The question many people ask when they know my home floods is why do I stay here? Why don't we just pack up our family and move away? The second question is why did we buy the property in the first place if it floods?
Well when we bought the property we enquired with the local council regarding flooding who advised they had no records for this area. As the property has a gully on three sides that backs onto six mile creek, we also enquired with people in the neighbourhood and were told that water does come onto the land but not to the house (which is at least three metres higher than the gully). The owners and agents also told us the same information. The truth is there had not been a flood here since 1991, before the second floor was built and probably the main reason the owners added it. Apparently the previous resident was airlifted out in a helicopter which makes one wonder why council had no records?
So, after the first flood which hit two weeks after we moved in, why didn't we move? The answer is that we have a mortgage and to sell a property knowing that it floods, we would not be able to cover what we owe. The only way to get rid of this place would be to sell it at a low price, and as we started all over again in our forties it is not an economical possibility...and we cannot deceive anyone.
Despite the trials and tribulations I love this property. We are surrounded by gum trees on all sides, secluded from neighbours, and have a big two storey rustic farmhouse which can look quite stunning when given the time and attention. The other appeal is a large, run-down fish farm at the top of the property which does not flood so we could build there one day if funds allow...so all is not lost. In the meantime I would love to get in and use the greenhouses but there is major work to do up there so maybe next year :)
The floods have brought damage and hard work but also precious memories and stories we share as a family around the bonfire. Life out here is certainly not mundane or boring and you learn to look on the bright side of everything and not be materialistic.
I am sure when our kids build their own homes they will live on the tops of mountains, sharing their childhood flood adventures with their children.