• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Jay Angler
  • Tereza Okava

Would you homestead in an industrial area?

 
Posts: 296
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So I've found a little old farm house that is nicely remolded on a couple of acres, it is reasonably priced in my loan amount! Most places in my budget are either in town and have restrictions or are rural major fixer uppers. Sadly I have to stick to my loan budget and their inspection standards. Across the main street is a very large factory that does not have any stacks or exhaust that I noticed, there is an entry a bit down the road and a wooded area between the road and the parking lot so it looks like woods. The house is on a corner, on it's side of the street there are a couple of older houses each on small acreages. Across that street are a couple more factories and their buildings are slightly visible from the house when the trees do not have foliage. Further down the road are three or four more factories and truck loading/distribution centers.
Please help me come up with rational reasons why this would or would not make a good homestead location. This house has been for sale for a while and out of the handful of houses in the area one looks vacant. I think maybe people do not want to live in an area with more factories than homes? Aside from semi trucks at all hour of the day what potential drawbacks are there? I am assuming I would have to completely fence the portion of the parcel that is bordering the main road that the factories etc are on.  Probably with an eight foot wooden privacy fence for my own peace of mind! But the view is just trees so aside from semi trucks there isn't much that would make my view out that different than a regular rural location. I'm just a bit skeptical about a constant flow of traffic. The factories seem to have regular daytime hours but the distribution facilities don't really.
On the plus side out of the half dozen houses in the area (fairly well spread out) there are only a few neighbors. I've lived right off of a two lane highway for a long time and there were semi trucks that went by often and it did not seem to have an effect on any of the animals unless they got out. I suppose I have a fear of my animals getting out and hit by a truck. On the other hand, I am used to the sound of trucks parking and leaving and idling at night  as my current location boarders a  large parking lot , and I've spent a few nights in my RV at rest stops when I haven't made it to my destination.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2865
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
258
forest garden solar
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think the location is perfect. You can do whatever you want. you could even open a nursery and it would be fine too. I really cant think of anything that is bad with the location.

Now with the soil there might be some problems, get it tested for heavy metals. I would not want water from the factory to "water" my vegetables.  So yes the only problem I have would be the same problem I would have gardening in any urban site. It would be fine for fruits because they are pretty low in minerals good or bad. When it comes to herbs, it is mostly fine because I don't eat enough for it to really bio-accumulate. When it comes to nuts/vegetables/mushroom, I would avoid. but mostly it is from working the soil year after year, inhaling it, tracking it into the house/bed/etc. As an adult the heavy metal wouldn't affect me too uch, but if I had kids/grandkids. then I would be very worried about what long term damage it will cause it their formative stage.

 
gardener
Posts: 2498
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
903
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Can you give us any idea what those companies do? That would suggest what chemicals, dust, biohazards you might be encountering. Is there any indication of whether industrially the area is expanding or contracting?

Is there room near the road to do a high hugel-berm? The mass of soil would do a lot to redirect and absorb the noise.

Certain plants are also known to absorb nasty stuff (sunflowers for example) to keep the dust from floating or flowing to places you don't want it. There are whole books about successful rehabilitation of "brown sites" as they're called in England.

There are many areas where people get old and communities decline, but then young people see the potential and the cheap price of land and the trend reverses. If you do buy and do a lot to manage the land with permaculture, you may find like-minded people following your example - it may just take time. Alternatively, if things go well for you, you may decide to purchase more land, or at least gorilla garden the empty land when you have more plants survive than you planned on. I just started trying to root multiples of two types of apples. If I'm lucky, one or two will survive. But if I'm *really* lucky and they *all* survive, I'll be looking to re-home extras. I have an aversion to killing baby plants... sigh... I just want them to grow up in a happy home.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2277
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
310
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a massive, stinking, loud, ground vibrating oil well near me right now. So, even buying a property "in the middle of nowhere" does not guarantee you niceness. Your location sounds nice, and being in the budget makes it sound nicer.

I'd say a drawback might be crime. There has been an uptick in crime in our area because of oil drilling. It brings different people out. We have dogs. Keeps us safe.
 
Posts: 13
Location: Upstate SC
1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would check zoning and inquire about any upcoming zoning changes. I know the area I grew up in was in the rust belt. The main thing that was on everything was lead. It was a heavy manufacturing area and most had been shuttered for a couple decades by then.
I would ask about water testing, air testing, lead test done on the inside and outside of the house. What will happen to taxes if there are any zoning changes? Are any factories in stamping ? Some of those presses can shake your house and crack plaster!
Good luck in your quest though, if it’s meant to be there it will happen.
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

elle sagenev wrote:I have a massive, stinking, loud, ground vibrating oil well near me right now. So, even buying a property "in the middle of nowhere" does not guarantee you niceness. Your location sounds nice, and being in the budget makes it sound nicer.

I'd say a drawback might be crime. There has been an uptick in crime in our area because of oil drilling. It brings different people out. We have dogs. Keeps us safe.



I had not thought about drilling and mining coming into the rural areas. Having a budget and trying to pull together a homestead on my own so my kids can have healthy food and learn the basics of sustainable lifestyles without waiting away their childhood to save up enough to buy a 'real farm', makes this place my top choice over houses in town. I will keep an eye out for any unusual activity and fence the entire property, with the privacy fence on the main roadway. I have an Anatilian Shepherd mix and my teen has their own rifle and all of my kids have been bowhunting. I'd be more afraid of someone breaking in thinking they would find anything valuable and letting animals out while we were not home.
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Don Fini wrote: I would check zoning and inquire about any upcoming zoning changes. I know the area I grew up in was in the rust belt. The main thing that was on everything was lead. It was a heavy manufacturing area and most had been shuttered for a couple decades by then.
I would ask about water testing, air testing, lead test done on the inside and outside of the house. What will happen to taxes if there are any zoning changes? Are any factories in stamping ? Some of those presses can shake your house and crack plaster!
Good luck in your quest though, if it’s meant to be there it will happen.



In order for the house to pass for my lender to approve my loan it has to pass a well test for bacteria and heavy metal. The factories range from plastic case manufacturing, too dog food baking, too some kind of computer part, too a gigantic bakery etc nothing with smoke stacks or any OBSERVABLE pollution. That almost makes me more afraid because it could be some major water or ground pollution occurring that I don't see or know about.
 
pollinator
Posts: 150
Location: Rutland VT
29
dog forest garden foraging trees bike homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live in a busy urban industrial area myself.  Beyond my back fence is 15 feet of birches and sumacs, a bike trail, an Amtrak/freight line and full train yard, and then the back of the city plaza (Walmart/tjmaxx etc).  I could almost hit the Walmart fence from my yard with a baseball its so close.  

