Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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Shipping container home basics


Over the past decade, there has been a variety of innovative, unique, and in some cases quirky home ideas and designs.

In the on generations, there has been a desire to move from the city and live away from what was considered an average neighbourhood or housing development into something alternative. Even older generations have swapped out of the same, boring, single family home for a customised and home with some difference. There have been some new types of homes have caught the eye of the public but one that is standing out our shipping container homes. It’s correct; these houses are constructed from good old shipping containers that you see at a seaport.
At first, thought living in a shipping container might sound a weird little proposal to suggest. Shipping containers, however, can provide an ideal material with this is because they are credible, movable, strong, stackable, very strong and plentiful and supply as well as cheap to buy. Shipping containers have become hugely popular and the uses expanded not only from building homes but also shops, small cafes, officers, schools and school dormitories. They have also been used as emergency shelters, and even an Australian engineer in Fiji built an entire village community from shipping containers of which survived an incredibly strong hurricane that hit the country. As we noted in an another article shipping containers can also be used for aboveground swimming pools and are ideal for people that move from place to place within a locality – the swimming pool was very portable.
Some reference online may refer to shipping containers as storage container homes. Remember that these are equally interchangeable terms mean basically the same thing.
What our shipping container homes
As a term says shipping container homes are simply that, I am is made from shipping containers that you would otherwise see at a seaport. If ever you have driven past a shipping port area you will have seen large, rectangular metal boxes – these are shipping containers.
Shipping containers have a lifespan of around 30 years that most companies stop using them at around ten years to avoid any liability issues. It is then that the shipping containers may be recycled or sold to individuals or businesses.
Your probably wondering then how do you make a shipping container home?
This is up to the homeowner or developer and relates to the design chosen. The number of shipping containers for the N project will vary and can be one for smaller shipping container home or 10 or more for a larger home which all depends on budget and the creative mind.
The containers can be set on a foundation or sent side-by-side. This will be ideal for a single level one story home, but more creative designs can incorporate stacking the containers on top of each other forming a multi-story dwelling.
Some shipping containers are more suitable for the construction of residential homes than other shipping containers. One source that I referred to said that there might be up to 50 different types of storage containers used. The types of shipping containers use can be:
Open top – this is a container that has an open top and is used for top loading materials into it. The side of the container may open also.
Dry freight – these can also be called cube containers. They are front opening with the remaining part of the container sealed.
Thermal/insulated – carrying frozen goods and needing to stay cold during the shipping process. Insulated for temperature maintenance only but no external source of cooling.
Refrigeration – also known in the industry as reefer shipping containers. Can have the temperature controlling ability with a cooling system usually built and for shipping perishable goods.
Tank – can be rectangular or cylindrical in shape for transporting bulk or liquid material.
Dimensions of the containers above are usually ISO regulated – International standards organisation for height and width.
shipping container sizes are 20 feet or 40 feet, but some of the longer containers can go up to 56 feet. 20/40 is commonly referred for container lengths.

Shipping container housing designers

Have you considered downsizing your living area?  Last week I wrote an article on tiny houses there are also people that are moving into tiny apartments in making a lot of space out of small apartment sizes of around 38 – 40 m² in living area. Clever use of space and some changes can see couples or even a couple with a child living in this area. Living in smaller spaces can be offset with intelligent flexible design and use of space.  Apartments in New York and Europe have started focusing on good design rather than size.

In New Zealand the Christchurch City Council crackdown on people living and unsightly shipping containers and tiny homes.  There were many people considered to be flouting the grey area of what constitutes a home especially since the Christchurch earthquakes.  A New Zealand supplier of tiny homes said in the press that he could effectively be out of business the council took a hard line and increased council requirements would increase also budget costs of construction of tiny homes.

shipping container homes in Christchurch backyard
Source from stuff.co.nz – Christchurch city council had to crack down on unsightly shipping containers being used to live in and tiny homes.

Then again,  then again the Christchurch City Council legislation was designed to combat the unsightly appearance of many shipping containers springing up and carried with it penalty notices to fix or remove the shipping container or tiny home before handing out further penalties of $1000 fines.

Shipping container homes

If you check YouTube for example you can see that there is a lot of videos on shipping container homes. There is also material for downloading from Amazon.com Kindle.

Globally there are many creative architects who have put together some amazing shipping home projects.  These are not single shipping container builds but feature multiple containers stacked in varying arrangements or living area sizes.

Many of the shipping container homes are built with bold colours, textures contrasting and transparent elements.

