I need your input

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by miclew, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Rural Georgia
    We live on a 14 acre little farm in rural GA. We have goats, geese, chickens, a dog and a cat. We have 5 children, 4 live at home. We homeschool. Dh is home full time and I work out of the house as a genealogy consultant/researcher.

    We love the mountains of TN and we want to buy 1-2 acres up there and build a little getaway cabin. It is only a 5 hour drive from here. For us to be able to do this, we need to downsize here. We have a lot of equity in this place. We have a a 5 bedroom, 2 story house with a wraparound porch. We only owe on the entire place 48,000.

    Dh wants to buy a home in town (town being Thomson, GA which has a pop 6790). He wants to get one of the older homes (early 1900s) on a large lot. We would be able to pay cash for it after selling this place and still have enough left over to buy 1-2 acres up in TN (or at least have a really good downpayment for it). We could then build a cabin.

    Here is the dilemma. I have always wanted to live in the county on plenty of acreage. We moved here from FL where we had 3 acres. I am not sure I will be happy living on a large lot even if it is a old home with character in a relatively small town. My kids are used to being able to go outside and have plenty of room to play and animals to play with.

    I will still have enough room to have a garden and I am trying to talk dh into letting me take one or two goats with me :) Are there any "homesteaders" that live on less than an acre on this board? I know I can still garden and I can still eat all natural and preserve our foods.

    I am just kind of hesitant about the whole thing.

    michele
     
  2. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    328
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    Think carefully before hopping back into town. We just moved out of the town I was born in 18 months ago and I don't miss it at all, would never consider going back. We had one of the largest lots in town (1/2 acre) and the buildings were layed out to maximize open space but we still felt "closed in". In town your business is everybody else's business (even with "privacy" fences); no privacy compared to the country. Taxes in town are much higher with no real increase in services. My taxes in town were twice as much on a lower valued house. The city has much more restrictive rules. At our old house there were ordinances against all animals except dogs and cats regardless of all other factors. The city has more air and noise pollution. I don't think you'll be happy in the city.
    I would suggest your husband look for an old house in the country to fix up. Then everybodies happy. Some of them have just as much character as the city houses and the property taxes are lower. The property appreciation is also greater on the country house because more people want out of the city than want in.
     

  3. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Rural Georgia
    I had thought of the tax burden and we would also be on city water which I am not too happy about either. Out here we have an 800 foot well through solid rock that has pristine water coming out of it. I have never had to deal with a water bill and I don't think I would drink city water anyway. We don't have garbage pick up. We recycle and compost almost everything. Dh makes a run to the local landfill about once every 2 months to throw out everything else ($1 for 80 pounds, we have never been over 80 pounds).

    I agree about the old house in the county. But, for us to be able to get something up in TN we would still have to restrict the amount of acreage. I kepp telling him I need at least 5 but he says I don't need that much :)

    I am just all topsy turvy about the whole thing.

    michele
     
  4. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    561
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    ontario
    If its a small town, it might not be too bad, I could never go back though. :eek: neighbours closer than 1/4 mile, no thanks! Noise and busybodies, ditto!
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Don't sound like your vote counted on this decision. A 5 hour drive is too long to get any prime time at a cabin unless you have at least three days to go there. Buy a camper and go everywhere when possible. What don't suit your family where you are?
     
  6. Chas in Me

    Chas in Me Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    519
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    Around here someplace
    He is home all day and you come home at night. He doesn't like taking care of all that land or else he gets lonely for adult company(neighbors).

    Look closer to home for your problem. This isn't about land.
     
  7. Bigfinn

    Bigfinn Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    Can you or your DH find work in TN? Maybe then you could live there on a bigger spread. I commute to my farm 3 hours away and if I could make a go of it I would quit my job and live there full time. I think you will find it is tough to "live for the weekends" so to speak.

    Also, IMHO I would think 14 acres in GA is a blessing and would be heistant to trade that for "1-2 acres".

    My .02
    Bigfinn
     
  8. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Rural Georgia
    My husband is a retired deputy sheriff. He doesn't work. We live on his retirement money. I do not work outside of the house. I work at home part time as a genealogy consultant/researcher. To me this isn't like work. I happen to be passionate about genealogy :) We are both home with the kids full time.