   There can be lots of loud squeeling of train breaks, and large clangs as the trains are pushed and pulled apart in the train yard.  The times when they build trains seems random, literally any hour of the day or night.  It can be annoying at times, but it is something that you get used to.  Thankfully there is no smells or dust from any of the industry near me.  I lived near the dog food factory in Denver, and I would NEVER live near a smelly anything.  Finding out what these factories do would be an important decision.  

    Before I actually got the property I am on, I visited the house and area frequently.  I wanted to know what the area was like on the weekends, weekday nights, the 4th of July etc. . . . .  I would reccomend you observe the area at busy and calm items of day, get a feel for the flow of the neighborhood.  Would you want to be hanging out outside in your own yard there?

    One positive thing I have experienced from living in an industrial area, is the availability of scrap materials.  I have access to old windows, cull lumber, dirt fill, tree cutting leftovers, and pallets, oh my gosh so many good pallets.  If you end up living by industrial businesses, they can be a wonderful source of resources.  


    I would thoroughly research and  think through your needs and "no's" deeply.  But buying a homestead property like the one you are describing can be an amazing opportunity to make a life.  I am thoroughly happy with my decision.
 
pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
132
urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Brian Jeffrey wrote: There can be lots of loud squeeling of train breaks, and large clangs as the trains are pushed and pulled apart in the train yard.  The times when they build trains seems random, literally any hour of the day or night.  It can be annoying at times, but it is something that you get used to.  Thankfully there is no smells or dust from any of the industry near me.  I lived near the dog food factory in Denver, and I would NEVER live near a smelly anything.  Finding out what these factories do would be an important decision.  

    Before I actually got the property I am on, I visited the house and area frequently.  I wanted to know what the area was like on the weekends, weekday nights, the 4th of July etc. . . . .  I would reccomend you observe the area at busy and calm items of day, get a feel for the flow of the neighborhood.  Would you want to be hanging out outside in your own yard there?



Very much YES to this... Spend some time doing research on the businesses (past and present) pay particular attention to "empty industrial lots" (satellite maps can be informative) If it is fenced/gated off, or razed to concrete pads, investigate... Search "Superfund sites" and the "city" you are in, see what shows up... (I'm within 10 minutes of all those places in the movie "A Civil Action")

There's a gelatin factory nearby us, and on days when the wind shifted our way we could tell what "flavor" it was they were making. There was one that was not fruity (unflavored?) that was unpleasant. "Luckily" it will be closed and turned into a massive mixed use development...
Another area nearby that I frequent has a HUGE commercial bakery. Bread baking in your home oven is lovely, but the stuff that collects in/on/around commercial conveyor ovens and "bakes" for an entire shift, not so much.

Do as Brian says and visit the place all times of day and night, and take it in. Take a friend, or your partner along, they might notice something you won't. Listen, smell, check out traffic and routes to get where you need to go... go shopping, get lunch, dinner, coffee, etc.
My parents were shown a house by a real estate agent, and were led or driven there through a nice neighborhood, on a Sunday... turns out the house was at the end of the road where it met a state highway!! On a return visit (on their own, another day) they found out just how bad it was.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
178
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What town is nearby? What has been in the local news for the last 5 years or so? County news? What is happening to the area?

You can absolutely for sure find out what all those factories are doing, their history, etc. Double check the "computer" one and see what it's doing and what chemicals it's using (if any) and how it disposes of them.

Generally, what's happening in that area economically? Who runs that area? County? City? How is it policed? What fire department?

What are you buying, what rights or easements with the  land?

If the town is not too far and it has a library, the librarian can be a HUGE source of info, both particular and general.

What is the soil like, what rainfall is usual?

If you have plans, does the area have what you need to make them happen? Markets?

Somebody mentioned a berm along the road. +1  get it up 8' and you  won't hear the road. Build it well and it will way outlast a fence and maybe it won't look quite so fence like.

Talk to as many neighbors as you possible can. They could well be your "most important people". Ask about the history of the place, ask about the seasons and the weather, ask about the inet connection, ask about the phone service and gas and electricity. Ask about the factory workers, ask if the bakery makes good stuff, ask, ask, ask, talk, talk, talk.

If the house has been on the market for a while, it's likely to stay on the market for a while more. Figure out why it hasn't sold and lower your offer accordingly - provided the reason isn't a problem for you.

There is a whole lot you can learn about a place just by spending time and asking questions. Much of the info may not be meaningful to you, but it's still good to go and gather it. Just talking to a lot of people will start to fill you in on the place in ways you _do_ understand.


Best luck,
Rufus
 
pollinator
Posts: 471
Location: Central Texas
169
hugelkultur forest garden trees rabbit greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with much of what the previous comments say. It sounds like you may have found a good place that meets your needs & allow you to fulfill your homesteading plans.

As others have said, it would be a good idea to check out the area at different times/days to observe the traffic, people, smells, sounds, etc. I would even try to check out the property on a rainy day to observe how the land handles the water.

Ultimately, I think you should trust your instinct. Since buying a house is a big investment, it's normal to have doubts; but consider how it feels when you walk in the door. I would be more likely to buy something that felt like I was home versus something that felt like a lodging.

It's also good to remember that it doesn't have to be permanent. If, after a few years, you decide this isn't your permanent home, you have the option to put a for sale sign on the property. Heck, if you go in & make improvements to the house and land, you could even end up making money from the sale.

Let us know what you decide!
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kc Simmons wrote:I agree with much of what the previous comments say. It sounds like you may have found a good place that meets your needs & allow you to fulfill your homesteading plans.

As others have said, it would be a good idea to check out the area at different times/days to observe the traffic, people, smells, sounds, etc. I would even try to check out the property on a rainy day to observe how the land handles the water.

Ultimately, I think you should trust your instinct. Since buying a house is a big investment, it's normal to have doubts; but consider how it feels when you walk in the door. I would be more likely to buy something that felt like I was home versus something that felt like a lodging.

It's also good to remember that it doesn't have to be permanent. If, after a few years, you decide this isn't your permanent home, you have the option to put a for sale sign on the property. Heck, if you go in & make improvements to the house and land, you could even end up making money from the sale.

Let us know what you decide!



