What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by tweezle, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. tweezle

    tweezle Well-Known Member

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    First a little background.....

    We live in a small town on 0.67 acre. It is 60 feet wide and long - like a bowling alley. We have our own well and septic. Our town has no restrictions, no forcing one to be on town water and no public sewer at this point, but I'm sure it's coming. It just seems to be the way our smaller towns are going.

    Now about us.... DH and I have 2 teens and we are in our early 40's. We are finally out of debt. :) Do we like this town? Nope. It's not different religion or homeschool friendly.

    I can have a big garden, but must worry about the construction company (that put it's main garage only feet from our garden). They do painting and other things there, and depending on the wind, I've really wondered about the overspray (and other things). The neighbor on the other side burns his garbage - placing his burner barrel away from his house that ended up being feet from our garden on the other side. We are always picking up trash out of our garden. They don't cover the barrel and leave it unattened when it burns. Don't think of asking either of the neighbors to be a little considerate, because they are the kind to make you wish you'd kept your big mouth shut. Both sides are encroaching on our property, and both ride their ATV's through whenever they feel like it.

    Those problems need to be resolved, so we've contacted a surveyer, and will put up a much needed fence when it is finished. Good fences make good neighbors, right? ;)

    My question is this... If you were in our situation, would you jump back into debt to find farmland, or would you just make life as comfortable as possible in a small town? Here in PA farmland has skyrocketed and as much as DH says he wants to move, I don't think he wants to leave his job - which puts us looking at a huge amount of debt to stay in this area.

    Your imput is greatly appreciated!!
    Theresa
     
  2. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Let me think about it....YES!
     

  3. Pink_Carnation

    Pink_Carnation Well-Known Member

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    That is tough...it sounds like getting out of town would be a good thing but lots of debt isn't. Another problem is the housing market and timing selling and buying the new place. I would also see how the teens feel about moving though if they are homeschooled it would be much less of an issue. If you do move how soon could you pay off the debt compared to when your DH wants to retire...including saving for retirement.

    The last thing I can think of to mention is what do you want to do with the land...animals, garden, hay, enjoy etc. Then compare that to what you have.
     
  4. YoungOne

    YoungOne Well-Known Member

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    Yep.... Thats what my wife and I are doing in the Spring.

    P.S. - Best time to buy is Jan - Feb (people realize how much they spent over the holidays and aren't buying). Best time to sell June - July (people willing to spend just a little more to finnish the deal before there kids start school).
     
  5. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I were you and decided to stay I would put up a stockade-type fence to keep out the overspray and give you as much privacy as one can have on a lot such as yours. Seems like a bad time to get in debt. Could you manage to save for another place while living where you are?
     
  6. ChickenFryChato

    ChickenFryChato Lone Star State of Mind

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    Well, instead of selling your house and buying a farm which will put you in great debt, why don't you sell your house, and just buy a different house in a better location with a little more land. I mean, you don't have to have a bunch of land to enjoy the life of homesteading (as you already know). Seems like you can get out of that horrible place you're at, buy a home with more land, that won't break the bank, and you will be happier. DH won't have to quit his job, you'll have better neighbors, and you won't be in debt. I know what it's like to have a dream of having a big farm. But in reality, a dream can turn into a nightmare if you're not able to provide for the family, and you and your spouse are stressed out over finances, an unhappy job, etc. Seems like you don't have to stay where you're at, but you also don't need to spend a fortune on a farm you may not be able to afford.
    Does that make sense?
     
  7. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Neither of you like it there, your kids aren't in public school, so why stay? If your DH likes his job that well, you could move quite a distance away and he could commute. A 20-25 mile drive for example, is done every day around my area. A 25 mile circle around your town would include a HUGE area of places to look at.

    I wouldn't be worried about the debt issue: You aren't necessarily going to incur more debt by moving, and if you wanted to find a more expensive place that has what you want, you are both young yet to pay it off.

    Good luck. Life is short, don't stay in a situation you don't like.

    Jennifer
     
  8. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    I'll second that motion
     
  9. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Just for giggles, look up www.unitedcountry.com

    Remember, they do NOT sell land for less than it is worth. The land might have a problem (perhaps one that you can deal with), or it might be in an area that is not selling well.
     
  10. mellba

    mellba Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ChickenFryChato seems to be giving you good advice. Being out of debt is worth a lot and if you could find another place to live maybe you'd be happier. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
     
  11. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

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    Look at it this way, lots are 60 ft wide you have people on bothj sides of you so you are not on a corner lot. That means by my guestimation three septic systems on a block of land 180 feet wide all possibly draining into your well. Get out, get out now. If you have your well checked there is a good chance it is contaminated.
     
  12. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Personally, I would not go into debt.

