PurchaseOne Sunday in May 2010 we were sitting around bored in our tiny little one-bedroom ~50 sqm Mitchelton apartment and decided to go for a casual drive through Dayboro and up Mount Mee. We drove past some amazing acreage blocks being advertised for an affordable price. It was a very inspirational drive, as we pretty much decided right then and there that we wanted to live somewhere like that. As soon as we got home we were all over realestate.com.au looking for acreage blocks out in that direction, but as we both work in Brisbane, we started looking a little closer. We found a 7 acre block in the Samford Valley with a lot of bushland, checked it out a couple nights later in person, and by the Saturday, six days since our lovely Sunday drive, we had signed the contract.
The price was great, we paid the same amount the previous owner had purchased it for three years earlier. That also made us a little suspicious, and we made sure to put in a Due Diligence clause into our contract so we could investigate as much as we could. We didn't find any problems with the council, and had a good idea of what we were getting ourselves into with the type of block that it was.
The block was part of an estate created by a private developer that had owned the area as farm land. Ours was the last block that hadn't been built on. Part of the contract involved a covenant agreement. Since we have found it interesting to read other people's covenants I thought I'd scan this one in and share it here.
RESIDENTIAL ENHANCEMENT COVENANTS
The buyer acknowledges that the land purchased forms part of an environmentally sensitive rural residential subdivision, the object of which is to ensure that the environment is protected and that an attractive standard of housing, in keeping with the rural environment, is achieved. The object is to maintain a characteristically “rural residential look” and buildings should be of either Colonial and/or Traditional Queenslander style, blending in with the environment. If, in the Purchaser’s opinion, the objective may be achieved by a different method, the Vendor may, at its discretion, vary these guidelines. Any variation must be in writing and signed by the Vendor.
In recognition of the desirability of this objective, the Purchaser agrees to be bound by the following covenants and will not sell, transfer, or otherwise dispose of the land purchased without first delivering to the Vendors a Deed of Covenant given by the Purchaser, Transferee or Disponee in favour of the Vendors containing covenants on the same terms as those set out in these Residential Enhancement Covenants, including the obligation to obtain such a Deed of Covenant from any further buyer, transferee or disponee. The covenants are:
1. USE OF LAND
The land shall be used as a site for single unit private dwelling.
2. HOUSE CONSTRUCTION
(a) The purchaser shall prior to submitting any plans to the Pine Rivers
Shire Council, submit to the Vendor plans for its approval. in the event that the Purchaser seeks to erect any improvement on the Lot not in accordance with the provisions of these covenants in any respect whatsoever, and requires the Vendor’s relaxation as herein after referred to, then the Purchaser will produce to the Vendor before commencing construction, plans and specifications for each proposed residential dwelling house, for any proposed extension or alteration any dwelling house already created on the lot, or any carport, for the Vendor’s approval prior to such plans and specifications being produced to the Local Authority for its consent, provided that no such approval shall be unreasonably or arbitrarily Withheld. The Vendor agrees to consider and either reject or approve with or without conditions within 14 days after such production by the Purchaser to the Vendor. Any extensions and/or additions also require the consent of the Vendor. These structures include patios, verandahs, swimming pools, outbuildings, garages, stables, dams or any other structure.
(b) The Vendors may grant or refuse such approval, or grant such approval subject to such conditions as the Vendors may determine in their absolute discretion. Unless otherwise advised in writing by the Vendors, all app1ication,s dealings and approvals required under these Residential Enhancement Covenants shall be dealt with at no charge to the Purchaser by the Vendor’s agent.
(c) The design of the buildings and structures must:
(i) respect the climate of the area, with the provision of eaves and other shading amenity devices, and (ii) reflect the rural lifestyle of the area and be in keeping with Queensland housing vernacular, i.e. open housing style with significant areas of glass and windows, verandahs and outdoor living areas.
(d) The external wall colour scheme shall complement the natural rural environment and landscape of the development.
(e) The colour scheme of the roof shall be such of green, cream, red, beige or grey as to complement the colour scheme of other roofs in the development.
(f) Building material must:
(i) complement the natural environment and landscaping, and (ii) not comprise any second hand materials unless consented by the Vendors.
(g) Unfinished block work will not be permitted.
(h) Relocated buildings may be permitted only if those buildings meet all of the criteria included in these Residential Enhancement Covenants.
(i) Wherever practicable, views from existing dwellings must not be greatly impaired by the construction of the dwelling on the Allotment. In many cases this will involve careful siting of the dwelling in order to achieve this. Assistance may be obtained from the Vendors agent in this regard while the architectural site evaluation of the Allotment identifies the best position for the location of the dwelling so as to take advantage of existing views of the Allotment. In addition, the dwelling must present an acceptable view to dwellings on other allotments in the Estate.
(j) Fencing styles must complement building designs.
(k) Driveways within the lot shall be gravelled, paved, sealed or constructed with materials approved by the Vendors.
(1) House numbers and name plaques shall not exceed 150 mm in height.
(m) The design of house numbers and plaques is to be harmonious with the design of the building.