There are many examples overseas to give inspiration for home designs including;  This list is by no means exhaustive but their web pages will give you some inspiration.

International architects and designers that have worked specifically with shipping containers.

  • Adam Kalkin. A designer that works with shipping containers and features some honours website.
  • Marcio Kogan and Brazilian designer – website was having some issues at the time of writing.
  • Patrick Partouche – a French architect that has worked with shipping container projects.
  • Benjamin Garcia Saxe – has constructed multiple design angles and uses of containers keeping in line economical construction.
  • James and Mau architects based in Spain but with offices in Chile and Colombia.
  • Walter Scott Perry – Heads up Ecotech, a US based architectural firm.
  • Building Lab Inc. An architectural firm based in Oakland, California.

Examples of Australian shipping container home projects

Ziegler build offer a consultancy service based in Queensland.  And also deal with consultation in different construction forms such as shipping containers and helping through each stage of the development process.

An example of a project that was completed in Brisbane included a private residence that was built out of 31 shipping containers on a 706 m² site and having a total floor area of 560 m².

Queensland shipping container home builders architects
Ziegler build shipping container home. Image from the companies web page.

The build time was approximately 5 ½ months and completed in July 2013.  The home itself was spread three lead over levels and you can find out more on the Ziegler build website.

Shipping container house in Victoria

The ABC’s RN program has an article on shipping container homes.  The article featured a home being built where containers could be bought for as little as $2,000 each.  The project was designed by architect  Geoffrey Fulton of Sean Godsell.com and built by an owner builder in country Victoria. You might also want to check out Phooey which is a Melbourne based architectural firm.

Photograph above is a shipping container home being built in Victoria.  The photograph below is the home finished. Featured on ABC radios RN program – photo credits abc.net.au/RN

So what else can shipping containers be used for?

Lifestyle.com.au had an article about shipping container swimming pools when I was researching this post.  It’s really what you call a perfect solution for anyone in Brisbane, Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast for that matter looking for a cheap swimming pool.  Rather than spending loads of money digging giant big hole in your backyard, spending loads of money and filling with water you can build a swimming pool cheaply and with some portability.  The company is based in Queensland and is trading as shipping container pools.  The company sells accessories to the swimming pool including fibreglass inlay, steps, small wooden decking and filtration systems.

Apparently from what I have been reading the cost to install a shipping container pool is around half of what a standard inground swimming pool cost.  As shipping container swimming pool be around $20,000 more less and can provide a solution for those who rent a home given it as above ground and portable and have it reasonable backyard to have a swim in summer.

Image of above ground shipping container swimming pool was sourced from the shipping container pools Facebook page.


Vintage Furniture And Collectibles For The Home.

mill markets victoria
vintage and collector items and the Daylesford town mill markets in Victoria.

Do you enjoy going through vintage and collectible furniture stores?  There are many opportunities to buy secondhand items for vintage enthusiasts or take a weekend drive to a country town and pick through a large selection of collectibles and furniture on offer.  Different people have different bents when It comes to decorating their homes from vintage, retro, right through to timber and modern pieces.  There are places online and offline selling everything from the cheap and nasty to more expensive items.

This article came about by a piece I saw in the ABC on a vintage furniture auction in Melbourne. The Melbourne option was for contents of a long closed secondhand furniture store on the north side of Melbourne known as the former Brooks and co furniture building in Thornbury.  Under the hammer was an unreserved option of more than 450 lots.  The auction was being managed by auctioneers Leonard Joel for this densely packed Melbourne store.  That was held back in February 2016.

For the serious collectors that want to travel there is no shortage of places to pick up vintage furniture and collectibles.  The mill markets at Daylesford are an eye-opener.  A big storage area with rows and rows of stuff to pick through. Daylesford is great for a day trip and around 1.5 hours easy driving north west of the Melbourne CBD.  The town has a nice vibe and there are numerous places to eat.  Also while your in Daylesford there are weekend markets and also a number of well stocked opshops.

For more information on the Daylesford mill markets you can check their website.  The mill market at Daylesford is a selection of vintage clothes, vintage furniture, collectibles, antiques, memorabilia, home decor, fine china, works, glass arts and coins, jewelry, books and other things to name a few.  It’s an absolute treasure trove and is open from 10 AM to 6 PM seven days a week except Christmas Day.  I have it visited the mill markets and highly recommend dropping by when in Daylesford or in Melbourne for that matter.  There is an on-site café and you can read more information in trip advisor about reviews of this place

here are some of my photos I took when at the Mill Markets in Daylesford.

