Liz gives an overview of her property journey and how she got into moving houses. She talks about the two house moves she’s been involved in so far the benefits of moving houses and her aspirations for future house moves.
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Elizabeth Gordon: You’re listening to the relocate a house podcast, the podcast for people interested in moving whole houses, walls, windows, roofs, and floors from a couple of meters to hundreds of kilometers to create good financial outcomes, beautiful properties, or both.
Hi my name is Liz welcome to the podcast about relocating houses. It could be old ones or it could be new ones. But if you’re interested in moving houses, I intend to be able to convey to you some of the tips and success stories of people who’ve moved houses to encourage you on your way. And also to teach me more than I know about moving houses.
It’s very weird to be doing a podcast. It may be weirder because I’m filming this at the same time. It’s my first one. So bear with me through the humps and bumps as I get more experienced and more confident with podcasting. So who am I? Well, I am, as you can see, moving into my later middle age years.
I’m a mom to the lovely Catherine, who’s what I guess, regard herself as an 11 year old victim of her mom’s property, passion, and, I’m a wife to very patiently being along with me and very warm and encouraging on the journey. Even though I’ve kind of, probably in terms of my projects, taken him to places that he never expected.
I grew up in Sydney, Southern Suburbs and, two years ago, just pre COVID when moved to the central coast, where I, now we now live with my father-in-law in a beautiful part of the central coast called Point Clare it’s quite close to Gosford. 95 or 96 I’m the manager of a team of people who provide business advisory.
Services I’m very passionate about business and about helping companies. So that’s fantastic. And in my small time, in my spare time, sorry, I’m a small developer and part-time mover of houses. So, I’ve got a really big goal and that is to grow personally and financially so that I can decide what I want to do from day to day as a job, I’ve moved quite a long way along the curve, but I’m not ready yet to give up my day job, which I really love to be honest, but I also love property and I haven’t yet gained the courage to let my day job go. So, let me tell you a little bit about my property journey, and then I’ll move into telling you about how I got started in moving houses and why I’m so passionate about it. And then I’ll finish off by telling you a little bit about the format of this blog and what you can expect going forward.
So I started like many young Sydneysiders sometime ago, feeling a little bit despairing about not being in property. So I wasn’t, I didn’t have my head screwed on in my early twenties. I didn’t go out and create a splash or anything like that, instead I enjoyed my life, I traveled a lot. And when I got to about 30, I realized that if I didn’t start taking control of my life and my investments, I was going to end up without very much at all.
Although when I looked at buying property, I was quite despairing because, the price of property in Sydney is really, really high. A lot of people never get out of that despair state, but I decided that I was going to stop pining about not having a great tale to start with and begin on our property journey and just see where it took me.
So we had a really modest start just after we were married in my early mid thirties, my husband and I bought a unit in Wiley park, which is a suburb of Sydney close to Lekenba. And that was a modest one bedroom unit. And whilst it’s not somewhere that we have chosen to live over the longer term, it has been a fantastic investment and has been tenanted for now, we bought it in 2006.
So 15 years it’s been tenanted without more than one week. So it’s been very good to us and it’s more than doubled in value since that modest stop with my enthusiasm. I’ve done another, a couple of other property projects. So we’ve bought and held some property. I built some granny flats, which has been, really provide a really good return.
I’ve done some small subdivisions, so wanting to three lot subdivision and the one into two lots subdivision I’ve built houses by traditional means. And by unusual means in terms of manufactured houses and I’ve sold some and kept some so. I’m telling you this, I guess, because I believe that, you may be interested in my background.
but also I believe that learning and sharing is important. So I like to be part of property groups, have been mentored along the way, and I find that quite very important for my own personal. I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way. And I’ve had lots of learnings. I am pleased to say that I guess the mistakes, although they felt quite bad at the time and quite serious have been things when I’ve been able to overcome.
And my successes, I would say, have far outweighed the hiccups that I’ve had, those mistakes that have felt so bad. whilst I’ve been in them. The other reason I’m telling you this is that I have a kind of personal statement, that I live into and that’s to achieve my dreams by taking one step after the other, even if they seem very difficult to achieve at the beginning, just start and keep going.