I have not been to the property at different times of day, but I have driven by it on my way to conservation land to fish in the early mornings and various days of the week. I am thinking seeing how the land handles water is a big thing that I need to do. There is a small creek that runs by the edge of the property. I am mentally debating if this should be left unfenced as it comes from one of the factories and goes into the neighboring vacant houses property. We showed up to look at it well before the agent got there and ran around in the woods for a while looking for sheds, aside from semitrucks on the main road, it was not too different that very rural areas.  We all really liked the house and thought it was nicer than most of the other places aside from a few that were in town.
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Rufus Laggren wrote:What town is nearby? What has been in the local news for the last 5 years or so? County news? What is happening to the area?

You can absolutely for sure find out what all those factories are doing, their history, etc. Double check the "computer" one and see what it's doing and what chemicals it's using (if any) and how it disposes of them.

Generally, what's happening in that area economically? Who runs that area? County? City? How is it policed? What fire department?

What are you buying, what rights or easements with the  land?

If the town is not too far and it has a library, the librarian can be a HUGE source of info, both particular and general.

What is the soil like, what rainfall is usual?

If you have plans, does the area have what you need to make them happen? Markets?

Somebody mentioned a berm along the road. +1  get it up 8' and you  won't hear the road. Build it well and it will way outlast a fence and maybe it won't look quite so fence like.

Talk to as many neighbors as you possible can. They could well be your "most important people". Ask about the history of the place, ask about the seasons and the weather, ask about the inet connection, ask about the phone service and gas and electricity. Ask about the factory workers, ask if the bakery makes good stuff, ask, ask, ask, talk, talk, talk.

If the house has been on the market for a while, it's likely to stay on the market for a while more. Figure out why it hasn't sold and lower your offer accordingly - provided the reason isn't a problem for you.

There is a whole lot you can learn about a place just by spending time and asking questions. Much of the info may not be meaningful to you, but it's still good to go and gather it. Just talking to a lot of people will start to fill you in on the place in ways you _do_ understand.


Best luck,
Rufus


The town nearby is just an average college town, there is not much in the local news that seems alarming. Aside from the local team not winning at sports or someone going on to get a scholarship or well known job, there really isn't much in the headlines. I'd say the economy has held steady in the area for the past decade due to it mostly focusing on the University. Most of the factories and distribution centers have been there for ten too fifteen years. The computer parts facility is owned by the University and shares a property with a computer sciences laboratory. The fellow that owns the property now used to work at the computer lab and has been retired for five years.  Technically the city limits ends across the street from the house, so there are no restrictions, but the 'town' part of the city is about five miles away. There is a library, multiple museums, an observatory, two farmers markets (Supposedly the Wednesday night market near the University is very profitable more so for crafts and canned food than fresh produce.) etc.. The house has been for sale for almost a year and was originally listed for 100k but is now listed for 90k, my loan is only 75 but the agent contacted me saying the owner would consider a low offer because he is more concerned with getting out of the house this spring than making his money back. Supposedly he bought it for 115k when the computer lab facility was built across the street. I did knock on the five neighboring houses doors after the agent left the house and no one answered, four of the houses did look like people were living at them though. I guess I should be making many phone calls to the factories and distribution facilities to find out more!
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kenneth Elwell wrote:

Brian Jeffrey wrote: There can be lots of loud squeeling of train breaks, and large clangs as the trains are pushed and pulled apart in the train yard.  The times when they build trains seems random, literally any hour of the day or night.  It can be annoying at times, but it is something that you get used to.  Thankfully there is no smells or dust from any of the industry near me.  I lived near the dog food factory in Denver, and I would NEVER live near a smelly anything.  Finding out what these factories do would be an important decision.  

    Before I actually got the property I am on, I visited the house and area frequently.  I wanted to know what the area was like on the weekends, weekday nights, the 4th of July etc. . . . .  I would reccomend you observe the area at busy and calm items of day, get a feel for the flow of the neighborhood.  Would you want to be hanging out outside in your own yard there?



Very much YES to this... Spend some time doing research on the businesses (past and present) pay particular attention to "empty industrial lots" (satellite maps can be informative) If it is fenced/gated off, or razed to concrete pads, investigate... Search "Superfund sites" and the "city" you are in, see what shows up... (I'm within 10 minutes of all those places in the movie "A Civil Action")

There's a gelatin factory nearby us, and on days when the wind shifted our way we could tell what "flavor" it was they were making. There was one that was not fruity (unflavored?) that was unpleasant. "Luckily" it will be closed and turned into a massive mixed use development...
Another area nearby that I frequent has a HUGE commercial bakery. Bread baking in your home oven is lovely, but the stuff that collects in/on/around commercial conveyor ovens and "bakes" for an entire shift, not so much.

Do as Brian says and visit the place all times of day and night, and take it in. Take a friend, or your partner along, they might notice something you won't. Listen, smell, check out traffic and routes to get where you need to go... go shopping, get lunch, dinner, coffee, etc.
My parents were shown a house by a real estate agent, and were led or driven there through a nice neighborhood, on a Sunday... turns out the house was at the end of the road where it met a state highway!! On a return visit (on their own, another day) they found out just how bad it was.


There really isn't much of a neighborhood. It is literally just factories with a few houses holding out on the edge of the woods. Beyond the houses are a few farms and up past the factories there are a few  subdivisions, then conservation land, then more farms. I guess the subdivisions which I am assuming is where most of the factory workers live would be the nearest neighborhood. I looked up superfund sites and there are not any in the county, the local University is big on ecology both forestry and speleology so I have a feeling pollution may be somewhat regulated because of that? I feel the bakery and the dog food factory may be olfactory displeasing some times of the day. I have a few miles from a factory hog farm and when the wind would shift it would be misery so I'm thinking it can't be worse that that, unless there is a rendering plant at the dog food place!
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Brian Jeffrey wrote:I live in a busy urban industrial area myself.  Beyond my back fence is 15 feet of birches and sumacs, a bike trail, an Amtrak/freight line and full train yard, and then the back of the city plaza (Walmart/tjmaxx etc).  I could almost hit the Walmart fence from my yard with a baseball its so close.  

   There can be lots of loud squeeling of train breaks, and large clangs as the trains are pushed and pulled apart in the train yard.  The times when they build trains seems random, literally any hour of the day or night.  It can be annoying at times, but it is something that you get used to.  Thankfully there is no smells or dust from any of the industry near me.  I lived near the dog food factory in Denver, and I would NEVER live near a smelly anything.  Finding out what these factories do would be an important decision.  

    Before I actually got the property I am on, I visited the house and area frequently.  I wanted to know what the area was like on the weekends, weekday nights, the 4th of July etc. . . . .  I would reccomend you observe the area at busy and calm items of day, get a feel for the flow of the neighborhood.  Would you want to be hanging out outside in your own yard there?

