Buying a Unique Property
Buying real estate is easy if……….you have loads of money and loads of time.
There is so much available out there but you need to find the perfect piece of land for you.
The tips I was given as a guideline were just three words and they are all the same
Position Proximity to services such as medical and schools and shopping
Position Does it have views and is it in a likable environment
Position. Access: it needs to have easy access with good roads leading up to it.
Of course these criteria will change with the needs of the purchaser but if the property being sold meets all of these then it should command a premium price and its value will continue to increase as properties which meet all of these criteria will become less as each one is taken up.
I have a property which I believe fits all of these criteria and I would like to sell it. Not because I don’t love it but because it is time for us to wind back a little and perhaps retire.
I am going to tell you a little bit about this property because it has a story and its story is unique.
It is a 14 acre block zoned special use and overlooking Waratah Bay and Wilsons Promontory. Until last year the land was the site of the very popular Waratah Lodge until it was taken by fire on a rainy winters day.
A Favorite Tourist Destination
Waratah Lodge had become a favorite tourist accommodation place for many international and domestic visitors.
Mary Donaldson and Frederick the prince from Denmark were among its many noted guests. We met people from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe . Many times guests would be escorted in by some local fauna such as a wallaby or kangaroo. Most people who visited Waratah Lodge came to visit Wilsons Promontory, a heritage listed and internationally esteemed National Park.
It did not matter who it was staying as they were all treated as if they were special. They were welcomed on arrival and shown their room, offered coffee and some home made cookies and told all about the area. In the evening all the guests would assemble around one big table to enjoy a meal together and meet new friends. People would chat around the table till late in the evening then if it was a cool night they would migrate to the big open fire and enjoy a glass of wine and some more talk till the flames died down.
Furnished for Comfort
We had furnished the lodge with top quality beds and bedding and often in the morning guests would comment on how well they slept and how much they appreciated the bedding. Sometimes guests would continue to lie in till after midday.
Breakfast would start at 7:30 am and continue till 10 am and people who chatted over dinner the night before would sit together and chat more at breakfast, discussing where they had been and where they were planning to go. They were offered a cut lunch which many took up especially if they were planning a long day hike at the Prom.
I worked particularly hard to make Waratah Lodge the unique place it was and it paid off with a steady stream of tourists, we were always busy and I thoroughly enjoyed the momentum of it. We had only bought it 5 years before and had spent $200000 renovating it, so it was beginning to look really good. We held lots of weddings and special events such as Octoberfest and Bastille Day . The main function room could seat 130 people comfortably.
They all enjoyed the view and the animals as they were not too shy to visit the Lodge even when there was a crowd of people
Then one Sunday all our guests had left early and we were able to go off to church together. During the service we received a phone call from a neighbor saying the lodge was on fire. By the time we arrived it was all but gone.
It burnt with such fury that the entire main building was completely destroyed within an hour . There were 12 porcelain toilet cisterns before the fire and no evidence that even one existed afterwards. The commercial kitchen was equipped with big heavy stainless steel benches and walls and commercial appliances and yet after the fire there was no evidence of any of them ever having been there either. The accommodation wing was built from aerated concrete blocks and while these were still standing they were crumbly and the internal furnishings were totally gone.
We were just so thankful no guests were still in the building because they would not have been able to escape this inferno if they had been asleep in their beds.
The site has been cleared but we left the chimney, the only part which survived. It is a large double sided chimney which we are told would cost around $30000 to rebuild. Our thought was to build a big single gable reception area with the chimney at one end.
Out of The Ashes
The views from this site are stunning and often frequented by many native animals. such as koalas, wombats, kangaroos, wallabies, lace monitors and echidnas.
If you are interested in an amazing block of land in the country, just 2 hours from Melbourne, then this might be the perfect place. Its zoning of special use means you can build a business on the site and develop it.
Its still has a large shed, and a 3 bedroom cottage, each with solar panels. There are some large water tanks and a dam which supplies all the garden water. There is a lovely walking track around the dam and it was stocked with fish.
To find out more hit the link below or click on the image to the left.