Mill Market in Dyalesford. There are a number of rows, stocked full of collectibles and vintage pieces. photo – law1.com.au

another interesting site that I’ve come across is called the jumk map.  Featured in particular is a store called lost Ark which is located at Williamstown North in Victoria.

Photograph of the store, the Lost Ark source – thejunkmap.com.au

If driving around is not your thing well then you can buy and browse furniture pieces online.

Here are 9 of the best online stores for furniture pieces that you can check.

  1. Modern times – this is a Melbourne-based store with a specialist area in vintage Danish furniture and contemporary Australian art/homewares.
  2. Vintage Vampt – a store with original homewares, furniture and lighting from mid century and featuring a collection of vintage pieces. Located in Sydney.
  3. Collectika – another Sydney store specialising in restoring 1950s to 1960s retro furniture and vintage and midcentury collectibles.
  4. Etsy  itsy is a place where people around the world connect online and off-line to make, buy and sell unique goods.
  5. EBay.com.au – has some pieces that you can find but be sure to ask questions before you place a bid on the product.  Can pickup direct from the owners and pay cash.
  6. Kitsch please this is a Melbourne store and is a buying and selling platform.
  7. all bids.com.au online website with furniture for sale.
  8. Lastly you might want to check out Sydney based company Lawsons.
  9. Gumtree – One of my favourites is gumtree.com.au, I’ve used gumtree for many years and have found and sold a lot of things on the website.  Unfortunately bigger businesses taken it over and turned it from once was a active community into a more commercial model.  For the restorers and bargain hunters, gumtree you never know your luck as there is a section on Gumtree unrelated to collectible items but may from time to time have an old timber piece that someone is giving away for free and that may need some loving.  You never know your luck!

If you are in Melbourne Melbourne West is the place to go for various furniture stores appears.  There is another featured store on the junk map called one in a mill.  This store is located at Newport about 23 km south-west of the Melbourne CBD.  There is another website here that you can check featuring vintage furniture stores in Melbourne and in particular this store.

Iif you’re looking for ideas to decorate your home with furniture whether Victorian period or Bohemian look of the 1970s or retro here are eight fail safe tips that you can read about to help with your home decorating ideas.


An Affordable Housing Movement That’s Taking Off In Australia.


[corner-ad id=1]It’s a housing movement that is rapidly growing. Started in the USA its moved to Australia and is being taken up by many singles and couples looking to get into the property market or out of bank debt.

Overseas, in fact this new form of housing is booming and it’s now growing rapidly in Australia. The movement has started and that movement is called the tiny house movement. In Australia the movement took off from early 2015 although building small weekenders and housing has been around for many years in Australia, architects and designers have come up with economising designs that really have started to reach broader appeal.

If you’re looking for small house then you’re spoiled for choice. There has been a growing demand for small and affordable housing in Australia especially as many city property prices have become unaffordable.

Imagine yourself for a moment, debt free, your very own house – a tiny house. Tiny housing might be an option and at the moment for some it’s not just a dream it’s a reality in a way of living to being in a larger home and having decades of mortgage repayments. Many are springing up in country areas where legislation on this size of housing is a lot more relaxed than closer in urban areas and land entry price is significantly cheaper.

In the United States it is reportedly around $23,000 USD for a home but living in a tiny home requires few few possessions and less space required. For many this is a great tradeoff, back to simplicity. The size of some homes are just 2 m x 3.6 m in size but some people prefer a small size and not having the usual television, collection of furniture and material possessions that invariably gather dust. Some people are also attracted to the environmentally friendly designs of tiny housing and have built tiny houses of 100% recyclable steel frame and Australian sourced building materials.

Some companies (especially in the US) advertise prefabricated homes that you have to put together yourself. One company based in America is called 84 lumber and they have a range of tiny houses for those at one a break and the housing market without breaking the bank. At the time of writing the company had four models available. They may ship prefabricated homes to Australia from the time when this article was written.

There are some architects globally making waves with tiny house designs. One company producing amazing tiny home designs is Danish Company LUMO Architects. The design sizes are around 40m2. Much smaller than the traditional home but the size of a general studio unit. Tiny homes come in all sorts of shapes such as square and circular and can be deconstructed by two or three people in a matter of a couple of hours.

If you want to check some photographs of tiny homes, visit the website inhabit.com.

Australian contacts for Tiny Houses.

