everyone wants a resilient home, so why not two?
Very interesting to see what you folks have accomplished over the past 10 years, and also some of the downsides and concerns associated. Slide, enjoyed looking through the pictures. Is it not possible to have a pump in that year round stream? Hauling water does sound like a lot of work. Also what is that white piece of pipe with the loop in the stem coming out of the floor – hard to tell in the picture? The bathroom pic made me realize how many pics I’ve seen of bathrooms and how I think never a one has had the toilet positioned at an angle to the wall. Always square ninety degree angles. Your design makes sense in many ways – for one if the toilet paper roll is on the wall, it’s easier to get to. It gives a bit of privacy if someone were in the bathtub and someone else needed the toilet. It also just makes more room instead of being right next to the tub. Still, it’s jarring at first sight. Really nice job with all that wood.
Glad you enjoyed the pixs…I enjoyed restoring the log cabin! The “strange white pipe with the curve in it,” is the drain pipe for the kitchen sink before the marble countertops & sink were installed. So the 100 yr old Maple floor covers the entire floor surface (unlike modern homes these days)
It’s not too practical to pump water from the stream to the houses as it’s a 500-600 elevation change! But, contrary to what many think it’s not a big deal to haul 600 gallons every 3 weeks for 2 houses. A portable plastic 200 gallon tank fits into the back of a pickup truck. It’s a 10 minute drive to town where Spring Water is available to the public for $2.00/200 gallons. 15 minutes back to the 1,200 gal underground cistern, gravity feed into the cistern about 15 minutes = 40 minutes/200 gallons. The water is gravity fed into the houses, no pumps needed.
There are 6 types of wood inside the house. Douglas fir walls, Aspen ceiling & interior walls, Windows framed with Oregon Red Cedar & Port Oroford White Cedar, some Japanese cedar posts (by the bathroom) & the 100 yr old Maple flooring. I winter on the Oregon coast & like a lot of folks here, into wood.
re the bathroom…I didn’t change the placement of the toilet, it’s angled that way because of the large South facing window & the views. Why change what works?
Anyway glad you liked it. Did.you look at the “virtual tour” & the winter drone shots? That will give you a better feel for the lay of the land.
Quite a few of my neighbors are pumping water up from 500ft wells. I have also known other properties with 500 ravine to stream using a ( ram pump maybe ? I forget) It doesnt have to be alot of gallons per minute as it should pump to a tank. Personally I think having water is a big deal, especially if things went downhill, cannot live without water, I would not want to rely on being able to get it to haul it in
I’ve checked out ram pumps, but there is a road to the stream where a 12volt car battery hooked up to a small solar panel can be used to pump to the tank in the pickup. But yes, you do need to have gasoline for a short drive to creek.
Any other suggestions, I’d like to have your input!
Hey, SlideDown, thanks for sharing the pics. Nice.
As long as we’re sharing, here’s the photo tour of my house from 2012 when I was trying to sell it (which is why the captions sound so realtor-y). A few things have changed since then — there’s a dog-proof fence around the garden area now; the strawberries and grapes are no more; I added cold room inside the garage. But overall, this is the hacienda.
As for pumping water from the creek to your house, I’d only do that if you’ve had the water tested. Lots of ways for creek water to be wrong, especially if someone has property in the watershed above you. It looks like you’re in Colorado, so you get deep freezes in the winter, so any piping will either have to be seasonally installed or buried good and deep.
NickAdams10 — thanks; definitely the right idea on advertising in places where “the right people” have their eyes and ears. I did that in 2012, but without a good result. I’ll still try that again, though, if I do finally manage to let go and decide to sell.
I would talk to a realtor or a property manager in your area and see if makes more sense to rent out one or more of the properties. If you can get a reliable renter, it might take care of your cashflow issues if the rent pays for your taxes, maintenance costs & some of the mortgage payments. Seems likely owning a rental property would be a source of most retirement income that is likely to somewhat inflationary protected (ie you would increase rent to match inflation)
If you decide to sell, Try listing on landandFarm.com and other non tradiational RE sites. When I was looking for property I used landandfarm.com and realtor.com (But I not sure if you can list on realtor.com without a Realtor license). If you don’t want to take a bath on local RE prices you need to focus on buyers that are looking to downsize for retirement to someplace cheap and quiet. A local Real Estate Agent is only going to market your property to local buyers, who likely cannot afford your asking price, But some one from a major urban area looking to get out can.
