Thursday, March 14, 2013

# 411 - Option Period - Moving Countdown


It's taken years and years for us to finally reach the point to where we can move to the country, full-time. Nearly fifteen years of owning our land and wanting to eventually move to it. Having a contract on our house in the Greater Houston area is nice. I suppose this means I might as well accept that our land will also be home to a couple of farm-raised pigs and maybe a couple of cows, which will be my husband's cup of tea. He's already raised these animals, so it will be old stuff to him.

As for pigs, I keep having horrifying images of me approaching the hog pen to find the snorting beasts chowing down on my dogs. I can already see those evil pigs enjoying a Howdy-snack (eating our dog) as I hear theme music to Psycho. Why? It's not a pleasant thought. It's as if I am afraid the hogs/pigs will attack the dogs or squash them or pen them into a corner and start chowing down. This is the city girl side of me being too scared of pigs. Then, I remember, two years ago, I was terrified of chickens and now I love raising them in my backyard.

I hope I will learn to trust pigs too. I won't even talk about scary images I have involving cows.

The contract on the house is still in place, but we're trying to emerge from the Option Period of the contract which is the ten-day time-frame allowing the buyers time to get their inspections, check on insurance rates, and to ponder making the right decision. Of course, you'd hope a buyer would not come this far unless they were serious and capable of purchasing the house.

The Option Period ends at midnight on the 16th. So, the date for an easy back-out is about to end.

Yesterday, the buyers had their inspector come over to check out the house...appliances, mechanicals, piping, electricity and so on. The state licensed inspector prepares a written report for the buyers to alert them to any potential problems. And it is a guarantee that every house will have problems, even a house that is brand new construction. As far as we know, our house doesn't have any problems. In fact, it has a new 30-year roof, newer flooring, appliances and we're giving the buyers a year's worth of a home warranty.

But, I keep hoping we get past this option period. If a buyer had ants in their pants, this is the time they'd choose to back out.

If there is a time to be nervous with a contract on your house, it should be during the Option Period.

Will be saying good-bye to yet another very unique room designed
by one of my children. Both of my daughters always had complete
freedom to make their room their own --- we would help them do
whatever they wanted to make their room a reflection of their
personalities and design preferences. We've had some interesting
rooms throughout the years. The little girl moving into this room
is extremely excited and ready to make it her own.

No more weird angles for me. They make furniture placement frustrating.

We negotiated for the buyers to have the refrigerator, which also
means we have one less huge item to load and store.

So, I am glad the prospective buyers for our house have invested themselves further into the purchase of our house by hiring an inspector. That also shows their level of seriousness toward buying our house.

If we get positive feedback regarding this inspection, then we will keep moving forward with our plans to get packed up and outta here! The past couple of days, I've been in happy mode with finding out who in the family wants some of our furniture and in finding someone who wants to buy our beautiful master bedroom furniture. We are really scaling back.

This week, we are going to the acreage and seeing the town utility peeps to get started with the process of having the electricity turned on at our two main poles and to get the water turned on at the front spigot. Deputy Dave will also be putting up a mailbox so we can put in our change of address and have it start coming to the acreage.

This will be a challenge. The last mailbox was killed by a redneck during a drive-by with a baseball bat. This is when we learned the beauty of country mailbox design with nearby boulders placed strategically to require a slow down to approach the area. And we learned that a country mailbox should be secure. We're still learning with this one. If you have suggestions, we'll take them.

Personally, I'd like to post Daryl from The Walking Dead in a hide-out and let the arrows fly during the next mailbox assault. If you don't watch The Walking Dead, you're missing out on Daryl goodness.

This weekend, we're going to start bringing some heavy things to the land, such as our large, decorative potted plants, our decorative garden stones that are stacked and ready to be loaded, the tractor portion of the chicken coop and other outdoor items that we can take into the woods and leave there with relative confidence that all will be okay.

In fact, Deputy Dave is pulling the trailer out of the garage as I type. I'm tuckered out and this is when I write my blog posts. I'll be glad to no longer have to maintain this large home. A blade of grass doesn't need to be dusted, that's a beautiful thing. I would rather operate the lawn tractor than walk up and down the stairs with a dust-rag.

Less indoor work means more outdoor fun. And I don't think outdoor work is "work" because I love being outdoors. I'll make the trade any day. Yet, I realize the dust inside the house will always be an issue...unless I get a volunteer-maid. Since that is highly unlikely, I'll keep the dusters handy.

As for immediate tasks on the land, we might have to get materials to build front gates so that our land will be better protected from people being able to drive onto it at a whim.

During recent trip to our land, we were a bit disturbed to see that someone had been out there using part of it as a country-shooting-range. Deputy Dave has some old construction leftovers on the land and a backer-board was being used for someone to test their different weapons.

The picture below was how we found the shooting set-up and each board had a different caliber weapon bullet hole in it.

Now, people in the country do know how to handle their guns. For those shooting on it, the land has rolling hills, dips and loads of trees, but it still feels weird to see that someone is going to my country address to shoot their guns. Once we're living on the property, people will be very unlikely to trespass. That's how it works in this part of the country. If the land appears to be unoccupied and without much oversight, then you will probably have people exploring it or using it as a pass-through. But, once we've set up out there, as we have done previously for a three year span of time, we had no one step foot on our land.

My hand to show the board with the largest bullet holes. I suppose
this is shotgun or "buck" shot??? I forgot to ask before writing this post.

One good aspect of being there will be to FINALLY have the utility companies be forced to get pre-approval to come onto our land with their heavy equipment because they are the WORST about leaving deep tracks and a mess behind them. Once we are living there, that will come to an end. They will be held accountable and be forced to clean up after themselves.