Locally in Australia there is Freds Tiny House website.  Victorian based website on Tiny Houses, a local tiny house website is Fred’s tiny houses and he conducts workshops and sketch up drawings as well as tours. The person behind this website lives at Castlemaine Victoria.

Fred’s tiny houses has everything in terms of plans design services help with workshops, living off the grid, information sessions and tours etc.

The site is run by Fred Schultz who is based in Victoria and is in the video below.  You can see this video on youtube of a tiny house on wheels featuring Fred Schultz’s home. Fred’s total material cost was around $45,000 but this was the cost of mostly new materials and a large part of the cost of the materials were off the grid inclusions of solar panels which cost around $12,000. He did buy some secondhand materials online.

Youtube video featuring Fred Schultz’s property.

For more beautifully produced films about off the grid living, tiny houes etc – the person that filmed the video about Fred’s setup then check out Happen Films, a website which is run by a documentary maker Jordan.

Tiny Homes Being Sold In Australia.
Properties are being sold on domain.com.au and realestate.com.au from a search included:

1. Lot 16 Rocky Creek Road,Wollombi in New South Wales.
The property has been for sale on a number of websites including domain and realestate.com.au with an asking price of $248,000.  The tinyhome is situated on 42 ha of land. You can see more pictures of the house it the above link.

photograph – realestate.com.au

2. 32 Davos Street, Main Ridge Victoria.  Now sold.

photograph – realestate.com.au

The property was sold in August 2016 situated on 65 acres of land it is a one bedroom home with spectacular setting of rolling hills and views to Bass Strait and Port Phillip.

Are these homes Council Approvable? Legal? and what about financing?

This is where you will have to search for local council regulations and this is one of the variables that is hard to gauge as each council has minimum size specifications for the construction of homes on land.

In terms of home loans for tiny houses, banks have lending criteria and sometimes they will not lend for mortgage purposes on any house size under 50m2 in living area for mortgage security purposes. They even have an issue with buildings that can be transported off site very quickly as for them, what started out as a residential “house” loan then becomes a land only property and that’s not what they setout to have on their books.

Sometimes there might be ways around the minimum size of a dwelling on a property for Council compliance including that it is residing on land where it’s a secondary home to an approved primary house. In the USA some people have had the tiny home registered as an RV.

This is a main area that you will have to investigate in the area of your choosing and these complicated issues require serious research. Let me highlight SERIOUS RESEARCH If you don’t do sufficient research you might find you have problems with Council.

What are the downsides of a tiny home lifestyle?

You can say goodbye to having large dinner parties although with good floor plans you can squeeze in people that have over for dinner. When it comes to overnight guests there may be some issues as well. When you’re talking about sharing with someone you have less privacy and space but I guess the positive side is instant connection. If you are wanting a growing family there is less room to move so that is a consideration before you enter into such a housing set up.

You may also have to downsize your belongings and sell some of the things that you’ve been holding onto for years. Getting rid of grandma’s chest of drawers or lounge suite might have to be on the cards to living in such a small area home

The movement for smaller homes is emerging all around Australia having started in the USA and run steadily in the wake of the global financial crisis. The ABC reported a Brisbane couple living in an 18 m² home that there are many untold stories out there of couples and singles living happily in the tiny house marketplace of couples and singles living happily. Some see the tiny house market as a solution to the housing crisis.

Building tiny houses yourself sourcing cheap building materials and surplus supplies?

Having recently looked at new renovation options for sale and bathrooms I can tell you that the costs of building these days is quite expensive. If you are looking for cheaper entry point we have an article about the construction materials and surplus renovation suppliers might be worth attending such as you can pick up timber, floor tiles, bathroom fit outs, complete discount kitchens, flooring, carpeting etc. at Melbourne based auction companies such as Fowles or Grays Online or major cities around Australia.

You could even pickup materials from ebay.com.au or good deals for cheap building materials, timber, finding tradespeople looking for work etc are on gumtree.com.au.

Bargain Basement Vehicles: Council Auctions For Abandoned Cars, Trailers, Caravans.

volkswagen camper van

Many councils around Australia run sales of abandoned vehicles even in [cf_geo return=”region”].  These can be through tender process, expressions of interest or abandoned vehicle auctions here are some examples of real sales by town and city councils in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to show you ways to pick up cheap cars for spares, fixing up and that are being sold through local council.