The Vendor acknowledges that new products designed as substitutes or alternatives for the various materials listed herein will be marketed from time to time and provided these products, in its opinion, are not inconsistent with the aims of the covenant, they will at the absolute and sole discretion of the Vendor, be acceptable. The Purchaser acknowledges that the lot has or may have a nominated building site and if not suitable, it is the responsibility of the Purchaser to lodge an application together with fees to the Council for a preferred location.
3. CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF ALLOTMIENT OBLIGATIONS
From the date of purchase of the Allotment and until the works are completed the Purchaser shall:~
(i) keep the lot clear of excessive weeds by slashing (ii) maintain the lot in an acceptable state and free of rubbish or garbage
(iii) not dump, store, or leave on the lot any spoil, building or other materials'
(iv) ensure that the appropriate industrial style Waste bin is provided to the lot during the period the works are being undertaken.
4. HEAVY MOTOR VEHICLES
Trucks over 4 tonnes, tractors and backhoes are permitted, so long as they are parked or stored in an appropriate building structure and are not visible from public view, unless the trucks, tractors or backhoes are being used for the purpose of construction of the dwelling or other improvement on the lot. ' '
5. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
(a) The Purchaser shall not, except where it is necessary for the purposes of building or access or for the purposes of safety:-
(i) fell, lop, cut or prune vegetation
(ii) destroy or remove endemic plants of any type (iii) eats must have a bell on
(iv) use or disturb felled timber or forest litter
(v) kill or disturb any native animal.
(b) The Vendors disclose that the Vendors have, pursuant to the provisions
of the Land Subdivision Permit issued by the Pine Rivers Shire Council, revegetated the main gullies in the Development to the extent of 15 metres on each side of the centre of the gullies. The Purchaser shall not clear within the revegetated areas outside road embankments, except with the express written permission of the Manager, Environmental Services of the Local Authority.
The Vendors disclose that the Land Subdivision Permit issued to them by the Local Authority provides as follows:
“F or the purposes of construction of dwellings and associated structures (including water tanks), heights of embankments created by cut and fill earthworks shall be limited as follows:
(i) cut embankments shall have a maximum vertical height of 1.5 111 (ii) fill embankments shall have a maximum vertical height of l m.
The Manager, Building Services, may approve greater heights of cut and fill earthworks, providing that the owner supplies details of practical methods to permanently retain/stabilise such earthworks. The proposed stabilisation methods must satisfy the reasonable requirements of this officer. The Manager, Building Services, shall make approved measures a condition of any relevant building approval”.
Trail Bikes are not permitted to be used within the Development.
No signs or advertisements of any nature shall be placed or erected on the lot. This covenant does not apply to the placement or erection of “For Sale” signs limited in number to 2.
(a) The Vendor reserves the right to vary or exclude any of the obligations under these covenants provided that such action will only be taken in keeping with the Vendor’s aims to establish an environmentally sensitive rural residential development.
(b) The Purchaser absolves the Vendors from any liability whatsoever for any action taken in the variation or exclusion of any covenants. The Purchaser grants the Vendors the right to remedy any breaches of these covenants and authorises the Vendors to enter onto the land to remove any structure or article contravening these covenants. or to perform any other works necessary to comply with these covenants and agrees to pay the costs of any works so carried out, including any costs of storage or disposal.
(c) It is agreed that the Vendors shall be under no obligation to impose any of the obligations under these covenants upon the buyer of any other lot in the Development and may do so in their sole discretion and that it is not intended that the terms of these covenants may be enforced by or for the benefit of any part other than the Vendors.
POWERSince the building envelope is over 100 metres away and Daniel's father is a licensed electrician, he offered to set up the meter box and run three phase power up to the site. This saved us a lot of money, but also meant the two of us, a friend of ours, and Daniel's mother had to do a lot of digging and cable pulling!
An excavator helped dig out a fair chunk of it, but between the green power box and the meter box it was all by hand, and we replaced the excavated earth by hand too. Lauren got heat stroke at one point, and Daniel clicked two of those orange conduits together onto his fingers. Daniel's dad just thought we were slackers!
"A series of floods hit Australia, beginning in December 2010, primarily in the state of Queensland including its capital city, Brisbane. The floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people from towns and cities. At least 70 towns and over 200,000 people were affected. Damage initially was estimated at around A$1 billion. The estimated reduction in Australia's GDP is about A$30 billion."
The block was certainly affected. A massive amount of water came down the mountain and went straight through our block, right near the building area, destroyed the driveway, and flooded a neighbours house. It was pretty devastating to see, but we knew we could deal with it, and we are glad we saw what could happen before we built a house.
So we had to get an excavator in to fix the drainage line that caused all this mess, and repair all the gaping holes and erosion. When the excavation started the water was still coming down and slowly eroding the soil, it was such a relief to see the water trickling down in another direction and the water flow into the wrong areas coming to a halt. The house pad is now well protected and the erosion problems have stopped.
We've had another big rain in the summer of 2012 where a lot of water came down the mountain, and the neighbours have reported that the job done to redirect the water has worked well! Oh, and after a big rain the water trickles along the drainage line, and you can hear it from right about where our en suite bathtub will be. :P