So, we are moving forward with making preparations for our move to the country with the sale of our home, I hope.

One small problem...I think we might officially be "homeless" until we buy an RV to put on the property while we are building the cabin. We had a great RV that we sold nearly two years ago and that one would have been PERFECT for temporary housing on the land. Oh well.

We've never been in this position before, so it is HIGHLY scary and pretty darn exciting! It's like a major adventure is underway!

We're literally going into the wilderness WITHOUT a home already built. But, we can't build until we are on-site to guard and supervise our construction materials 24/7.

However, it's weird that we aren't moving into another cookie cutter home sitting on a city block lined with diverse neighbors. I've been pretty darn happy with my cookie cutter homes and pleased with the amenities that they bring. But, we don't have kids at home any more, we don't really utilize all of those amenities. Besides, this move is ALL ABOUT THE TWO OF US and no longer about the school district, the neighborhood park, the distance from grandma's house, the bike path and the kind of neighbors living a few feet from our house.

This move is about the two of us finally being able to do what we want...putting ourselves as the priority and that is exactly what this stage of parenthood is about...enjoying the freedom that you've earned because you've already put in the time, energy, money, blood, sweat and tears into raising your kiddos. And it's a time to watch your kids develop their own life so that, they too, can eventually reach this phase of life to enjoy grand-children, nephews, nieces and friends.

Now it's time to put all of those things toward a life filled with CHICKENS, DOGS, BIRD-WATCHING, A CRAFT ROOM, A WOOD-WORKING ZONE, HAMMOCKS, A FRONT PORCH EQUIPPED WITH WI-FI and an OUTDOOR FLATSCREEN and all those kinds of great things.

Deep breath...

However, first, before all the "fun" concepts can take place, we will be focused with putting equity from this house into building a cabin. Getting the shell and mechanicals in place will be a priority. It will be time-consuming, so the journey is just now beginning. We will employ strict adherence to every dollar being directed to building another home.

I like this basic design. I've had the weird angles and am
no longer digging those too much. I prefer focusing on building
solid and also on making our outdoor space enjoyable.

The way I see it, that first $500. in equity monies should be put toward clearing land or buying posts and beams, and that last $200. of equity money should be put toward buying paint. Every dollar of equity money will be managed with the intent to make it stretch as far as it can go so that we can have a nice, cash-built cabin. If the cash is used for other things, there is no money left for a home; it's that simple. This is another test in discipline and in money-management ability or lack thereof. Since I am known for making a dollar stretch very far and have often been able to save money in spite of difficult odds because I am financially conservative, I eagerly look forward to seeing our cabin come to life on a tight budget.

The right mindset is imperative. Being prepared to put every dollar of equity toward construction while saving funds for the next phase in construction is a necessity. So, this will be a wonderful challenge to prove we've got what it takes to make this happen. 

I'm just a tad excited.


A Primitive Homestead said...

Wonderful to hear your getting closer to your move to the country. Crossing my fingers & whispering a prayer it all works out with your prospective buyer. Pigs & cows. Not such scarey creatures. Your doggies will not be eaten. Take a breath and relax. If your pigs get out be prepared for some excessive running. When I was young and at home we raised two pigs one season. We chased those two pigs two neighbors over. Mind you our neighbors were distances apart with wooded plots of land between. Sounds like you all will be building a barn also. Blessings! Lara

Vickie said...

Ok, thank you, you answered my question about where you're going to live! You get that property all barricaded up to keep out trespassers. I know you're so anxious to get out there, it sounds like you've got some REALLY interested buyers. There were a couple of things we had to fix on our home before it sold. Some wood facing and trim under gutters where it was trying to rot. SMall stuff, but it still had to be done. But relatively easy. I think yours is going to be easy, too. Those parents don't want to disappoint their daughter not having that beautiful bedroom! It's a done deal, girl!

LindaG said...

We aren't as far from our mailbox as you are, but we did lose one between trips. Most likely to a baseball bat, too.
Around here, they use bricks and... mortar? to hold mailboxes in some places.

The brother-in-law had problems with people setting up deer feed stands on his 'some weekends' property. He and the hubby went out and shot them up with hubby's new pistol. (This was a couple years ago).
But it hasn't happened since.

Good luck, God bless and Congratulations! ♥

Roslyn Phipps (A Plow And A Mule) said...

Having a large 300 to 400 pound animal snort at you can be nerve racking. However, after some initial curiosity on both the dogs and the pigs part, I think you will find everything will be ok. We have been raising pigs for a couple of years now and they are highly intelligent and comical creatures. You will discover that each has their own personality and and if anyone gets out of hand a pop behind an ear with a stick normally subdues them. As for any that get loose, bring a feed pail, ours always seem to come running back home for it. Good luck and I can't wait to hear more of your adventure.

Rae said...

First off, have my fingers crossed for you guys on the sale! Yay!

Pigs are easy peasy, especially with a hotwire system. And they aren't wild boars. They won't be eating those pups of yours. :) Especially as agile as your pups are!

Mailbox... Get a good steel locking mailbox on a metal post. Only way to go.

Walking dead is AWESOME!

Dirt is part of farm living, especially with dogs in the house. You get used to a certain amount of dirt. Lol.

Gates... A big 12' or 16' farm gate, a latch, a padlock, a couple bags of cement, a couple 8" dia. posts, and you're set! Again, easy peasy. Oh... If you don't have one, recommend purchasing a post hole digger/shovel.

Trespassers/shooters... 90% of the time, it's either people who think they're on public land, or they don't see signs so they lazily and irresponsibly assume it's "ok". Lots of no trespassing and private property signs are called for. That will take care of most people.

Last, but not least, so STOKED for you guys!!!!