    One positive thing I have experienced from living in an industrial area, is the availability of scrap materials.  I have access to old windows, cull lumber, dirt fill, tree cutting leftovers, and pallets, oh my gosh so many good pallets.  If you end up living by industrial businesses, they can be a wonderful source of resources.  


    I would thoroughly research and  think through your needs and "no's" deeply.  But buying a homestead property like the one you are describing can be an amazing opportunity to make a life.  I am thoroughly happy with my decision.



Now you have me wondering if the dog food factory would let me glean any unsaleable scraps and feed them to hogs? Maybe not to my dogs unless what they considered unsaleable would be things like mixed formulas and not anything inedible. Oh the pallets, the pallets, the pallets your post has me excited about the possibility of free pallets.
 
Posts: 87
14
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our homestead is on .40 acre in a residential neighborhood in the city.

Our aquaculture farm is on .25 acre of rented ground several miles away in a rural area but next to a large industrial complex (municipal wastewater treatment plant)

Our small farm is part of a very large property that has an artesian geothermal well and a large clean cold spring. Some of the water from these two sources gravity flows to our farm site in underground pipes. We are able to adjust the flow and temperature individually in 30 large fiberglass troughs. I think a situation like this with natural soft warm water and clean hard cold water at the same location is very rare. It has been the ideal location for our farm.

Occasionally there is a background odor from the facility but it is not as strong as the occasional  odor of the composting manure from our animals.

It is a quiet neighbor, with clean well kept grounds, friendly personnel that keep our road plowed in the winter, and they don't mind the loud bellowing from our animals during breeding season.

We've rented this place for over 25 years.  



 
Brian Jeffrey
pollinator
Posts: 150
Location: Rutland VT
29
dog forest garden foraging trees bike homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

town nearby is just an average college town, there is not much in the local news that seems alarming. Aside from the local team not winning at sports or someone going on to get a scholarship or well known job, there really isn't much in the headlines. I'd say the economy has held steady in the area for the past decade due to it mostly focusing on the University. Most of the factories and distribution centers have been there for ten too fifteen years. The computer parts facility is owned by the University and shares a property with a computer sciences laboratory. The fellow that owns the property now used to work at the computer lab and has been retired for five years.  Technically the city limits ends across the street from the house, so there are no restrictions, but the 'town' part of the city is about five miles away. There is a library, multiple museums, an observatory, two farmers markets (Supposedly the Wednesday night market near the University is very profitable more so for crafts and canned food than fresh produce.) etc..





I think this is a great plus to the property.  I can't express how nice it is to have an interesting and eventful community nearby. Farmers markets, and the arts and music that goes along with college towns, museums. I am kind if jealous :)
 
Rufus Laggren
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
178
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
+1 on the value of a college town. Although students generally move the quality of local products lower (restaurants, stores, food available at the local grocery (eg. lots of pizza and hamburger, not so much steak and escargo...) just by acting like students, they add a lot of energy and generally the school means there will be "cultural" stuff.  I grew up in Evanston IL and have been spending several months a year there. Northwestern University owns about 10%-15% of the city real estate. That's some different from what you're describing, but it does give a little perspective on students.

The computer business can be either innocuous or pure poison. If they make chips or even circuit boards, the chemicals they use are really bad. Fortunately (sorta) we have mostly shipped the "heavy" electronic manufacturing to Asia where they are poisoning water and workers over there. If they just assemble parts brought in from elsewhere, they may not have much of a waste footprint at all.

> news
Economic and political news. Companies moving in/out. Town hawking the beauty of the work force to multinationals (sic). The police chief found to be a member of the KKK and his brother in law running the assessor's office. Law suits or Feds investigating local companies. State cutting funds to the school by 20%. Stuff like that.  Since you say your potential property is outside the town line, the affect of town politics is more indirect, but it is surely there. And towns _do_ expand. Ask about the permit process for a fence; then ask about putting a barn in; then ask about putting in a pond (might want to do the last kinda quietly). County bureaucracy, while much "lighter" than municipal authority, does exercise some control. Tailor your concerns to your plans as you know them at the moment.

Lastly, t'were I, I'd try to put in place a plan to buy the neighboring properties if at all possible and reasonable. (Affordable down, low carrying costs, potential rental income, perhaps from share croppers.) Watch the local real estate and business activity regularly all the time and get a sense of what offer might get you control of your surrounding. If you know your area with some confidence you don't necessarily need an agent to make offers directly to owners; you do _not_ have to wait to see a sign or find it posted on Zillow.. Those  empty houses sound  like somebody may be willing to entertain thoughts of selling. I know this sounds way beyond your present concerns, but keep an eye on what's going on. Does the census show this area increasing population? Does it show average age dropping or is it in the 50's and getting higher? Wikipedia has some of this stuff and it helps to fill out a picture of what keeps the wheels turning, which direction they turn, and whether it looks stable for the longer term.

Sounds like a pretty good situation on the face of it. Depending on your personal plans and resources, of course.


Best luck,
Rufus

 
Don Fini
Posts: 13
Location: Upstate SC
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Gail Jardin wrote:

Kenneth Elwell wrote:

Brian Jeffrey wrote: There can be lots of loud squeeling of train breaks, and large clangs as the trains are pushed and pulled apart in the train yard.  The times when they build trains seems random, literally any hour of the day or night.  It can be annoying at times, but it is something that you get used to.  Thankfully there is no smells or dust from any of the industry near me.  I lived near the dog food factory in Denver, and I would NEVER live near a smelly anything.  Finding out what these factories do would be an important decision.  

    Before I actually got the property I am on, I visited the house and area frequently.  I wanted to know what the area was like on the weekends, weekday nights, the 4th of July etc. . . . .  I would reccomend you observe the area at busy and calm items of day, get a feel for the flow of the neighborhood.  Would you want to be hanging out outside in your own yard there?



Very much YES to this... Spend some time doing research on the businesses (past and present) pay particular attention to "empty industrial lots" (satellite maps can be informative) If it is fenced/gated off, or razed to concrete pads, investigate... Search "Superfund sites" and the "city" you are in, see what shows up... (I'm within 10 minutes of all those places in the movie "A Civil Action")

There's a gelatin factory nearby us, and on days when the wind shifted our way we could tell what "flavor" it was they were making. There was one that was not fruity (unflavored?) that was unpleasant. "Luckily" it will be closed and turned into a massive mixed use development...
Another area nearby that I frequent has a HUGE commercial bakery. Bread baking in your home oven is lovely, but the stuff that collects in/on/around commercial conveyor ovens and "bakes" for an entire shift, not so much.

