We got an SMS from the agent at 9:30am today telling us he’d be at the property at 11am to show us around again. We’d just arrived at Saffs, quite possibly Castlemaine’s premier cafe, for breakfast and were giddy at the excitement of seeing it again. I assumed that the offer had been accepted, else it would be a bit weird to be invited around again, but didn’t say anything in case I was jinxing us. The butterflies in our tummies were going hell for leather though, and despite all logical sense saying not to get our hopes up, I’m not one to forego some adrenaline and excitement just in case my heart’s broken later on. Seize the day, etc…
We rocked up at 11am on the dot, a 10 minute drive from Castlemaine, and saw Rob (the agent) and Diane (the vendor) outside the house. Diane slinked off to her car - her hideaway while prospective buyers were shown around so as not to get in the way - and we were met by Rob. Not beating around the bush, Jo asked whether he had passed on our offer; he had. She asked what the verdict was and, while she was looking for a little more, having met us yesterday, she really loved us, our plans and dreams for the place and, given her need for flexible settlement, accepted our offer!
There was one small change: an 80 day settlement instead of 30. Diane will be moving in to a place in Castlemaine who’s current owner has it tenanted, requiring 60 days notice to have the tenants move out. The extra 20 days is our finance approval plus some breathing space.
The feeling that the land I was standing on would soon be ours was quite overwhelming. Jo and I just looked at each other, beaming from ear to ear. We looked around inside again, this time not as prospective buyers, but as soon-to-be owners planning on who would get which room, where the furniture would go, and so forth. Then we went outside and went to talk to Diane, thanked her and exchanged big hugs.
Diane, an English woman, born in Barry, Wales (yes mum, she even knows your street, and we’re going to visit her with you in a few weeks!) lived on this property for 29 years. She improved the soil enormously (those of you familiar with Castlemaine’s rock-filled, hard clay will attest to the fact that soft, rich brown soil is a rare sight in this neck of the woods). The big selling point, as well as the great soil, was the established trees and plants. We’ve got apricot, pear, apple, mulberry, nectarine, peach, lemon, loquat, plum, raspberries, blackcurrant, jostaberry (heat tolerant blackcurrant-like), leek, tomatoes, carrots, bush beans, lettuce, thyme, lemon thyme, sage, marjoram, oregano, camomile, rosemary, lavender and more!
And then there’s the vast array of roses and other “pretty” plants (as opposed to the useful, eating variety). They’re great for bringing in the birds and the bees, of course.
We spent an hour there, Diane sharing her passion for the garden with us; and she was absolutely delighted that a young family with similar dreams of land and sustainability were going to take over where she had decided to call it a day.
So, drum roll if you please, on May 20th, we will be moving here: