get out of the "rat race"

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Hillbilly Don, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Hillbilly Don

    Hillbilly Don Active Member

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    I read about many people out there trying to move to the country,you might want to try what I am doing. I have 6 acres to build on,so I built a 24'x24' "workshop" and finished the inside to live in "temporary". This way I can build a house,at my leisure,and not be in a hurry to finish anything on a "schedule" other than my own. This way when I finally finish my "new house" to a stage that I would like to live in,I will have a workshop. Well,this is what I'm doing and just thought it might help somebody get out of the "rat race" and move to the country. BTW/ this will not work in East Tennessee,so try other parts of the country, just kiddin'. Don
     
  2. ozarkmtmama

    ozarkmtmama Active Member

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    That is exactly what we did 8 years ago! Same size building and everything! However, our "workshop" evolved into a homey little "cabin" and I no longer want a "real house". Now DH is building a shop now, and we're not going into debt for a house (or anything else, hopefully). I guess this size sounds small to live in, but DS will be starting college next year, and it'll soon be just the 2 of us so we decided that was room enough. We did build on a porch and a small pantry tho.
     

  3. earthship

    earthship Well-Known Member

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    Colorado
    Be sure and check the building codes before you do this. In Arizona they would not let us build a garage or shop before a house was on the property - to avoid our living in the shop. Often a larger property has less code restrictions, but this is NOT always the case. We live on 80 acres in Colorado. You can NOT have a single wide mobile home here and the house must be at least 1200 sq.' of under roof living space. It just pays to check.

    An intereting read are the 'problems' section of this homesteader ;-)

    http://www.solarhaven.org/ProblemsProblems.htm
     
  4. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    me too... once i figured out a workshop is really just a messy house, I decided to forget the house and go fishing...

    I had to build an addition to put the hay in though... (no lie) so the door in my laundry room open but you are faced with a wall of hay and a narrow bale wide walkway gap to get to the firewood piled in the far end of the hay addition... (yes I know, and no I dont smoke).

    once you lose your pride, its suprising how smooth life starts to slide along for ya.
     
  5. Well I started planning to leave the RAT RACE in 1992. By the time I got some land and was ready to try leaving it was 1999. Since then I built a 16x32 log cabin. (basic cabin finished this year so I move in) Lived without electric, water, etc. I did have a well but no way to get the water out. I lived there for 6 months and when it got cold in October I had to give up the idea. I sold the place and took a $26,000 loss, but, I got rid of the place so I could move on.

    Now I am back in town, working again, and trying to pull myself back up out of the financial mess that I was in earlier this year. If you are going to leave the rat race I hope you have better luck than I did.
     
  6. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Earthship,
    My land is probably 30 miles from you, next county, and the rules are different. I have a garage and was thinking of adding a small addition to live in while the house gets built. The county said I have to disable the bathroom and kitchen after the house is built (if I were to add them to the garage). Based on these stories, I better assume they are going to watch me closely. Do you think I should put together a developement plan to review with the building department?
    gobug
     
  7. ajoys

    ajoys Well-Known Member

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    Which part of colorado are you guys in?

    I always see land for sale around alamoso/ft. garland.
     
  8. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    Since when does a planning and zoning authority start sticking their nose in other people's business in the country completely outside any city limits. that sounds like something that would be taking place in the northeast . Is the whole state of colorado under this much control????....fordy :)
     
  9. ajoys

    ajoys Well-Known Member

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    I think this is true anywhere when someone complains about what you do. Good neighbors are important.

    I did a complete gut and redo on a bathroom at my house, all new plumbing, electrical etc... and never pulled a permit. I would be working out in the garage with a big pile of rubble sitting in the driveway and the code inspectors would drive by all the time ( I lived one block from city hall) and they never ever stopped to find out what was going on. Now if my neighbor called and complained, they would be all over it.
     
