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SFG is clouding my judgement

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SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  lisaphoto on 2/25/2012, 10:29 pm

Today I was looking online and found a property nearby that is my dream property, but sadly not my dream house. It was 7 acres, near everything around my town, and 3 minutes away from the high school. It had a giant barn/stable and a smaller open stable. It had a small 100 year old house that would be a serious downgrade from the way we are used to living in our newer home in the suburbs. The house needs probably about $30,000 to $40,000 worth or work, and it would still be too small for us. But all I could see was a stable filled with great things for compost, the smaller stable would be a great roadside stand to sell organic produce, and the barn would be a great backdrop for my photography. I had visions of growing a giant garden, selling produce, running my studio, making compost (really, what the heck), and my son playing in the barn and having a little hide out in the loft. Now I know this all sounds great, but what I need to realize is my husband and I are too busy/lazy to even cut the grass on our little subdivision plot, and I always get lazy with the garden come August and stop working on it. There is a bouncy ball in our backyard that has been there since summer 2010 just b/c I don't feel like putting it away. And I honestly think I can run a 7 acre farm Rolling Eyes, yeah probably not.

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  camprn on 2/25/2012, 10:32 pm

It is still nice to have dreams! Very Happy Keep the dream if you cannot make it a reality.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  lisaphoto on 2/25/2012, 10:37 pm

If the house was bigger, I may have done it. But the master bedroom wouldn't even have fit my king size bed, and a girl needs to have something to dream on.

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  camprn on 2/25/2012, 10:47 pm

All little farm houses need an ell! Wink

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/25/2012, 11:29 pm

it would still be too small for us. But all I could see was a stable filled with great things for compost, the smaller stable would be a great roadside stand to sell organic produce, and the barn would be a great backdrop for my photography. I had visions of growing a giant garden, selling produce, running my studio, making compost (really, what the heck), and my son playing in the barn and having a little hide out in the loft.



Nothing wrong with dreaming

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  Chopper on 2/25/2012, 11:38 pm

Well, houses can be expanded. And goats eat grass. Add a few chickens and your compost problems are a things of the past and you will never have to leave the place unless you want to - certainly not for food. LOL. Not only that - people can be hired to do the work you do not want to do. And why not lease some of your land to other farmer wannabees or set up a community garden plot as a concession - someone else takes care of it and pays you rent. And who wants a lawn anyway? That is so last century. Smile

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 2/26/2012, 12:52 am

funny post Chopper! You crack me up! Smile

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/26/2012, 9:29 am

Lisaphoto, we were faced with a similar situation. We built a nice house with all the latest and greatest, up to date features. It was a great house. A property with 5 acres became available with an older house, older barn and shelters, along with plenty of fence in dire need of repair. Pretty run down all the way around. The best decision I ever made was movin the family out of the neighborhood and onto the farm. I can have as big of a garden I want. I no longer have to board my daughters horses. I can compost anyplace I want, and as much as I want without having to worry about appearances or odors. My kids get to learn about raising animals and all do 4-h projects with the horses, chickens, ducks, and goats. They get to see and learn first hand where things come from. We recently had the opportunity to add another 5 acres to the property, which has been great! More room for everyone! Also more work Razz We grow several acres of alfalfa and grass hay which allows us to feed our animals, plus some. Usually at the beginning of summer, we donate any surplus hay to a local horse shelter. Kids and dogs get to run around freely! The kids do complain from time to time about having to do chores and not being able to sleep in, but they also get to ride their dirt bikes and drive a golf cart around like wild banshee.
I guess my point is, it's all give and take. Sometimes I miss all the amenities our other house had to offer. Sometimes I miss how it only took me about 15 minutes to mow the lawn start to finish. But as time goes on, I can always add on or do things here that I could never do before.

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  elliephant on 2/26/2012, 9:34 am

I totally understand the gap between crazy dreams of massive undertakings and the ball lying out there month after month. You very much described my life!

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/26/2012, 9:45 am

Lol. Don't feel bad, there has been a bicycle laying on its side since probably September. Right where one of the kids left it. One nice thing about the farm. I don't have to worry about neighbors complainin if I got stuff layin around or don't mow the grass as often as they would like me too Razz

Lisa, look at the boy in your avatar with the big mud stain on his shirt rofl That kiddo needs a farm


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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  jpatti on 2/26/2012, 10:04 am

We rent but... we had been looking for 6 months, and decided to take this place BEFORE WE SAW THE HOUSE. Cause we have an acre fenced in the middle of a square mile farm full of pasture, hayfields and cows... As the landlord drove us towards the house (half mile driveway!), I turned to hubby before we even SAW the house and said, "This is it."

