Wednesday, June 27, 2012

# 294 - Small Steps Toward the Country

The backside of our property has a springfed lake and it makes for the perfect picnic spot. I look forward to the day a table is sitting near the edge of the lake, under a shade tree, and fresh fish is on the lakeside grill.

Who could want more? We always wanted waterfront property...well...we've got it. The problem is being able to relocate to our acreage so we can actually enjoy it on a daily basis.

Winter shot of the lake at back of our property.

This economy is making it more difficult for us to sell our house. Due to several points, it seems to be wise for us to temporarily take the house off the market. First, our oldest daughter's wedding is coming up in October. We are having a wedding shower at our house in August --- we need a house for us to hold a shower for the entire family to attend. Also, we don't want to end up selling in the middle of August and trying to move a household and start the construction process during the worst heat of the year...August in Texas can be brutal. Finally, we think it's best to at least have the barn constructed before we get into a contract to sell this house. We're going to build the barn/workshop with an "apartment" so that we can have a place to stay WITH the animals out on the acreage while the house is put on the market again. Having to deal with three dogs and six chickens for every showing is very stressful.

So, we're going to focus on barn/workshop construction so that we can be on the property more often and make a smoother transition. Everything happens for a reason.

That being said, we've had a young couple very interested in our house. We decided that if they made an offer that is solid, we will move forward with selling right now. However, if that offer doesn't come through, we will give ourselves a bit of time to construct the barn...after the high heat of summer is over. The good news is that the barn site already has major preparations ready for its construction...the septic system is in place, the utility poles are nearby, so we will only have to be concerned with digging a well.

And, I will have a bit more time to keep working on trying to purchase the acre and a half next door.

That little piece of property would be worth the purchase because it would cut down on fencing issues, access road issues would be greatly reduced and we'd not have to worry about someone constructing something so close to our home-site.

Anyway, there's so much to do still. We need to make a daytrip to the property very soon or get an a/c unit to hook up to the generator so we can have cooled air on the nights when it will likely be around 90 degrees. Depending on the heat of the summer, we will see how it goes. It will be a good time to get the foundation for the barn/workshop poured because the summer heat makes the access road more stable for the heavy equipment that would be needed for this stage of construction.

I have a feeling it will all work out perfectly. Even so, I wish the acreage was my permanent address, starting tomorrow morning. However, all of the things we have approaching in our lives makes this a more difficult time to sell the house. If it had sold back in April or the start of May, it could have been more manageable. I hope we will be able to start finishing the barn by the time Fall is beginning to arrive and after my oldest daughter's wedding has taken place, we will be able to focus more fully on the other construction efforts that will follow.

Meanwhile, I am grateful for each step along the way. Selling a house these days is not always an easy task. Truthfully, if they raised the interest rates a tad, there would be more banks willing to make loans because they would actually be making a good income on giving out those loans, in addition, our investments would be increasing at higher interest rates. Not that I want a HIGH interest rate, but just high enough to stimulate the economy into having the motivation to bankroll loans.

This past week, we had a potential buyer ask us if we'd personally carry the loan on our house for them and that they'd pay a balloon payment at the end of a three year period. No thanks.

Regardless, with a daughter getting married, things are very busy. On that front, our family is set to air on TLC's show, "Randy to the Rescue" in the next week or two. I'm not exactly sure. We sit down every Friday night to see if our family is going to pop up. They did extensive filming of my daughter at various locations, so we're curious to see how they will put it all together for the show.

I'm sure it will give us lots of reasons to laugh with gusto. We'll see...we'll see.

Okay, barn/workshop plans are the priority for our transition. Gotta get that barn built. Then, we can put in fencing for the dogs and start on a chicken coop so we can get the chickens moved.

I think we're figuring it out...each step is important. Sometimes, jumping in headfirst is not the wisest way to jump. Since I can't really jump any longer, I'm all for taking lots of small steps!


Tombstone Livestock said...

I think that sounds like a good idea, get barn built first, then you are not under so much pressure.

I received my July/August Hobby Farm Magazine this week ...... and lo and behold there is an article on maintaining gravel driveways. There is also a referral to Federal Highway Administration's "Gravel Roads Design and Maintenance Manual" at
gravel roads_indes.cfm

Hope you are able to post when TV show will be on before it happens.

Vickie said...

Me, too, Lana - if you know ahead of time, post about the TV show.

