what to do...what to do...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I'm asking for your advice again because it has served me well in the past.... :)

    I have two options (that I can think of). I need to know the pros and cons of each.

    I live in an area that has EXTREMELY high land costs ($10-20K acre). I live in town, and have a decent job. My kids and grandkids live close. I am 47, so can't think about retirement for a few more years.

    I desperately want to get out of town, however. I am looking for a place to have fruit trees, berries and a garden. Maybe a chicken or two. A fireplace, and maybe a wood lot. See... I'm easy to please! :)

    Or...

    I can buy land about 4 hours from here very reasonable. I'm looking at a piece that is 20-40 acres for $20-40K.

    Or...

    I can afford to buy a house on an acre in the country within a reasonable commute of my current job. But if I do, that is all I'll ever own. It will take every cent I have. Forget about having a woods, or a piece of property big enough that you don't need to worry about run-off from the farmer's field 200 foot from your house. Or I can buy a different house in town with a larger lot, and at least have fruit trees and a garden, but that would be it.

    Or, on the other hand.....

    I can afford to buy the land 4 hours from here, and still keep my current home.
    The cons that I see with that would be that I would be terribly frustrated by not being able to be THERE full-time. I can afford to put up a cabin there, but not to move there. Not without quitting my job and moving away from my family to a strange area. I'm sure I could find a job that would pay my few bills, but not like what I have now. I could buy it now and start improving it on weekends, etc., but I would worry all the time about whether someone was "borrowing" my property while I wasn't there.

    I'm just confused! Is there a logical thing to do here and I can't see it, or do I go with my heart??

    Thanks!
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    4 hours isnt that bad i would get the land you have week ends vacation you can put your trees in they will be anout 4 or 5 years to get fruit anyway put your cabin on it make things right for you and what a great place to retire to
     

  3. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    GO WITH YOUR HEART!

    If you're like most people, your job is only temporary ... meaning that unless you work for yourself, your boss could "downsize" you tomorrow. It happens.

    My story:
    I bought my land (1450 miles from my old home) with intentions of retirement. About five years after that, the company I worked for went out of business. The regional economy was bad, so I packed up and moved to my retirement place. I found a job within two weeks and stayed at it for five years until becoming medically retired.
    I'm glad I listened to my heart when I bought this place.
     
  4. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    Boy, if it were only four hours away, I'd sure jump on that price if you like the land and it will work for your purposes. You will still be close to all of the kids/grandkids!

    hollym
     
  5. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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    Got to try your dream!!!!!
     
  6. Lumbering ox

    Lumbering ox Member

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    Make a list of all your options. Start putting down all possible pros and cons to each option.
    Look at your lists every day, adding more thoughtlets as you come up with them.
    Keep the list handy to jot down ideas as they come up.
    After you have exhausted all the input then consider how important the individual pros and cons are, ditch the ones that are not really significant, highlight the ones that are major.

    Then at least when you follow your heart, it is an informed heart.
     
  7. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    Only she who attempts the absurd can acheive the impossible!!!!!!

    I bought land 3 hours away from my children. Gave myself 2 years to find a job or go back to college. Got the local newspaper and started looking. The land had a travel trailer on it, so I was up most weekends. I ended up finding a job that paid more than I was making. That was 4 years ago. I'm now over 60, and am so glad I lived the above saying. Good luck on your new life!
     
  8. OrganicGuy

    OrganicGuy Active Member

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    Go with your inner feelings they should point you in the right direction. The land I bought is over 10 hours from where I have called home for over 35 years. I still have wierd feelings about buying land that far from the rest of my family, I feel real good and at home when I do arrive there on my land.
    Anytime I have a hard time making an important desicion I dont make one.
     
  9. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    always go for land, the house can come later. Never settle for large house, small lot. Think lots of land, small hut!
     
  10. mamabear

    mamabear Well-Known Member

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    We bought our land that is a mere 13 hours from where we live. :rolleyes: We knew where we wanted to find land, exactly what we were looking for and when we found it, we pounced. We go there as often as we can, and have slowly been working on the place; replaced front fence, put small building on property to stay in when we're there, burned blackberry bushes, etc. We've had it for almost four years now. I would be living there now, but papabear doesn't want to just up and go as bad as I do. He is the more logical and analytical. I am the spontaneous, go with your heart kind of person. So I have to concur with the others that say go with your heart. When you see the perfect spot, you will know.
    Please keep us informed when you decide. We're rooting for you no matter which way you go.
    mamabear
     
  11. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

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    I would buy the land, if it was me. Don't do much improvements on it yet - it will wait for you, until you are ready. That way, you wouldn't have to worry too much when not there. Maybe you could get a camper instead of building a cabin, take it there on weekends. You are 47, believe me, the time will fly by until you are ready to retire there. If you can afford to do it, why not? At worst, land doesn't usually go down in value, you could always re-sell if things don't work out, you might even make a profit ! Good luck, whatever you decide.
     
  12. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here is where we currently stand.

    This year I will turn 50. Our property is almost 7 hours distant from our current place(425 miles). I am the only driver (Ann could get me to the hospital if she needed to, but does not have a license).

    I must work 4 more years to get my pension. If I left the company today, we'd have to wait 15 years to get two thirds of that pension, and NO medical benefits. We plan on moving closer (say 4 hours away) in 2 years, maybe 1. This way we can get there every weekend.

    Last year we had a foundation poured for a 24 by 24 foot cabin. This year we will start building it. Slowly..............