These vehicles are usually not pretty.  I mean, classified as in fair to poor condition so be prepared.  Buying abandoned motor vehicles is not for the faint-hearted basically you don’t know where it’s been and usually its been driven hard before being dumped on Council land.  The cars are always sold without registration in a lot of cases but PPSR clean without any finance owing.  Just, the owners cannot be located.  As a result you will get an opportunity to pickup a bargain vehicle but you have to be knowing where to look.

Ideally, this is a domain for panel beating friendly people or  anyone looking for cheap vehicle spares, spare panels, cheap entry to car parts for vehicles etc.

Ipswich City Council Abandoned Vehicle Sale

Ipswich Council in Queensland for example at the time of writing in December 2016 were selling a number of abandoned vehicles.  Ipswich city is approximately 40 minutes south-west of the Brisbane CBD in Queensland and is accessible easily by public train transport or driving from the Brisbane CBD.

The council were auctioning 26 unclaimed motor vehicles. It was reported in the  Queensland Times which is a local newspaper for the City of Ipswich that there were five Commodores and one caravan that were sitting in the councils impound yard at Kenneth Street in Ipswich that had been cleared from city roadsides.  The purpose of auctioning the vehicles is largely to recover the costs of removal and impounding as well as a council duty to keep clear the roads of hazards.  That was what they said, but some councils recover money for other purposes.

on the list of cars for auction were Holden, Honda’s, Mitsubishi.  More specifically – Holden Epica, Honda Accord, Kia Carnival, Ford Laser, Subaru Forester, Holden Commodore, Toyota Corolla, Ford Falcon and so on right down to a caravan!  Yyou can find out more information from the Ipswich City Council and keep an eye on any upcoming car auctions they may have as the last abandoned motor vehicle auction that I’m aware of that was run by this council was in mid-2016, meaning, they seem to hold auctions every 6 months (assumption).

A look wider and you will see that many councils around Australia sell their abandoned vehicles collected from Council property.

Burdekin Shire Council – Vehicle Auction

the Burdekin Shire Council were auctioning in July of this year, 2016 abandoned motor vehicles.  Burdekin Shire is located approximately one hour 15 minutes south-east of Townsville along the coast of Queensland.  These vehicles were obtained as a result of being abandoned road side at parks and abandoned on land council controlled.  The vehicles were unregistered at the time of collection.  As with the property is being sold for council rates article we wrote,  there is an extensive search process that the Councils conduct to locate vehicle owners using number plates or VIN numbers or engine numbers before it is placed for sale to the public

If the owners are found in the Council search, the owners are asked to remove the vehicle from the Council depot within seven days and failure to do this or contact the Council following that notice will result in the Council seizing the vehicle where it is unlawfully parked and removing the vehicle for safe keeping.  This relates to vehicles being abandoned on council land and not private property of other owners.

MacKay Council Vehicle Auction

In Mackay about 4 to 5 hours south of Townsville a total of 59 vehicles were to go under the hammer including eight motorbikes in December 2016. The proceeds from the sale were intended to go to the State emergency service rather than recouping council coffers in administering the collection maintenance which is usually the case.  The vehicles were standard Japanese, Holden and Korean made vehicles as well is a BMW 328 sedan.

The Mackay city council removes vehicles from the roads if they are an eyesore or if it is reported to the Council following which  a Council officer will inspect the vehicle and if it is unregistered and abandoned a notice is stuck to the windscreen.  The owner then has eight days to remove the car from the road and a release fee for the abandoned vehicle of $290 payable.  If you are interested to keep track of the Mackay auctions, a full list of vehicles and more information is usually published and the Mackay newspaper called the daily Mercury article will usually post any council auctions as they happen.

Yass Valley Council, New South Wales

Yass Valley Council  is located in New South Wales and at the time of writing this article, were advertising on their website vehicles for sale by expressions of interest.  Listed were 14 vehicles in fair to mainly poor condition and expressions of interest closed in February 2017.  Note that the year was not stated on its website but I’m assuming it is early 2017.  Yass Valley is around 285 km south-west of Sydney and is around three hours by car from Sydney.  The cars on offer would be ideal for anyone looking for spare parts for Japanese makes and Holden spares.

Ex-burnout cars 🙂

As mentioned, these vehicles are largely not pretty.  The vehicles that are being auctioned by the Council come from abused backgrounds and in some cases used for burnouts and abandoned, damaged by their owners such as the case in Muswellbrook where the abandoned vehicle had shredded tires and had just been left by the driver with the police having no success in locating the registered owner.

