Michael Murray

Michael Murray

Michael Murray

Hot Property - August

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Tyagarah Development

Talking about Hot Property. With the “Mega” West Byron development still mired in controversy and opposition, Byron Shire Council will be soon be opening up a new battle front. At 29 Buckleys Road at the end of Grays Lane Tyagarah there are 214 acres already zoned for Tourism. Looks like the owner is on the verge of having it rezoned Rural Residential with State Planning and listing it. Since the land ticks all the boxes – close to Byron, high with ocean views and beach access, the price tag could be as high as $150M.

If successful the development could get access direct to Ewingsdale Road through Quarry Road. The owners have also been in discussion with Elements of Byron to extend the Byron Bay Railroad Company train line all the way to the new suburb. The subdivision could include up to 350 house sites, a conference centre, two camping grounds and stables.

The owner is Michael Hunter the founder of chemical company Bracton Group and has spent 20 years in development on this site. Ex local resident Tom Misner, who built the SAE campus, was once a part owner. Existing residents may get some comfort knowing that at least one day Grays Lane, often flooded and a prize shock absorber killer, will finally get fixed properly.

Land for $150,000

If 150 million is too rich, how about 150 thousand? In Cumbalum west of Balina and under the new highway there was a three acre parcel of land with sheds, fences and creek frontage for $150,000. It pretty cheap as it does not have a building entitlement. As expected, its too late as it quickly sold so this is an old story.

Byron Commercial

The medical centre at the south end of Jonson Street – opposite Mitre 10 – has been for sale for a while and is back on the market. It is listed with Karin Heller from Parkinson’s REA and looking for around mid 2 million. It is currently being used for consulting rooms and house is 6 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 12 car parking spaces.

Manufactured Home Estates

Get ready to hear lots more about MHEs, or the preferred term is looking to be LLCs (Land Lease Communities). Many investment and development institutions are looking at Manufactured Home Estates as the big growth area for the future. They may well be the answer for the massive shortage in senior living and affordable housing.

According to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare projections, by 2056, there will be 8.7 million older Australians (65 years+), accounting for 22% of the population. Where we are going to put them all? In small or tiny homes on leased land with shared community facilities?

Like this one in Sanctuary Village, Lennox Head

2 bedroom, 2 bath and SLUG, AC and with access to two swimming pools, tennis court and community hall. Cost $350,000 and $168 PW land lease.

Industrial Unit in Billinudgel

Industrial units are getting scarcer and more in demand. There is one in Billinudgel just listed for mid $400s. Will need a bit of TLC but also includes a 1 bed 1 bath apartment. Listed with Julie Ann Manaham at Rain and Horne Ocean Shores.

TripADeal boss buys in Belongil

Richard Johnston, co founder of TripADeal.com, has purchased a 1207 M2 property fronting Belongil Creek. He and his partner, Clair Alexander, paid $2.31M for the home with a jetty and a gazebo over the water.

As a sign of the future of the region, the Internet company, which promotes travel deals online, is now the biggest employer in town with 56 staff. This is higher than the previous highest employer, the now defunct chicken processing plant on Ewingsdale Road. Richard and his co-founder Norm Black, credit much of their success to starting the multimillion-dollar global business in a town better known for board shorts rather than boardrooms.

Xavier Rudd reduces price

Locally based singer/songwriter Xavier Rudd, currently touring USA and Canada, has relisted his New Brighton property with a new agent and a reduced price. It was on with Raine and Horne New Brighton for $2.695M and is now with Katrina Beohm REA at $2.39M.

“This goes with that at Sussan”

Victoria’s richest woman, Sussan Group (clothes store chain) boss Naomi Milgrom is mixing and matching with Byron Bay's exclusive property. She now owns three adjoining properties on Lighthouse Road, overlooking the iconic surfing spot of The Pass. The three purchases together now total 2,800 sqm with a combined value of $17.5 million.

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Share Housing Back in Vogue for Oldies

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Share houses are often seen as the exclusive domain of those in their 20s, and something people move on from, but the increasing number of people choosing to return to share-house living is being seen in the older demographic.

Marie Theodore-Daly 73, shares a house with other younger residents and Django the dog. Though finances are a driver in her decision to house share, the benefits are far greater. “I don’t know if I could live any other way now,” she says. “I’ve got friends who find it hard to understand why I would want to share … but living in share houses, particularly with younger people, has kept me young in my thinking and in appreciation of life.”

But the benefits flow both ways. Theodore-Daly’s life experience means that she is a very clear communicator and knows all the ingredients for successful shared living. “When people come in for an interview, I always set out rules and we all agree on the person,” she says. In her home, housemates enter as strangers and quickly become friends, providing mutual support and connection.

This was the case for Paul van Reyk, 65, who shares a house with a woman, also in her 60s. “We’re very old friends and now housemates,” he says. While house-sharing arrangements tend to be transitory and often in rented accommodation, van Reyk and his housemate co-own the house that they have shared for more than 20 years. They even share the ownership of two dogs.

