40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

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Romans12.2's picture
Romans12.2
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40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

I Know that this has been asked....and I know it's a little personal,

but honestly I don't know who else to ask but all-you-all,

whom I'm trust -with knowledge of whats to come.

 

I tried to find past threads...I can't find what I'm looking for.

 

I convinced my husband to cash out our money market account and now have a check for $45k.

We found beautiful farm property bank owned with old house, new pole barn and old barn. 

40acres surrounded by state land, rural town....about a 4 hour drive from our home. No mortgage cash deal. 

But other than traditional retirement accounts (that I do not count on) this is it, no other big money sitting anywhere.

My husband thinks we need to have a retreat, as we live 40 miles from Detroit.

I want to pay off our 8k credit card debt, my husband says no - just make minimum payments. 

Part of me wants to buy all Gold/Silver.....we have about 10k in pms now.

We are pretty good on all other preps......

How would YOU spend this money....or should I bury cash in my Grandmas basement?

 

rhare's picture
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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

We found beautiful farm property bank owned with old house, new pole barn and old barn. 40acres surrounded by state land, rural town....about a 4 hour drive from our home. No mortgage cash deal.

Unless you are farmers and know how to farm this seems risky, particularly the size.  If it's only 2 of you how much land do you need?  Also, if it's far away from town, can you be self sufficient?  While running to the woods/farm initially struck me as the way to go I quickly realized I didn't have the skills or really the desire to try and be 100% self sufficient.  I took the approach that being in a suburb with a garden (not to far from a middle sized city) was a better option. When/If TSHTF, you want to be isolated enough to avoid major looting/riots, but close enough to still be able to buy things (potentially  black market).  If you are out in the middle of nowhere you really have to do it all. 

I want to pay off our 8k credit card debt, my husband says no - just make minimum payments.

That variable rate interest, you probably should pay them off unless you just plan on defaulting.

Part of me wants to buy all Gold/Silver.....we have about 10k in pms now.

I would buy more gold/silver or some other productive assets.  Do you have a garden (tools, books, fertilizer, seeds, SFG stuff, etc)? Have you bought everyday supplies that might become scarce?  Barter goods?  Few months food? Water storage?  All these type of things you might want to consider.

In my life I bought a year or two supply of things I knew I would need in the future anyway: everyday household goods, clothing, gloves, tools.  Then I stocked up on some food and then started on bigger things: heat, water, electric (solar).

My .02. (soon to be worth much more if old copper pennies). :-)

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

Romans,

It seems to me that just making minimum credit card payments is a risky strategy.  Unless you believe a total collapse is imminent I would definately pay those off first. It is a great way to effectively make risk free double digit returns on 8K which is hard to do right now.

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

How much is the farm going for?  Do you have to take out a loan?  How far is it from Detroit?  Can you and your husband "farm" that large of a space?  What other uses for the property can you envision?  Is there a well?  Is there sewage?  What is the condition of the home?  Etc.....

As for what you should do???  What are your current conditions?

Your CC bill is an issue unless as someone before stated, you plan on defaulting.  If you do plan to default then don't worry about it.  If you don't, pay it off over a 3-6 month period to keep some cash flow going.  

PM's:  Buy as much as you can but be smart.  Figure your cash on hand, cash outflow over the next 90 days, cash inflow along those dates as well and then figure what you can afford.  If the farm is a total of $45k (which would make ZERO sense to me obviously, as nothing is "free"), you could buy all of the above with the cash on hand.  

Anyway, gotta go as my child is on my bottom:-)

cheers!~

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

We can buy the property for about 40K, so NO mortgage, taxes are low ($700 year),the house needs some work, the old barn needs work, it's not too rural, close to a nice town.  It has a well, some apple trees, old grape vines etc.

