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BadgerLady

Opting out of the housing market

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I did post a thread about this but it got lost... after living in a succession of rental properties where the landlord has booted me out (nothing I've done!), it's time to just give up. I have to be out on 3rd April and have therefore booked a storage unit but no further accommodation. 70% of the time I travel for work anyway and am provided with hotels on location, although it's difficult to ever predict when that will be.

 

I'm restarting this thread to keep you guys informed on how that's going and to log progress / issues for anyone who chooses to go down a similar path in future.

 

So far, I have:

- Booked a storage unit and parking space in Bankstown, which will cost $515 per month: http://www.rentaspace.com.au

- Cancelled my utilities - Telstra charged $320 for breaking a contract but TPG was no charge with a month's notice

- Set up a 'digital mailbox' (PO Box where someone scans in and emails all my post to me): http://www.sosmail.com.au

- Listed an Airtasker for removals help and end-of-lease cleaning help

 

I've also contacted organisations to change my address:

- Employer accepted PO Box

- eToll and NRMA accepted PO Box

- MyGov accepted PO Box

- Commonwealth and ANZ took my PO Box as a correspondence address but wouldn't change residential address (I've left the old one for now)

- Informed my immigration agent who're making a call on what to pass on to DIBP (they're treating it as a temporary situation)

 

I keep a detailed budget spreadsheet so will be able to easily see any change in spending - fingers crossed it drops like a stone while I'm of 'no fixed abode'!

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Good luck - will follow with interest

 

How much stuff do you have? 515 pm seems like a lot - theres a place near me that does 55m3 for 240pm but i guess the parking may chew a fair chunk of that.

Do you have/will you have insurance for all the stuff in storage?

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Yeah, I've got everything for a three-bedroom house, so they've suggested a unit that's 3m cubed. That's only $250 a month - the outdoor car space is another $265.

 

I'm not planning to get insurance. To be honest, there's nothing particularly valuable or sentimental (that's all in my old house in Wales), I'm only keeping it so I don't have to start all over again whenever I do get a home! And maybe I'll gradually sell it all on, reduce the amount.

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If you have someone you can trust then that would be good to change the banks to and for anything else. Did Medicare accept the PO box too then? The did it Aly mailbox sounds like a great idea. Will Oz post forward mail to it?

 

Should all work out cheaper than a rental and maybe allow you to save a bit.

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So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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Very interesting.

 

So where will you stay when you are not travelling for work? Airbnb, hotels?

 

$265 pm for the car space is a lot. Have a look at Go-get. $265 would buy you a lot of use and you could get rid of your car. I used go get for nearly 4 years and my bill used to be about $80pm, I used to get $210 pm renting out my garage.

 

You'd make a great flatmate, never being there. That could be an option if you tire of living out of a suitcase, rent a room in a share house. I used to have my spare room on airbnb as I didn't want a full time flatmate but somebody who travels as much as you would be perfect.

 

Good luck with it

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I love GoGet but actually my 'car' is a campervan - if I'm in Sydney overnight I can check it out and go camping :-)

 

It features a fridge, gas cooker, sink, bed and even a porta-potty if it comes to that...

 

There are cheaper parking options around Sydney but none that are as secure... being away for weeks or months at a time I'd rather be sure. Will keep a look out for any safe garages though!

Edited by BadgerLady

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Hi BadgerLady

I'm really interested in your report. Its interesting your actions and the acceptance of a PO box too. How does that work for voting?

I will look forward to your next report..BEGal

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Oo, good question on the voting. I'm not a permanent resident yet so that's not an issue for me, but interesting to explore :-)

I have just changed my address with Service NSW for car registration... they kept my old address on but added the PO Box as a postal address for all correspondence. They didn't seem to mind that I won't be living there, just wanted to tick a box in the computer system.

This weekend is the dreaded move. I'm flying to Sydney this evening, meeting my Dad, and we've got 48 hours to pack before our Airtaskers arrive to help load the moving van and clean the apartment. I have to hand the keys back by 5pm on Monday and then fly into Melbourne. Dad's booking an airport hotel and flying to Europe on Tuesday.

I have to confess, I've been suffering signs of underlying stress BIG TIME. Fingers crossed it'll all be relieved over the weekend! Nothing left to stress about :-P

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Wow storage really is expensive in Sydney. Ours was $190 but then like you said it's probably the campervan that's costing the money. It's a shame you don't know anyone who would let you keep it on their land. I would offer but we are in the Lockyer Valley so probably too far.

