But the important thing is, all the prices were fair, even when compared to one another. They were all good houses, and there was none of the knee-jerk "You want how much?!" that I get with... well 99.999% of Canberra houses.
I also learned I have to approach this in a different way. I had originally thought about popping off to Bombala to look for platypuses, but no, checking out a bunch of houses on a hot day pretty much kills that idea. Need to get out there again, maybe for a slightly longer stay. Head in Friday night, do two bunches of houses on the Sat with a break in the middle, another bunch on the Sunday, then drive home.
The shortlist from this trip has three places on it, with five more effectively as backup. Spoke to a few people who have done the Canberra/Cooma commute, and had no issues. So next step is to get Sharon to do a trip there after work one day, stay the night, and head in to work the next. If she's happy doing that, then we can take the Cooma option much more seriously.
Still hoping that we'll find somewhere in Canberra, but we're less and less happy with the idea of having to settle for something that doesn't really suit our needs and will cost an arm, leg, lung, and kidney. The worst of the back-up houses in Cooma is still better than the majority of main candidates in Canberra - and almost half the price!