And the other part of my, I suppose, personal statement or mission is that I’d like to inspire others to believe that great things are possible for them as well. And perhaps I can set a little bit of an example about that. So after these property projects that I’ve done, that I’ve just talked about in brief, where am I headed?
I’ve got the bucket list of things to do, but on my property bucket list is to move or, and renovate a beautiful Queensland style house, which would give me such joy to own something so beautiful in my vision of it. I look forward to being able to do that and to share that with people who would rent that perhaps as an Airbnb, there is a possibility might move in Queenslander and even live in it.
I’m not sure how things are going to pan out, but I’m very passionate about moving houses and having moved a couple. The next one I want to do is a really kind of that project, which is much more indulgent. It’s a real passion for me, rather than a kind of economical, rational decision. So bear with me that will unfold.
I’m absolutely convinced of it, but I’m just not sure when, and let me also tell you now a little bit about how I got into this whole idea of moving houses. In the early two thousands. When I was beginning on my property journey, I read everything I could get my hands on, including this magazine, which is no longer published.
I think it is now an online magazine called API. Australian property, investor magazine. And in that magazine, there was an article about a south Australian couple who were moving houses from Adelaide onto into towns where there was a mining boom. And they were doing really well financially. And they was because they were solving a problem.
They were able to quite quickly create accommodation where there was a shortage. They were just. They explained in this article, putting houses on trucks, cutting them up, putting houses on trucks, getting them to site, reassembling them and then viola they had great accommodation for people. So I got inspired and I got excited.
And when that happens, I think it’s funny in my life. I begin to know. What sorts of things that kind of feed into that excitement and that inspiration. So for years now, I have read and found and come across magically other articles about people doing it. I have now people sending the articles when they hear us, they have this happening.
I was in the Emirates as part of my work and online. I found that I did some research in my spare time and I was finding that New Zealand is in Queensland, has moved houses a lot. It’s very common. And I found an obscure book by, by acquaintances. a Kiwi and got that sent to me in the Emirates. It was pretty hard to get hold of that book because they hadn’t been many copies published, but I devoured that.
I also, as part of that investigation, I came across this idea of manufactured homes and, sometimes known as transportable homes or modular homes. And I guess my preference is to think about the ones I like is as manufacturing homes, which simply means homes built in a factory, put on trucks and again, delivered to site and.
I got so interested in that, that, my husband will tell you that it’s been a bit crazy. I began to call in on these manufactured home builders. There’s one on the central coast of new south Wales, actually. And I used to call in there and have a look at what they were building in their yards. They would kindly take me around.
And I said, you know, I used to tell the staff in there, I’m going to build one of your houses one day. And I think they used to look at me like this. Lady’s a bit cool show you. I love, but I was just trying to tell them, you let me come back, let me have a look, let me drain. And it will happen. and sure enough it did.
With my husband and I have been on holiday in Victoria and I’ve taken him to several manufactured home builders for a discussion. So it’s been just fantastic. I developed a list of house movers of traditional old, old, existing house movers in new south Wales. So I’ve been on a journey and I haven’t known where it’s going to end, but I really have been very enthusiastic about it.
Let me tell you a little bit about my first project, which involved a house move. And that was, uh, again, I was despairing because it was, we started with our Wiley park property and then I had bought a couple of regional properties, but I wanted to buy a Sydney property in prices was so expensive and I was thinking, oh, I have to solve this problem.
And it took a long time and it was quite a frustrating wait. But I do get resourceful and it occurred to me. I’ve read and heard some things about joint venturing. And so at a point I felt confident enough to ask some of our friends, if they’d be interested in a property joint venture, and one said yes. So we ended up buying a house in the Northern, Northern Sydney suburbs.
And this house was on a really big block of 1,739 square meters. And we could stop divide that into three lots when we did that, the boundaries of the new lots were drawn in such a way that the existing house was traversed by a boundary. So it had to be demolished. So the boundary traverse, that house, and it was slated for demolition.
And in fact, I had looked at that house and thought, oh, I think it would be perfect to move. Except I thought it’s got a concrete floor underneath the bathroom and the laundry, I thought I’m sure they can’t move a concrete floor. That doesn’t make sense that they could pick up, you know, a kind of a weatherboard house.