    If the land feels right to you- research the down sides (see the book "Finding Your Place in the Country") - and buy that land.
     
  13. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    We didn't live on our land for a few years, but spent weekends and vacations on it. We had a rather good sized camper that we left right on the land and didn't have a problem with anyone messing with it. We planted our fruit trees, strawberries etc. and even had a nice garden that we mulched well and were able to havest a bunch of stuff without being there every minute to tend to it.

    There have been some very good points made about jobs. My husband now works 6 miles from our place because his high paying job left the state and went to a big city that we had no inclination to live in. Because we built our place slowly and stayed debt free (almost) when his job went south we used part of his 401K and paid off everything and have lived fine on 1/2 the pay.

    The years from 47 to retirement go by really rapidly. 4 hours isn't all that far from family, especially if they feel welcome to visit. We have family 5 hours away and still visit each other enough to stay in touch. I have also found that the older I get the more content I am to just stay here in my little piece of heaven and enjoy visitors when they chose to come. We have a big camper that we use as a guest house and it works well for us.
     
  14. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ALWAYS the land. Put the cabin on it so you will be all ready when you retire OR a new situation (job) presents itself close by there. You never know!...Joan
     
  15. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Chris,

    Here's my 2 cents. The first question is whether you will truly be able to deal with the drive. Try making the drive to the area you want to buy 3 weekends in a row. We ultimately decided for land 1.5 hours from Cleveland and I don't regret it for a second. If I need to run down there just for a morning (for example, going to the county building to deal with something) I can do it.

    If you are comfortable with the drive, find the best piece of property you can. Make sure it is under CAUV or can easily be put under CAUV. One alternative would be to lease the land to an adjacent (or nearby) farmer.

    If you are stretched getting it, try to reach a deal with someone else to live on it at a reduced rent or trading for work/improvements you need done. If you have 20-40 acres you will have enough space to place your cabin so that you have your privacy. Make it clear that there is a timeframe in which you plan on moving down and that they may have to move at that point (for example in 5 years). The reduced or low rent allows them to save for them getting their own land. You could also consider carving out a few acres for them at a reasonable price. Owning a larger (Say more than 20 acres or more) of land can give you a flexibility to create win-win situations.

    Get the best piece of property you possibly can get. By that I mean water, pasture, woods, little or no easements, mineral rights go with the property, etc. At a minimum, this will allow you to sell the land profitably at a later point if you choose to get a different property.

    One of the worst things I can think of is getting a piece of property that isn't worth what you paid and you can't move it without taking a large loss.

    Not knowing how much equity you have in your current place, can't comment on the economics of things for you in that respect. If you keep your current place and build equity in it, at some point when you sell you will have a nice chunk of cash to either pay down your property or use to invest for extra income.

    You do need to think about the issue of your kids and grandkids. Will you be happy being 4 hours away? Will they drive to your place or vice-a-versa? How often? Look into your heart on this one.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  16. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with the 20/40 acres, retirement will be here before you know it.
     
  17. Bluecreekrog

    Bluecreekrog Well-Known Member

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    Ditto Mike's advise; My place is 1.5 hours from Cinti. I look forward to the drive every week. This summer I'll make the trip back and forth every day. Conservation programs are great, without a house you'll pay almost no taxes.
    Rog
     
  18. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I think I'm looking at land probably somewhere between "Mike in Ohio" and "Bluecreekrog"'s properties. :) South eastern Ohio.

    I haven't seen the property yet, only topo maps. I need to schedule an appointment to go there, and am having trouble getting off work to do it. It SEEMS to be the south side of a hill, with a full-time creek at the bottom. Like you said, I guess I'll know it when I see it if it is right for me. Living in NW Ohio, I hadn't realized that you need to check out things like ACCESSABILITY and mineral rights. :) I thought EVERYONE got those! In NW Ohio, everyone has a paved road in front of their house, too. Gonna be a rude awakening when I move south, huh?

    My biggest fear is that I will know NO ONE there. Others mentioned that it is nice being away, but it sounds like they at least have a spouse to share that with. Of course, I'm sure I can make friends again once I move. And I'm sure my kids/grandkids will come to visit ALOT!

    Thanks for the input. Sounds like it is a resounding "get the land"! I have enough equity in my current home that I can pay to build a house when I retire or move, and I can put up a cabin in the meantime.

    OK....so NOW my biggest fear is that I want it all NOW...and I want to live there NOW... :) Maybe I'll just take it a day at a time and find the land first. Like someone else mentioned, it's a good investment.

    Thanks again!
    Chris
     
  19. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the advice here in almost every respect. Definitely, land is more important than the size or type of house. You should go for the land, whenever possible.

    BUT, here's the biggie to me. You have your family and support structure where you are. Are you really, honestly willing to move four hours away from your kids and grandkids. When you're ready to retire and move out there, will you be willing to be four hours away. What if you need help with things as you get older. It's a long drive for your kids to come and help you stack firewood, or whatever. Now, if in the future, they might consider moving out to the area with you, it's a different ballgame. But I would think long and hard about leaving your family so far behind when you're alone.

    Yes, you'll make new friends and getting by will be fine. But I wonder how much you'll miss your family. Only you can answer that though. Maybe something an hour away on 5 acres might be a compromise?

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  20. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Park a camper on the land and take turns taking different kids/grandkids for long weekends. They will get addicted and soon will plan & build the cabin. Before you know it, they will buy land nearby or take some of your acreage off your hands and build their own cabins. Get the land... a few of the kinfolk will follow your dream.