We have three kids, a 6ft boy who works like a man...and two younger girls. I think we could learn to farm? My grandparents were farmers in Nebraska, isn't genetics at play here?   IDK Totally self-sufficient, sounds extreme to me....I wish.  But realistically I still go to Starbucks every morning :)

I'm most confused about the CC comments...no way do we plan on defaulting.  I guess I'm just concerned that if things go bad soon...I'd rather have the money in cash/pms or even land.  Why pay it off if the bank might fail anyway?  We have good income and no money worries rt now...if we had to, like jacked up rates suddenly, we could scrape to pay it off in a few months.  So why pay off debts? We have a mortgage too...

Our home is well supplied, just does not feel safe right off freeway, so close to major city.  We don't have neighbor/friend groups to turn to...in our circle all the people we know will probably turn to us.  Part of me feels like it's our job to prepare for a lot of people, NO one we know thinks ANYTHING is that bad.  And we live in Michigan for goodness sake!  They just keep waiting for the miraculous jobs to start hiring and then the housing market will recover and we can all go to Disney for Easter....thank God my husband sees the light.

 

 

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

You also want to have cash on hand in the event the currency doesn't collapse, but some other emergency arises like a bank holiday.  Until something else takes the throne, cash is still king.

Oh yeh, pay off the CC.  They are raking you over the coals with every payment of obscenely high interest rates.

Doug

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?
Romans12.2 wrote:

We can buy the property for about 40K, so NO mortgage, taxes are low ($700 year),the house needs some work, the old barn needs work, it's not too rural, close to a nice town.  It has a well, some apple trees, old grape vines etc.

Something doesn't sound right here.  Hardly any decent farm property goes for only $1000/acre with good soil, water, buildings on it, and proximity to a decent town.  Any contamination of the water or soil?  Is it in a flood plain area?  What town is it in (I'm in Michigan too)?  Also, on properties like that, the tax is probably capped.  Depending upon how long the property had been held by the previous owner, you may find your taxes skyrocketing once you buy it and the taxes are uncapped.  Something doesn't seem right.  Also, you'll have to make a significant capital expenditure to be able to farm that land.

I'd buy off the credit card.  Why pay that high interest rate.  I'd also add to my PMs.  $10K worth is not a lot.

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

Romans,

Much depends on your particular situation.

How do you feel about farming? You indicated that you might be inclined to farm. I am biased toward agriculture because if/when TSHTF food may be as good as gold to barter. If it's not, then at worst you won't go hungry. I have only four acres and have been growing food for only a year+, but I love it. The food tastes better (maybe only in my mind) and I really, really enjoy my little hobby farm. If you feel you can successfully engage in agriculture, the security IMHO is unmatched. However, as rhare pointed out above, there is a risk if agriculture is not for you. As far as the size of your prospective property, having too much land shouldn't be a problem; cultivate what you need and let the rest lie fallow.

What is your emploment status/forecast? This point is relevant to your credit card situation. If your income is reliable, I would let the credit card debt ride a while and pay down what you can after making your preps if the interest isn't outrageous. I had a similar dilemna, until I realized that my interest on about 10k, was only 8% (good for a CC balance) and I would rather have the security of PM's than a zero balance to Visa, so I upped my PMs and am working down my balance.  If TSHTF, credit card default would be the least of your worries. If it doesn't and your income remains secure, then pay as you go and all is well because you've done your preps.

 

What is your feeling about the depth of the crisis ahead? If you feel it's really going to get real bad real soon, then bug out and hunker down. I don't think it will be that bad that soon but who knows? Dr M says "Better a year early than a day late". Likewise I'd rather be over-prepared than under-prepared. But that must be your personal assessment.

Everbody has different comfort levels and different tolerances for different situations. All of the above advice is sound but different from what I found works for me. Right now, my big discomfort is having a mortgage with the inherent risk of default in a crisis economy. The thought of having 40 acres of agricultural land with no mortgage strikes me as being very advantageous. If TSHTF you'll have a great lifeboat. If not you'll have a great lifestyle. But that's just me.

I hope I (we at CM.com) have been helpful. Good luck.

 

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

Love you Earthwise!

I have the same opinion about the credit card....I really don't care about the interest, it's not high and I'm more interested in buying more stuff. 

I really think we are interested in farming!  Not so big, maybe 10-15acres to start.  We are city folk but have a 60x80 garden.  We are city folk but read Countryside Small Stock Journal cover to cover...we are city folk but keep 7 hens (illegally cause we are in the village) -we have four acres and so far no neighbor complaints. 

Our problem is we really feel like Something Wicked This Way Comes....and soon.  And our little piece of heaven does not feel safe in a bad scenario, no matter how many guns you have, we are still just afamily of five.

We can't just bug out because our business is thriving, which is a MIRACLE in Michigan.  So we are very nervous about the WHEN to leave.  We are afraid to buy a place Up-North...only to get there and find it looted.

AO -  It's the real deal!  Good soil, new pole barn, old barn, house is pretty rough.  The bank has owned it since 2008, farmland up North is very reasonable....it's all the cabins that are still priced way to high.

 

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

Romans,

I agree with Earthwise. IMHO the S#@!  has hit the fan and owning a farm free and clear sounds like a good long term investment strategy. Be sure to do your due diligence on the land. Check with the townspeople and find out the history, etc.

It will take probably more time than you think to learn to farm and to get things the way you want them. Better to start early!

Coop

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

Romans12.2

You say you're only 40 miles from Detroit. How do you feel about Canada? I know someone (somewhat personally) whom is looking for a business partner/co-owner on an organic farm that includes a educational aspect in a beautiful area just north of Kinston Ontario.

I've met the woman a few times and my best friend did some WOOFing there last year. She's a wonderful soul and I would jump on this opportunity right now if I had the cash.

Check it out for yourself at http://www.goodworkcanada.ca/greenjobs.php?id=10379

Cheers and best of luck to whatever path you choose.
r.

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

Try a 20 acre farm and some gold and silver to pay your taxes when they come due so you don't get kicked off your 40 or 30 or 20 acre farm. Just a tip from your uncle Lar...

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

 Go with your heart .   You could go up and work the place on the weekend  and vacations . If you find you do not like it  sell it .   Ask the bank the very lowest they will go on it . Maybe they would let you go up and stay a few weekend to get a feel for the country and the community . Take a camper if the house is in really bad shape .    You might be able to let another family go in on half of it  and work side by side ..  

 

 

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

Romans -

In my opinion buying 40 acres of good farm land with buildings for $40,000 sounds like a fine deal.  They aren't making any more of the stuff.  Just do the due diligence as advised above.  If the SHTF and money loses its value, the farm is a real asset and a refuge that can keep you alive.  As you say, your present location is very hazardous.

Until that day draws near, don't even think about farming it yourself.  There is a joke farmers like to tell about the old farmer who won $1 million dollars in a lottery.  When asked what he would do the old farmer said, "Well I guess I'll just keep farming until the money runs out."  I grew up among farmers and today even the best of them struggle.  You don't have the knowledge, skills, or capital to make a go of it.  However, you should be able to rent the land for crops or grazing at a good price to produce income.  Maybe rent the house too through a reliable local agent who can look out for you. Be sure you can evict the tennets at will with proper notice if you want to move there.  Spend as much time as you can there and make friends with the locals.  Theft and vandelism are risks you need to consider.  A nearby farmer would probably be glad to look out for you, especially for a modest payment. 

You could make a big down payment and have a low rate mortgage for the balance, pay off your high rate credit cards, or keep a chuck of cash for farm improvements, or save it to pay off the mortgage quick if needed.  If you don't want to go that route I'd pay off the cards over a year or two while also saving cash for emergencies or to stock up for bad times. Cash is your insurance that you don't get trapped by circumstances.  I think you need other things more than you need more gold at this point, like upgrading you farm so you could survive there.  As you see, you can have several good options to choose from while still owning a great asset.

 

 

 

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

Romans,

If it's as you say, then I'd buy the land and get a moving.  But as someone stated before, go with what your heart/intuition tells you....it's going to be right.  

As for the CC.....it's a tough question.  If YOU'RE comfortable with having the payments as they are then no biggie.  I pay mine off every month and use it for the air miles, but I'm in a different situation financially.  