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If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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9 hours ago, BadgerLady said:

Oo, good question on the voting. I'm not a permanent resident yet so that's not an issue for me, but interesting to explore :-)

I have just changed my address with Service NSW for car registration... they kept my old address on but added the PO Box as a postal address for all correspondence. They didn't seem to mind that I won't be living there, just wanted to tick a box in the computer system.

This weekend is the dreaded move. I'm flying to Sydney this evening, meeting my Dad, and we've got 48 hours to pack before our Airtaskers arrive to help load the moving van and clean the apartment. I have to hand the keys back by 5pm on Monday and then fly into Melbourne. Dad's booking an airport hotel and flying to Europe on Tuesday.

I have to confess, I've been suffering signs of underlying stress BIG TIME. Fingers crossed it'll all be relieved over the weekend! Nothing left to stress about :-P

Good luck with everything it sounds like you have a hectic weekend ahead. 

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If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Great idea!  Do you know how long you'll do this for or will you just keep at it until your circumstances change?  Best of luck in any case! 

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Well I'm as ready as I'll ever be!

Boxes are packed... furniture dismantled... I've re-horribled the apartment (replaced my made-to-measure blackout curtains with the landlady's vinyl, mould-infested ones, etc)... the upstairs neighbour has kindly invited me to dinner tonight (she's getting a case of wine for that), and we'll be outta here tomorrow.

Things that have made me feel better about the situation:

- When I got home after 10 weeks working in Melbourne, the first thing that struck me was a stench of damp and mould. This place is not watertight and there was fur growing on food jars, on wine bottles, on my shoes... best not to be stuck here during a damp winter!

- Having moved so recently, I've been able to put most things back in the same box with the same label on it. So it's been quite easy to do.

- Playing my favourite music and pretending I'm wrapping presents for my future self to open :-)

My Dad's here helping ENORMOUSLY too. He's the one who remembered how awful the kitchen looked when we arrived and has been able to replicate that, shoddy craftsmanship an' all. Although he wouldn't let me take photographs because he was worried people online might think that's actually how he builds cabinets.

I've also been applying for house sits starting from Easter weekend, which is when my Melbourne project finishes. Does anyone here regularly house sit and if so do you have some tips / recommendations? I've used 'Happy House Sitters' for the odd holiday before now but am hardly an expert.

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On 01/04/2017 at 0:19 AM, robfromdublin said:

Great idea!  Do you know how long you'll do this for or will you just keep at it until your circumstances change?  Best of luck in any case! 

I really don't... it's probably a good idea to keep doing it at least until I get Permanent Residency, which I'm hoping will be August / September this year. If I'm still 'footloose and fancy free' at that point, it means I'll have the option to go anywhere and do anything!

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Well today didn't exactly go to plan!

The storage unit provides a 3-tonne truck and driver, and you get 1 hour to load it plus 1 hour for unloading at the other end. I hired a couple of removalists from Airtasker to help out with that.

So 8am today the truck showed up, but no removalists. I sent messages, I tried to call them, but nothing. In the meantime I went ahead chucking boxes in as quickly as possible, then my very ill father helped me get some of the bulkiest furniture in there. One hour later, far from finished, we had to go. A good 45 minute drive to the storage place.

Unloading was easy enough, but Dad was starting to feel much worse and we still had heavy stuff to move, not least of which an upright piano. So I posted another 'URGENT' Airtasker and a guy responded "I'm 45 minutes away from you - will be there right away!". I phoned him, he said he was on his way, but three hours later there was no sign - he was no longer answering the phone or messages.

That was when the cleaners turned up. They couldn't be a nicer, more professional pair! But they looked around and said "you're not ready". We rushed to clear out the bathroom, laundry and kitchen for them, and they did an outstanding job polishing everything up. They just couldn't do any of the floors that were still covered in furniture.

In the meantime, my Dad was getting more stressed and more ill - he had to go and sit on the steps outside, breathing and wobbling. So I packed him into the car and drove him to hotel, reassuring him that I've got it all under control and that he should rest and relax before his flight back to Europe tomorrow.

So I posted a THIRD task and got a quote for $550 from someone who promised to bring a truck and a mate this afternoon. An hour later he told me it would actually be $800 and I told him to get lost. I called work to tell them I can't come back tomorrow. I called Qantas to change my flight back to Melbourne - my ticket was Red eDeal though so it was basically sacrificing one airfare and buying another - and I called the estate agent to inform them I'd be moving out a day later than my notice period.

