Prep Monday—The Waiting Game

We made some decisions this past weekend:

First, there are way too many properties for sale to possibly look at them all.

Second, we could certainly make the barn property work.

And third, with so much work to do, regardless of the property we choose, we really need to get moving on it. And, well, fourth, it can be difficult to search in the winter!

Since the first of September, we’ve driven to/walked over/looked at approximately 30 acreages listed for sale. That’s a lot of driving—oh, a couple thousand miles—and hiking (did not measure that!). I really did think it would be easier and quicker to find what we’re looking for, but I do have a tendency to say, “Gee, what’s over that NEXT hill?” So it’s time to stop.

The barn property is in a good location, decent-looking properties/neighbors in the area, good road in, one-third pasture, and 42 acres with a creek. I’m not going to count that barn, because, even being over 50 years old, the thing’s a hazard. It does have electric, though.

The point is that we can make it work; I can picture it, all the details. And I want to get started.

Which brings me to the third point: all the stuff to be done. Driveway, well, outhouse/septic, pond, fencing, outbuildings, cabin. This is going to take a while, especially since we’re looking mostly at weekends and over the summer—we do still have a kid in school, even though work, for us, is pretty flexible. So I want to get going on this HUGE project!

Which brings me back to winter:

I’m not a fan of driving after dark—and if you saw some of these roads, you’d totally get it—so we’ve got only about 10 hours of daylight, and that includes driving time; that limits the number of places we can check out in any given day. Plus, precipitation is unpredictable, so there’s that. On the other hand, you can definitely see the lay of the land when the trees are bare . . . but there’s mud, snow, ice, etc. And I’m pretty sure AAA has never been to a lot of these places!

So we made a tentative, verbal offer of $1K per acre. That’s slightly above the average listing price for property in that area, but we’ve been told the owner had had a similar offer and declined. Personally, I think she’s asking too much, but we have a little wiggle room. A little.

Why verbal? Well, why do all the paperwork, etc., if the owner is going to say no? Efficient, yes?

And now we wait. We can go up a bit, but we can also move on and continue to look. We do have a few backup properties, and there are always more . . . over that next hill.



14 comments on “Prep Monday—The Waiting Game

  1. Sounds like common sense “:) No matter which property you end up with, there will always be another one coming along that looks better. It’s inevitable, the “perfect” dream property shows up later. The fix for that is to start regardless, and a couple years down the road, if the dream property shows up later you can always go for it. Meantime, you will have improved the first property and increased it’s value. Send some pics of the barn, it may be less work and easier to restore than to rebuild–and far less expensive. It all depends how good the original construction was. “:)


    • The barn is deceptively still standing – I’ll see if I can get some pics. It looks pretty good from the outside, and the inside is full of junk, but at least half of the roof is missing and there are quite a number of rotted timbers. Looks pretty shaky, and I wouldn’t want to go inside…


    • You may be surprised, the roof was likely taken off by wind, the exposed beams for the roof may be totally solid yet. Any posts going into the ground that are decayed can be cut off where solid and strapped/bolted to new posts, if it’s only leaning, it can be straightened “:) Timbers that have decayed can also be quite easily replaced–for much less cost than building new. Hm…junk, maybe you’ll be the proud owners of some potential treasures. I wish I could see that


    • I wish you could too – I’d put you in charge of renovating/removing/whatever, lol!


    • haha, Next time you visit, take photos, & email. For a reno, a lot depends on the style and the construction type. People generally have NO idea how much work it was to build a big barn like the one on our FOW cover– (is it that style?) and how much it costs to replace “:D


    • Well, I’ll be darned – that is EXACTLY it! The FOW cover – minus the flames, of course…


    • haha, see? Cool! One of the most popular constructions. Now you need to determine if there was any stone/concrete foundation under the exterior walls/posts. If they are just posts going into the ground but decayed, they can be lopped off and bolted/strapped to new posts, and if stone, can be supported/lopped off and replacement sills installed There’s always a way, and hydraulic jacks are amazingly helpful “:)

      Inside: If there’s an “interior” cattle barn inside, the roof on THAT structure, if it was left with hay on it, (hay was stored above to retain heat for the cattle and ease of winter feeding) will be the one to watch for rotten deck & safety. It can be probed and tested from underneath for rotten sections. Again, it all depends on the original materials and how well it was built, and which section of exterior roof was blown off. “:) Interesting project if it comes to fruition “:)


    • Yes, to the concrete foundation, about 3 feet high if I remember correctly. The loft is kaput…as in a few boards left, maybe.


    • It can be restored then if the foundation is straight and solid, the deck on the interior loft can be replaced if you need one, the shell can be used. If not, there’s always another option if the shell timbers are kaput; you could pull that down and build a lower, modern barn on the foundation with pony walls to height, and a modern truss roof “:) Many of the wide barn boards, by the way, may be perfectly solid, fantastic White pine –usable for any purpose, construction or decorating.


    • While my first choice is always to restore versus destroy, all I can see now are $$$$!


    • Yes, either process can be big $ –and a fine balance is required, that’s where informed decision-making comes in handy “:) You can do it!


  2. authormjlogan says:

    I am behind in my friends blogs, but I saw this today. One consideration about the barn – some jurisdictions will require removal / repair of a hazard before other permits are issued.



    • Not this one. Big reason we chose the area – not much of a nanny state, if one at all. Heck, they don’t even have a website or ANY place to look up stuff, it all has to be done by phone! lol


  3. authormjlogan says:

    I wish I could say the same about this area.


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