The town of Marton gets a lot of slack, it’s a small town sort of near Palmerston North. I say sort of because it’s not 10 minutes down the road but Palmerston North is probably the biggest town nearby. Being small town New Zealand it gets comments about Hillbillies and the like from town folk, it also hasn’t had the best history but lately it’s appeal has been growing for me.
It started when I joined a gardening group on facebook, I had tried joining Manawatu and Palmerston North ones but they actually don’t exist either that or I was not accepted probably because I appear too young or something snobby like that. The group is great with people posting about different garden issues and getting help, asking for things for their gardens to up-cycle, or just providing information on gardening events in the area.
From there I started to notice things about Marton that I haven’t been able to find in Palmerston North, that was a sense of community, pride in their community and a helpfulness towards their neighbors that we may have in our small street but many streets in Palmerston North don’t have any more.
Marton as far as I can see would be the best place to live if you wanted to give homesteading a go, it’s far enough from the big smoke that you can actually see the stars at night and close enough that if you really can’t go without the occasional town busy-ness you can easily pop in. There is even a regular bus that you can pop the teenagers on for the day.
Why else has the appeal of Marton gone up in my books, the community garden is one reason. As far as I know Palmerston North doesn’t have one, but this community garden in Marton provides food which is available for everyone in the community they also work in with Project Marton which runs a food trolley. How this works is people put excess food they have on the trolley and people who need it take it away, no one goes hungry. Another appeal is the properties, it isn’t hard to find a property in Marton with a decent amount of land for a reasonable price either renting or buying it is economical. With rental prices and purchase prices around the country soaring to crazily high amounts for the smallest of sections and not the greatest houses it is definitely time for a lot of people to reconsider not just where they are living but how they are living. We need to start living smarter rather then living by convenience like we have been, we like to live close to where we work to save time commuting but realistically this creates dense built up areas where land becomes almost a bargaining tool for owners to charge whatever the wish for it despite of its actually quality. You can purchase a house in town with a small section and then find out that nothing will grow, and you have to spend a lot of money and time getting the soil back to a condition where it will grow even the simplest of vegetables. The bonus of living rural is that not only is it likely that not so long ago the land was being lived on by lovely animals that natural fertilize the soil but if your soil is lacking in fertilizer it is easier to find someone with animals who won’t mind you having some of there’s if you help muck out their yards or chicken coop.
For $245,000 in Marton you can get this 4 bed, 1 bathroom home on 1,648m2 of land. For the price you get this 3 bed, 1 bathroom Palmerston North home on 287m2 of land in an area of town that isn’t that bad. This is a perfect example of where you aren’t paying the appropriate value of the land you are purchasing, sure the house isn’t that old but the Marton house has been renovated and is something truly beautiful. Purely because the three bedroom home is within city limits the price is huge, and really convenience of the property isn’t that great. The nearest supermarket is probably about a 10 minute drive away if the traffic isn’t bad, there are schools nearby which is handy but it is unlikely that your place of work would be in that area meaning you will be commuting any way and half the time commuting across town takes longer in the morning then commuting from out of town. I work out of town and live in the middle of town, depending on what time I leave my commute can take 15 minutes or it can take a lot longer just because of traffic. For some reason humans have this sheep mentality where they believe that they all have to leave home at the same time to get to work on time which in reality just causes them to spend more time sitting in their car burning fuel. If I leave at before 7.30am I can beat the traffic and be at work at 7.45am, if I leave at 7.45am I will arrive at about 8.10am late for work. If I leave at 7.55am I will arrive at work around about the same time which is a very strange thing but it is purely down to traffic. So in reality we spend this extra money to save us time and so we are close to everything but really it doesn’t save us any time at all.
Marton isn’t what I would call a tiny town, I grew up in Shannon and we didn’t have a supermarket the closest was 15 minutes away (which really isn’t much different from living in a city). Marton has a supermarket, it has a doctors, schools, cafes, pubs, shops and has recently been beautified by the community. If I haven’t already made you want to move there then there is definitely more to come.
It is natural that when you put large amounts of people into a small amount of space such as a city there ends up being crime and violence. While all towns and cities have this the rates are much higher when the concentration of people is higher, why because even though humans are pack animals (yes, humans are animals) we don’t handle crowded situations well. We become more emotionally drained and frustrated by the actions of those around us. Not to mention the added stress of having to pay those ridiculous prices for housing on small wages, it is common knowledge that most people in New Zealand are not on a wage that is reflective of the environment they live in (living wage is a great movement). Everything eventually boils over and you get people lashing out, you get people who are desperate stealing not just to live but to fuel the addictions they have developed to help them cope with the environment they are living in. Essentially society has created this issue and yet we don’t take the blame for it but blame the individual instead. Why do you think the majority of successful rehab centers are in the middle of no where? Because to recover our spirits, our minds and our health we need quiet and space. Something which you cannot get in many cities around the world.
So here it is, why I would like to buy a property in Marton:
- The price
- The space
- Oddly the convenience of it’s location
- But most of all the people
Realistically I won’t be buying a property any time soon, I made some mistakes when I was young (19 years old). I brought a house with someone I shouldn’t have and instead of it being an investment it became a 2 year nightmare, and a $40,000+ debt that I still have hanging over me. I will add that it was a $70,000+ joint debt last year but I managed to get Housing New Zealand to split the debt so I was no longer tied to someone who caused me a lot of pain, stress and emotional damage. I learnt a lot through the experience and became a lot stronger mentally so it wasn’t a complete loss, I will own a property again one day but it will be under different circumstances and I will put the things I have learnt into play. Considering I am working casually realistically this dream of owning property again is a long way off. When I do purchase property again it will likely be rural or in a small town, I am not a city girl at heart. I need large open spaces, trees, dirt roads to cycle down and explore, the smell of silage and the noises of animals filling the air. There is something chaotic about cities that just deflates my soul, I don’t see how they could be good for anyone which I guess is another part of me creating my garden oasis.
Everything we do in life is a journey and we are in control of every step we take along the way.
For more information go to: