Should we go into debt to buy connecting acreage?

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Swampmama3's picture
Swampmama3
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Should we go into debt to buy connecting acreage?

I'd really like some objective advice here.  Any thoughts you have would be deeply appreciated.

We own 19 acres free and clear, and annual property tax on our rural land, which we live on, is about $13 a year.  Yes, thirteen dollars.  I could skip supper one night and pay it.  On our land, we put a park model home, which we are living in with our kids and dog.  We owe on that, but if we were unable to pay, they could come take the house, but we would still have our mini-farm. My hubby and sons are handy and we could build shelter.  We have spent the last three years establishing food supply and shelter and water supply here.  Fruit and nut trees, garden, livestock, etc.  Water catchment and holding tanks, waste management, home cooking and heating ability, all these things we have established. 

Right next to us, our neighbor has lost his home to foreclosure and bank sale and it is going on the market in two weeks.  It is a newer doublewide mobile home on six acres, and shares a long driveway with our land and home, secluded in the back boonies and surrounded by woods and creek.  Nobody comes back here but us and whoever will live there.

We would have to cash out our 401k, which is small and we stopped contributing to it years ago anyway.  Its actually an opportunity to cash it out that we have been looking for.  We would need most of our available funds to put 20% down and pay closing costs.  The husband has a good paying job he's had for years and is unlikely to be out of work UNLESS the crash happens.  We can afford the monthly notes fairly easily on both places, our park model home and the place we are considering buying. 

We could get a horrible neighbor back here at our hidey-hole homestead.  Or a developer could put in three more trailers and we'd have a bunch of noisy neighbors with junk cars and pitt-bulls and loud music.

We already have enough acreage.  We don't absolutely need the land.  But we sure could use it.  My hubby wants to put in a vineyard, and I'd like chestnut trees.  But is it wise to use up our reserves right now, spread our income thinner, and go onto debt when we could possibly be going over a global 3E cliff soon?

We don't have much time to decide, and I abhor making hasty important decisions.  What would you do?

RoseHip's picture
RoseHip
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Or you could get a wonderful neighbor

That puts in their own vineyard and nut trees on their dollar.

Life is about relationships and community I would take this opportunity to work at getting others that you share perspective with nearer to you. With 19 acres its not more land you need but friendly's to help labor and enjoy life.

My advice is to stay out of debt and focus on the things that really matter.

Rose

Swampmama3's picture
Swampmama3
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Thank you, Rosehip.  It would

Thank you, Rosehip.  It would be wonderful to have good prepper neighbors.  I am currently leaning toward not taking on the debt, after just having watched the crash course again.  We've had bad neighbors before out here, and it can get bad.  Outlaws with guns damaging my property, big mess with the sheriff and a lawyer to solve it all, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.  I am primarily scared of having a bad neighbor situation again.

We have had friends out and I have encouraged people I like to come see it.  They all think its too far out of town and not comfortable enough. 

The hubby and I will think about it for a while and decide one way, then get new information and change our minds.  Its driving me nuts being undecided. 

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
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I'd vote to go for it


jturbo68's picture
jturbo68
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Purchase and rent

 

I would purchase and then rent the second unit to pay the mortgage and provide some control over the neighboring property.

 

Swampmama3's picture
Swampmama3
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My husband has told me that's

My husband has told me that's what we will do if we need the payments covered.  We've already had a person want to rent it. Seems lots of folks with kids are wanting to move out to the country. As things get worse, people are looking for ways to get away from sheeple and grow food. Thanks for the input, y'all. 

RoseHip's picture
RoseHip
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I disagree with the Buy and Rent

Swampmama3 although I understand the buy it and rent it mentality I couldn't disagree more with it. Because its rooted in the seperation paradigm that currently afflicts humanity. For the many reasons why I feel this way just read the most recent article on PP its well worth the read on many levels.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/81843/getting-our-story-straight-matter-life-death-literally

Especially the Comment by WestcoastJan Titled "Many hold the same attitudes as bankers"

Not because you have Jones to keep up with but because you would be delaying self gratification by not buying it and going into debt.

The narritave matters! And good decision making will come after you analyze your own unique narritive and match it with the change you would like to see in the world. Do you think more debt and more property under your control so that you can choose your neighbor is the best lesson you can learn from this opportunity?

Best of luck! We all face very challenging decisions in our futures, so be forgiving with yourself because its the failures we have the most to learn from.

Rose

Swampmama3's picture
Swampmama3
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Maybe you misunderstand me, Rose...

I went and read the article and the comment by westcoastjan.  It is all very valid, and I agree we need mental, spiritual, and emotional maturity and adaptability.  I think we're working on that pretty well in our household.  We'll sometimes be in the car with the kids and play with scenarios like what would we do if x,y, or z happened.  We just figured out the other day that it would take us 5 hours one-way to walk to church, and that we need good bicycles.  Our minds are not set in rigid patterns.

Since you wanted me to read what westcoastjan wrote, it seems you think I want the additional acreage to 'keep up with the joneses', or 'live the american dream' or something.  Or that I want to keep everybody away with a shotgun or something. 

That is completely off base.  I understand you don't know me and that you make assumptions based only on the information I have provided you.  Let me give you a little more information...

We have encouraged others, friends, family, people from a prepper group we know of, to come out and take a look at the place to buy it.  We'd love to have other like-minded folks out here.  Its too far out, and none of them want to pull up roots from where they are and move.  We already have several good neighbors and positive cooperative relationships out here.  We lease our 8 acre pasture to a neighbor for free, and he does tractor work for us.  We give extra eggs to everybody, and one neighbor's child is coming to feed our animals while we're on vacation.  We've got good community.  By buying this, I will not be excluding community from my life.

My idea is to actually use the doublewide for storage, as our house is small, 400sf, and we could really use the storage.  I need a prep room with shelving to hold our storage goods.  My husband wants a wine room where he can process his wine making and brewing stuff.  Also, it has a wood burning fireplace, which our home doesn't have.  The doublewide is so large that if a SHTF situation happens, we would still have room for friends or family to come out and have a safe place with us, even with two rooms taken up for projects and storage.

What I am trying to avoid is a bad neighbor right in our face. 

I do see the risk of taking on more debt.  I don't like the feeling I get when I think about it, but I am always overly cautious about such matters, and my husband thinks the reward is worth the risk.  He feels strongly about it.  I have to remind myself that we are putting a good chunk down and would not be upside down.  We'll have equity from the start.

I do hear your words of caution, and I thank you for them.  That's why I posted this question.  But, you are mistaken if you think we are considering this purchase for keeping up with the jonses or for chasing the american dream.  We don't do that kind of thing.  Our motivations are more along the lines of having more productive land and facilities to support more people in the future because we see crisis coming.  We want more good people out here with us, but they don't want to move out to the boonies yet.  We would be ready for when they see the need.

In short, we can always "un-buy" the land. But we can't undo not buying it if some unsavory people buy it instead.  I have asked God to put an impediment in our way if we're not meant to have it.  Things should be happening soon, as we should be able to sign a contract for it within the week.  We'll see how it goes.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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Swampmama3 and caution about neighbors

I hear you on worrying about unsavory neighbors ending up nextdoor.

Point in case: My husband's mother and aunts had an old, isolated house in rural SC that they rented out. I burned dow because it had what we suspect was a meth lab in it. If the place nextdoor is as isolated as you say, you have every right to be worried about bad apples buying or rentng it, in my opinion.

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
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The Problem with Renting:

Swampmama, I really enjoyed reading the back and forth going on in your own mind over this purchase. I figure, based on what you have written here that the upside to buying it is considerable. If it's foreclosure, it's not likely to drop in value. You have many personal and primarily practical reasons for acquiring it and your sentiments tend towards the protection of your friends and family.

As for supporting the 'dominant paradigm' if you decide to become a landlord and implicit criticisms about having a banker's mentality--take it in stride. It's judgement based in ideology, not reality.

It would only take one 'adventure', like I experienced to radically alter their politics. Like, for example, being stiffed by meth addled tenants whose idea of fun is to let their cat, (they were not allowed to have), destroy the new sofa I purchased for condo. Oh, and new colours on the walls that were just painted?  By all means! The tenants used my brand new sheets as drop cloths on the floor, destroying them, too. I could go on...My experience with residential rentals is limited but horrible.

For many people nowadays, having to rent is an unfortunate consequence of an economic downturn. They are, by and large, innocent victims of bankers. Other tenants like the freedom that renting affords.

But for others, renting, never owning, never feeling responsible is a permanent state of mind; part of a larger picture of impulsive behaviour, an inability to delay gratification, alcoholism, drug addiction,  insensitivity to other people, and sloth.

You shouldn't worry about renting as a concept, just the renters who might trash your place, imho. This however far outweighs the real danger of ending up with someone of the same description you can't give the old heave ho.

Seems like a good idea to buy the extra property.

RoseHip's picture
RoseHip
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Posts: 147
I too fear the meth lab next

I too fear the meth lab next door, but I am also warry of our ability to manifest our greatest fears when those emotions are at the forefront of decision making. Is one of the afflictions we humans have stemming from the need to control? 

