line, but the trains are not yet electrified, so you get a train to Campbelltown and change. They are also pretty infrequent.
There are two new land developments in the area. One at Menangle Park will have 5000 houses. The second, in Menangle itself, will have 97 in stage 1, then about another 300 in later stages (though those will be on the other side of the train lines)
We decided we'd like to buy in the Menangle development. 29 blocks were part of the stage 1 release, but 5 went to Mirvac staff, so there were only 23 to choose from. About 10 days ago, we got online and had to submit our request for an appointment at exactly 6pm.
I couldn't get on the site, but Matt could. We got an appointment. They were fully booked within a minute. On Tuesday, we found out that we had the 11:45 appointment, which meant that we were 15th.
The process was basically that you show up at your appointment time and you can pick from what's left. We poured over the plans (Matt got out all the DA docs and studied them, like the ex-draftsman he is). I identified potential house designs for each block
In the end, we had a list of 11 we would have bought. If none were available, we were ready to walk away.
So we show up a bit early yesterday, and the whole thing is a little extra. There's a barista making coffees, a spread of pastries from The Store at Menangle (which is adorable, btw). And there's a big board with all the properties and sold signs on the ones that are gone
We walk over to it and 3 of our top 4 are still available. There's still one person ahead of us, but we then know we'll be able to get one of the ones we really liked. They call us in a bit early and incredibly, our first choice was still available.
So it worked out very well for us, but the fact that appointments to buy an unknown, not overly large block of land 70kms from Sydney booked out in under a minute should terrify us all. This is utterly unsustainable.
Oh, and the land won't actually register until Q1 next year, so this is all for the opportunity to be in a house by the end of 2022, at the earliest.

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More from @erinrileyau

23 Jan 20
I get why people are frustrated with the Red Cross, truly. I am frustrated too and it is agonizing to see families who so need those funds having to wait. But the demand placed on them by a government who has been happy to let them to lead relief efforts is extraordinary
Planning for the long term is smart. Administrative costs are reasonable and people need to be paid. Also, processing and vetting literally thousands of applications takes time.
It’s not the Red Cross that is the problem. It’s the model. The way we do relief work hasn’t sufficiently evolved to meet the challenges we’re facing now and will continue to face.
Read 4 tweets
21 Jan 20
I am really, really frustrated right now. I have promised to be transparent from the start with @findabedAU, and I think part of that transparency has to include being honest about the frustration.
We are so incredibly flat out. I missed a meeting yesterday because i just forgot about it. Because taking the time to get organised and put stuff in my diary just isn't even possible at the moment. That isn't to complain, it's just an illustration of how busy we are.
And there is NO money. None. You'd think that given all the huge numbers we're seeing in donations, that there'd be plenty. We raised money for the generators, and that was great, but now we need resources for rebuilding and we just don't have them.
Read 12 tweets
4 Nov 19
Just got a letter from Centrelink saying they're witholding 20% of our childcare rebate to repay a debt. A debt that we don't owe, that they have confirmed on the phone we don't owe, and that we have called about THREE TIMES.
That's $45 a week for us. We can deal (at least, we can now, while I'm still working), but this sytsem is appalling.
It's because when I tried to update Matt's work activity to be more accurate, it updated it for the whole time he was working on it, rather than the period I wanted it to update. So it reckons he was only working 10 hours/week for the first half of last year- manifestly untrue
Read 5 tweets
23 Jan 19
Ok *flexes fingers* I was expecting this argument (it comes up literally any time you talk about women's sport), so it's probably time to take a look at it a little more closely.
There are two problems with the argument. The first is the assumption that we only watch "the best of the best". There are innumerable sporting leagues where people well below that level develop a substantial following. American college football, A-League, schoolboys rugby...
It might be that it's the best local competition, but why watch A-League on TV when you could watch Premier League or Bundesliga? Because there is more than just watching the "fastest, highest, strongest" that attracts us to sport.
Read 12 tweets

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