Thursday, April 5, 2007

Land and Job(s) Update

Our current stage of homesteading, aside from our experimentation with garden projects on a very small scale, is the planning and debt-retiring stage. I try not to get too impatient, because there's so much to be learning, and there will continue to be. Every stage will involve patience and waiting to some degree.

The update on the 3 acres with older house is that the man has never contacted us since discussion of trading properties...he has a list of properties, only two of which are zoned what we need (agricultural)...the others are very small residential lots which can only be used with restrictive regulations. We submitted a list of our residential vacant lots (we have only a few) for consideration and further conversation about trading, since this man has done trades with his properties in the past. Two of my husband's lots are waterfront, which puts us at least in the running as far as being of comparable value.

Since all that, we've only gotten cryptic feedback from this man, who was all enthusiastic in the beginning. It's no sweat if he decides it's not something he wants to do, but not knowing his thoughts at all leaves me wishing he'd come on out and say so if that's what's at issue. The not knowing is the part that makes waiting harder. In the meantime, we're looking for other investors or individuals who might want to do a trade rather than trying to sell it on the market at this time. With the market being what it is, we'd lose a lot, and so would anyone else from the other end trying to do the same.

J has started his new job, same field, still mostly weekends. He'll be searching out other jobs a bit at a time, but finally having something steady coming in will be a big help. Three of the jobs I'd applied for, which had log-jammed in the application and waiting process, have finally un-jammed all at the same time. The PT one is nearby and I'm in orientation with that one. The 2nd is waterlogged while weeks go by between contact points with the County employer, and the 3rd is The Job I Really Want. I applied for that one in November of last year. I was told the whole process would take several months. It has! On Wednesday, I jumped through the next-to-last investigative hoop for them, and I only have one left to go. There is much prayer being prayed for that one final step!! Let's see what happens.

The little garden experimental pots and trays are taking off right now, especially the lettuce and the tomatoes. The basil is now sprouting, and I'm waiting to see if the carrots, peppers, and eggplants will sprout. In a few days the very first of the lettuce will be ready to harvest! I've been planting more as the weeks have gone by, so we'll have some repeat crops...yum!

And I'm tired from the holiday. So tired that I'm curtailing my normal curiosity and project-tackling for now, and I'm going to just go take a NAP (eek!) ha

That's ok, too. Our goals are in sight, and we're doing the prep part. It's not always fun, but it's necessary. And seeing those bills going AWAY is reallllyyyyyy GREAT!

I love dabbling outside with the plants, too. I have more that need to get planted soon. If I get THE job, I'd like to celebrate by building a rabbit hutch and vermicompost bin for underneath, to start having my own garden "amendments" and something warm and living as company when I'm outside. Can't do the chickens or a dog or cats at this point, but maybe rabbits....soon...? If I can find a way to keep the raccoons from getting their grubby little mitts on them.

Next small project....get those potato bins going and put the petunias in them. I already have the to decide on what's the easiest thing to use for a bin. Haven't found a box large enough yet, but I'm still looking.

Well, that's the update. Nothing exciting to tell just now, and so the old lady will have her nap. Let's see, I'll categorize that as "renewable energy".....ha!


El said...

Wow! ProperTIES. Who knew you were such gentry. But seriously, a land swap sounds like quite the good dealio. I wish you well in that.

And jobs, too. Isn't waiting just frustrating?

We bought our farm as a second home. How's that for how screwed up the mortgage industry is: I wasn't working (maternity leave) and Tom was working a job with a tiny salary. But we did what you did and paid off a LOT of our debt (student loans mainly) with the sale of our house. We're credit deadbeats in that we don't have credit cards. Our farm with its acreage cost a third of what our city house did. It's just a better life out here and we have lots more dough to throw around at things like chicken coops and farm tools.

So, having made the switch, I really am glad to hear you're also jumping in! (The water's fine!)

And Crunchy Chicken has her potatoes in plastic tubs. So maybe you can get some blanket boxes or something for the spuds?

Robbyn said...

Yeah, it sounds like we're land barons. In truth, my husband, long before we were married, showed a lot of foresight and figured that Florida land would someday be valuable everywhere, and so he researched properties in areas that really no one wanted at that time. He's never had a high paying job, but he has a very steady head on his shoulders as far as being persevering.

He researched properties through many avenues, such as tax deed lists and county seat dead files (I dont even understand all that) and what he ended picking up was a handful of this and that (all vacant lots of about 100'x100' each) for realllyyyyyy cheap. It used to be in some areas, you couldnt GIVE away this land, because it was nothing more than a step up from swampland.

Three or so years ago, developers moved in. And there went the neighborhood? ;-) They saw large tracts of vacant land, cheap. Then the hurricanes happened and suddenly it was cheaper to build a new home than to deal with the mold and renovation issues of the damaged ones. There was renewal in depressed areas because a lot of folks who kept their homes fixed them up with the insurance money, and this "upgraded" a lot of aging neighborhoods. There was a huge upsurge of property sales values, but also of taxes.

What used to cost my husband less than a thousand dollars a year in his property taxes now is costing us nearly $10,000 a year.

You can see why we want to get out from under it! He was wanting to use his own money to build "on the side" on those properties, for resale someday, but with things as they are right now, that's not figuring in.

OK, sorry to give you my whole life story! :) If we're gentry, we're the Ma and Pa Kettle variety..haha!

I love what you and your family are's nice to see we're not alone in our journeying farmward. I'm getting really good advice from you who've walked this way (we're jogging to catch up)

I'm enjoying following your adventures in chickens and job and house! And yes, I'm eyeing plastic bins with an eye (no pun intended) for potatoes!