    I would work hard to make where you are living now as wonderful as possible until you are able to save some money and then sell your house and move. By putting up TALL fences and planting a lot of TALL trees (not near the garden though), (try pauwlonia, if they will grow in your area), you can create an effective barrier between your place and your offending neighbors. Add also, such things as bamboo or other tall, fast growing vegtation to create even more of a barrier between you and them.

    Eventually, when you have saved some money think about selling and moving to some land. Since you would have to relocate anyway, you might want to consider a less expensive part of the country where you could get more for your money such as the midwest and parts of the south. Again depending on your ties and family obligations. West Virginia is a very reasonable place to live depending on what you and your husband do for a living and whether or not you could find a job there.

    But for right now, I would not get into debt if you can avoid it. My two cents.

    donsgal
     
  13. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I will 3rd it
    though I would go to a place with cheaper land
     
  14. jross

    jross swamper

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    l'd move and take on some debt, figuring the tax advantages of mortgage interest would be an offset.
     
  15. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely move, and I wouldn't wait. You're not getting any younger and I would want to get moved and get the new place somewhat settled in my 40's, rathern then waiting until I'm in my 50's. Also, if you do it now, your kids will be able to enjoy the farmlife for at least a little while.

    I do think I would maybe try to find something for less money on just a few acres though, rather then an actual working farm. Maybe 5 acres. Something that you can use for small farm activities (chicken, goats, etc.) for now, but that could also just be a home in the country, in case you get to the point where you don't want to do the work to maintain a farm.

    But regardless, I wouldn't stay one more minute in a place where I was unhappy. After living her in the country, enjoying our land, I can't believe I ever lived anywhere else. It's so much better "out here". :)
     
  16. BamaNana

    BamaNana Well-Known Member Supporter

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    EXACTLY!! :hobbyhors
     
  17. tweezle

    tweezle Well-Known Member

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    I just sat down after peeling apples for my applesauce, and I'm overwhelmed with the response! Thank you all.

    Traveling 30 miles is no biggie - we are doing that now. We settled here when we got married because the price was right and honestly, it was the biggest mistake we ever made (IMHO). I pretty much grew up on 200+ acres that was my grandparents farm. It went to my parents, who passed it on to the oldest son. He's not sharing - nor do I really blame him. It's growing up so much around him as it is. After college, my first job that I found was working on a dairy farm to start paying my college loan back. I know what farmlife entails, but DH grew up on the outskirts of town on a bigger lot than what we have now. He did help his friend with haying and things, but he really doesn't have the attatchment to farming that I do. He wants to continue to work while we are in the country. He won't be farming, so it makes the land requirement for us smaller, but still, a hobby farm with ok housing still runs 4x as much as our income - and that's more than 30 miles from DH's job.

    Our area has been targeted as a great place to retire and the babyboomers have no problem paying huge amounts of money because our area is "pretty". We spoke with an Amish family that is frustrated about the moving in of the "city slickers" because of how they are "wasting good farmland" and turning it into "usless" lawn. I honestly understand where that frustration comes from.

    We have looked at WV - and it is gorgeous! DH is a Sr. Systems Analyst that works on mainframe computers, which limits his job market to the larger cities. It's too bad that he didn't get into PC's because he would be much more marketable in smaller towns.

    The kids sooo want to move. The both love the country and DS wants a farm so badly he can taste it. Both are in 4-H and have learned so much from working with other's animals.

    We are honing in on our skills for self-sufficiency. I still need to learn how to spin, and need to concentrate on quilting and sewing more. DH has made our own outdoor boilier, is fooling around with a heater that burns used motor oil, and we can cover most of the bases between us. We don't buy new cars, but ones that are wrecked, then reconstructs them - so we pay cash for them.

    Even with all this, he's terrified with going back into debt because of the risk. Especially with reloaction and a new job. Honestly, my opinion is, with our skills, we should do more than fine. I can see a difference between his idea of a tolerable home and mine - the Green Acres home that Mr. Douglas bought would be fine with me. DH is more like Lisa :)
     
  18. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    Tweezle, my DH is in the same profession. He commutes 45 min's to where he works (I did too until 3 yrs ago). It makes it well worth it when you're driving back to your "dream" or homestead every night after work. It's a way to pay it off sooner. My DH procrastinates too about such things, but honestly I would say at your ages, you guys should definitely make a move. Not necessarily even staying where you are... you can relocate and probably find something very affordable... and not be surrounded with unfriendly/uncooperative neighbors.

    But that's just my feelings.
     
  19. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You get a third or fourth on that motion! Go..........It ain't goin' to get better!
     
  20. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    How about the best of both worlds? If the prices in your area are high right now, you might get more for your current house than you realize. Have a few realtors in to give you a realistic idea of what you might get for your current home, then start looking for fixer-uppers. I hate the idea of debt too. I'd see what could be done to get a new place and keep your debt load low.