Man buys building for $1, ends up forking out a fortune

GREG Williams knows a bit about buying and moving transportable buildings and his advice is "do your homework" before buying from an auction.

Mr Williams is a retired construction engineer and also the former president of the Laura Amateur Turf Club on Cape York. The club has transformed the camping grounds at Laura into a near-luxury facility  with the purchase of several transportable facilities.

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Some of them were bought for just one dollar but it's after the initial purchase that the costs start to rack up.

"You'd want to buy them pretty cheap," Mr Williams said.

"Once you've got them, that's when you've got to start considering how much it is all going to cost."

BARGAIN: A transportable facility sold for just one dollar.
BARGAIN: A transportable facility sold for just one dollar. Paul Braven

The Laura race club has just purchased another transportable from Rockhampton and is preparing it to be taken up the Cape. Mr Williams said the transport, at about $2.50 a kilometre, was going to cost the club about $7000.

He estimated the crane and dogman to get them on and off the truck would cost about a $1000 and then there is the cost of setting them up when they a dropped on the ground. Sites have to be prepared and sewerage and power organised.

"It depends how far you've got to get the power to them but a septic can cost you up to $20,000 straight away," Mr Williams said.

"And then you've got to consider if the power has to go underground."

While many may be eyeing the transportable buildings off for granny flats or sporting facilities, Mr Williams had a further warning.

"There's a lot of safety and health concerns, if there's going to be food sold from them, the floors have to be fully sealed and they are not often purpose built for this sort of thing," he said.

"They can work for you and be a relatively cheap alternative, but you need to be very careful," he said.

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