Found the perfect farm but....

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BeckyW, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    734
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    Here's the dilemma: It's 20 months ahead of schedule. The price is right, the location is good, the amount of land the minimum we wanted however it's all workable. It is out of state (8 hr drive). It has a house that is just right to remodel, a small barn, garage and a corn crib. The problem? That 100 year old farmhouse will sit empty for 8 months out of the year, autumn through spring in Zone 5 for two winters!!! THAT's what is worrying me. As a family of classical musicians, we couldn't even get there to spend Christmas, we're usually performing Christmas eve and for the next couple of years, Christmas day. And since we'll be remodelling, I don't want to rent it out. We could manage that financially. Yet, sitting empty scares me.

    I know in theory what can be the downside of a house sitting empty. The farm is on a gravel road outside of a small town so traffic is not an issue. I'm thinking timers on lights (let electricity run year round) sort of makes it look like someone is there. (Except 3 feet of snow on the driveway might give it away that nobody is home!)

    Anyone have any experience along these lines with the farm they bought?
    Are we nuts for even toying with the idea?

    As always, your thoughts are appreciated.
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,067
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    deep south texas
    Think about getting A caretaker in there for free rent. that might be the way to go. But if you do .Get A written contract. So you have legal recourse if it goes wrong..
     

  3. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR
    ours was 1100 miles away we did the gutting electric plumbing on trips to ar. left it vacant we had the land for 6 years and the last 2 years we worked on the old house now we are ready to move into it oct.1
     
  4. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,305
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    ...............My solution , ....If the price is acceptable and you're comfortable with the purchase then , ...BUY while it is Available . While there , establish that it has a perimeter fence capable of holding cows and then pick a neighbor that you share a Contiguous boundry With and see if they will monitor your property in exchange for allowing them to run their cows on Your grass , for NO fee. As long as the roof is water tight the House ISN't going to deteriorate in 24 months or so . Or , if the house can be refurbished with minimal expense , FixUp , paint , etc. and then find a deserving family to live there for minimal rent while you finish UP with your situation where you currently reside . Surely you could establish contact with some of the local churches and they could help with the "choosing" of a deserving couple that need a little help . fordy.. :)
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,383
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    About half the people in Minnesota and Wisconsin do exactly what you're talking about. They visit their lake cabins for 3 months out of the year and the other 9 months they sit empty. And I'd venture to say that most of these "cabins" are more valuable than that 100 year old farmhouse. When you ask these people if they're worried about break-ins, most of them answer, "That's what insurance is for."
     
  6. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Alabama
    Buy it. They're not making any more land and finding what you like is pure luck anyway ..... buy it and enjoy....
     
  7. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR

    we have a lot of money tied up in our house and we have no in. no co. will give us any becouse we have no siding on it yet have you ever heard that
     
  8. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,383
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    When our house was being built, we bought "construction insurance." This type of insurance covers the structure and all the on-site building materials.
     
  9. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR
    thank-you ill look into that
     
  10. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,981
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan's thumb
    About insurance. Our construction insurance covered us once we had lockable doors and windows. Make sure your insurance will also cover all outbuildings. Our shed burned down while our house was still under construction (thank God we slept in the house that not and not the shed). Lost my new bedroom set, a quilt I was working on, my jewelry, computer, clothes, and on and on. The insurance covered it all.

    I'd buy the place. Go back and look at it again and see if you really love it. When you place your bid, make it contingent on inspection. You may be buying a house that needs to be torn down, or may need more work than you can afford. A good inspector will give you all the dirty details. If you need to back out of the deal for any reason, you can always point to the problems found in the inspection. Over the next couple of years you can do the fixing up. The time warp may be a blessing in disguise as you will have the time to fix up and decorate the way you want without having to hurry up.
     
  11. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,390
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Central WV
    Buy it! If it meets all your criteria and it's really what you want, you'll kick yourself forever if you let it pass you by. :viking:

    It took us forever to buy this place. Made an offer, everything was "go" ... until the title search. Withdrew our offer, looked around for a year or so, couldn't find anything we liked half as well as this place. Luckily it was still available. Made another offer with conditions, they were agreed to, bought this place. :rock:

    During the negotiations and looking and re-negotiations, it sat empty for 1.5 to 2 years. The only problems we had was burst water pipes (but the pump was off so no water damage). We cleaned out lots and lots and lots of mouse poo and dead bugs, and we're still vacuuming spider webs every week. Slowly we're taming this place. And we don't regret a bit of it. We LOVE it. I can't believe we're really here. :dance:

    Besides, who cares if you can visit at Christmas or not? Visit on the 18th December or the 5th January. Big deal!

    Buy it.
     
  12. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR
    no such thing as a house that has to be torn down
     
  13. 1/4acre

    1/4acre Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    431
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    I would go for it. You say you can afford it. Great. Drain water systems during winter. Inform local PD when not in residence. Get Insurance. LOTS of insurance. Congrats on finding your new home. :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  14. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,390
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Central WV
    Maybe not, but there's such a thing as a house that will cost more in materials, time, and labor than it will be worth (to the owner) in the end.
     
  15. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR
    once again i disagree
     
  16. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,215
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    NW Georgia
    Finding the perfect place is much harder than repairing/replacing a few things before you move in. Theft is a concern everywhere I guess, but my personal experience with two remote/distant homes has been great (no problems).

    As for construction insurance, I've been able to get coverage from the outset, but usually with a high deductable to keep the rate lower. Once the houses were completed, I converted to regular homeowner's insurance.

    Good luck, and I think the other folks are giving good advice to proceed if you otherwise like the property. However, it is always easy to spend your money!!
     
  17. labrat

    labrat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    310
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Location:
    central Bluegrass State
    DITTO

    DITTO

    DITTO

    If you are that much in love with this property do not I repeat do not let it pass you by you will never forgive yourselves.
     
  18. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    Another buy it vote if it truly meets all your needs.I would.

    BooBoo
     
  19. Shagbarkmtcatle

    Shagbarkmtcatle Hillybilly cattle slaves

    Messages:
    1,229
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Grant Co WV/ Washington Co MD
    I second, or is it third it? Buy IT. :clap: You can winterize it which is just putting anitfreeze in the plumbing system for the winter. Just dewinterize it when you go back in the spring. No burst pipes that way. We do it for real estate agents all of the time.
    We have a contract on a 136 acre farm with a split rock house on it. Actually we are waiting to see if the lady accepts it. We can't move to it for 2-3 years. But it's 3 hours away and we will go every chance we get so we can work on the farm and remodel the house which is pure 1975. But that's very fixable. This is all homestead, with a root cellar that has a apple cooler room over it, several run ins, and even our last names initial on the gates. And 5 ponds. I hope she accepts it but I'm scared too since it's so much money. But land isn't getting any cheaper and like Turtlehead said, " you will kick yourself forever if you let it pass"
     
  20. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR
    just make shure you use the anti freeze for campers and boats non toxic thank-you