live in help

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Sparticle, May 24, 2005.

  1. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Has anyone had any experience with having someone live on their property to help out? Any practical advice? Are there any standard deals that people strike up? Where would you advertise?

    I know the obvious, back ground check, references etc...
     
  2. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Make sure that it doesn't turn into an open-ended free place for a moocher to stay. That is what has happened with us. Started out as a friend camping out back in the summer, then moved into a corner of the barn in the winter, and now 5 years later, he does almost nothing around the place, even when asked, and we are trying to get rid of him.
    Get something in writing of duties, pay, responsibilities, and some procedure for letting them know they need to leave, etc.

    Jim
     

  3. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    as a single woman, i am always looking for help. no matter how good i think a person is before it starts, it has never worked out. last one i let pull a converted schoolbus onto the property. long story shortened- i caught him opening my mail and listening to some cd's i had ordered. i told him to leave, (as he wasn't doing any work i needed, spent all his time working on his bus so he could move a gf in) and he didn't. i locked the house against him and he climbed through the windows. needless to say, it ended badly and i won't do it again.

    it might work, if you spelled out very clearly ahead of time what they will be expected to do, if (and how much) they will be paid, and how "close" they are supposed to be to you or your family.

    maybe. :no:
     
  4. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was afraid it was going to be a messy proposition. I wonder if it's worked out for anyone. You would think it would be such a good deal for someone to save up and get their own place. A little room for their own garden and the only rent is some part time work. I need some serious hard work done out here. But, I don't want to get stuck in a situation like you 2 described. I guess I should not rush into anything and make sure it's spelled out very carefully.
     
  5. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    My partner had a spelled out agreement and even then it took her almost three months to truly get him out. Yes, he did what he said he would, but when she wanted him gone he wouldn't go without ugliness. He finally did but it was awkward.

    I would never do it. Instead I might rent a place and hire help (the rentee). Lots more leeway with that agreement.

    Still, I don't want a stranger living here. I'm too set in my ways.
     
  6. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    The Great American History Fact-Finder


    Indentured Servant
    a person who worked without wages, usually for a period of five to seven years, in exchange for payment of the person's passage to the American colonies. The contract, called an "indenture," entitled the servant to food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Devised by the Virginia Company in the late 1610s, the system provided cheap labor. It is estimated that one-half to two-thirds of all European immigrants to the colonies participated in the system, some voluntarily, some as victims of penal servitude. The practice disappeared after 1800.



    I've been reading this thread, and the above is what I realized I was thinking about when I read it.
    Looks like a decent deal for a homeless person or someone who doesn't have enough to get their own place.

    Sorry to the originators if you don't like what came to my mind after reading this.

    Good luck....
    Angie
     
  7. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Angie--the guy I was talking about didn't have a job by his own choice. He liked living outside the system. An artist and poet with little marketable skills and lots of ethics on why he couldn't work certain places. So he travelled around staying a month or two with friends, which worked out for the most part, but he had OCD and it was difficult to end the stay.
     
  8. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    BCR -
    if it works for him - fine.
    If it works for these families fine.
    Might be a good place to gain experience for your own place.

    It was late, and I was meaner than I usually try to be.

    Sorry. Started to delete it, but figured if someone had seen it - it would be cowardly not to take my lumps for posting it.

    Good luck to the adventurers. Hope you get all your t's crossed and i's dotted and it works for you.

    Angie
     
  9. Kellkell

    Kellkell Well-Known Member

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    To me it seems that you would first figure out what you want them to do and how much someone would get paid hourly for it. Multiply how many hours you expect them to work and that is their salary. So if labor (for example) is going for $10/hr and you need them to work 20 hours/week, it comes to $800/mo(pre-tax). And if the going rate for a 1 bedroom cottage rental is $400/month. You will never get anyone reliable for an even trade.