Do as Brian says and visit the place all times of day and night, and take it in. Take a friend, or your partner along, they might notice something you won't. Listen, smell, check out traffic and routes to get where you need to go... go shopping, get lunch, dinner, coffee, etc.
My parents were shown a house by a real estate agent, and were led or driven there through a nice neighborhood, on a Sunday... turns out the house was at the end of the road where it met a state highway!! On a return visit (on their own, another day) they found out just how bad it was.


There really isn't much of a neighborhood. It is literally just factories with a few houses holding out on the edge of the woods. Beyond the houses are a few farms and up past the factories there are a few  subdivisions, then conservation land, then more farms. I guess the subdivisions which I am assuming is where most of the factory workers live would be the nearest neighborhood. I looked up superfund sites and there are not any in the county, the local University is big on ecology both forestry and speleology so I have a feeling pollution may be somewhat regulated because of that? I feel the bakery and the dog food factory may be olfactory displeasing some times of the day. I have a few miles from a factory hog farm and when the wind would shift it would be misery so I'm thinking it can't be worse that that, unless there is a rendering plant at the dog food place!



I would talk to the professor of those courses also, might have some insight for you
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Steve Mendez wrote:Our homestead is on .40 acre in a residential neighborhood in the city.

Our aquaculture farm is on .25 acre of rented ground several miles away in a rural area but next to a large industrial complex (municipal wastewater treatment plant)

Our small farm is part of a very large property that has an artesian geothermal well and a large clean cold spring. Some of the water from these two sources gravity flows to our farm site in underground pipes. We are able to adjust the flow and temperature individually in 30 large fiberglass troughs. I think a situation like this with natural soft warm water and clean hard cold water at the same location is very rare. It has been the ideal location for our farm.

Occasionally there is a background odor from the facility but it is not as strong as the occasional  odor of the composting manure from our animals.

It is a quiet neighbor, with clean well kept grounds, friendly personnel that keep our road plowed in the winter, and they don't mind the loud bellowing from our animals during breeding season.

We've rented this place for over 25 years.  



I love how you are able to juggle three properties to suit different needs. My ultimate goal is to find some raw land and live in my converted school bus while I build a cabin. However as a parent I feel my kids need to have a home of their own and would much rather it be a mini farm than an apartment in a city. That being said if I end up with this house and add to the infrastructure, it will either be in a portable manner or in a way that adds value to the property. Is there a reason you have remained renting instead of trying to buy?


 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Brian Jeffrey wrote:

town nearby is just an average college town, there is not much in the local news that seems alarming. Aside from the local team not winning at sports or someone going on to get a scholarship or well known job, there really isn't much in the headlines. I'd say the economy has held steady in the area for the past decade due to it mostly focusing on the University. Most of the factories and distribution centers have been there for ten too fifteen years. The computer parts facility is owned by the University and shares a property with a computer sciences laboratory. The fellow that owns the property now used to work at the computer lab and has been retired for five years.  Technically the city limits ends across the street from the house, so there are no restrictions, but the 'town' part of the city is about five miles away. There is a library, multiple museums, an observatory, two farmers markets (Supposedly the Wednesday night market near the University is very profitable more so for crafts and canned food than fresh produce.) etc..





I think this is a great plus to the property.  I can't express how nice it is to have an interesting and eventful community nearby. Farmers markets, and the arts and music that goes along with college towns, museums. I am kind if jealous :)


I agree! This is one of the top towns I was planning on compromising and just getting a house in town at due to the University there. All of my kids are homeschooled and the University had various STEM programs for homeschool kids and for all high school students over the summer. The community college in the town has free summer college level classes for high school students. The university has spring and summer sports camps and the parks department has teams that welcome kids that are not in the public school district! There are endless field trip opportunities just in the one town. My biggest concern is the five mile trip from the industrial area into the town and coordinating all the teens activities with only one car and still getting to spend enough time on the mini far :)
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Rufus Laggren wrote:+1 on the value of a college town. Although students generally move the quality of local products lower (restaurants, stores, food available at the local grocery (eg. lots of pizza and hamburger, not so much steak and escargo...) just by acting like students, they add a lot of energy and generally the school means there will be "cultural" stuff.  I grew up in Evanston IL and have been spending several months a year there. Northwestern University owns about 10%-15% of the city real estate. That's some different from what you're describing, but it does give a little perspective on students.

The computer business can be either innocuous or pure poison. If they make chips or even circuit boards, the chemicals they use are really bad. Fortunately (sorta) we have mostly shipped the "heavy" electronic manufacturing to Asia where they are poisoning water and workers over there. If they just assemble parts brought in from elsewhere, they may not have much of a waste footprint at all.

> news
Economic and political news. Companies moving in/out. Town hawking the beauty of the work force to multinationals (sic). The police chief found to be a member of the KKK and his brother in law running the assessor's office. Law suits or Feds investigating local companies. State cutting funds to the school by 20%. Stuff like that.  Since you say your potential property is outside the town line, the affect of town politics is more indirect, but it is surely there. And towns _do_ expand. Ask about the permit process for a fence; then ask about putting a barn in; then ask about putting in a pond (might want to do the last kinda quietly). County bureaucracy, while much "lighter" than municipal authority, does exercise some control. Tailor your concerns to your plans as you know them at the moment.

Lastly, t'were I, I'd try to put in place a plan to buy the neighboring properties if at all possible and reasonable. (Affordable down, low carrying costs, potential rental income, perhaps from share croppers.) Watch the local real estate and business activity regularly all the time and get a sense of what offer might get you control of your surrounding. If you know your area with some confidence you don't necessarily need an agent to make offers directly to owners; you do _not_ have to wait to see a sign or find it posted on Zillow.. Those  empty houses sound  like somebody may be willing to entertain thoughts of selling. I know this sounds way beyond your present concerns, but keep an eye on what's going on. Does the census show this area increasing population? Does it show average age dropping or is it in the 50's and getting higher? Wikipedia has some of this stuff and it helps to fill out a picture of what keeps the wheels turning, which direction they turn, and whether it looks stable for the longer term.

Sounds like a pretty good situation on the face of it. Depending on your personal plans and resources, of course.


