Monday, July 20, 2009

Independence Day Challenge Year 2, The 12th week

We are at the mid point of summer.  Little green tomatoes are appearing on the vine. Each day is filled with some activity that moves us forward to our new destination.

On Friday we drove out to Farmington to look at a couple of homes.  Our goal for our new home is that it should be a little bigger, a fixer upper is fine, we would like a little more land but no less than what we have now, and it should be cheaper.  Alternative financing, such as rent to own or owner financing would cover us until our house sold. We've already looked into having a realtor rent our current house for us, if need be.

Our thinking when we bought our current home was that we did not want to pay more than what we paid in rent at the time. We managed to do that. Our thinking this time is that we would rather put a little more money into paint, flooring and weatherization improvements and have a smaller monthly payment.  Hubby is still a music teacher. Times are still uncertain. If for any reason he should have his hours cut or get laid off, we would be able manage the mortgage and other expenses with patchworked employment.

The first house we looked at had 2 acres, 2 bedroom with a big family room, a couple of old apple trees on the property. The well was shared with another neighbor. It was a foreclosed home. We knocked on a  neighbor's door. He told us that the family before had paid 100,000 for the home and then spent more money on improvements. But there were plenty of other improvements needed to be made. The neighbor also told us there was a sex offender in the neighborhood.  And a friend told us that she had a friend that lived there and had had her home broken into 3 times.  The asking price was 44,000. But Hubby and I both agreed that neighborhood is very important to us. So decided to pass on this house.

The second house we looked at was the gem. It was a cape built in 1944. It is three miles from the center of Kingfield. The woman who owns it has lived in it the whole time. She is in an eldercare facility. It has 6 acres of land. The back part of the land has an old apple orchard. It used to be a honey farm. There are several out buildings and a green house.  The kitchen has a combination gas/wood cookstove. There two rooms upstairs and a big bedroom downstairs. It needs some updates and chimney work. It has a metal roof. It has a dug well.  It is being sold for 49,000. The seller would be willing to do owner financing.  The woman's son-in-law has a house very close to the house for sale. We were able to meet him and he told us a bit more about the house.  He also told us that he has 130 acres; that he used to have sheep. He has a sheep shed  and fenced in pasture that we could use. He also said that we could harvest wood for firewood from his land for free. He told us that we  should make an offer of  40,000 on it because the seller would probably accept it. 

So we are trying to figure out how to frame our offer:)

We also took some time to get connected to the community. We went to the farmer's market, health food store, library and local yarn shop, and pub. Everyone we met was friendly and warm. This is going to be a good move for us.

Plant: Yes, I am still planting, otherwise those empty spots fill with weeds. Carrots, transplanted mullein, planted citronella.

Harvested: mint, basil, oregano, broccoli florets, kale, peas, baby carrots

Preserved: dried mint,oregano, kale. 1 quart frozen peas, one quart of frozen broccoli florets.

Managed reserves/ prepped: Our trip to Western Maine. Our friend and pastor Deborah and her husband Tom came over to help us with some carpentry projects and weeding. Thankyou! More packing, cleaning.

Local foods: I went to the farmer's market in Farmington. I purchased some turnip. I also asked several farmers about  winter CSA because we may leave some of our harvest here and I want to make sure that we have local produce and a full winter larder. 

Reduced waste: I took several big bags to the thrift store. Our neighbor is going to take some metal stuff off our hands and sell it for scrap.  We sold a solar hot water heater that we had acquired.


Wendy said...

The second house sounds amazing! It's awesome that the neighbor is so knowledgeable about the house. When my husband and I bought our house, we had no idea what we were getting into. It turned out good, in the end, because our neighbor not only had lived in the neighborhood since WAY before it was a "neighborhood", but also because he had helped to build the house. His knowledge of the area, and our house, in particular, has been invaluable.

Anna M said...

Good Lord! If you don't get that second house I wish I could! My biggest thing is having high speed internet, the rest would be gravy! I hope you get it!

Kathy said...

Oh boy! This is now getting very interesting and while the move will be lots of work, you'll get through it just fine.

The worries about how it will all gel? That's genetic. Can't do a thing about it.

I think I can even find that town!

risa said...

Wow, make that offer! That would go for about $250,000 around here; we are in this area only because we came in 1993 and offered $75,000 for our one acre, which is now paid off... "Buy land, honey ... they ain't gonna make any more of it." -- _Country Women_, Tetrault and Thomas, 1976.