    You would need a contract, devised by a lawyer, stating this is the hourly wage, hours many hours of work required, and how much the housing costs. That they would get paid x amount based on what was earned minus what was spent on housing and meals if you provided them. So, you would probably still have to fork out some cash, and you would still need some worker's comp policy for just in case they hurt themselves. Factor in that eviction laws would still apply, such as they have three months and six months during winter, blah, blah, blah.

    It is probably just better to hire a day laborer and rent out to someone else, so if one doesn't work out you still have the other.
     
  10. Nax

    Nax Well-Known Member

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    Just a couple of thoughts.

    Is it that you cannot afford to hire out to have the work done? What kind of work is it? Is it critical?

    Are you aged? Handicapped? Just wondering because many charitable and church organizations offer help--like cleaning bees or yard bees, especially for youth groups and confirmation groups and the like. If it's more critical, perhaps contacting your county, habitat for humanity, or your pastor, not that they would do anything themselves, but perhaps they can give you references to organizations that offer solutions to such problems.

    Letting a virtual stranger move into your home, or near your home, sounds kind of risky. I find guests and relatives difficult enough to get out when I've had enough of them. :haha:
     
  11. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing but negative experiences the two times we tried it ... NEVER AGAIN!

    The first guy was lazy, but actually did a little work. No problem getting rid of him.
    The second was worse. Getting rid of him was ugly.

    DON'T DO IT!
     
  12. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All great suggestions guys, thanks! No I'm not old or handicapped or anything like that. But I've got a 4 Bdrm house and 5 acres that need some serious work. I work 40+ hours a week, but am having a hard time paying $100 everytime I need something big done around here that I can't do or need an extra set of hands with. I wanted to start a vineyard, but I need a well house build, storage/garage built, fences fixed and more to put up, a little more of the woods cleared, and there's alway animal care. I'm trying to do it all alone and I don't have much experience at fixing mechanical things (changing tractor blades etc...) and weigh about 120 lbs. so I have a hard time picking up the really heavy stuff.

    I thought that since I have all this room, I could "rent" the rooms out and someone who maybe had another job and wanted to save for their own place could put in like 10 hours a week. Trees are always falling and there's always something going on that I could use help with. I figured 10 hours a week at $15 an hour would be $600 month which is way under average rent out here. Plus they'd be able to put in their own garden.

    That's simillar to the deal me and the ex worked out, but he's never shown back up after almost 3 months now.

    After reading these posts though, I might just get a room-mate and use the extra money to hire day labor. although that may be a bad idea too.
     
  13. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    Well Ive had my share of live-in help over the years. Usually Bed and Meals and a stipend and the simple medical care. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didnt.It really depends on the person and how good you are at maintaining a boss relationship while still being friendly. sometimes its not easy.

    What I find interesting about this thread is that so many people are a bit freaked out at the idea of a stranger or non family member living in the house. Until WWI this would not have been an unusual situation in most american households on some level or another. Most middle class households had some sort of live in help, even if it was just a hired girl. And most farms had some kind of hired farm workers. Even if you didnt keep a servant, plenty of folks had boarders of one sort or another who werent family. I'm kinda with Angie about this. Ive never been homeless, but I've often wondered if the homeless problem isnt partly related to something in the modern american psyche that makes the idea of "Being a Servant" totally unacceptable. If I was Homeless, Id certainly be willing to keep house in exchange for Bed and Board and a small salary. Its honest work, but most people wont even consider the idea. I'd imagine you could learn some very useful and marketable skills if you indentured yourself to the right person. Is the idea of a servant class really so unamerican? :rolleyes: :confused:
     
  14. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My grandma was the hired girl to my grandpa's family. Married 1940 or so.