Just make sure your family is 110% behind you on becoming "farm folk".  If they're not, you're in for a world of hurt.

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

Romans:

Many posts to your question, but given what you provided, the repayment of CC should be a no brainer.  If your interest rate charged is 15% and your money market fund is essentially zero, you make 15% without too much trouble - compounded . 

Restricting use of CC, if possible is a good idea, or at the minimum, whatever you charge, pay off when presented.

 

Good luck!

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?
earthwise wrote:

I have only four acres and have been growing food for only a year+, but I love it. The food tastes better (maybe only in my mind) and I really, really enjoy my little hobby farm. 

No earthwise, you're not hallucinating:  it *does* taste better.  And likely has a lot more nutrients in it than store-bought produce.

Viva -- Sager

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Re: 40 Acre Farm or Gold/Silver?

How big of a farm should a person buy? 

Here's the problem detail:  I live in Hamilton County Indiana where there is a lot of flat farmland.  In our county, land sells for $10,000 per acre and there are many parcels of 10 to 20 acres available.  I can't move out of Hamilton County because we own a small business.  (Our business model was valid before the Revolutionary War, so it will still be a good business after TSHTF).

Further south of Indianapolis, there is a lot of woodland that is full of game (deer, wild turkeys, etc).  If TSHTF, I know I can survive here because I come from a family of hunters (not a family of farmers).  This land sells for $3,000 per acre and there are often 160 acre plots (partial woodlands) available. 

I'm most enamored with the idea of planting an edible forest (like the book of similar name) and trying to create a permaculture situation where we harvest our own food.  My wife really wants to raise Scottish Highland Cattle as more of a hobby effort.  I can almost accept this because I have a family member who raised alfalfa hay and made ok money doing it.  (When she gets tired of having cows, I'll just plant and sell alfalfa.)

The question is what size of farm should I really go after?  Some part of me thinks that even planting 2 acres of edible forest is going to be a challenge.  If she wants 10 cows, then I need 25-40 acres to grass feed all of them.  Just typing this, I'm thinking that the appropriate farm size for me is near 40 acres with the majority being pasture land. 

An earlier poster said that he would want to have his farm free an clear.  I also find value in having land either close to my business or land in the woodlands where I know I can survive.  So, people should tell me which option is best.  I think I might summarize it like this:

Option #1:  Buy 40 acres near my home and spend $400,000 for it (bank loan required)

Option #2:  Buy 20 acres near my home and pay $215,000 cash (price before negotiating down -- actual property).

Option #3:  Buy 73 acres (actual quote) 1 hour from my home and pay $200,000 cash.

Option #3: Buy 160 acres 1 hour from my home and spend $480,000 (bank loan required)

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 I would be very interested

 I would be very interested in hearing from the OP how this venture turned out - now that we are 2 years post.

 

OP?  Are you still around?  Did you end up with the farm?  Do you still have your 45K or did Disney and Starbucks ultimately end up receiving a large portion?  

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CrizmoZ

 I don't know much about livestock, except that Scottish Highlanders are supposed to be a very hardy breed.  As far as how much land is needed for that, I don't have a clue.

But, generally I would go nearby and cheap, particularly if you can buy it outright.  The nearby part is important because your enthusiasm for the farming wanes with distance travelled to do chores.  Also, you may need to be nearby to protect from pilfering.  Not to mention gas needed traveling back and forth and to run whatever machinery you need.  Unless you get work animals, which adds a whole level of complexity and another reason to be nearby.  If you want to build a permaculture farm, you don't need much land, but the building part is labor intensive.  Once its established, it becomes much easier,  but my sense is you never stop tinkering with the plan.

Wrt hunting as a means of getting by, I wouldn't count on it.  If we start experiencing serious food shortages, the land will be hunted over fairly quickly, particularly if you live anywhere near a large population center.  Good luck.

Doug

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Wow - two years later!