  10. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is my first venture out of the city life. I've never built a house, homestead, but I'm rarin to go. I have no clue about interface with the zoning board, but I'd rather be on their side than fighting them. I get the impression they let you do pretty much as you want, but as you can see from other postings, everything is changing. I think I have a lot of leaway(sp?) I plan to improve and sell till I got a running stream on the property. Then I'll retire. Better to have the authorities on your side than at bay. gobug
     
  11. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ft Garland is only a little ways south and west of my property. The continental divide goes between. I've seen some of the E-bay properties and have been tempted. The prices are so reasonable and the properties look decent. How can you go wrong with $100 down and $80 a month. I would highly recommend visiting the site first, though. Some of that land is so flat that you could see every inch of 40 acres from any spot.

    My land is equal distance from Salida, Westcliffe and Canon City.
     
  12. ajoys

    ajoys Well-Known Member

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    I look on ebay all the time. Sometimes the land is flat and barren and other times it is up in the trees depending on where it is located. Also 1.5 acres to 30+. I have been tempted too.
     
  13. flaswampratt

    flaswampratt Well-Known Member

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    Me and my family were up in the Ft. Garland and the San Luis Valley last August looking around at property.

    We learned LOTS. The best info we got was from a well drilling firm. We've talked to a large operation and a single owner operator. Water is a big issue in the San Luis Valley area, and is at a premium in the foot hills.

    A well in the foot hills or in the mountains could very well go 400 feet deep, and be dry. You are liable to pay the driller, dry hole or not. In that part of Colorado you can expect to pay $35 per foot. The valley floor is more productive, however you must still obtain a well permit from the state, and depending on when the property was sub-divided and how big it is, will determine what type of well you can have. Many properties are adjucated a residential well permit, that technically only allows use of water inside the home. No livestock or pets. Be very careful what and where you buy property.

    Most of the areas that have property listed are subdivisions and they have verying degrees of covenants or deed restrictions. Most expressly forbid poultry, fowl, livestock, mobile homes, travel trailers and even horses. Most limit or exclude a person from using their property for making a living from. Many have minimum square footage for residences, limit out building size, and state what your house must look like.

    Be very leery of buying property sight unseen. From what I can gather the majority of the property owned in Costilla County is absentee property owners, and this gives rise to less than honest realesatate dealers, who like to buy up tax certificates and resell the properties. This has been going on since before the 70's.

    Also, be aware that not all property advertised has year round accessability. Unless you have a homeowners assiciation that actually provides road maintenance, you might as well plan on land above the 8000' elevation to not be year round accessable. This comes from the locals and the county road department that we talked to, not real estate agents.

    Also, in response to the Taylor Ranch fiasco and a fight with a timber company, last year Costilla County adopted building and land use codes. You will be required to submit land use plans, elevations, water run-off drawings, plus the customary building plans. A septic permit will be required from the county health department, and you will be required to build to the Universal Building Code and submit to state inspections for both plumbing and electric, in addition to your well permit, drilled by a state licensed well driller.

    One last thing for consideration, electric power, unless already run near your property, will cost close to $20,000. (Twenty Thousand) per mile to run. Better plan on living off the grid.

    Nost of the foot hills are Juniper pine, the mountanous area are varying conifers and aspen. The Valley floor is largely sagebrush. All need irrigation to grow crops or gardens. Most property is advertised as having a stream. This is misleading. These are intermittant streams that run in the spring. It is also illegal to fill them in. And, even if you have a year round creek, senior water rights will negate you from using one single drop of this water. Water is serious business in Colorado, and is owned by someone else.

    A realestate agent that I would trust canb be found here:

    http://sanluisvalleyrealestate.com

    Carolyn Clanton. She lives there and is real people.

    I'm still interested in the area, and would greatly appreciate contact from you folks living in Custer, Fremont, Costilla and the surounding areas. We plan on being back out there in early summer and can use all the help we can find.

    Best Regards.................
     
  14. ajoys

    ajoys Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the very informative post.

    Just from reading the ads it is apperant that water is a BIG deal. I personally would never buy sight unseen, no matter how tempting it is.