A while ago I wrote a piece on buying cheap land in Australia. Most average size building blocks, within a reasonable distance of a suburbia or a large town, sell for well over $100,000. But there are a few places, if you really sift through the listings, where you can pick something up for well less than that. In fact, I saw a block in Rosebury, Tasmania, the other day, listed for $6,000!
Over the past few years its become a bit of a common publicity stunt to rent out farm houses or sell blocks in rural towns in distress for a nominal amount. Well, Richmond in QLD has become the latest Australian town to sell blocks of land for $1. That’s right, a buck will get you 600sqm of planet earth!
The point of the exercise is to encourage people back into the town, especially people with trades and experience that the town requires. Apparently they need a vet, and they’re short on truck drivers and people with general skills. There are conditions, as you would expect: “[I]nterested parties must have less than $500,000 in combined assets and pre-approval from a bank to build a home. They must complete the dwelling within two years and occupy the residence for at least a year.” The whole “pre-approval from a bank to build a home” throws me off a little bit. This, to me, implies that they will only allow certain homes of a certain size and value to be build on the blocks. Types of homes that banks are willing to finance–which, at least in the States, excludes most tiny houses. It doesn’t sound like a promotion suitable for those wanting to go debt-free and perhaps build a smaller (or tiny) house themselves. I have emailed the Richmond Shire Council asking them whether one is still eligible if they do self-fund and owner-build. I’ll report back if they reply.