I've finally got a professional to agree to doing the removals tomorrow morning. It's way less than half the household now and is costing $712, but at least it'll finally be sorted! Logically it should all be over by lunchtime so I can give the floors a good clean, photograph everything, head to the estate agent's, park the car in its new storage space and then chill out in the airport before my flight back to work.

Whew!

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What a stressful day for you. I hope your poor dad is ok.

Dont you just hate timewasters. They all complain there is no work and no money but then don't want to work.

 

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If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Yeah - I found it all really bizarre. I can cope with people deciding they don't want to do the work... but why wouldn't they just tell you their plans? Or at least answer the phone?

Anyway, it's done. It was hilarious, the scary old landlady was hovering around watching so I kept hidden on the opposite side of the moving truck. My car broke down at a petrol pump in Padstow but I managed to get it started again in time to put it in storage and catch my flight from Sydney (thank goodness for lounge access with showers). In the taxi from Melbourne airport I was sooo tired and kept thinking "I just want to go home". And then realising I don't have a home any more :-D

My project in Melbourne finishes next week, and I've secured a house sit here for Easter weekend. I'll fly back to Sydney on Easter Monday and take over a house sit there for a week, then I've got a week in an Airbnb room.

That takes me up to May 1st, which is the earliest date I might be put on another project (there's a good chance it'll be in Perth).

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9 hours ago, The Pom Queen said:

What a stressful day for you. I hope your poor dad is ok.

Thank you - yes, he's back in England now at my sister's house so he's finally getting some proper rest and being well looked after :-)

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Hmm, so that was interesting...

I finally worked out the login for my health insurance and changed my address online. I changed it to the PO Box in QLD and it flagged 'you have moved interstate'.

That prompted a phone call from the insurer who confirmed that it actually changes my benefits and premiums. Apparently all QLD residents are entitled to free ambulance services across Australia, so there's no need to include it on a health insurance policy. And I guess I'm a QLD resident now.

LOL!

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So, nearly three weeks into Nomad Life now...

I've mostly been house sitting. In Melbourne I took care of 8 foster cats in a house, then moved to Sydney with 5 very high maintenance show cats, one of whom demanded to be spoon fed from a porcelain bowl!

I then had a gap so moved into an Airbnb room for a few days and will be going back to the show cats this weekend.

I don't know where I'll be living from Monday, and unfortunately can't make plans because I'm waiting for my next client in Perth to confirm a start date - if they need me there on Monday, I need to be available for that, but if they're not ready yet I have to stay in Sydney.

Fun!

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10 minutes ago, BadgerLady said:

So, nearly three weeks into Nomad Life now...

I've mostly been house sitting. In Melbourne I took care of 8 foster cats in a house, then moved to Sydney with 5 very high maintenance show cats, one of whom demanded to be spoon fed from a porcelain bowl!

I then had a gap so moved into an Airbnb room for a few days and will be going back to the show cats this weekend.

I don't know where I'll be living from Monday, and unfortunately can't make plans because I'm waiting for my next client in Perth to confirm a start date - if they need me there on Monday, I need to be available for that, but if they're not ready yet I have to stay in Sydney.

Fun!

Rather you than me! Out of interest why did you choose Airtasker for removalists?  

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Just now, ScottieGirl said:

Rather you than me! Out of interest why did you choose Airtasker for removalists?  

My usual removalists (yes, sadly I have 'usual removalists') let me down on quality and performance last time, so I wanted to start fresh. I didn't have any personal recommendations from my network and the Yellow Pages would have been a stab in the dark.

I'm a regular on Airtasker, both as worker and poster, and have had some really great experiences. I know that any removals task will get a lot of quotes quite quickly, which means you have a broad range to choose from and you can read their reviews before choosing.

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My client in Perth emailed yesterday with some not-so-positive noises, so I've decided to base myself in Canberra next week. I attempted to book an Airbnb room this morning and am just sitting here waiting for confirmation.

One thing I've noticed a lot today, and in other moments of disappointment, is an overwhelming urge to 'go home'. I've volunteered to mentor a networking group this evening so I'm stuck here anyway, but the idea of going to a place that's mine, where I have no obligations to anyone, where I can just be me and recharge for a few hours... yeah I'm missing that :-( Going back to an Airbnb room in someone else's house just isn't the same.

Sigh.

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I guess the success of being a 'nomad ' is whether it is a 'life choice' or an enforced necessity of sorts.

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