Best luck,
Rufus



I agree that the student population makes an interesting dynamic in the market place! There are a few steak houses in the town and that's the higher end of dining. Unless I'm investing years of square footage into something that is slow to mature and perennial, like ginseng, I think I can tailor my produce to the students that are shopping. I have noticed the University has an international student club and there seems to be one Asian store, one Indian store etc, so I'm going to try and figure out exactly what nation/region the international students are from and what fresh produce those stores are not carrying (or only carry in a canned form).
I called a couple of the factories yesterday and was basically given the run around by all but the dog food place, that person seemed to honestly not know what impact on pollution their business had. I think they thought I was a reporter or journalist or something, lol. I will contact the University directly to see if there is a person to talk to about the computer and engineering building.
The house is technically across the street from city limits. The county has no restrictions on building barns, fences, keeping animals etc. The house has a lagoon which I plan on only using for water waste and not solid waste so I'm researching ways to convert it to be more of a pond than a sewage treatment system. There  are no codes against outhouses outside the city limits (I've researched in the city they are not allowed but due to the function of a composting toilet I'm thinking I could get away with a loveable lou in the city too.) I suppose there is a chance the city could change it's boundary and include the parcel I may be getting. I believe the 'city' has a no rooster ordinance (but without neighbors to complain I'm not to sure if it'd matter) and a limit to the number of livestock you can have and a minimum indoor area per animal. If I were to get a house in town I could not have a rooster and a cow but I could have laying hens and two too four goats depending on how big of a pen/shed the postage stamp lot could hold.
I have looked up on the county website who owns the vacant property and plan to try to find them and ask about at least hunting on their land during archery season and getting permission to forage morels etc. It would not be too far fetched to ask about leasing their land as well, although I'm pretty sure after moving I could not afford that. In the long run buying up neighboring land would be a dream as I could work on building it to my needs while staying in the nicely remodeled house. The town has a slight population growth and it is getting younger but the county as a while is getting older and remaining about the same. I think people live in the area for college and grad school then move out of the area as a whole.
Thank you for the thorough and thought provoking reply!
 
pollinator
Posts: 188
Location: Outside Detroit, MI
28
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Gail Jardin wrote:There are endless field trip opportunities just in the one town. My biggest concern is the five mile trip from the industrial area into the town and coordinating all the teens activities with only one car and still getting to spend enough time on the mini far :)



Wow! Such great feedback and discussion has already been made.... l'll be short...

Having lived in a subdivision about 3-4 miles from town(very rural-ish) but along a stretch of road that has tons of warehouses and certain times of the day with big rigs(truck and trailors) backed up past our subdivision's turnoff.....
DON'T try to get overly active with every opportunity or engagement.... it will frazzle and wear you down driving 5 miles along such a road.  And you will have to learn/find what times of the day that traffic is heaviest.  Depending on stop lights.... your 5 mile commute could take 20-30min!


The other comment.... close to what others have said....   that truck traffic is putting out diesel exhaust that can choke you up... as well as drop pollutants(unburned diesel...black soot etc) when their engines are cold.  So roadside ditch/ water runoff should be viewed  as being mostly toxic.  Have room for reed beds?  haha
At certain times with wind and temperature and such... the exhaust fumes could blanket your property and be quite a turn-off!

Aside from that..... it actually seems like a good compromise of a place.... based on expense and acreage and surrounding woods/nature/open space etc.  Plus... it is on the way to nature spaces(the fishing you mentioned!?)  big plus!!

Hope you get all your questions answered and are able to purchase it(assuming the overall answer comes to "YES").

Peace
 
pollinator
Posts: 496
Location: Derbyshire, UK
83
cat urban chicken
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I most certainly would homestead in an industrial area- I find industrial neighbours to be less nosy than domestic ones!

My garden and community garden are both on old coal mines- its what all the land around here is! I live betwewn two industrial estates-the trucks can be annoying but it is lovely and quite at weekends when the factories are closed (in the week I work on one of those same industrial estates).
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Charli Wilson wrote:I most certainly would homestead in an industrial area- I find industrial neighbours to be less nosy than domestic ones!

My garden and community garden are both on old coal mines- its what all the land around here is! I live betwewn two industrial estates-the trucks can be annoying but it is lovely and quite at weekends when the factories are closed (in the week I work on one of those same industrial estates).



I have to agree with your first statement! I have found staying at truck stops in an RV more peaceful than the yelling, loud musics and barking loose dogs of my apartment complex. On the occasion there are multiple semi trucks in the parking lot that boarders the apartment complex, I find the sound of the trucks soothingly drowning out the nuisance noise of neighbors.
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

C. E. Rice wrote:

Gail Jardin wrote:There are endless field trip opportunities just in the one town. My biggest concern is the five mile trip from the industrial area into the town and coordinating all the teens activities with only one car and still getting to spend enough time on the mini far :)



Wow! Such great feedback and discussion has already been made.... l'll be short...

Having lived in a subdivision about 3-4 miles from town(very rural-ish) but along a stretch of road that has tons of warehouses and certain times of the day with big rigs(truck and trailors) backed up past our subdivision's turnoff.....
DON'T try to get overly active with every opportunity or engagement.... it will frazzle and wear you down driving 5 miles along such a road.  And you will have to learn/find what times of the day that traffic is heaviest.  Depending on stop lights.... your 5 mile commute could take 20-30min!


The other comment.... close to what others have said....   that truck traffic is putting out diesel exhaust that can choke you up... as well as drop pollutants(unburned diesel...black soot etc) when their engines are cold.  So roadside ditch/ water runoff should be viewed  as being mostly toxic.  Have room for reed beds?  haha
At certain times with wind and temperature and such... the exhaust fumes could blanket your property and be quite a turn-off!

Aside from that..... it actually seems like a good compromise of a place.... based on expense and acreage and surrounding woods/nature/open space etc.  Plus... it is on the way to nature spaces(the fishing you mentioned!?)  big plus!!

Hope you get all your questions answered and are able to purchase it(assuming the overall answer comes to "YES").

Peace



Wow, I had never thought of there being 'traffic jams' if the distribution centers and factories all have traffic on similar schedules! I believe on the main road there are two ways to get back to the town, one would have to loop around and turn. Then on the 'side' road there would be an additional way to get out. I think taking the side road to the next main road over would be enough to avoid the industrial strip as all the factories are basically along one long road! Yes the conservation land is about 2.5 miles from the house and has a lake for fishing and waterfowl hunting, also of course deer and turkey hunting and foraging etc (pretty much everything but tapping trees which I found out last weekend is not allowed in conservation land here!).
 