The house sucks. Wink It's gorgeous, being a 200 yr old stone farmhouse. But plumbing and electric were added later, as was heat, which only goes to the first floor leaving the uninsulated upstairs frigid, and the chimney is busted so all the fireplaces are closed off, and almost no kitchen cabinets (hubby built me a pantry), and the plumbing isn't vented properly so the toilet clogs constantly, and there's neither dishwasher nor garbage disposal, and wasn't even DSL for the first 4 years, and still can't get cable...

But see, there's that acre... for chickens and gardens and my cats to go in-and-out as they choose, and enough privacy to setup a shower on the porch every year so we can shower in the presence of fireflies and to heck with everything else, we LOVE it here...

Usually around this time of year, I'm a tad depressed and thinking I want to move to town and have an easier life, but spring comes and you can't pry me off this place. This year, with almost no winter, I never hit the depressed bit...

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  lisaphoto on 2/26/2012, 10:09 am

We are still considering it. What we are thinking is making a really low offer (it's a foreclosure, so they may take it), fixing up the house so it's safe and decent, but not making it a mansion, and renting out just the house. We could rent it out for more than enough to cover the mortgage on the entire place, even at the price they are asking now. We would still live in our house, but use the land for our personal use (It's just 5 minutes up the road).

I'm not sure if there is enough land to rent it out to farmers, but I could look into it. The barn could board lots of horses, but I have no clue how to take care of horses, could maybe do it as a co-op or something. But the barn would need some work first. I could make money off the roadside stand and what I could grow in my giant garden. But I haven't had great successes in my garden the last few years, so I don't know if I could grow anything sell-able. So it has the potential to make us money, but it would take a lot of work to get us there.

I love the barn and the space for my photography. I could even grow a giant field of flowers or grass just to use as a backdrop. And there is room to build our dream home one day. Ugghh, there are so many factors. I wouldn't hesitate a bit if we were able to keep up with the house we have, I can't imagine taking on anything else.

I appreciate everyone's perspective and comments. Keep them coming so I can figure out what to do (though, being a gardening forum, I'm pretty sure I know what most of you would say)

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To buy or not to buy, that is the question....

Post  tomperrin on 2/26/2012, 11:55 am

We bought. We were desperate to get out of our town house in a homeowner's association before the market tanked. We needed a lot more space (we are collectors of books and antiques). Space for gardening was a pre-requisite, as was one or more outbuildings. We also wanted a home that was pre-modern construction. We ended up buying a house in a farming community that met almost all our criteria. I got my barn and my office, my wife got her private space. I had to cut down a lot of trees (all sweet gums) in order to get my garden. We sacrificed a large master bedroom, rationalizing that we spent 2/3 of our day outside the bedroom. In exchange, we received a den, patio, a patio room and a swimming pool. We also spent a huge amount of money making the house right, which included reversing the previous owners' errors and making the house our own. Among our accomplishments, we increased our heating efficiency by 58%, as measured by the increase in our K-factor. We also invested a lot of sweat, doing as much as we could ourselves that was within our minimal sphere of competence.

If I could afford the additional taxes that would inevitably ensue, I would redo the kitchen, add a couple of bedrooms and a solarium. I would also buy the 7 acres across the road, a tractor, and a whole slew of new toys to match. Alas, circumstances strongly suggest we should blossom where we are, and try to make management of our one acre efficient as well as good looking and comfortable.

Sometimes we wonder if we will ever get a solid grip on the chores. As a result, some of our priorities required rearranging. That said, we have never regretted our purchase. We enjoy the elbow room, having our grands visit for extended stays, being closer to nature, and freedom from excessive and mindless regulation.

Tom

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Re: SFG is clouding my judgement

Post  lisaphoto on 2/26/2012, 3:29 pm

A decision has been made! After gaining more info on the property, along with county regulations and other things we were not aware of, we are going to let it go Sad. But I am going to keep looking. If we find something with some land and a house we can fix up and be comfortable in that we can afford, I'm definitely going to go for it.

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