Since our land is a good distance from town, we have to thoughtfully consider how we're going to live on the land during our stay...cooking over an open fire and bringing all the necessary items to keep us from having to leave our camping site.
As for our acreage, it is mostly tucked in the woods and no one bothers us, but we don't like to leave everything behind for a trip to town either. I'm sure you can appreciate that dilemma, especially since we do not have fences in place, at least not yet. It's nice to get settled and not have to leave our campsite for days at a time.
|I like this small cabin as a starter.|
Even though I am technically a Houston area "city gal" --- I have also been partially raised on raw land and in fish camps owned by my family in East Texas. Throughout my life, I've understood the term "roughing it" first-hand. It's something I am able to confront and actually enjoy, with zest. I guess it's great to be in the wilderness, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. But, as for SOME of the neighbors around our property in the country...I won't fib...they are the hardened, don't-trust-no-one Redneck variety who fully embrace "Don't bother us and we won't bother you" mentality. In actuality, they have turned out to be good neighbors. No one bothers us during our trips to our land, but we do often see signs of people trespassing so they can hunt on our land. I suppose these neighbors MIGHT be nice to have during a bad situation; they are true survivor-types.
However, recently Deputy Dave and I had an accidental trespassing situation on the property of one of these Rednecks, and I can tell you that Deputy Dave IMMEDIATELY understood the gravity of the problem. It happened like this...we were leaving our land...decided to take a turn to the far backside reaches of our neighborhood, so we traveled down a narrow country, dirt road that had deep ditches on each side...believing it would make a full circle around all the acreage owned by us and the others...wrong...it lead to a dead-end on Mister Redneck's property. If you understand "East Texas," then you understand that a badge doesn't make much of a difference to anyone in those parts...
Even while pulling a trailer, Deputy Dave's expert maneuvering skills got us safely out of the hot zone. I'll be glad to make our introductions with these neighbors some other time thank you very much, if they're ever made at all.
Anyway, since we both have outdoor capabilities in our blood, we're very comfortable with roughing it. With a tent, we feel as if we're in a 5-star accommodation. It doesn't take much to please Deputy Dave and myself. We simply love being in the middle of nature. However, the traveling between the city house and the country acreage is a hardship. The long road trip while loaded down is not always the safest way to travel, even though we have a check system and Deputy Dave ties everything down perfectly. It's still a bit tense to be hauling a trailer with lots of equipment on board. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about.
The city house will probably sell this summer, sometime. Perhaps it won't. It all depends on the economy. All of us are seeing people trying to sell their homes and some areas find home-sellers nearly expected to give away their home in order to move. I feel deeply for people forced to move because of out-of-control circumstances and without reimbursement from a corporation. Our area takes about six months, on average, for a house to sell. We're still making our way through it all and we listed it before the "hot" part of the selling season had started, so we'll have to keep hanging in there.
However, that being said, it's not easy to market your house to sell when you have chickens in the backyard. For the most part, city people are TERRIFIED of chickens. It's kind of hysterical. Then, we have the issue of having three dogs to contend with during a showing. Unfortunately, I have had to turn away showings because I MUST be home to deal with the dogs for a stranger to come NEAR the house without the huge warning barks. Our dogs can't even be allowed to go into the backyard by themselves during a showing because they guard the house so thoroughly that a stranger on the INSIDE of the house will find themselves facing a dog trying to break through the back doors to get at them. Even my sweet Liyla was ready to tear apart one of the big-name Realtor rockstars in our area, someone I've worked with on several transactions a couple of years ago, but this guy is an "iffy" character; Liyla seemed to smell the dirty deeds from a block away.
Since Liyla is my "calm" dog with aging wisdom on her side and a keen sense of duty that is very discerning, I had elected to keep her in a kennel during this particular showing...trying to spare her the hot backyard trip with the other two dogs, but it was a mistake. From inside the house, while shut in her comfy kennel, I could hear her snarling barks all the way into the backyard as Mr. Bigshot entered the room. Forget that attempt; I had to go get her and take her into the backyard as well because she was not ready to play nice.
My sinister side couldn't help but crack up because Mr. Bigshot is known for being a cocaine addict. Anyone who visits thinks that Liyla is the sweetest dog ever to walk the earth, but like I said, Liyla can smell dirty from a block away.
I've been TOLD that my standards for the house being "appropriate" enough to allow a showing is set too high. However, I simply cannot allow anyone into the house until I feel everything is "perfect"in my eyes. We have a lived-in house with dust and the normal stuff, but the house, overall, must be in "I'm having important company over to dinner" kind of atmosphere for a showing.
Can all the potential buyers not come until after 6:00pm so the lack of bright lighting will make everything look even more alluring? No???
This means that I'm knocking myself out with making sure the floors are cleaned, swept, mopped, the entry/exit rugs freshly laundered and on and on and on. It's miserable. With all these chickens and dogs, it's extra miserable to have a house on the market. Those of you who are regular readers...you know our Australian Shepherd has already gone through our lead glass front door a few times and this is not a bad thing when you are on the INSIDE of the house with dogs expected to protect the family, but it's NOT A GOOD THING when you are selling said house and strangers need to come take a look at it to see if it strikes their fancy. Dogs like this give new meaning to the term "APPOINTMENT REQUIRED."
As a former real estate broker, I can firmly say that houses with big dogs and big barks do not strike anyone's fancy. Yes, as a home-owner, I want that effect with my dogs on a day-by-day basis, but it's more difficult to live with the peace that guardian dogs can bring when you are NOT wanting to scare away potential customers! Since no one else wants to take my dogs as a visitor and going for a walk is not feasible with three dogs, especially not with a neighborhood that always has a stray dog on the loose...not a good combination...we have to stick with protocol for each showing. Protocol is me in the backyard with the dogs, playing catch, having to lock ourselves outside because Howdy can open doors and get back inside on his own...plus I must keep the chickens happy, but that's not difficult, they are easy to appease with a handful of fresh feed thrown in the dirt.
So, Deputy Dave and I are actually thinking about building the shell to our cabin as soon as we can, even before we sell this house. I'm thinking we should build a "mock" house in the form of a one-room guest cabin that can be used later on for visitors to enjoy or to use as a bunkhouse.
It would actually give us a great way to experiment with construction ideas and materials for the main cabin, yet not commit us to the expenses of a larger cabin with double utility prices. I should be easier, quicker and less expensive to build while giving us great experience. If we start working on the shell of the small cabin, we can have an easier time of it when traveling to and from our acreage because we won't have to load down the trailer for every visit. Loading up will be much more simple. Heck, I'm not even above washing our country clothes by hand and hanging them on a line to keep clothes packing to a minimum. We can get the house itself built with the roof in place, all windows and doors hung and locked, then we can finish the inside of the cabin, bit by bit. A window unit in place on a high-temperature setting will help keep high humidity out of the interior in between visits, and we'd actually be able to have a refrigerator on hand!
Bottom line...we'd be able to start making the actual move to our acreage and enjoy being out there for more extended visits and we'd have a place to stay while building the main cabin. Our city house can be kept in the good hands of our Sheriff's Deputy neighbors who voluntarily watch over everything, per our usual agreement. The electronic lockbox will let Realtor showings in and out, as necessary and we can be on our acreage more often to get it in order for daily living.
Best of all, we'd be able to be free from mixing critters with showings, we'll be able to finally separate oil from water!