Not much to say lately because how interesting is it to go on about home improvements like painting the conduit line that runs along the house the same color as the house so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb or filling in cement cracks in the driveway - not much. But I can tell you not to fill in the cracks with your fingers. They do the task nicely but they end up bright red with sores and you'll wish you hadn't. And you will likely not be finished with the task as mine was only a quarter of the way done before I had to stop and let my fingers heal.
We do have some larger projects we are also working on but some of what we are presently doing is just clearing out things that have sat in the backyard cluttering up the place and in the house too. There is a bunch more of this to come. In life there comes a time to not start something new so much as just fix up or clean out the old.
That leaves little time for doing exciting new things for this blog but I the plan is to be done by October with our list. Then if we are still here next spring we have another list of visual improvements. Don't fear though I do have a few things I am working on and a few plans like making vinegar this fall. Thankfully the hail last night, that lasted for ever, didn't completely strip my plum and apples trees of their fruit. It did kill some of the plants in the garden and hammered the others. My garden is just a third of what it usually is because of the change of focus for the summer. It has been a bit unnerving to put in so little though because of the continued crop failures around the country due to fire, flood, and every other kind of disaster. Luckily we have plenty of food in the basement from last year's garden and though I like to have extra, I guess we will be using ours up this coming year.
Please be patient as we do this fixer upper stuff, I do have a few things I'm working on and I'll share them along the way. None of this trips our trigger as they say but we aren't rich folk so the task is left to us to do. And in that there is great learning too as we've never built a front porch over an exiting porch so that could be interesting. We've redone a bathroom but never the ceiling which needs done in our master bathroom so that will also be a new challenge.
The main reason for all of this hurry up and get done is the town's decision to move the livestock corrals where our animals reside. Presently we have the priveledge to lease a 100 by 150 ft. piece of land with a water hydrant on it. We then put up our own fences and buildings. The new facility will not have such freedoms and the town will build the buildings they desire and heavily regulate it at a substantial cost for the priveledge.
Hence, the fix it up and try and be in a better situation in order to make of a move of our own. That leads us to research real estate though Kirk has applied for a transfer we don't know yet of their decision. We have to just keep trying.
But if it is the case that the answer is no, then the good Lord has something else in mind and we just have to keep looking for the window he is leaving open to us. The town's moving the livestock pens has shifting us into high gear and that is a good thing. We should have been working harder on the house, finishing up the planned remodeling instead of living for example with a bathroom that has a large hole in the linoleum due to me ripping it out when the shower had a leak five years ago.
And we should have put on a new front porch when the old one leaned drunkenly to one side. Meanwhile as we fix up our house to put it on the market, we are looking at the market in areas we would be interested in moving to. Land with water is a WHOLE lot more expensive than this almost none existant water area we live in. But if you are looking for land to be self-sufficient on, water and then soil quality are huge. Water in the form of a creek, water rights on a ditch, sufficient springs and of course a well that pumps lot of good quality water. You don't need all of the above but a sufficient combination of them to do the job. How else do you water your garden, orchard, livestock, and hopefully a field or two since percipitation for Wyoming is only 12 to 14 inches a year?
We are off tomorrow to look at more property and try and continue to figure this whole thing out, especially how to pay for it. The good advice my my ex-sister-in-law, who has been in realestate for over twenty years, is to look a great deal first and get a feel for what your money can buy before making a move. Then you will know a bargain when you see it.
We own our home we presently live in so I looked into a bridge loan but they are really best for if you owe on an existing home and want to buy another one before selling the one your in. The problem with them is fewer agencies do this type of loan and the interest rate is much higher. The whole point is to get the best deal we can.
So how do we get a loan for a place with a low interest rate and low payments with a promise of a large portion of the loan being paid off when our existing house sells? Maybe it is impossible. We just can't afford the large loan payments we are seeing for the properties we have looked at. Put this house and a bit more money and the picture looks brighter but we have to sell this house and Kirk find comparable work pay.
When we have looked at places to buy, as we will do once more tomorrow, we have looked at the initial cost, the cost to fix up the existing property because I can't have carpet in the home as it lulls me to sleep, an allergic reaction that also shows up in my beet red face. We need a shop for Kirk's knife business, a garden spot, and I need something to build upon for the stock. So that means remodeling costs have to be figured in. The more that needs changed, the more money it will cost and new is more expensive than used.
Rural places zoned for ag, not ag/ residential are half the cost on property taxes, something that continues even after the property is paid off so an expense we find important especially when Kirk retires. I can't ever retire from my job. LOL The other is places with convenants. I understand the reason people want them but I don't like them. It is others dictating how they want you to act and has the potential to turn into a vigilantee committee. It also bares costs at that could come at difficult times instead of more when YOU choose, such as road improvements.
So what if we can't move for a while, well we are thinking about investing in just land? I started looking into that more as without a job you can't move. What we will do with the stock is a big question but if we are looking for a window we have to look at all possibilities.
We are feeling more comfortable about investing in land than the stock market right now as the interest rates are low. Though the stock market may be doing well right now with our money, we've lost for us a small fortune over the years when it wasn't. It is high now and that means it will likely go down soon. I swear those running the stock market are an extremely emotional lot and the slightest hint at trouble and they tuck their tails between their legs and run. Why else does the market change so drastically when rumors fly?
The problem with just buying land is you have to eventually develop it. A road, septic system, a well, running electricity and utilities are just the begining costs. My ex-sister-in-law said on a little place you could easily pay 20,000 for fencing costs alone. You do all this and then you've got a house to build, garage, a shop, and out buildings. I'm not so sure land is the way to go especially when it is ten years to retirement to pay off the land and all of these costs.
My research says to also check into the county planning division to see if they have future plans for the land area in which you want to buy. What if they are planning on changing the zoning? What if they are building a major highway, a garbage dump, an airport, or some unwanted facility nearby? I hadn't thought about that. Then there is the 20 to 50 percent down payment required on land only transactions. And if the area has convenents or an another group which requires yearly fees then you still owe the fees for road maintenance for example even though you don't presently live there and use the road.
Yet, since a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, I'm thinking right now some kind of land investment sounds better. Land we can subsist on when things fall completely apart. Call me a doomsdayer if you like but a government who has run a muck like ours rampid with corruption spells big trouble for its citizens until things are righted. I don't care if you do like the present president and aren't worried about the intrusions and out of control spending. It is the direction that we are headed in that is so alarming because the next guy could build on the present controlls over the citizens and their would then be a dicatorship. I wish people could think beyond the moment to the path we are headed down. Though land besides our money can be stolen by the government, it looks the better bet right now for financial safety.
My sister has some friends that recently spent time in an area of a foreign country where they grew almost everything they needed and what they didn't they bartered for on the side. They had no money. It can me done and that is what we have been preparing to learn to do, just in case. I've read my scriptures and I know what is coming, just not quite sure how soon. The signs are all around us.
So wise reader, have you got any advice for us babes in the woods? We could sure use some right now.