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Buying and Living on a farm

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Forum topic by BentheViking posted 04-09-2012 02:50 AM 962 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BentheViking

1755 posts in 1310 days


04-09-2012 02:50 AM

My wife and I are in the beginning stages of house hunting. We found a 5 acre farm, with 5 outbuildings. The house is 2300 sq ft with a lot of good bones, but needs a lot of updating (paint, floors, kitchen, etc).

We are really exploring the idea at this point, but am wondering what other LJ’s have in terms of experience of buying and living on a farm, since we don’t have tons of experience. Things to keep in mind, cautions, words of encouragement, hell even words of dis-encouragement. We aren’t trying to jump into this lightly and want to know everything as much as we can up front.

And yes there may be some potential for barn wood in time!

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson


20 replies so far

View hhhopks's profile

hhhopks

565 posts in 1123 days


#1 posted 04-09-2012 03:06 AM

Sounds like you need watch the old reruns fo the Green Acres.
I would think that will give you some ideas.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

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Rick M.

4483 posts in 1126 days


#2 posted 04-09-2012 03:14 AM

No experience with buying a farm but I grew up on a farm, at least from 12 – 19 years old. If you mean to actually farm, as opposed to rural living, it is a tough way of life but very rewarding. I mostly hated it then but sometimes miss it. I was in excellent physical condition too. We kept 60 head of cattle and raised several hundred acres of corn and hay, and a several acre garden. Basically it was a self sustaining hobby farm. The corn and hay fed the cattle, butchering and selling beef paid for the seed and equipment maintenance and helped feed the family. Occasionally my uncle would raise rabbits for food. We also hunted squirrels, rabbits and deer. When I was younger we had horses and chickens.

I wanted to live in the country when my wife and I married but she was a city girl and terrified of rural living. In retrospect, she now wishes we had bought a farm. I would love to have a few chickens, maybe some goats and raise some beef.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11497 posts in 1436 days


#3 posted 04-09-2012 03:28 AM

Neither my wife or myself have ever lived in town except during my internship and we both vowed we would never live in town again! Go for it. It is a lot more work but very much worth it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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BentheViking

1755 posts in 1310 days


#4 posted 04-09-2012 03:29 AM

It would be a small hobby farm, much smaller than your wormil. My wife likes husbandry, but I am much more into my woodworking as a hobby. I think it will be more of a rural property with farm animals for a few pets. A couple of goats, a couple of chickens maybe a potbelly pig. No cows or horses. Maybe try to rent some of the field to other local farmers to use for hay. We are very much in the beginning stages we are just trying to get a feel of what it could be like.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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sandhill

2128 posts in 2670 days


#5 posted 04-09-2012 04:08 AM

Very romantic. I bought 10 acres with a 4,000 sf house in VA. about 11 years ago and sold it. My wife and I had full time jobs. She commuted almost 2 hours one way. I was lucky and was only 40 min. away. Here is your week, Get home on Fri. Start cutting grass, up early sat. No your not going fishing, you have to plow an acre for the corn. Then till the 200 X 200 foot garden and do other chores and make repairs so your done by dark, but you not finished. You go to bed and get up early SUN, finish mowing the grass, string the planting rows and get the seed down make sure all the fences are up around everything so the deer don’t get into the gardens and hope you planted enough to feed you the rabbits and the ground hogs because you can’t get rid of them. Thats all the fun stuff wait until you start canning in the fall and getting everything ready for winter. Some things to think about: You will need to cut and split firewood unless your rich and can afford electric bills for a house that size. Mine was $500 a month without burning wood (I had 3 package units 3.5 TON each)
A hand mower will not get it you will need a tractor of some sort. Have the well tested and get a home inspection. You may be able to use it to negotiate a better price.
It’s really is cool to own a small farm but be realistic about what you can do with the time you have. I was offered 56K more then I paid for that house a year later and took it like a fool and bought 3 1/2 acres with a smaller house, it was no less work and today the house is worth 350K more then I sold it for. You sound like a young guy and after all this economy stuff clears up you could be sitting on a real good investment. Also conciser this, It can get lonely and if you have kids there may be no other ones to play or interact with and emergency services will likely be farther away and in town.
Welcome to the American dream. Follow your heart

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Rick M.

4483 posts in 1126 days


#6 posted 04-09-2012 04:28 AM

If you actually plan to do any farming/livestock, plan the financials in advance unless your regular job/business can subsidize an expensive hobby. The demand for fresh/organic eggs, milk, vegetables, meat, is rising.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View crank49's profile

crank49

3508 posts in 1717 days


#7 posted 04-09-2012 04:35 AM

I live on 40 acres, mostly woods. Own no animals except dogs.
Built my house on this property in 1976, raised two sons, both Eagle scouts.
Deer, wild turkeys, bobcats, coyotes, foxes have all been seen walking by the kitchen window.
I work as an engineer, in town, 8 miles from my house.
I also own a small retail business in town.
I have 1 hour a week that I can do anything I want to; if I get up at 4:00AM on Sunday.
Depending on where your farm is, you may not have high speed internet and probably not cable so plan on satellite for these services.