Being a fellow brewer I can appreciate the additional facilities this would provide you. But you have to ask yourself is it really about the beer or wine you create or the act of making the beer/wine? I would pose the same questions for the other needs you currently have that are unmet. I see these needs as opportunities to take you into more meaningful relationships.

Below is a wonderful story about where the act of beer making and how impactful it can be to community building.

http://www.thesymbiosisproject.org/2013/04/26/336/

I appreciate and respect your bring this question and need to expand your thinking to this forum. I have great respect for the knowledge that exist here and see your question as an act of vulnerability, which I consider a great strenght and why I responded to your post. To answer my question above I have found that there is much more enjoyment, clarity and more community building when we are forced outside of our comfort zone, when the focus is on the journey and not in the end product. It seems like the easy answer is to just buy the property, it supports the ends, I get it! What I am argueing for is to have faith put back into humanity and have our decisions reflect that, whatever that means for you. So that relationships strenghten and we have the resililency to navigate the uncertainties of our futures, there will be many, so practicing often seems like a good use of our time. Every single choice matters! What ever your choose to do deserves respect as I have not walked in your shoes and you have to live with your decisions.

Rose

Swampmama3's picture
Swampmama3
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Posts: 62
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts,

Rose, the reason my husband makes wine is because we are Catholic and very specific wine is needed for our worship service.  He forsees a possible collapse and wants to make sure our local churches have what they need to continue proper worship.  Not just any wine will do.  If transportation fails, the church may not be able to get its usual supply of sacramental wine, and he wants to be ready to step in to help.  He also wants to grow grain for unleavened bread, but I don't think he understands what a task the growing of grain is without machinery.  We will get it done, but he will have to be very hands-on to process seed all the way to sacrament.  Personally, I am happy that he is beginning to see the same future I see and work toward it in his own way.

It turns out we have some time to think.  My neighbor is out of the property now, and the realtor came today to be sure it was empty.  She let me walk through.  It is in good condition, and has no bad smells.  She did say that she has two other foreclosure/bank owned properties in a neighboring town that are yet to go on the market, and that the one we are interested in will likely not even be listed until sometime in July.  "Things are backed up", she said.  So, we have time to think and plan. 

Who knows what will happen in that time?

 

Richard C's picture
Richard C
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Posts: 4
For Gods Sake Buy IT

The only way to have ANY control is to Own it.

 

You can find the perfect prepper family yourself to resell to if Ness.

If not you may find some prepper to help out via Rent to own or any other variable.

I have a ranch in Wy I rent out at a huge discount a second house to a very fine young couple

who are avidly prepping. It helps them and Myself establishing a community here.

 

Richard

Swampmama3's picture
Swampmama3
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Posts: 62
An update...

Here it is mid-August, and we've made a decision and put in an offer on the doublewide and acreage next door.  Our offer was accepted, after it took the bank about two weeks to think it over.  Our financing is rolling, and we got some pretty good terms, I think, keeping in mind that it's a doublewide.  We went with our small, local bank to keep away from the mega-corp bot banks who never know who you are when you walk in the door.

We should close in the next two weeks.  My hubby is researching grape varieties which will grow and produce well in our area.  And I have done my research on chestnut trees.  We're ready to get planting as soon as its ours.

We took the 4wheeler around the property and the back part, near the creek, is beautiful.  It's in the woods, and there's a ton of vegetative diversity.  Lots of trees that I don't even recognise, all but a few of them hardwoods.  There's a parsley hawthorne and a HUGE hickory tree.

One thing I was quite excited about was that there is a beautiful, secluded little meadow back there that would make another good home site.  It's about an acre and a half, nestled among the trees so that a home wouldn't even be seen by the other two structures nearby.  Maybe one of my sons could settle there.

Directly behind the doublewide, there is an old, sturdy chicken coop that I think I will use to put my old laying hens out to pasture.  They can roam to their heart's content on the back acreage while I restock my home pen with fresh layers.

We're excited, and are eager to see what the place will become.  I was at Sam's the other day looking at all the bulk food, and am anxious to have a storage room so I can build shelves and restock our prep supplies.  The hubby has several batches of wine in process that are cluttering up space in our tiny house, and I'll be glad when he gets his fermenting/brewing room, too.

We have some friends who have asked us if they could come here if they need a bugout location.  We're thinking about it.  And this place would allow for that.

osb272646's picture
osb272646
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Joined: Mar 14 2010
Posts: 120
Go for it!

Absolutely.  If you still have the option to buy the adjacent land, do it.  That will give you the control.  You can always decide to sell it later, but then you are in control of who is going to buy it.  Last thing you want is bad neighbors; it could ruin your dream home. 

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