Abandoned vehicle auction by Victoria Council

Knox city council has impounded vehicles being 13 lots to be sold by Knox city council under the general provisions local laws 2010 and local government act 1989 which in this case the vehicles were sold as is unregistered without keys and were PPS are clear and have no financial security or interest against them no security or financial interest against them.  That is stated on the Knox City Council webpage in relation to these vehicles being sold.

The council was selling these vehicles by tender which closed in November 2016 and were available for online or submission or dropping submissions in person at the Knox Civic Centre,  511 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South, Victoria 3152.  Knox City Council buildings are located around 40 minutes south east of the Melbourne city CBD.

We will post more articles about Council auctions on this site.

Council Property Auctions; A Chance To Snag A Real-estate Bargain.


These are little-known strategy but it is possible to find city or town councils around Australia selling properties for unpaid rates. The West Coast Council in Tasmania had up to 18 properties with outstanding rates owed. The auction was scheduled to be held back in the middle of 2016.  Interestingly many councils from time to time conduct these type of options and they can range from houses to undeveloped vacant lots and both commercial and residential properties.  In the case of the West Coast Council properites, the property to be auction were in Queenstown, Strahan, Tullah and Zeehan in Tasmania.

The most famous and notable case of houses being sold by councils were the case of the Sydney hoarders house at Bondi.  The NSW sheriff had attempted three times to auction the property in February and each occasion had been delayed at the last hours.  There were over 50 emails overnight reportedly received by the agent handling the auction on one advertisement of the property.  The owners reportedly owed the Waverley Council in Sydney $160,000 for outstanding debts and cleanup and legal costs relating to rubbish on the property.  On one occassion the auction was cancelled just 50 minutes before the property was due to be auctioned.

For property owners it is the law that they pay their rates and in some cases, some property owners in Australia just don’t want to pay their rates.  There are situations of absentee landowners who, in some cases people forget to pay.

When the properties are sold the funds are usually held in trust for a statutory period just in case the owners come forward.  This means that it may take years for the council to finally receive the money.  As in there it’s Tasmanian example of the council selling properties for rates recovery it may take from the time the person stopped paying rates to recouping the dollars into council coffers approximately six years at a minimum.

When the council moved to sell a property they usually engage a local firm of real estate agents who will generally sell the property by auction.  The council being in a delicate situation will make exhaustive enquiries in an attempt to locate the owners or executors of any well and estate and seek to get the rates paid before they initiate a process of sale.

The council will follow a legislated path includes advertising, following up any last known addresses of the people and even involving debt collectors at some point in the process.  It is possible for owners to even make a payment arrangement with Council should their property be under the council spotlight for paying rates.

Gladstone Queensland, surplus rates sale of properties

It’s a case of looking all around Australia and knowing where to look.  Gladstone for example had a bunch of properties during the midyear fibre due rates.  The Gladstone regional Council the selling 55 properties initially after owners and not pay their rates in three years or more.

Following detailed investigations the list that finally whittled down to around three with a collection of rates due over $53,000.  Owing to the council was various amounts of around $11,000, $16,000 and $25,000.  As you can see there is nothing in it financially for the council to hold onto these properties other than to recoup what is owed in rates.  The Gladstone councils recovery of rates arrears process gives property owners up until the morning of the option to pay the overdue rates after which the property will be scheduled for sale by public auction.

gladstone property for sale by council

New South Wales property is being sold by councils

is not always straightforward and trying to pick up a cheap property through a council unpaid rates option.  Auction house Ford and Dougherty were selling properties which were unused council facilities in Grafton, New South Wales

back in August 2016 they had a property which were passed in with several bids that didn’t reach the reserve price.  As a properties do not sell at auction they were then put into private treaty process.  With these options of Council properties whether for unpaid rates or surplus council properties you never know your luck but in one case of a a property at Spring Street in Grafton there was only one registered interested person and that option and did not call the option but negotiated with an offer from them.

Sometimes sales are not straight forward and Councils have landed in hot water.

In one profile case there was a situation in Toowoomba where the council had caused humiliation by publicly naming a home owner who could not pay their rates bill a Queensland ombudsman report found.  The Toowoomba regional Council recently auction of several homes under the local government regulation to collect unpaid rates.

One owner who had fallen on hard times awoke one morning to find a large auction sign erected on the front of their property.  Underneath the sign was the owner’s full name, address and property description.  This led to raising the issue of inconsistent laws across Queensland which in some cases some councils named the landowner on the option notices and some do not.

There may be limitations for some buyers.  Properties are being sold by auction and therefore, buyers will need to come up with a cash settlement.  There are no terms, no subject to finance clauses here with these deals.