Rufus Laggren
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
178
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very good point about "rush hour". There are still factories w/in a couple miles of my sister's place in Evanston and between  schools letting out at about 3pm and factories changing shifts between 3:30-5:30 there is definitely a time when one does NOT want to be driving. If what happens in Evanston is any indication, "alternate" routes won't help much. But the whole mess usually has a regular, clearly defined cycle  and if you can accept and work with that it's something you can depend on.

> factories
Get their name(s) and google and check wikipedia if you haven't already. Then add the name of the town to the search. If you're lucky enough that local publications appear on the inet, check their archives. That would include any student publications.

It sounds like you have the right ideas and concerns. Maybe run your daily and then weekly schedule through your mind, checking off how you would accomplish each task when living there. The plain average American stuff you can probably skip (watch TV, buy car, shop for food, heat the house, ya-di-ya) but there may be particular items that you might want to run a thought experiment on.  FedEx delivery (or pickup if you send out stuff). Inet access. Cell service. Hospital access. 911 service. Airport/train access. Car rental access. Riffle through your daily life a little looking for stuff you haven't actually seen around the "neighborhood".  Baby sitters?

One note: Country roads are not particularly safe for bicycles or pedestrians. Tailor your training, screaming fits and heavy correction with that in mind early on. My sister raised her kids semi-rural in a community of 2-3 acre ranchettes about 5 miles outside McHenry IL. No sidewalks anywhere. Even with school buses, she did a LOT of driving when they got past grade school age. But I guess that stuff just is part and parcel with children. Little angels... <G>


Best luck,
Rufus
 
Posts: 4
Location: Austin, TX (8a)
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't get to read through everyone's posts, but I got through about half.

One thing that stuck out that I hadn't seen mentioned is that industry tends to clump together, even without major zoning. You may not have an actively polluting industry in that area now, but that can change quickly. You'll want to check with your state environmental quality website to see if there has been any applications to build new facilities.

Crime with the abandoned homes nearby can be a real issue. And trucks (especially when they engine brake) can be incredibly noisy. These are both things that can be mitigated, though, with enough work

You had mentioned not wanting your kids to miss out on homesteading while you keep looking for the "perfect homestead." Is your intent to stay here or later move to a bigger or different property? Land values will struggle to increase with the industry nearby and selling the property later will be difficult if you ever plan to move to a different property. The current owners seem to be struggling with that themselves.

Trust your instincts. You know the situation and your wishes best.

Best of luck,
Kit
 
Posts: 52
Location: NW Arkansas
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Urban areas sound ideal in many ways for a return to something like the European village model rather than the American model of individual family farmsteads separated by lots of acreage. I think the wave of the future, as the old corporate mass-production industry and welfare states decay, will probably be co-living/co-housing projects with intensive horticulture and machine workshops integrated into them -- something like Kropotkin's "agro-industrial communes." The implosion of cost for tabletop CNC machines over the last few decades only increases the feasibility of it. An urban area opens up all the possibilities currently being explored in new municipalist movements like Barcelona, Jackson MS, etc., and the land trusts, tool libraries, hackerspaces, community gardens and all the rest of the stuff they're developing.
 
pollinator
Posts: 147
Location: Wichita, Kansas, United States
26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
S Benji's comment about heavy metals is a wise one.
Not too many years ago the school district in Coffeyville Kansas build the largest grade school in the state.  Problem with that was, in my opinion, they built it right across the street from an old closed sherwin williams lead smelting plant.  Sherwin wiilliams had gone to great expense to clean up the lead from the top foot or two of their property.  However, lead dust can travel several hundred yards before it settles.  Sherwin williams hadn't cleaned  up beyond their property line.  So there is high lead levels in the soil in a couple square miles of CoffeyWeville.  That school is right across the street.

But, if it is clean of contaminants, the location could make it a better price.

When my wife and were house shopping we followed this procedure.
We made of list of what we wanted to do on our property, not just what we wanted to have.
We wanted to be able to garden, have a few fruit trees, barbecue, do my woodworking, tinker with the cars, have the grand kids over, etc.
Having a list of what we wanted to do not just what we wanted to have changed our perspective on some places we looked at.
We prioritized both the to do and the to have lists and gave the top 5 or 6 items from each list to the realtor.
With some of the places he showed us it was evident he didn't have a clue about sun angles and adequate light for growing things.
But, at least everything he showed us had a space equivalent to a garden.
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kit Hammes wrote:I didn't get to read through everyone's posts, but I got through about half.

One thing that stuck out that I hadn't seen mentioned is that industry tends to clump together, even without major zoning. You may not have an actively polluting industry in that area now, but that can change quickly. You'll want to check with your state environmental quality website to see if there has been any applications to build new facilities.

Crime with the abandoned homes nearby can be a real issue. And trucks (especially when they engine brake) can be incredibly noisy. These are both things that can be mitigated, though, with enough work

You had mentioned not wanting your kids to miss out on homesteading while you keep looking for the "perfect homestead." Is your intent to stay here or later move to a bigger or different property? Land values will struggle to increase with the industry nearby and selling the property later will be difficult if you ever plan to move to a different property. The current owners seem to be struggling with that themselves.

Trust your instincts. You know the situation and your wishes best.

Best of luck,
Kit



That's a good point about what businesses may change and turn into ones that pollute. I don't think the abandoned homes will be too much of an issue. Out of the half dozen houses, only one is obviously abandoned and it is fairly close to one that had a nicer truck and tractor at it. Yes I judge a neighborhood by the tractors they keep. Since there is no tone in typing, that was a joke. Given the abrupt stop vehicles have to do about a half mile down the main road, and the lower speed limit I don't think the air brakes will be too noisy. I have an odd affinity for the sounds and smells of semi trucks from having traveled a bit (never out of the Midwest just a lot of camping and hiking trips) and ending up at rest stops and truck stops. Plus at my current apartment I can hear the air breaks on the highway. Granted this road is MUCH closer than the current highway, so even though I think I'm used to it now, I may find it much louder at the house.
My intent is to eventually move. I'm almost hoping to find a way to juggle this house and building up a new homestead at the same time. This house, although outside of the main town and in the industrial area is close enough that the kids could take over and live there during college. Each one of my kids wants to go to the University for a different reason and major.  My oldest is already drawing up sketches to turn the garage into an apartment with a loft so their best friend can live with them during college in a few years. Maybe that's just wishful thinking, lol.
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kevin Carson wrote:Urban areas sound ideal in many ways for a return to something like the European village model rather than the American model of individual family farmsteads separated by lots of acreage. I think the wave of the future, as the old corporate mass-production industry and welfare states decay, will probably be co-living/co-housing projects with intensive horticulture and machine workshops integrated into them -- something like Kropotkin's "agro-industrial communes." The implosion of cost for tabletop CNC machines over the last few decades only increases the feasibility of it. An urban area opens up all the possibilities currently being explored in new municipalist movements like Barcelona, Jackson MS, etc., and the land trusts, tool libraries, hackerspaces, community gardens and all the rest of the stuff they're developing.



