Friday, July 11, 2014

Walking Away

We walked away from another house this week. And it's just about the hardest thing we've ever done, and caused all kinds of tension between Husband and I to make the decision.

After putting a deposit down on a house that ticks all the boxes, our valuation came back with a surprise.

See those wires up in the air behind the house? Turns out that banks don't like High Tension Power lines too close to the homes they are using as collateral for a mortgage. There are some pretty strict (and inflexible) guidelines on the distance those power lines need to be from the boundary line. In this case it was 50m.

Unfortunately while our valuer was happy to comment (approx 50m) she wasn't happy to lock the distance in so we had to make a choice on whether to get a surveyor out to the property in order to satisfy our bank. We really were in love with this house, we were buying directly off the builder who has owned it as an investment for 10 years, so we paid a surveyor to head out and give us some exact measurements. While we couldn't find an exact map anywhere, it did look like it was going to be pretty close, so we put a little trust in the council and grid development teams that it was in every ones best interests to keep those lines at a reasonable distance from the home and ordered a surveyors report.

Once the surveyor was ordered it was a waiting game that carried us over the weekend. With that much time on our hands and the opportunity to share our experience with friends and family, it was only a matter of time before someone made a passing comment about High Tension Power lines and a possible link to cancer.

Husband and I had never heard of any such links, so as you can imagine we did some pretty frantic research. I'm not going to pretend to be at all educated on this subject, and lord knows the Internet produced all kinds of theories, some crazy, some paranoid, some just erring on the side of caution. A general consensus of the studies I read though, was that while there is no definitive link between these power lines and cancer, there was certainly a high amount of children that had developed cancer who had been exposed to power lines. Not enough research had been done to identify if this was a coincidence or something more.

The general consensus was that most people would keep developing children away from power lines. We didn't know what to think. There was definitely some weird theories - If you let your child sleep on an electric blanket they will be more likely to get cancer than living near power lines - but we didn't want to just ignore what we had read. Since we already had a deposit down, had paid for the builders report, and had a surveyor on the way, it was hard to know what to do.

In the end I rang the surveyor, hoping to find out that he hadn't put any work in yet, with the intention of cancelling his report and maybe salvaging some money. Unfortunately it was too late, his report was almost typed up and would be hitting my inbox shortly. Even more unfortunately for us, the power lines were only 45m away from the rear boundary, meaning that even if we could reach a place that we were comfortable with the power lines, they bank wouldn't let to us for this particular property anyway.

I had a vague idea that if the report came back at 50 metres or more, I would see our family GP before withdrawing from the property. Not that it matters now anyway, so we've withdrawn from the property. This was not a cheap undertaking, with the various reports and lost deposit, we are out of pocket approximately $3,000 which has hit us both hard. We've bickered, because we are processing this in different ways. I'm holed up in my study crunching numbers to see just how much we have been set back and notifying our various agents that we are back in the market for a house, and Husband has been frantically researching trying to find some way to salvage some of our deposit or even turn this around somehow.

We are both in the same place now, but it's been a few tense days in our house. It's back to the weekend open house trawling for us I guess, something I think we were both overjoyed to think we had left behind us.

I'm trying to see this as a blessing. The right house is still out there, and this house might have brought us alot of pain down the track. But right now it's hard to focus on anything other than the $3,000 I just threw into the wind.

So it's back to searching for us.

1 comment:

  1. hope you get your dream house soon huni xxx


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