For some years now there has been a huge emphasis on looking at valid options as to what changes or extensions to do with the family home in this age of lessoning alternatives due to the coast of selling and finding something suitable to buy.
A quick on-line search illustrates a myriad of wonderful creative ideas as to how to best make use of the space and its viability.
Moreover television renovation programs provide insights to many young people (and older ones too) as to what might be done with an existing home on the one hand, and on the other, how best to make use of the land contours for a new home.
Such insights are nothing new, rather these popular programs have offered a new lease of life into such existing ideas, and with a little lateral thinking of your own and an architect, the world is one's oyster in flamboyant and functioning design.
Where there are blocks of very limited size and a lateral thinker offers an idea there is an expression of marvelling from the viewers and it becomes an instant successes, particularly if social media takes it up.
My late father Seymour Tronson was a pioneer of the Crediton dairying area, west of Mackay on the great diving rang at Eungella. His selected block (33) in the later mid 1930's on the Plateau Road (which was on a plateau) and overlooked the Pioneer Valley all the way to Mackay, 60 miles by road, 50 as the crow flies.
At the very top of the Eungella Range is the famous 1935 Eungella Chalet which has a magnificent view down the valley all the way to Mackay. Block 33 was a good 20 minute drive around Crediton to a different part of the Great Diving Range and Seymour Tronson scoured the farm to find the most advantageous Pioneer Valley view.
His dairy farming peers wondered by he would place the future farm homestead so far away from off Plataeu Road. His insight however was not the time and distance, as it was a good hour's drive to Mackay in any case. The position of the house, so as to take in the entire Pioneer Valley and to see the light of Mackay – that was the issue. In his view, the lights of Mackay gave a sense of civilization, rather than a sense of isolation.
Ordinary people without wealth
Back to these television programs – they show how many ordinary people, families taking up a normal mortgages, have serious options by which they can enhance their future financial well-being by carefully looking at available options.
He cites his own situation where he and his then finance, now wife of 38 years, had the good sense with the wisdom of their parents, where had each bought property in their single years. When married, those properties were sold and the monies went toward their first home in Wallacia (near Warragamba Dam on the outskirts of Sydney) in 1981.
The land and house deal was on a hill overlooking the Wallacia Valley adjacent to the Blaxland Crossing (where Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson crossed the river on their epic 1813 Blue Mountains crossing expedition). Within a few years they had an extension built over the garage adding value to the property. At their current location in Tweed Heads, they overlook the canals.
Just ordinary people, maximizing what is available. This is the story that many families can attest. Perhaps the real estate slogan of "Location, Location, Location" bears only half the story, as it is equally important as to what one places on the property and the insights in which makes such design and outlooks so very appealing.
Even updating the front facade can make a huge difference. Programs such as The Block illustrates that size hardly comes into it the equation, rather it is what you do with it that is the critical factor. The News Daily alerts us all that cost factors need to be kept in mind.
Churches too face similar situations
Churches too are faced with similar situations in growing and expanding communities. A local sized house block which was once the province of many local churches, no longer fit the bill due to Council parking regulations and the like.
Visiting Grafton recently on a Country Town Tour, I noticed one church had built on a hill some distance from town where land and zoning fitted the bill. Most new developments today are allocating such large spaces including churches which encompass schools, day care, sport facilities, retirement villages and the like.
"Option" is the name of the game, as there are so many varied and out-there possibilities. Perhaps the first place to start looking are such television renovation programs that provide galvanising ideas.
Getting a vision seems to be a first step! Proverbs 29 verse 18 says that without a vision, the people perish.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html