    Things have changed though. People can stay with parents or get a job and anyone responsible enough to do the work you want from them can and has gotten a job paying well enough to rent or buy thier own place. If it's someone who would prefer not to work that much, well, will they work as much as you think they've agreed to? Get boarders if you need money, hire laborers separately to do work you need done. Then you can better control the work and pay and ensure you get what you need or replace the worker. Your best bet is to get married to a like minded person but again if they don't already have their own homestead they'd prefer you to consider moving to then they aren't really like minded, are they.
     
  15. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I had a Kid living with me,helping out for Food and a place to sleep.He kicked my Dog :grump: Instead of burying him on the back 40,I put him down the road,sending his stuff after him :grump:

    Seems like what you need is a Guy that you can usualy find around that is a Jack of all Trades.

    Seems with Day Laboers you have to be right there with them to get a Job done and done right.

    big rockpile
     
  16. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is the absolute last thing I want to do for so many reasons. If I can't figure this out on my own by either getting help or a boarder, then I'd sell this place.
     
  17. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Angie: I wasn't criticizing you, just clarifying the situation. It worked out well for the most part, but he just didn't understand "temporary". But he cleaned the house as part of the deal (very well) and cooked some, bought some of his own food with food stamps. Heck, he'd probably spend a month a year with us now if he hadn't been so difficult to get to move on all those years ago, cause he was fun and artistic and interesting. But not knowing when to go, even when asked, is definitely a fault.

    I think I'd almost rather hire someone per job or part-time. That way you aren't stuck with them. Also, make friends with the neighbors. They can be a great help, but of course, you'd have to help them.
     
  18. kemrefarms

    kemrefarms Head Weed Wrangler

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    you are looking in the wrong country for this type of person. Try a place like Mexico, a nice young couple with a man and a strong back, the wife, one child and doesnt want ANY more and doesnt like a lot of household pets, doesnt want to go to town to be seen very much, no relatives around so they dont drink much, they are just grateful to be here and have a little work and a roof over their head.....I entertain the thought daily.
     
  19. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    maybe theres someone on here that lives close and wants to do some work. I'm thinking someone that might want some experience with land and homesteading. Ifn I was closer I'd do it.
     
  20. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some people on this thread mentioned indentured servant. I'm not looking for anything like that. I want someone that I can respect because of their willingness to jump in there WITH me and help me figure out and get the job done. Someone who has goals of their own and wants to save up for their own place, someone who would even potentially be a business partner if I can get a vineyard going.

    I don't want anyone with kids or a family moving in here for sure, that has potential for getting out of hand. I just want one person. If I want to hear screaming kids I can just walk down the street about 300 feet. :-o There are 18 kids on 3 properties - most of them good, but some can be a little loud. 3 of them meet me at the gate all the time wanting to feed the pigs, they're cute.

    I am venturing out a little and saw one of my neighbors working on her fence posts the other day. I backed the truck up stopped and got out to talk to her. Her face when I got out and started walking towards her was like I was an encyclopedia salesman. She didn't meet me halfway, just stood there and let me walk the entire distance towards her. By the end of the conversation, she had invited me in for coffee. She said her and the other neighbors (she knows everyone) thought maybe I had inherited the land because they didn't think someone so young would be able to or want to buy it. When I told her that I was in my mid 30's she about fell over, they all thought I was 20 something (so that made me feel good). But I think now they'll respect me more knowing that I've paid for all this myself and that I'm going to work very hard to make this a nice place. She said if I needed help to just let her know (I will!)

    It made me very nervous to do that, but I did it and I'm glad I did. 1 neighbor down and 1 more to go. I know I need to meet people out here for friendship, networking, and help. I can help them out too! I get lonely out here too and it would be nice to meet some nice ladies to sit and have coffee with. Everyone is older than me, but I'm sure I could learn from their experience. Plus they might know someone who is looking to make a little extra money and could help out around here or even possibly someone who would want to move in for a while and help out. I've got to get myself out there and become part of the community. I think out of all the challenges out here for me, this is going to be the biggest.

    Well, we'll see how it all plays out. If nothing else, I met a neighbor - yay!