Ideally take a lot of photos of the property and include a property map & link on GoogleBing Maps so people can find it online. When I was looking for rural property I search landandfarm & realtor.com, I would look at the posted pictures & look at the satellite images via google maps to get a better idea about where the property was located (ie was it on a hillside or flat land, how accessible is the property and how close to main roads, was it in a potential flood plain, etc). Then I would build up a portfolo of a much different properties in the area since it was a 10+ hour car drive. If you can take some drone pictures and post them with your listing. Good Drones photos really help so the properties potential, but saidly very few listings post airal drone pictures. If you want go an extra mile for distant potential buyers, post a few youtube videos of the property (property walk through, Main home & apartment walk through, workshop, garden(s). The more content you provide the more people will be interested and you get better offers.
“All of my retirement savings from the 2000’s era went into the initial construction. I’m slowly rebuilding a 401K, but my retirement income will mostly just be SS payments.”
Not sure how well 401Ks will work out since they are tax differed and when you reach 70 there is a manditory withdrawal. Perhaps this is not an issue since your 60, but if you have an emergency and you need to take money out of your 401K, there is a 10% penalty. Even if there is not a penatly & your still working the withdrawal might be counted as taxable income. if your paying interest on those loans it probably makes more sense to pay it off first before saving retirment unless somehow you have a very low risk investment in your 401k that is higher than your debt interest. That said First would be to have an decent sized emergency fund to avoid getting deeper in to more debt.
“Contributing 16 hours per week of their time (total) to help with the upkeep on the gardens”
As far as Gardens, Just re-seed with a good cover crop and not worry about maintaining it. That would save you labor, while you focus on your savings. Instead of letting friends stay rent free, you need to get a paying tenant.
“So why do I want to sell? I don’t, but my wife who is not American and older than I will probably return to her country (Japan) in 3-5 yrs and I will return with her.”
Why? Japan is a terrible place & you be isolated as an english speaker. Japan has to be one of the most expensive places to live. I am not sure why she would want to return. Japan is both dependant on fossil fuel imports & nuclear energy. It already had a major nuclear disaster and its unlikely that its the last. Japan’s demographics means its tax rate is going to increase even more, and who knows how many aging Japanese will develop health issues related to Fukashima.
If she has family it would probably make more sense for them to come to the USA, especially if they can speak even some English. In which case you have an apartment all ready for them to move in. If the reason the move to Japan, due to family, perhaps invite them to stay with you & your wife for a month to test the water of them relocating to your area. You already have the apartment available so they would have some independance during their stay.
FWIW: I am not trying to pressure you to make any decision. I am just passing on some ideas that you may not have considered. It sounds like you really don’t want to sell, but you at a cross-roads point in your life. If you do want to consider keeping the property than consider all possible angles, Especially since you put so much of your blood & sweat making it a great home.
FYI: I am simular situation but about 10 years younger & I don’t plan to sell: I bought a 100+ acre property in a semi-rural area. its a couple of towns away from a big university. My property had a cabin on it when I bought it, & I am in the process of building new home. I am investing the bulk of my savings into the property since I don’t believe any currency is safe. I think taxation or confiscation of PMs is likely. I don’t think I could live with myself if my savings vanished via inflation, confiscation, etc. The property has over 80 acres in woods that could be sold off for lumber or wood pulp for paper mills if need to raise some cash. The property taxes are next to nothing compared to where I was previously living. Fortunately I never married and I was able to buy the property and build the home without any debt. I am keeping about 20% of my savings which is about 6% or 7% is in retirement funds before I stopped funding my retirement plans back in 2000. I stopped funding in 2000 when I had doubts that they would be worth anything by the time I am eligable to withdrawal in the 2030’s. Income-wise I am not worried about work, as long as there is a civilization I can find employment.