What is it like sharing a house later in life? “Sharing has given me access to a property and lifestyle that I otherwise could not have afforded,” he says. Like all share houses, the basics of life need to be attended to. “Because we were friends before living together, we’ve never had any formal agreements,” says van Reyk, who is familiar with the challenges of share housing through his work for a tenants’ union. “Whoever gets the bill first pays and from time to time, we sit down and work out who’s paid for what.”

Theodore-Daly also insists that good communication, and shared food, is the crux of a successful share house. “We email each other but mainly use a communication book that is in the kitchen all the time,” she says. “We have an evening meal together some days and we have regular house meetings with coffee and croissants.”

In 2016, flatmates.com.au, recorded that the largest increase of house sharers was in the 60-64 age bracket with 43 per cent relative growth. This increasing demand from seniors for house sharing arrangements was enough to prompt independent website seniorhousingonline.com.au to start offering free senior flatmate ads. While the site was set up in 2004 to help people access information about retirement accommodation, in 2016, co-founder Amanda Graham saw the site’s potential for linking like-minded strangers to form share house relationships.

Marie Theodore-Daly, 73, with housemate Jasmin, 25, and their communication book.

“Some people are going into share housing because they can’t afford an alternative,” says Graham. “They might have divorced, or lost a partner, been made redundant, or relocated. Others are simply hitting their 50s still with a large mortgage. Our site is about using the digital economy to connect people.”

Graham reminds us that share housing is not a new concept to those who are now in their 60s and 70s. “This is the generation who pioneered share housing in their 20s,” she says. “It’s not foreign to them.” Theodore-Daly is an example of this, as she grew up in a family who always welcomed friends and strangers into their home, and then in her 20s and 30s she lived in commune-style houses. “I guess I am an old hippie at heart,” she says.

One concerning aspect of share house living that is more likely to rear its head for older housemates, is the need for health-related care. While house sharing can provide more support than living alone, it is not necessarily an arrangement that will cope with significant illness or high care needs. Van Reyk and his housemate have spoken about what might happen down the track as they get older. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in five or 10 years’ time, but we’re comfortable enough with each other to talk about it.”

Sourced from Domain.com.au and written by Vivienne Pearson.

Next month issue will have a whole article with other co-housing options.

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Hot Property - July

Roundhouse site for sale 

The Roundhouse site in Ocean Shores is certainly the saga that keeps on giving. Council copped a serious degree of flack for selling off this site that was once going to be community land. The sale process seemed rushed and haphazard and many thought they were undersold and should have gone to auction. There may be some evidence in that claim now as Lot 8 has just been relisted and asking $600,000 to $650,000. It was sold by council on the 15th of September 2015 for $450,000. That is an increase of $100k PA for the lucky buyers who were queued up outside the Brunswick Heads Professionals REA at the time they were listed. 

 

36 Carlyle St Byron Bay

This is vacant land on the flat side of what they call the Byron “Golden Grid”. 1012 square metres with an old tear-down cottage. So, basically: vacant land listed for $2.6-2.8M. Late last year I helped clients get into a newly renovated, four-bedroom home in a better position for similar money. That about says it all in what has been happening this last 9 months.

 

Cabarita acreage

Why doesn’t anyone listen to me? A great fixer-upper is going to auction this week at Clothiers Creek, the hinterland of Cabarita. Mid 700s is expected and it has fabulous ocean views. This is the classic worst house in the best street story. 

 

Murwillumbah

Murwillumbah is going from strength to strength and I am currently spending more time there. I was going to feature a two-bedroom house on a big block in a good part of town. But, yes, you guessed it; it sold before I was to send this out. Still a few interesting and decent houses there for under $400,000 – but not for long.

 

Car park space - $400,000

 You really know property is huge when a car space is listed for around what a house would sell for. This double car space in a complex in Bond Street, Sydney has been listed for $400,000 and is said to be “reasonable".

 

Piccolo Bar closing 

Speaking of Sydney, allow me some nostalgia. The Piccolo Bar in Kings Cross is closing and that’s the end of an era. Long-term owner operator, Vittorio Bianchi is turning 82 after coming to work there in 1964. The Piccolo Bar was where I whiled away many midnight hours after working in one of my previous careers as a stage manager and theatre producer. The Piccolo was once the favoured late night haunt of many in the film and TV industry, politicians and other low life. Vittorio blames the lockout laws and the ban on smoking inside, and outside cafés, for the likely end of the Cross's oldest coffee bar. "The politicians have done a good job of killing the place,” he said.

 

Iconic Aussie Castle For Sale 

The house featured in the hit Australian film “The Castle” can be yours for as little as a few thousand dollars. Pictured above, the classic suburban weatherboard at 3 Dagonet Street Strathmore, where the Kerrigan (“Tell em they’re dreaming!”) family lived, is going to auction. The sale has been delayed by talk of it being heritage or used as a promotion for a whiskey company. The owner, Vicky Cosentino, wants it gone so she can build a duplex. Yes, you need to spend another $40-50,000 having the house moved away from the block adjoining the Tullamarine airport.  

