Friday, February 27, 2009

It's funny...

We have only been our to the property we are looking at 'unofficially'.  That is, we went out, poked around the outbuildings and land and peered into the windows of the house.  Based on this, we have gone to 2 different financial institutions to see about loans based only on my salary.  We were approved at both.  Although I found it interesting that the guy at the credit union this afternoon, when commenting on the percentage of my salary that would be going into the payments, stated that it would be a 'lifestyle choice' to live off what little was left.   DUH!!!  Like we hadn't already considered that before we went to ask about a loan! We're not stupid.  We have done the number crunching.  Until we can sell our current home things will be TIGHT!  Fortunately, V signed the contract with his brother's energy firm for freelance work.  He will be writing a lot of their online 'presence' for them.  Except for the fact that there are no taxes or SS taken out of it all that money will be 'gravy'.  We can survive, although quite frugally, on just my salary.  We had that discussion with the children, or at least started it, at dinner tonight.  Explaining that there are some things that will be put on hold for a while.
I do find it amusing that, 'official' sight unseen even V is planning and plotting about this place.  He was talking about taking advantage of the beautiful south facing wall of the house (faces the downslope meadow and creek) to build a greenhouse/solarium attached to the house.  Hmmm, doesn't seem that he's too opposed to this one.
We get to officially see the property on Sunday afternoon.  I work all day tomorrow so that is out.  But we are meeting with the realtor on Sunday to get a look at the inside of the house- more than through the windows.  He has assured us that he will have all the outbuildings open so we can look around inside them as well.  I also want to have time to walk a bit of the property to scope out the best places for garden and such.  I'm quite tempted to dig up the riding arena that they have built to put in my garden (it's already leveled and fenced) but I have concerns about the soil compaction.  I don't really have any experiences with this.  Any suggestions? We are not planning to get a horse so will need to convert the riding arena to something else.  It is near the creek but looks well drained.  Like I said, it is fenced which I think may be an advantage with the number of deer that I expect are out there waiting to snack on an unsuspecting garden.  With the financial crunch of the mortgage payments, I will need to get the most I can from the garden this year as we will be relying on that food rather heavily.  As I said. Any and all suggestions are welcome.  
I will plan to take my camera on Sunday and may post pictures if we decide we want to make an offer.  If we make a decision that this is the place we already plan to offer them less than their asking price since we have noticed some issues that will need to be addressed either by them fixing them or by price reduction.    
I am so excited by all of this.  I am really hopeful but I'm trying not to make too many plans in my head in case things don't work out.  But it's hard...


  1. Congrats on the look-see and let us know how it turns out.

    Now, I grew up with several riding arenas at our home and there are a couple of things to check before you grow food items.

    We used to use a LOT of sprays and the like to keep flies away from horses and that is sure to get into the ground and several years of that could be more than a tiny bit. We also used to spray like crazy when there were events too all around the arena.

    Also the poop. While poop is good, you don't know what they were giving their horses. My parents weren't organic with regard to horse care since they didn't eat them. I wouldn't grow food with their poop.

    Ground..yes, compacted. Ours had to be loosened every year it got so hard.

    On the plus side...usually nary a weed will grow there if they let their horses graze at all. They can nibble the life out of the most verdant pasture!

  2. The first look makes it so much more real - at least it did for me when I was looking for a new house. What an "off" comment by the credit union guy! I guess maybe he can't imagine people thinking it out and still making the choice the way you did? Still.... I hope your "official" tour goes well though!

  3. Oooo! How exciting! I can't wait to see the pics!
    That comment from the credit union guy made me smirk. My husband always comes home from work with similar comments from his coworkers about the way we live, our "lifestyle choice". Altho, generally, they're not that nice! You know, we drive old cars sans car notes, we eat food we've grown out of jars and home made, sometimes misshapen bread, we don't own an XBox or any other video systems. Simply put, we're freaks! Freaks who eat well!
    Good luck with this house! And I hope you're proud of yourself for stepping outside the box!

  4. The comment may have just been in response to people borrowing more than they can afford (i.e. wanting the house, the 4-wheelers, the expensive SUVs, new furniture, ect., ect.) He probably doesn't experience many people looking to actually subsist off their land!! I wouldn't take offense to it-just know the guy only has limited experience with bonafide homesteaders!

    I am so excited about your showing! Please give us details Sunday!

  5. Oh I am so glad you are on track for your property!

    One thing about the riding ring - if they put sand or sawdust in there, it may not be as good as regular dirt. Also the poop factor - you don't know what they were feeding their horses, or even if they sprayed chemicals to keep weeds out of the riding ring.

    However, you could have soil tests done at the county extension office - and they could tell you what shape the ground is in rather quick. If the soil tests come back good - I'd dig it up in a heartbeat - there more than likely won't be any weeds that will grow there (although I'd be using it for the horses:))

  6. I'd be using it for the horses too but hey to each his own. :) Depending on what kind of money they had depends a lot on the horse arena for garden too. The sand/dirt on top may only be a few inches deep if they tore it all out and put some kind of base in there before hand. I doubt they did but some do, might want to check to make sure it goes deep enough. :) Good luck the place sounds great, I wish we could afford the place we'd like.

  7. All right Judy! Looking at land was alot of fun, imagining the possibilities. I don't know alot about riding arenas and sprays but my first thought was raised beds.

  8. Christy- thanks for the tips- I hadn't thought about what may have been sprayed around. The previous owners were Vets so I'm betting that their horses were well medicated.
    Localzone- Looking, even unofficially, did make it so much more real. I do think the credit union guy didn't quite know what to make of us.
    Midwife- We live in town now and I still get comments, mostly from co-workers about our lifestyle. One of my co-workers (only works 80%) makes decent money, her husband works full time and they have 2 children under 6 declared bankruptcy last year. But even with that she buys lunch at the hospital every day. I tried to suggest to her that it's WAY cheaper to bring lunch from home but she said she doesn't have time. She only works 80%. How much time does it take to bring leftovers for lunch? I guess it's a 'lifestyle choice'.
    Gina- Yeah, I think this guy is used to people who want to buy their McMansions. Probably the concept that we would be able to live on less than $2000 a month is foreign to him.
    Kris-Thanks for the idea about the soil testing. I plan to wander down to see what is in the ring when we're there today. Last weekend there was snow on the ground. As far as using it for horses- I didn't grow up with a horse and there is no way we would be able to afford one for many years at this point anyway so I'm not going to just let that chunk of land sit there.
    JLB- We can see from the aerial photos that the ring is covered with something but I'm not sure what yet. The ground is probably still too frozen to see how deep it is. From some of the things we've seen at the place I'm not sure they would have gone to the expense of putting a base under it but you never know. They may have put down a base of gravel or something to help with drainage since it is close to the creek. I'll have to check it out this afternoon.
    hickchick- I had thought raised beds as well but that means I have to have materials to build them and fill them. I don't think I'll have finances to do that unless we sell our house immediately- which I don't think will happen with the real estate market the way it is. But you never know- It could be something to work on gradually.

    I'll let you all know how things go later today. I'm a bit anxious about it. I'm really trying hard not to get too far into planning out plantings of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

  9. I can't wait to see how it all works out. I'd be making plans too.


Glad you stopped in. I would love to hear from you.