Someone asked the other day how our rental situation is going after our double eviction notice earlier this year. If you didn’t know, in July we had a surprise visit to the factory from the person who’d just brought us saying they wanted to move in February 2024. Two days later we got an ‘intent to sell’ notice for our residential real estate agent. The timing was uncanny really - I mean you wouldn’t even write it into a script because getting evicted from two different buildings in the same week is unfathomable. 

Regardless of its believability, I’ve been actively avoiding the situation since the day I heard about it. This has been easy in regards to our home because the landlords want such an outrageous price that the open days have had virtually no attendants. Apparently, according to the real estate agent, who I’ve become quite chatty with, anything under $600k is selling like hotcakes in Ballarat but anything over isn’t getting a look in unless its a mansion in the Hollywood end of town. Our house is a tear down, 1km from the train station on a busy road. Certainly not worth the $680k asking price but we don’t mind. The longer they insist it’s worth it, the longer it remains on the market, unbought, and the closer we get to building our own house.

Each time there is an open day, which happens on Saturday mornings while we do the groceries, we get a $30 rebate on our rent. We only need to have two of these a month to cover the amount the landlords increased our rent by in October. Who does that by the way - tell a family they’re selling their home AND ask for more rent while doing so! They should be paying me for keeping the house at a socially acceptable level of clean for bloody open days every second week. Cleaning the bathroom is one of my most hated tasks and with no visitors, I’ll leave it for months to grow all sorts of weird shit before I’m forced to attack it with an industrial cleaner. 

Unnecessary cleaning aside, the likelihood of the house being sold before Christmas is slim and who buys a house in January anyway? To be honest it is 100% out of our control so I really can’t do anything about it. Worst case it sells and we have 30 days to move, best case, it sells to someone who wants to tear it down and rebuild which will take 12 months of planning at least. We can just stay there while they go through the process and we build our house. Win - Win.

The factory on the other hand is a rather different situation and as I mentioned earlier, denial has been my approach. I honestly think I’m suffering from ptsd after the last time we moved. It was absolutely horrible - it took months of back breaking work for Matt and I to move an entire factory from one site to another. There was the added stress of the new factory being 3x our current rent. We were upsizing before we needed it which is a huge risk but was ultimately the best thing for our business. 

I liken it to buying kids shoes that are a size bigger than they need so they will last longer as they grow into them. There will be a few months of flopping around in something that’s a bit too big before things begin to settle down again. This is what growth looks like. Do the hard work, get better, do the hard work, get better and so on.

I honestly hadn’t thought about moving until Matt asked if I was going to be free one morning last week. It’s normally me arranging the appointments so I was curious… Turns out while I’d been completely ignoring the fact we'd probably have to move factories, Matt had his eye on the industrial real estate pages and a factory had come to his attention that was worth a visit.

The drive there was hard to describe. As Matt listed off its features, I was having flashbacks of using the forklift to pack the 2 tonne foam machine into a shipping container which was traumatic. I snapped too when he mentioned the price - it was not quite double what we’re currently paying it it might have well have been. By the time we arrived I was convinced this was a fucken terrible idea.

Just as well my concerns have never stopped Matt from doing it anyway. “We're just going to have a look, babe…” 

Turns out this factory was amazing. I never thought the sight of a 5 tonne crane that runs the entire length and width of the 1300m2 factory would be so thrilling. This sort of built in hardware would be a gamer changer for us and would make building houses so much easier. It would absolutely increase our output and expand our capabilities 10 fold. The offices were recently refurbished, which is a nice touch and there is space for a kids hang out zone (a spare office with room for a telly).

If you excluded the price, this place was made for us! The real estate agent also happens to be the brother of a builder we work with which is an added bonus. The drive back to work had a better vibe than the way there. For the first time in ages Matt and I were really excited about something! The whole moving thing is so daunting that I’ve always thought of it as a negative experience, something hard that we’d have to endure but seeing this factory was inspiring. We were energised talking about how we’d use the space, where things would go and how we’d set it up.

The next step was to put in an offer which we did pretty much as soon as we got back to work. The excitement and potential of this factory had overpowered the rational side of my brain that was asking questions like how the heck are we going to afford rent. To be honest, this is why I love working with Matt so much. I’m so sensible - I want to have all the ducks in a row before we move but the reality is that you need to make big, bold moves, even if you’re not quite ready for them on paper.

Unfortunately we still haven't heard if our application was successful or not. Like most things in our life right now people don’t move as quickly as we’d like them to. The real estate agent met with landlords this week and I suggested to Matt that we invite them in for a factory tour so we can meet them in person (we’re always better in real life than on paper) and they can see the potential that everyone else sees when they meet us. I expected Matt to say no but he had already made the suggestion! 

So now we wait. I know you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket but fuck it. I want to put all the eggs in this giant basket with a 5 tonne crane! Instead of keeping this under wraps in case it doesn’t happen I wanted to share it because what if it does! This is yet another one of those moments that is so big, so terrifying and so exciting that surely it's the right thing to do.

What me moving the foam machine into a shipping container actually looks like. You can't see the tears.
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Steve Carell making the whole cast break: The Office Bloopers
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The Knowledge Project: 182: Todd Herman Unleashing Your Secret Identity.
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