    I would love to move to TN full time. The problem is all of dh's family is right here in this area. Dh doesn't want to commit to moving to TN full time at this point in time. However, he is open to moving up there sometime in the future. He has said, "Right now I just want to have a place we can go to when we want to get away from here. Who knows, I might like it so much up there that we will end up there permanently."

    We would be able to go back and forth as much as we want because we are both at home and we homeschool. We would probably go for a week or two at a time.

    michele
     
  9. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,983
    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Michigan
    It sounds to me like he is pretty happy right were he is and it is you that are discontented? Longing for the mountains? I guess you will have to decide if you want to make the trade off that he is offering. You want mountains, we move into town. Me.......I think home is where the heart is and since he seems content to be near his family I would make it my personal decision to bloom where I am planted. What's not to love about 14 acres?
     
  10. Bigfinn

    Bigfinn Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    Michele, can you sell a parcel of the land in GA? Maybe you would be able to have enough to keep the house and a few acres and afford the land in TN. Without knowing the land values this is a WAG.

    You are blessed with the flexibility of working from home. :)

    Be fore I bought my parcel of land I camped extensively around the state, researching land values and avalability. You might want to consider that. Who knows, DH might like camping in the area so much that it will speed up the "moving there permanatly" decision.

    Bigfinn
     
  11. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,687
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    SC and soon to be NC
    How much are you looking to spend on land in TN?

    Is WNC closer to your home?

    Why not look there?
     
  12. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    528
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    When we were looking for our place, an article in a retirement magazine warned people of investing in a place that they would only visit 2-3 times a year. You end up with a lot of money invested plus you have the upkeep and it simply isn't worth it.

    With that in mind, I wonder why you and Dh have not considered just going and staying in a cabin in TN when you have the urge and can get away. Seems that the money invested in 2-3 weeks a year for a cabin would be tons cheaper than investing in 2 acres and building a cabin to "go visit" when you can. Lets say you are considering investing say $50K in acreage and a cabin and lets say that you can stay in an awesome cabin for $100 a night. You can get away for 2 weeks a year. That would be $1400 a year for the rent on the cabin and you have no upkeep, you don't have the insurance or the fear of someone stealing your stuff. You could do this for 25 years and come out ahead. It gives you a chance to really look at TN and decide where you would buy if you had the chance.

    If he thinks that 14 acres you have now is too much, then consider selling off part of your acreage and paying off the loan you have now. You avoid the costs of selling and buying a new property. You avoid the moving costs and you don't have to start all over with the remodeling and you don't have to get rid of all your animals.

    Another thing to consider. We have had 10 years of easy credit and liberal lending rules that has contributed to real estate prices escalating at an enormous rate. There is the risk of buying at the top of the market right now. It might be a good idea to wait and see what happens to real estate prices in the next couple of years.

    Just my 1 cent worth.
     
  13. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Messages:
    3,736
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    VT
    I was thinking along Mudwoman's lines... I'm smack in the middle of "second home heaven" which is pretty much the entire state of VT.

    I used to think I knew "stress..." you know... lambing at 3 am, chimney fires blasting out the stack at 0 degrees... good old garden variety stress...

    Then I met second home owners. Now, there is stress! Everyone who does the second home "bit of acrege" thing goes into it thinking of all the fun parts, but never the dark side.

    Coming back to find your windows shot out.

    Coming back to find a family living in your camp (!) and having to legally evict them which takes some time.

    Coming back to find someone has 4 wheeled all over your place and torn it up but good.

    Or, coming up to your little slice of heaven and spending your vacation working like dogs to keep the thing from falling down around your ears!

    Thanks but no thanks. You can rent someone else's nightmare for a whole lot less bucks and stress. You can buy a little camper or pop something on the back of your truck and have the run of an area on a whole lot less stress. If the idea is to "get away" two or three times a year, why would you burden yourself with something you have to worry about 12 months out of the year? I just don't get it. And I really don't get it since I watched the property values on some of these places sink, sink, sink, over the years. Oh sure, some people did really well. But a lot of people didn't.

    From a woman's point of view: 2 houses to clean, 2 places to keep up, 2 of everything... talk about clutter and stress!

