Prep Tuesday—What We’ve Found

This weekend, we went back to look at the “barn property.” You have to understand something: where we’re looking for land is covered with county roads, CRs, and they all have numbers. And you know how well I work with numbers! So we could call them CR-124 or CR-131 or whatever, and we’d be, literally, all over the map. Of course, I still haven’t figured out counties number these things; as soon as it starts to make some kind of sense, they change the rules . . .

Anyway, the property is 42 acres, roughly one-third pasture. Not exactly what I was envisioning, but it has a lot of good qualities. I think this could work. Most of the woods are on a hill, and surround the property. County road frontage—gravel—and a back way in too. Electric on site, no well, but there is a live creek bordering the entire west side.

The front pasture is fenced, about seven acres, with an adjoining barn. A really big one, too, but unfortunately it’s in really, really bad shape. I think there’s more roof missing than still attached, and the inside is rotting quite a lot. But there’s the electric—ha!

Straight back through the front “gate,” which is just a cable now, there is an opening to the back pasture; that’s about seven acres as well, rough estimate.

First things first: we need better measurements and an official plat, of course, to know the particulars, but the plan is to purchase over the winter, in the next month or so, this section or maybe another—hard to say, and still keeping our options open, but we’re getting close.

However, IF we were to buy this piece, here are our starter ideas (keeping in mind, of course, that the actual move date is June 1, 2016—not THIS June!):

First, we need a driveway; gravel, of course. This requires removal of topsoil, grass, etc., before the first layer of gravel is put down. I’m certainly not opposed to driving through the meadow, but mud could be a factor at some point—not sure AAA comes out there! So, remove topsoil, pack it, three layers of gravel. The entire process is not a rush job, as the more we drive it, the more each layer gets packed down.

Second, build a latrine and put in a solar shower. We’ll be camping out and working down there for a year or so before we actually finish the cabin, so, yeah . . .

Third, a kitchen shelter—my camp peeps will know exactly what it’s going to look like! Counters, a couple picnic tables, a stone barbeque pit, and cabinets for cookware storage.

Fourth, we’re putting in a pond, in the front pasture. Dennis likes to fish, we have a feeder creek, and the livestock will need it too. So, Number Four, dig a really big hole. And build a dock. And maybe get a canoe . . . Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself . . .

Next, plow up the garden. We’ll plant some things this spring, like asparagus and strawberries. And gourds; I have a market for those. We’ll put in the fruit trees then, too.

After that, we just need to decide where the outbuildings will go: general storage, woodshed/fuel, toolshed/shop, pump house and food storage. And the cabin, of course.

Once those are staked out, we can decide where to drill the well and get that taken care of—yes, we’ll be hauling water for a bit, but that’s doable.

Now, my original plan was to have, like Mike said, the cleared acreage in the middle of the property. Well, that seems to be quite difficult to find, at least in our price range. So, we may have to make do.

There are always compromises, and I can tell you about a big one—cell service. Yes, I’m planning on self-sufficiency, but I also have a company to run. So, yeah, that whole “out in the middle of nowhere, but with WiFi?” Yep, that’s me.





7 comments on “Prep Tuesday—What We’ve Found

  1. Sounds good, you have a plan! Two really important things to keep in mind, keep the well location away from the creek, and keep in mind the future location of any septic tank bed for gray-water–a weeping tile bed must be outside of a specified distance from any well or watercourse. –and plan carefully, you don’t want to be driving over any pipes to the water well or the septic system once they are installed because of frost penetration and potential freezing problems, so plan the driveway carefully in advance. “:)


    • Of course. And if we do go with this particular piece of property, the driveway almost exactly bisects the front pasture, but in keeping in straight through the second one, it would go directly to the cabin, then veer to the left and keep going to the campsite. That way, everything is on the right side of the drive.


  2. Robin, this makes me nervous. All I can see are $$$ signs. It sounds great if you can get to the end result without killing yourselves.


    • You and me, both! Although, I think we can get the property for about $50K; the shell of the cabin will run around $10K; bringing power lines to the cabin is about $500. Those are just off the top of my head – for the rest, I have a list of costs somewhere around here… But it’s not as bad as you might think. Of course, I haven’t started writing checks yet, either!


  3. When we put up a home on an 85-acre farm this past year, we were lucky that the farm was already in the family. What we didn’t anticipate were the number of permitting hoops the county makes you jump through just to get a hose built. The most absurd was the fact that the perc test was no longer sufficient for getting a septic tank. Now you have to pay to have a soil scientist come in and look at things. Our decided the soil wasn’t good even though neighboring property with the same soil has septic tanks that have worked flawlessly for years. Putting in a fancier waste-disposal system was a real who needs it and was just one of the government regs issues that increased our costs. Hope you don’t run in to similar permit costs with septic, the well, or water diversion issues to keeping the pond filled. (Our farm has a creek on it but we can’t divert it or damn it up in any way.)



  4. Okay, sorry about all the typos in my last comment!


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