Our adventures around country South East Queensland in recent months looking for a place to buy have been pretty eye-opening.
We've discovered a lot about our corner of the world that we'd never seen before - neglected towns we'd never heard of, beautiful scenic places we would never have thought to visit and plenty of people carving out happy existences beyond the city lights.
We've also encountered some pretty rough characters. We've seen many people clearly struggling financially, living in tumble-down shacks with gardens of rusted out car bodies.
We've discovered some amazing pubs and antique stores and planned to go to others only to pull up out front, take one look and drive off in a hurry.
We left one particularly horrendous house inspection covered in flea bites and pretty ready to give up on the whole idea.
Above it all though, we've been amazed at some of the beautiful things we've seen within an hour of our own front door.
As for the derelict houses, I just love them. We've seen hundreds of them and only stopped the car to take photos of a handful.
I can't wait to start photographing more of them. There's something so wonderful about imagining them as they might have looked once.