    Yeach.
     
  14. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Rural Georgia
    We have been up to this area of TN several times. We just got back from a week's stay in Roan Mountain State Park in a beautiful cabin. However, it aint cheap. We both figure if we had a little place up there we would go up there fairly frequently because it isn't a very long drive.

    TO tell you the truth, I am hoping to get my foot in the door in TN and then dh will want to stay up there permanently. I figure buying a small place up there will be the first step. I have no problem with that.

    I did talk to dh after I posted this message and told him I think it would be better if we looked outside of Thomson for an older house and maybe 5 acres so that we won't have to pay for city water and won't have to pay city taxes. I don't think he had thought about the added expense of living in town :) He said he had no problem with it as long as we could buy a place for what we have in this place so that we will be debt free.

    So far so good :) I would be happy with 5 acres (but doubt if I would be happy with less). I really like my garden and animals.

    michele
     
  15. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    14,773
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    I am still not sure why he would consider living in town. Is it the blessing of neighbors to talk to over the fence? HAving a smaller place to keep up? Having a store just down the road?
     
  16. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,961
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Georgia
    I really don't understand the reasoning of selling to get less land. This is really just going over my head. Is all of your land pasture that has to maintained? If so, plant some pines and let it go back natural. Just keep 5 acres of it cleared. Most people are trying to figure out how to get more land. I'm in GA too and looking for land. It's high here and getting higher. I definately would not give up the bird in hand hoping that my husband will like the bird in the bush better. Just my opinion. Also, having lived in a 100 year old house.. get ready to stay broke. We put 34K in it for repairs and updating initially and still neede to put in at least another 50K. And that with with us doing much of the work ourselves. Old houses always need something. Don't get me wrong, I adore old houses and would love another one. I'm just going to have to wait until I win the lottery.
     
  17. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

    Messages:
    2,740
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver,Washington
    Whew thats a tuffie!!! I moved from 7 acres ten miles to the closest town to the 'big city' I HATE it!!! But, I had to think I was not going to home school and in the city for what its worth there is school.....I found a place on a dead end road 1.25 acres cant hear hte creek anymore I hear cars,sirens,.....but I do have a well I would NOT drink the $%@$%$#y water here let alone water my yard with it. I do have chickens, turkeys,and I am expanding my bird collection this spring....some of my 'flatlander neightbors" are weird but they dont seem to complain about my roo or my dogs that bark. I guess all in all I wish I was back at the 7 acres but for my kids sake they have the best of both worlds friends near by, the mall (gag!!!) and they gather eggs their friends think its so kewl!!! do farm chores but can also hop on the bus and do thier thing.....
    So I guess my point is it all depends on the sacrifices you want to make now to have that nice place in the woods or??
    I know I hated to move but one day I will be back in the woods we have been looking for acreage so when the kids are gro'd who knows....
    If it was me that had to make that decision I say go for it!!! Who knows it maybe a fun adventure and you do have a goal in mind.
     
  18. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    940
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan..NWLower
    I understand your dilemma, Michele. DH and I are considering a move to Tn. too. Our house here in northern Mi. sits in the middle of 40 square acres about 150 feet from a lightly traveled gravel road. I love the seclusion since we can't see any houses from here...there are two houses 1/4 to 1/2 mile down the road. My heart longs for rolling, hilly land and 2-story houses but because I am getting older (senior citizen now) I have to think about those features as well. DH has a cold allergy that makes him break out in hives wherever cold air/water touches his skin. Cold northern Mi. is not the best place for him to live or work. His children live in SC and mine in s.e. Mi. so Tn. would be a central location for both sides of our family. Because neither of us is very handy, we also have to consider a better home (requiring little repair/remodeling) and maybe less property than I'd want. A list of wants/needs may be a way to sort all this for both of us. If you look at the pros and cons of the move, your decision may be easier. Remember to get the children's input on the move. JMHO

    Nappy
     
  19. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Rural Georgia
    The reason he wants to downsize is that we still owe 48,000 on this place and as long as we owe money we are not going to get another mortgage for something up in TN. If we sell this place (worth 225,00) and buy something smaller we will be debt free here in GA and have money left over to start working on something in TN.

    michele