News

Maxi Bader buys a house and loses it all at 19

Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding.
Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding. Sharyn O'Neill ROK300113sbader5

TEARS glisten in Maxi Bader's clear green eyes as she looks around the dream home she moved into only hours before floodwater ravaged it.  

Today it sits empty.  

But in the 19-year-old's mind she can see herself last Thursday, organising the new, matching furniture she had lovingly hand-picked for each inch of the Elphinstone St, Rockhampton, house.  

After four years of saving up for a deposit for her very own home, the Biloela girl achieved that dream five months ago.   Four months later and she paid off up to $20,000 worth of new furniture.

 And at midday on Thursday she called her mum Karen, who still lives in Biloela, excitedly describing each piece of furniture and her dinner plans for her first guests.  

But on Thursday night she saw her dreams sinking in brown, muddied floodwater and debris.

Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK300113sbader4

Her next phone call to her mum caused Karen to jump in her car with Maxi's younger brother and his girlfriend and immediately make the three-hour drive to Rockhampton.  

When flash flooding submerged two nearby gullies on Rockhampton's second wettest day on record it gushed into Maxi's home.

The house is not in the Q100 and is not set to go under during floods, so Maxi had no warning.  

Like many people across the region, ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald caught Maxi unawares.  

When water first began rising from the torrential rain Maxi rushed to Mitre 10 to buy a shovel and sandbags, hoping to dig a drain to divert the water away from her house.

By the time Maxi returned home the water was so high and running so fast it almost knocked her off her feet and it later dinted her garage door.   But she refused to leave her new home.  

Wading out into her front yard, alone and with no one in Rockhampton to call on, the young girl screamed for help. Maxi's neighbour yelled at her to get out of the water.  

But the Biloela girl who had worked two jobs at one point to save up to buy her own home and own car wouldn't leave without a fight.  

Neighbours, strangers and old family friends turned up at Maxi's home to help her remove everything they could.

By the time Karen arrived Maxi was emotionally spent.

Maxi collapsed and couldn't stop crying.  

It was only her fourth time in the house that had become a sanctuary from her job working on the Miles to Curtis Island gas pipeline.  

Maxi works 28 days straight, then has a nine day break.  

Now, she's not sure if she feels safe enough to stay in the house for even one of her days off.  

But after being raised by a single mum who built their family home with her own hands and the help of a builder over three years, Maxi had been taught better than to let floodwater keep her down.  

"My mum had to start from scratch and I didn't want to be like that," Maxi said.  

"I always wanted to be financially secure."  

Despite it all, she can now see the humour through her pain.  

Maxi knows she's one-of-a-kind - even if it's for the wrong reason.  

"No one else can say 'I bought a house and lost it at 19'," Maxi joked.  

"I've given up a lot of my social life, it's just backfired. But I think I'd be bored any other way. The house keeps giving me projects - I just don't like what it's given me."  

Maxi's plan to study veterinary science this year is up in the air and she's on antibiotics after a cut on her foot became infected by floodwater.

Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Maxi Bader is dealing with her brand new house in Elphinstone Street being inundated with flash flooding. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK300113sbader3

An assessor also told her and Karen on Wednesday that everything under 1.2m had to be removed and replaced - that means the entire bathroom and kitchen.  

She will also have to rebuild her fence and completely re-do her new yard.  

Maxi had partially insured the house, but as she had just received her furniture she had not had time to organise contents insurance.  

But when it comes to Maxi - nothing's over until she says it is.  

"It will be all right," she said. "I'll fix it - I'll save up again."  

The family is discussing building a retaining wall around the house, but said they would have to speak with neighbours because they don't want the water to be funnelled into their yards.

Topics:  editors picks floods 2013 rockhampton



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Community called on to celebrate life of Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett was an important part of the Tweed-Byron community.

CALLS go out to celebrate the life of Paul Barrett.

Asbestos fears at Kingscliff holiday park

Visitors to Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park raised asbestos fears after finds in sand.

FEARS have been raised of asbestos in areas where children play.

New marine hub to aid fight against crime

ON THE WATER: Roads and Maritime Services Maritime Director Angus Mitchell and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest.

New $3million marine hub will include a water police border-base.

Local Partners

Community called on to celebrate life of Paul Barrett

CALLS are going out for the community to join and celebrate the life of colourful musician and much-loved Tweed identity Paul Barrett.


Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Become a 'picker' at Byron with vintage fair

Who knows what you could find at this weekend's vintage fair?

THOUSANDS of collectors and sellers will converge on Byron Bay

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Suzi Quatro returns with live supergroup launch

DEVIL GATE: Suzi Quatro will reignite her love affair with Australia in February for the Leather Forever Encore tour.

"It's always been a special place for me”

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!