My biggest concern is long term healthcare as my healthcare insurance rates are doubling about every 4 years. I am also worried that there may be few qualified doctors when i need them as most physcians are boomers either past retirement age (late 60’s) or approaching retirement age. Physicians also now have the highest suicide rate of any major profession & a lot of the younger doctors are quitting do to the mountains of paperwork that must be filed for everry patient that see. Most hospitals are now replacing doctors with nurse practitioners. I have no health issues at the moment but I am sure that will change with age.
TechGuy brings up an interesting point:
<< I am investing the bulk of my savings into the property since I don't believe any currency is safe. I think taxation or confiscation of PMs is likely. >>
In 2006, I had a similar view, which is why I built so hard and fast in 2006/2007, turning a firehose of money and effort on getting it done. When the 2008 crash looked like it could take things seriously sideways, I looked like a genius. Over the next few years, I continued entrenching in the homesteading systems, thinking that was the necessary model for my future. But the financial crisis passed, at least for a while, and I found that making money in the homesteading model was damned difficult. I am a pretty decent gardener, but that is different than making anything more than a pittance growing food you can sell. I know people who do it, but I’m not them.
I don’t pass judgment on my past selves for doing what I did (overbuilding). At every decision point, I did what was best based on my analysis at the time, knowing only what I knew, taking my best shot at estimating the future. I’m still in that mode, but now I see that the TPTB’s game is much more complicated and long-in-unfolding than I previously thought possible.
For me, it’s just a matter of cash flow after retirement. If I was sure the money would be no issue, I would put up with the hassle and keep both properties — it’s a beautiful setup, with great resilience. And depending on what monetary/financial craziness happens over the next decade, keeping the extra property could definitely be the smart move.
Renting either place out for cash instead of labor does not change the math, since the cash ends up mostly being used to pay people to help me maintain things. Even with cover-cropping and heavy mulching of most of the garden beds, there is still plenty else to do. And moneywise, under any rental scenario, I’m still on the hook for the life cycle maintenance of both properties.
Thanks for the ideas on selling strategies. I did do a lot of that in 2012 when I tried to sell, including making lots of pics available. The video tour is a great idea, and if I decide to sell again, I will definitely do that. And yes, I agree that average Kentuckians not my target market.
P.S. As for Japan, that was another poster, and I will leave it to him to comment. For my 2 cents, I agree that heading anywhere near Fukushima is not a good idea.
making lots of pics available
Your pictorial tour is of particular interest to me because we’re in the early stages of planning a house.
We’re much further north so some of our design constraints are different but you have provided ideas and inspiration for both the house and the grounds.
Thanks for sharing!
Getting a short term dose of radiation may be incredibly bad, but lifespan seems to go up, not down, with chronic exposure. Go figure.
What you don’t want is just the short term bad exposure.
I recommend you watch Matt Risinger Youtube channel videos to get up to date on construction tech. Also PureLivingforLife as a vblog of there entire home contruction project in Idaho.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChhBsM9K_Bc9a_YTK7UUlnQ (Pure Living for Life)
Here are some posts from me:
1. Tight Home with ERV for ventaliation
2. SIP roof, but not SIP walls
3. 2×6 with 24″ centers (Advanced framing to reduce thermal bridge) & 2″ continuous Rigid foam insullation. Passive Houses have moisture causing Mold & rot. See Joe lstiburek Passive Home Youtube & Building science articles
3. Recommend basement for emergency shelter area (severe weather: Tornados, Macrocells) & Global war
4. Hydronic Radiant heating (if you can afford it). More efficient than forced air or baseboard heating. Gyptcrete pour or Warm-board Eco-board.
5. Outdoor wood or coal boiler. This will avoid dealing with debris, ash and smoke in your home (important in a tight home build). and reduce chances of fire. Coal is considerable less labor intensive. You can fill up a large coal bin that will provide enough fuel to last weeks or months (depending on size) a wood boiler needs to be tended to at least twice a day. Plus the cutitng & stacking seasoned wood.
6. Standing Seem metal roof (if you can afford it). Asphalt shingles need to be replaced every 15 to 20 year. a Metal rood will last a lifetime. Best option for SIP roof in tight homes since you use batten to create ventialation between the roof and your SIP to reduce heat in the summer and remove moisture & condensation.