Very cool to see this thread.....have not looked at or thought of since 2010.
We ended up not buying the farm. Instead in spring of 2011 we purchased 28acres of heavy wooded, rolling property about 3 miles from a small town. It's 40 miles from any major freeway, 3 hour drive from our down state home. Gorgeous property with wild life abundant! My 16 year old son hunted his first deer this past winter. Have a small cabin with no electric, but it is wired for electric with our generator. Wood stove kept us warm all winter. Fancy outhouse ( seriously pergo floors). 2 Amish built storage barns hold our snowmobiles, quads and golf cart.
We paid 75k not 40. But it has a deep 2ft x 12ft wide trout creek running through it. With artisan feeder creeks running throughout property it has an excellent future as a water supply. We purchased a ram pump and plan on storing water in a water tank this spring.
It's been a blast! We have spent every weekend possible plus all of our kids vacations up North just exploring our property and planning our future there. My husband set up a shooting range, and taught my girls how to shoot my pistol and Dads Glock.
This choice between wooded seclusion (we are surrounded by state land and only have a few neighbors) and open farm land was hard for us. I was convinced that water was the key. I wanted water for our kids to enjoy- we could have never farmed any land without completely leaving our business. It was the right choice for us. We feel like we are preparing for an uncertain future and also giving our family an excellent retreat from the crazy world we live in downstate.
We had a business trip last summer and took the kids to a resort on the ocean. After just two days, all three kids agreed they would rather be up at the cabin. That was a really awesome moment for me. We will never spend money to go anywhere stupid ever again!
This past November we found a log cabin built in 1867 on craigslist. We are in the process of labeling each log then disassembling and moving 32miles and reassembling on our property. It's a 32 x 24 two story hemlock cabin. We are excited and nervous to say the least....anyway that's the update!
We have slowed down on our gold and silver - last purchase was silver at 32 and gold at 1575. I'm more concerned with stocking up on cash right now as i fear deflationary concerns are more in our immediate future.

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Sweet!

Very cool, Romans 12.2!  It sounds like you and your family found yourselves a sweet piece of land/nature.  

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Romans12.2 wrote:I want to
Romans12.2 wrote:

I want to pay off our 8k credit card debt, my husband says no - just make minimum payments.

I know it's probably way too late, but any half-way decent financial advisor would tell you to pay off the credit card and fast.  Their rates are like around 30% and that means any investment has to produce about that just to start paying off.

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wolfstemple
wolfstemple wrote:
Romans12.2 wrote:

I want to pay off our 8k credit card debt, my husband says no - just make minimum payments.

I know it's probably way too late, but any half-way decent financial advisor would tell you to pay off the credit card and fast.  Their rates are like around 30% and that means any investment has to produce about that just to start paying off.

That's not quite accurate. I currently have two credit cards, each with rates <8%. It depends on many factors such as credit scores and your banking relationship. My cards are both with BofA (yeah, I know---bad guys) with whom I've been banking for many years. Also, the rates can't be changed on existing balances unless you miss payments thanks to the new credit card laws enacted under the Credit Card Act of 2009. Here's a link that explains it all:

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-law-interactive-1282.php

And a blurb from that link:

 

Retroactive interest rate hikes on existing balances are banned, except when: 
 
•An introductory or "teaser" period ends.
•The interest rate is tied to an index and is variable.
•The card user completes the terms of a workout plan for debt repayment or fails to  
comply with terms of a workout plan.
•The card user is more than 60 days late making a monthly payment. The card issuer 
must give the reason for the increase and must restore the interest rate to the previous,
lower level after six months if the cardholder has made on-time payments during that  
six-month period. 
•Military service members end active duty. Federal law caps credit card APRs for  
service members at 6 percent as long as they are on active duty. The Federal Reserve  
Board added a provision that allows credit card issuers to increase interest rates on cards owned by service members to restore APRs to previous levels.
I've got some large balances (>$15K) on my cards and when faced with the option of paying them off or advancing my preps, I've chosen preps and don't regret it. Paying 8% on my PV system, food storage, guns/ammo and livestock is well worth it IMHO. If/when I'm comfortable with my resiliency and sustainability then I'll start paying down the balances. 'Til then, let it ride.

 

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