And then move it with a concrete floor, the whole thing would fall apart. And as a result of that, I sat on my hands and I didn’t mention it for quite a while until about a month before that demolition was scheduled. And I said to my joint venture partner, Hey, you know, it’s weird, but I’ve got this strange, interest in moving houses.
And I feel like this house could be moved, but I’m worried about the. And he said, put, he mean they’ve houses. Anyway. I told him that this could be done. And, I told him I had a list of house movers and. He, but I said to him, look, my husband. And I said, well, we can’t afford to move this house because it requires a reasonable amount of capital.
And we’re stretched being in this project anyway. So I could introduce you to the house movers, but you would have to do it right. We couldn’t afford it, but it would save us the cost of demolishing the house. And maybe you could get a house on your block. My joint venture partner, instead of thinking, I was crazy said, okay, introduce me.
And that was the beginning of that story. So the house movers came and said, in fact, they could move the house, in spite of the concrete floor. And there were a few advantages of moving the house, cause it was a block move. It didn’t have to be cut and it wasn’t going to take very long and whilst there was a cost, it was going to be worthwhile.
So. joint venture partner went ahead and moved that house and I was integrally involved and I really loved that. So I got to live my dream through that experience. My second project of moving a house just in brief was that as part of that subdivision, My husband and I kept the backlot of, this battleax three lot subdivision.
And I went to the house, moving company on the central coast that I’ve been to so many times before. And I said, Hey, now I’ve got a block of land. Can you build me a house? It’s quite a small block. Can you build me a house and an attached granny flat and bring that down? And they said, sure, why not? So, that was designed.
It was a fantastic design when I put that in and it got approved. About 10 weeks after the build was commissioned after it started, they were finished and the house was on site and, they just kept it for about another month while they finished off on site. And then with a little bit of landscaping and other work that I had to do that housing granny flat was finished.
So I would say that within four months from start to finish that house, and granny flat were ready to be. At quite a cost-effective price. So that was just a terrific experience for me. So why am I so passionate? I think you can hear that, moving houses provides lots of solutions to property challenges along the way for small developers.
It’s one, one strategy that I employ and I don’t employ it all the time, but it makes a lot of sense sometimes. It’s just got so many benefits. It can obviously solve accommodation shortages is a solution to providing housing in a really time efficient way. If you’re moving an old house, it’s great for recycling.
If you’re moving a house it can be much a preferred option where there are not many tradies available. There’s a shortage of tradies. So just, so many benefits. Oh, and of course the other benefits of moving houses are that through those two projects, I gained my joint venture partner gained extraordinary amount of equity.
I don’t believe, well, it would have been difficult to create that kind of equity. using a different strategy in that case. Now I’d like to just talk about the format of these podcasts going forward. I, want it to be a little bit varied. So sometimes it will be just me talking about particular aspects of moving houses.
But other times I do intend to interview specialists. So people who can inspire us or because they’ve carried out a project or specialists in the industry
day in day out and hopefully you’ll learn from this so what I’d like to, just request that you do now. Go to my website on that website is my other article about moving that first house, the old house. So there are some well, several articles in the articles section. You can see the stages in the project, and there’s some information there about steps that you need to take and some costs.
you could also go to my website and, contact me. So, share a project that you’ve done, or you could ask a question and I’ll endeavor to answer that my next podcast or a future podcast, either myself or bringing on a specialist, or if you’re a, a specialist in house moving. If you’re a consultant or you’re a contractor who does this all the time, or you’re a house mover, please reach out.
relocateahouse.com.au I’d love to hear from you and perhaps record an interview with you or provide some information about you Or simply go to my website and tell me what you think about these podcasts and give me some tips for the future. So my website is called relocateahouse.com.au. That’s relocate a house. No stops .com.au
So I look forward to seeing you in the next two to three weeks. I hope these podcasts will occur every two to four weeks. And I look forward to bringing you more information about moving house with then
This is the relocate a house podcast to find out more about moving whole houses. Visit relocateahouse.com.au