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News Around the Traps

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Are You Living in a Heritage Home?

Many people in the shire do not know they may be living in a heritage-listed property. All of Bangalow and Mullumbimby central is a heritage area. In  Mullum, if you live west of the railway line, south or east of the river, or north of Saltwater Creek, your house may have restrictions or even a full conservation order on it.

Bangalow residents are more aware of the town’s heritage listing as most residents are obviously committed to maintaining it’s rustic charm. This is ironic as in the early 70’s, the shire council wanted to eradicate all the overhead verandas throughout the shire as they were dangerous and kept in bad repair. At the time Bangalow was so broke it could not afford to remove them so just refused to do it. That’s the only reason why Bangalow was lucky enough to maintain the charming pioneer style residents and tourists appreciate so much today.

Byron Shire Council is offering a “Free Heritage Advice” session on 18 August. If you have any questions or want to understand more about your property, contact Noreen Scott on 6626 7062 and make an appointment.

Masterplan Progress

Look out for the pop-up chat rooms in Byron, Mullum or Bangalow. Each of these towns are at different stages of a masterplan development and council is giving an overview and asking for community feedback. Please don’t be one of these annoying people who do not participate when community consultation is offered and then have nothing but bile when the proposals are presented.

Farming Out The Farm

The good people at The Farm are currently under pressure. It may be they have been too successful for some neighbours and competing businesses. As you can see from the car park driving by it is almost always full. They wish to enable the restaurant Three Blue Ducks, plus Flowers at The Farm, The Produce Store, Farm Kids and Farm Tours and all the organic food growing to continue to operate as they do currently.

They are asking for people to write to council to support their DA. Address it to Byron Shire Council, PO Box 219, Mullumbimby, NSW 2482 and tell them why you appreciate all the work The Farm is doing. Especially the community and charity work. Or write an email and send it to community at thefarmbyronbay.com.au.

Brunswick Fish Co-op

There is some controversy around with whats going to happen to the Brunswick Fish Co-op. The police has been shut down unexpectedly and staff have been let go. Maybe it could be handled better but this building and business could probably do with a makeover. Many of the old fish co-ops up and down the coast of been reinvented and they often turn out to be excellent establishments - still catering to a mum and dad fish and chip shop, while still providing a full compliment of restaurants and shops. Lets hope they do it well in the end.

Sustainable House Day

Applications are now open for the annual Sustainable House Day Expo. These are very popular events and highlight our local area’s creativity and expertise in sustainable house building and design. This year it will be held in Tweed Heads on September 16. If you want to enter a design or concept you can find the application form google it at sustainablehousedaynr. Or just turn up and see for yourself.

Discussions on Alternative Housing Options

Thursday 10th of August at the Brunswick Picture House there will be a discussion on all of the shire's alternative housing projects. It is being put on by the Green Institute which is a national progressive think tank promoting community cohesion. It is $20 at the door which will include a meat or veto meal, drinks will be available, but bring your own alcohol. Tickets at the door. 

Then on Wednesday 16th of August there will be the second meeting for Social Habitat Housing. This is for the people interested in becoming residents at the proposed Tiny House/Land Lease Community starting in Mullumbimby. It will be at the Mullumbimby RSL 5 - 6.30 PM. For more information on this, go to the website at shh.socialhabitat.com.au. 

Heritage Train to Start

The 2 km train trip from Elements Resort to Byron CBD is progressing and will be up and running by December. The Byron Bay Railroad Company, and Elements of Byron, is owned and operated by coal baron Brian Flannery of White Energy. When the project began it was to be a heritage, two carriage diesel train but has now converted to solar power and is the first solar powered train in the world. There are solar trains in India but they only power the lights and fans.

Mr Flannery is not the only coal baron putting an eco gloss on their activity in the shire. In a valley near Federal, the ex co-owner of Whitehaven Coal (remember the Nathan Tinkler debacle), has been attempting to recreate the big scrub by regenerating over 600 acres of degraded grazing land. 

How They Do It In China

Resident action groups in Byron Shire are often active and successful in protecting the shire from rampant development. They should consider the plight of Chinese homeowners, residents and community groups opposing plans for new works. Lack of democracy in China certainly makes it easier for local government to get things done as this example shows.

The city of Chongqing, which has a population of 8.2 million, recently installed a two-lane road running across the rooftop of a five-storey, mixed-use building. But if you thought that might be noisy, spare a thought for the residents of another building, which has a light railway running through its 6th-8th floors – pictured here.

 Byron Bay Writers Festival

The BBWF starts is on this weekend and for anyone who has not participated you are missing out. It is the biggest and best literary festival in regional Australia and well worth the time and effort. Get lost in good conversation and interesting discussions. Kids day is on Sunday and they love it. Google the website and get a ticket.

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