Probably going to have to sell it all because of the asshole we have for a president and the idiotic administration he has put into power.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2953 posts in 1831 days


#8 posted 04-09-2012 04:47 AM

Make sure you can handle the driveway, keeping it smooth enough to drive on, and not be a mud bog in
wet weather as well as plowing it in the winter. You may have to buy a small tractor to handle this as well
as the mowing and plowing. Be sure to figure this into your budget. Is the road to the driveway maintained
year around. I had one place a few years back that they did not plow the road during Christmas break
because the school bus did not use it. Big pain you know where. Do you have natural gas or as Sandhill
mentioned a big electric bill. Will you need to insulate the house before next winter and can you manage it.
Is the garage in good shape and can you get your vehicles in it, or will you have to build one. Being able
to start your car in a garage and back out is a big plus in a cold snowy winter or real rainy day. Will you
need to add some concrete to prevent muddy footprints in the house? Most other points have been
covered, so I will not repeat them.

-- As ever, Gus-the 76 yr young apprentice carpenter

View KOVA's profile

KOVA

1311 posts in 1124 days


#9 posted 04-09-2012 03:35 PM

LA ENERGÍA PARA CONSTRUÍRTE ALGO O MEJORAR LO QUE YA TIENES ES LA QUE CUENTA A LA HORA DE DECIDIR!!!!! SI TU ERES UN TIPO HARAGÁN, NO ES UN PROYECTO PARA TÍ, EN CAMBIO SI EL LUGAR TE VA A ANIMAR Y HACER FELÍZ A TÍ Y A TU FAMILIA, ADELANTE!!!!!! COMPRA ESA FINCA YA ;-)

ENERGY FOR SOMETHING OR IMPROVE build you ALREADY HAVE WHAT COUNTS IS THE TIME TO DECIDE!! IF YOU ARE A TYPE lazy, NOT A PROJECT FOR YOU, HOWEVER IF THE PLACE YOU WILL ENCOURAGE AND HAPPY TO MAKE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, GO!! BUY NOW THAT FARM ;-)

-- KOVA, EL CARPINTERO DEL PUEBLO https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Carpintero-Del-Pueblo/148976618479733

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 1704 days


#10 posted 04-09-2012 03:45 PM

The first recommendations from me are to have the water checked for taste, hardness, odor, and drinkability; then have the septic system inspected for useability and any signs of maintenance (people rarely do it). These two things will make or break a wonderful home. Have the electrical panels checked for arcing and owner installed breakers, making sure they did it right. Assume the sellers are selling you a problem, and make sure you are capable of repairing it. Watch for water pooling and drainage. I’ve lived in the woods for almost all my life, and love it. Best of luck.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1509 posts in 1439 days


#11 posted 04-09-2012 05:27 PM

Definitely check utilities.. Water, electric, gas. Get it inspected and see what needs to be done. Be prepared to become hand at every home task.

Things I’ve run into (2800sq ft on 4 acres, with several outbuildings)

House: remodeled several bedrooms, fixed electric in several places, refloored several rooms, ran laundry connections to different room, sealed the first floor from the basement (critters), reworked plumbing to fix connections to a toilet and a shower, repainted just about everything inside, finished the flashing material outside around windows and corners, emptied septic tanks.

Chicken coop: sealed it off so if I end up using it later, I won’t have to clear out snakes, wasps, and other critters

Workshop: replaced floor joists and floorboards, finished enclosing with metal siding, added outlets

Outhouse: replaced tin roof with cedar shakes

Large barn: cleared out, currently working on replacing some rotten beams

Small barn: just tore it down (at the request of the bank, since we’re refinancing)

Garage: collapsed on my honeymoon

Yard: mow front once a week, mow back every couple weeks. Weeding/clearing a constant battle, but most of our 4 acres is usable.

My wife and I have been renovating the house now for 2+ years and there’s still a ton to be done, but its been a great activity to bring us closer together and the house is so much better than it used to be

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1755 posts in 1310 days


#12 posted 04-10-2012 12:14 AM

Well the house is being sold by the family of an elderly man who died. To get the house ready to sell they have done a roof, new electrical and plumbing (the house had been broken into and the copper was stripped), new septic, new furnace, termite remediation. I’m not sure how much of this is true vs. exaggerated, but I will certainly look into it more. The house is on a relatively major, albeit not very very busy, road that on both ends connects to roads that lead to i-84 (the major highway through connecticut) which is 5 minutes away. Stores, schools, etc are very close. The driveway of the house is about 5 cars wide, but only 1 car deep until it gets to the garage.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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BentheViking

1755 posts in 1310 days


#13 posted 04-10-2012 12:15 AM

Oh and an alarm system was added

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11456 posts in 1752 days


#14 posted 04-10-2012 12:27 AM

pm sent

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View nate22's profile

nate22

433 posts in 1621 days


#15 posted 04-10-2012 03:20 PM

I grew up on a farm my parents had cows and pigs. They also grew hay, corn, and soy beans. My dad still farms it is a hard way to make a living but you work for yourself and depends on how much you make you still have to have another job. But if your going to use it as a hobby farm I would think of maybe renting out a couple of acres if they are fields to a farmer and you could make a little that way. But farming can get expensive depending on what kind of farming you do.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

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