Sounds like things are working out like they are supposed to, Lana, with your move. Even tho I know you'd like to get out there right away. Weddings are stressful enough and then throw a big move into the mix, and it's a recipe for major stress and headaches and wishing you could back up a little. And you know what stress can do to a body! Anybody! Just take it a little at a time, get a few things done, enjoy your daughter's wedding and her single time left with her, get this summer heat over with, and then jump into fall with both feet!
It'll happen the way it's supposed it!

Anonymous said...

Good luck, it's gonna be a wild ride now.

LindaG said...

Baby steps, is what my hubby likes to call it.

I think, given all you've said, that waiting is probably best; though I will be hoping for you to be able to move quickly when the time is right.

You all have a great weekend, Lana! ♥

Brenda London said...

Hi! I just discovered your blog and I am really enjoying it. You sound like a very grounded person and I have no doubt your farm will emerge in good time. My husband and I have a small 60 acre farm in upstate New York. Hubbie also had a 15 yr business repairing farm equipment. He doesn't do that anymore since our horses take all time(we race harness horses) but folks will call for consultations regarding equipment and he will order parts from all over the country when needed. Please feel free to contact us if you need any help, long distance. Us "mature" farmers network easily and the support system for us just keeps growing. I like your plan to have an apartment in the barn. Many farm friends have that also and it turns out to be a good thing when older kids bounce back into our lives as if they left on a bungie cord. The tax info is good but folks need to consult their accountant in each state. Here in NY you have to show a clear profit of 10 grand to get an exeption, plus more restrictions on land use, but it means that many smaller farms need to grow for a few years if they plan to get that. We don't qualify, due to a rule that says if we boarded horses for other folks we would be classified as ag, but not if they are our own horses that we raise and train and race. go figure! Anyway, the best advice is to get a smart accountant to handle your taxes each year. smart does not mean costly. We do have a racing business and still only pay a couple hundred each yr to get our taxes done. One piece of advice I will share is for you to take time now to meet your new neighbors and folks in your farm community. They are usually a tight bunch, but once you have their friendship and respect, you will have the best support system ever. Until you can move out there, it would be good for some of them to have a way to contact you if anything goes on with the property. Believe me, farmers watch our for their own, as much as they love to share advice. If they have a local gardening or quilting/sewing club, that's a great way to meet new neighbors. Good luck to you! Brenda said...

Tombstone Livestock --- Yes, I do think the barn/workshop needs to come first and as soon as possible to keep us moving forward and not becoming stagnant. Also, I'll have to go get the latest copy of Hobby Farms. THANK YOU for tell me about the article --- how weird was that? And I think the show is on July 7th?? I will do a post about it this week. It almost feels like the wedding itself is about to happen! This show frazzled my nerves! I'm certainly NO television personality...just a plain person getting caught up in one of these Reality Shows, but I REMAINED myself. I guess we're not 20-somethings and we're not impressed with putting on an act. Life itself, as it is seems to be nutty. No need to embellish it.

Vickie - I agree. It's happening the way it should. It will be nice to focus on the upcoming Shower and Wedding. We have much to do in a rather short time. Not having to worry about strangers coming in to see the house every other day is a huge relief.

Beth - you know it feels as if I'm always on a wild ride. I purposefully try to make sure I get many restful, peaceful moments in my life to counterbalance all the rest. I am trying to not get down about not being able to move during the time of my first choice, but that's how life goes. We just tweak the plan for the timing that is right.

Linda --- My thoughts are with YOU as you guys are actually in the midst of this transition. You're leading the way and I'll be ready for lots of advice once our turn comes around! And, Baby Steps sounds like wise advice. Otherwise, we might try to take giant steps and won't be able to keep up!

Brenda - It sounds as if you and your husband have your hands full with the farm. That's a good-sized farm you've got there in upstate New York. Thank you so much for your gracious offer of help to us blooming farmers...I'll probably take you up on it here and there. It's great to have a blog network circle, such as we have, loyal to each other in trying to teach and share what we've learned so others might benefit. As for the apartment in the barn, I also think it might serve multiple handy purposes, especially since we will have grown children visiting. I am trying to learn the exemptions for our state --- it is such a web of confusion. But, I'm making my way through bits and pieces. As Linda says, taking Baby Steps. We will be getting and farm and ranch tax specialists once we get moving, that is for sure. Thank you for the encouragement; once we are moved, I will definitely join the local farming, etc. clubs so we can create new friendships and support systems. Hopefully, we'll be an asset these as well. Anyway, you have been a great commentator, good things to consider.