What a week! Things have been flying around here! Trips to the bank, working 6 days straight and then today, out to look at a house. Whew! No wonder I'm tired tonight. It has been a challenging week in my Independence Days- but here's the run down.
1. Plant something- Not this week but I have 30 little broccoli seedlings in the basement and a few of my hot peppers have begun to sprout. I plan to start my tomatoes next weekend so I hope my peppers finish sprouting so I can move the heating cable to the new flats.
2. Harvest something- Only a few leaves of lettuce from the container in the basement.
3. Preserve something- Nope.
4. Store something- No to this one as well. We kind of stopped buying anything until we know if housing is going to change.
5. Manage reserves- Ate mostly from stores. Only made a trip to the store for milk, eggs and booze (We did need to celebrate after securing a loan!)
6. Cook something new- No, again. Another boring week. With so much going on I haven't been in the mood to try something new. We've been sticking to old standbys.
7. Prep something- other than house hunting, nope.
8. Reduce waste- just the usual.
9. Learn a new skill- No to this one as well.
10. Work on community food security- Um, not so much
11. Regenerate what is lost- Hmm. Not sure.
12. Behavior change- Well, things have been flying around here so the procrastination certainly isn't a problem, at least for me. I was a bit cranky with V when I thought he was procrastinating about making appointments with the banks.
House hunting update:
V walking uphill through the meadow. Pole building at the top, house beyond that at the crest of the hill.
From the bottom of the meadow looking north to the riding arena.
When it thaws it will be quite squishy here.
Well, we spent a while looking at the acreage this afternoon. The land is beautiful. A bit of it will likely be much too wet to be really useful as it is the confluence of several drainage areas from neighboring farm fields. But there is plenty of high ground although the entire property is rather hillier than I had hoped.
The barn is lovely. A 3 stall 'hobby barn' with a hay loft. The pole building is just that: big and blue with a concrete floor. It isn't well insulated but it does have heat.
The house, however, has 'issues'. We spent quite a lot of time hashing it over after we got home and have decided that we are going to make an offer- but at about $50,000 less than their asking price. The realtor said they were pretty motivated to sell (the house has been sitting vacant for about 8 months). There is no way we will agree to the selling price- there are too many problems that need fixed and if we end up paying too much for the house we won't be able to afford any repairs (figuring finances with mortgage on the full asking price we would be pushing it to stay in the black on just my salary.) What issues are we arguing? Here are a few:
There is only 2-3 inches of insulation in the attic (that should be a crime in Iowa!)
Very little weatherization has been done (crappy storm windows and only 1 of the 4 exterior doors has a storm door).
There are drainage issues (no gutters or downspouts!) and the basement leaks a little.
The breather stack on the septic is nearly rusted through and would need replaced.
There are several broken windows and numerous screens that will need repaired.
There is rotted wood on some of the window sills.
There is a huge crack in the chimney (at least in the plaster covering it- we're not sure if it's structural or not).
They were evidently doing some repainting but now there are missing switch plates and outlet covers and there is some exposed wiring.
There are significant erosion problems with the driveway.
The basement will need almost totally remodeled for domestic use. The basement had been converted into a veterinary clinic so the space has been chopped up into lots of little exam and procedure rooms- and there are more plumbing fixtures and lighting than anyone would need.
Even though they list a refrigerator, there isn't one there- not that's an issue, we were planning to take ours with us anyway, but we're thinking of offering to overlook the missing fridge if they throw in the Cub Cadet riding mower in the garage ;)
This isn't even the entire list- we have an entire page of problems that we found.
So, do you think the list is extensive enough to knock off a bunch of money? We are willing to go a bit higher than we're offering (we're not going to tell them that, though) but not too much. Fortunately, we're in a good position. We're not out anything if they refuse to play along. We will still have this house and I can garden with Roger. They are the ones stuck with a house that isn't selling. I guess we'll see how motivated they really are...
Oh, and the riding arena is probably out for a garden space. It does have some weeds growing there, but it is sand over a crushed limestone base. We would have to bring in several truckloads of topsoil and rely on raised beds. I'm just not sure where else I would put a garden the arena is on the largest flat space on the property excepting the house. And there are definitely deer out there. There is deer poo all over and the shrubs in front of the house have been nibbled down to sticks. Of course, having the house and land vacant for so long left it wide open.
We'll see how this week unfolds... Should be interesting.