I'd much rather that American ideal of a nice rural farm, but am limited by time and money.
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Phil Swindler wrote:S Benji's comment about heavy metals is a wise one.
Not too many years ago the school district in Coffeyville Kansas build the largest grade school in the state.  Problem with that was, in my opinion, they built it right across the street from an old closed sherwin williams lead smelting plant.  Sherwin wiilliams had gone to great expense to clean up the lead from the top foot or two of their property.  However, lead dust can travel several hundred yards before it settles.  Sherwin williams hadn't cleaned  up beyond their property line.  So there is high lead levels in the soil in a couple square miles of CoffeyWeville.  That school is right across the street.

But, if it is clean of contaminants, the location could make it a better price.

When my wife and were house shopping we followed this procedure.
We made of list of what we wanted to do on our property, not just what we wanted to have.
We wanted to be able to garden, have a few fruit trees, barbecue, do my woodworking, tinker with the cars, have the grand kids over, etc.
Having a list of what we wanted to do not just what we wanted to have changed our perspective on some places we looked at.
We prioritized both the to do and the to have lists and gave the top 5 or 6 items from each list to the realtor.
With some of the places he showed us it was evident he didn't have a clue about sun angles and adequate light for growing things.
But, at least everything he showed us had a space equivalent to a garden.



That is fascinating about Coffeyville Kansas. So the school is still right across the street from the smelting plant? Have the children been tested for lead levels? That is very disturbing if the school is still there!
I have a list of what I want to do, it is different from the list of what I can realistically do as a working, single mom. I have to stick to my budget and timeline, and more importantly I want to give my kids a sense of sustainable living and knowing how to provide food for themselves.  So even though I can't get a landowners hunting permit and enjoy archery season from my back porch, or have a couple of Jersey cows and get over my head in cheese making again, and use the extra milk to slop a hog; nor have a large apple and cherry orchard with herbs and ducks beneath them with the potential of running a premier fence between the trees for a couple wool sheep; I can be constructive and content with whatever land we end up being blessed with providing stewardship to.
My autistic child would be terrified by the option of milking a cow, although they were in a baby back pack while I milked our old Jerseys years ago. They love to 'play' with our friends pet dwarf goat wethers who act like dogs. A compromise that will benefit them is having a smaller goat breed which will be suitable for a small homestead on only a couple acres. This is my kid that wants to bottle feed all the goat kids and keep them inside as house pets (we'll have to sort out the no goats in the house later on). Oh and goat yoga, my teen wants to become a yoga instructor for a part time job in college, and saw a video on goat yoga and is obsessed with it now! There was no flowing water where I previously lived, but there is a small creek running from the direction of the forest towards the factories where I could plant elderberry and other water loving bushes and have fenced for egg laying ducks instead of having laying hens; duck eggs are higher in calories than chicken eggs and several breeds lay as much as chickens. Now I need to go research dual purpose goats and ducks some more, but my point is even if I can't do what I want with the land I can make it work for my family for this season of our lives.  
 
Gail Jardin
Posts: 296
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is an update on my situation. My loan expires in ten days, if I am not under contract then I have to reapply. It took six months of applying and paperwork and supporting documents etc to qualify for a loan. I've only been a single parent for a few years and have had to basically create my credit out of nothing. If I do not get under contract in time then I have to reapply and start house hunting again in six too nine months from now. I have paid for earnest deposits on several houses and only got portions back when the houses did not go through. I have paid for numerous home inspections, well and septic inspections and termite inspections as well. So many real estate agents have led me on into thinking the house they have for sale would pass the lenders standards, most had no clue they would not. For instance no block foundations are allowed unless it is less than three feet. If it is poured concrete combined with block it is not allowed. Lagoons have to be more than fifty feet from the property line even if the property line backs up to public land, or a ranchers field and the rancher says they don't care. This house the agent said the lagoon is fine and will pass once it is fenced in, I offered to fence it in myself if the owner will not. I need to get a post hole digger,  corner posts, bags of quickcrete, t-posts and driver,  and noclimb fencing  for the yard anyway.
The  owner accepted the offer that I made on the house and the lender approved the ordering of inspections. Yesterday I got the inspections scheduled for this upcomming Wednesday.  After that it will take a couple days for the lender to go over the reports and get back to me and the seller with what repairs need to be done. I just hope if for some reason repairs are not able to be made by the seller, I know before the deadline. I have a back up house that is in town and has not yet gone under contract with anyone else. My plan is to put an offer in on it as soon as I find out if this house does not work out. There is however a chance the lender will not get to us with the list of what needs to be repaired out of the inspection until after my loan expires, then I can't offer on the back up house and have to reapply.
Either way wish me luck and pray for me, or is that too non pc to ask for here, that the inspection process goes smoothly and the seller is willing to make the repairs it may need. If all goes well we should be able to move in around April 1st, which would be perfect for the five trays of veggies I'm starting under growlights on my bookshelves, lol.
 
gardener
Posts: 693
Location: Piedmont 7a
251
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wishing you good luck, Gail!  

I have bought and sold several properties over the years, and while I understand the pain of going through the loan approval process, I can say that every time a house or land I thought I wanted got away from me, a much better one came along. In other words, it is easy to let a self-created sense of urgency drive us into a purchase that may not be the best fit for all kinds of reasons, e.g.,  because our current lease is expiring, or because we want to be in place before school starts, or, in your case, because your pre-approval is about to expire.

Not suggesting in any way that you would make a bad choice for the wrong reason, just wanting to reassure you that if it doesn’t work out this time, it is OK, and will work out for the best in the long term! At least that has been my experience.

 
Rufus Laggren
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
178
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
> loan expires...

I assume you have inquired about various ways to make re-upping the loan easier. Based on having all the paper work done once already and "good behavior". <g> Perhaps simply submitting current income verification and credit reports...


Regarding problems or show-stoppers of any kind, do get 2nd and 3rd opinions on the matter because often the answers can change, depending.


> kid drawing up plans...

Now that kid's ON It! <G>


Cheers,
Rufus
 
I guess everyone has an angle. Fine, what do you want? Just know that you cannot have this tiny ad:
Devious Experiments for a Truly Passive Greenhouse!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/greenhouse-1
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic