It’s finally happened.
I’ve always said it takes Tyler an average of two years to decide that something I am interested in is a great idea. Initially he’s always very opposed or doesn’t even want to talk about it.
Well after a little more than two years of listening to me talk about buying our own farm he’s no longer just appeasing me by going along with it. He’s as interested in it as I am. He even brought it up on his own this time!
I am constantly looking at the local real estate listings for farms and land. I’ve realized that in order to buy a nice house on the right kind of land we will need more than $200,000. We’re not going to have that for about five years. But…I cannot live here, in this suburb in this 1,000 square foot house for five more years. We can’t fit more babies here. There’s no storage. It’s just…I feel trapped here. Need more space in the house and in the yard, and space from neighbors.
We have no extra money to work with, which makes it a little more complicated. We can’t afford to pay two mortgages while putting our current house on the market. We aren’t approved for two mortgages, so we can’t rent out this house and also buy another house. (Plus we couldn’t afford the lapse in rent between renters or repairs on a second house, etc.) We could rent another place and sell this house, but we’d still have to pay rent and this mortgage. Once Tyler is hired on we’ll have a little extra money, but that’s not until October and nothing sells well over the winter…plus I bought this house in the winter not realizing how terrible the yard was (all weeds!) and I don’t think I want to make that mistake again. I want to buy a house in the warmer months when I can see what grows around the house.
So this leads me to plan B. This is the best plan I have ever come up with. We can buy a plot of land for $30,000-$50,000 that has some kind of semi-habitable old house or trailer on it. Then we can still keep our current house in town and house all of our animals and everything out at our property. We can go out there every other day and hang out in the semi-habitable house, enjoy our land. Our current house will be free of chickens and dogs and cats so we can put it on the market and sell it easier when we’re ready to move somewhere nicer in the next few years. It would be like a stepping stone–we could still have a huge garden and whatever farm animals we want, and save up for a nice place to live or money to build on the property we bought. Plus having a house or trailer already on the land means the property already has a septic tank and electricity and water run out to it. That alone is worth thousands of dollars.
Over the past few years I’ve realized two things about searching for the perfect farmland and farm house.
A) Real estate listings can be misleading. Some place looks perfect in the pictures and the house looks nice. You get all excited and go look at the property only to find that it’s nothing like the small pictures you saw. The house is scary. The barn is about to fall over. It’s 45 minutes away from the nearest small town and 25 minutes from where 3G and cell service drops off the map. Oh, so that’s why it’s so cheap? Yeah.
and B) The land has to be just right. So many place here have knobby little hills, mountainsides, or steep ravines, or the house has an acre of cleared land and the rest is all woods. If you want to have a farm you want to have a farm…not a seven acres of forest with a tiny backyard! It is hard to find a place that has suitable clear land for farming! Hills are too steep and knobby for anything but livestock. Add these factors to the location dilemma–it has to be within about 30 miles of where Tyler works and there has to be an easy road to get there for bad weather, not 20 miles of one lane rural road with huge drop offs. We’ve just ruled out about 85% of our area.
Last night we realized that there’s a neighboring county we haven’t been considering. I thought it was too far away, but it isn’t after all. And I found a place with potential there! It has an old farm house on the property that seems to need new siding and a new roof, but the two inside pictures they posted look totally liveable. (Of course I know by now how misleading those pictures can be, but take it with a grain of salt.) The land is only 5 acres, however it’s all clear and looks like gentle rolling hills that can be farmed. It also has some kind of barn structure on it, like a giant run in shed. I’d like to have at least 10 acres. I would settle for five useable acres and hope that neighbors would want to sell property to me at some point.
This place is about half an hour from Tyler’s work and straight down one state highway. It practically screams potential, potential!!! It’s outside of a nice small town too, one with a sense of community. It’s 66 miles from Cincinnati and about an hour from Lexington (where we live now), so we’d be kind of far away from homeschool activities, but I think we’d still be able to come into town one day a week for stuff.
I want to go look at it. It’s listed for $50,000 which would be about $278 a month. If we could actually live in that farm house for the next few years while we saved money to build on the property or buy a nicer house elsewhere…wow. Think about how much money we could save!! Here it is. We would buy it knowing that the house is not perfect and probably not suited for years of living. It would just be for the next few years. That kind of takes the pressure off–for $50,000 if the house sucks that’s ok because we’re not sinking into a huge mortgage that will pin us down.
There’s about a snowball’s chance in hell it will all work out, but you never know until you investigate it further.