Jeanine Gurley wrote:Lot of tips will come your way I’m sure.
Here is what I look for when buying property: Note – these are my personal preferences – we will all have different ones.
Well water – no bills for city water – see it running FULL FORCE before you buy
Septic tank – no bills for public sewer - insist on covers removed and look at it before you buy. Respect your septic and you should not have lots of pumping bills.
Outside of city limits – no city taxes. We are about 2 miles outside of city limits.
No flood plains – will not be required to have flood insurance.
No zoning restrictions.
No Homeowners associations and/or covenants.
Buy a fixer upper or stick a trailer on it until you make it what you want.
Note on fixer uppers: There may be a lot of money involved in fixing up the house. But you can pay as you go and just live with the yucky stuff as long as you have a roof over your head. If you lose your income you are not stuck with a big mortgage or home equity loan; you can just live with the hole in the floor or the pink bathtub for a while – at least they belong to you.
My mortgage was $277 per month. It is paid now. Where do I find places like this? I have had four different properties in S.C. in the last 18 years. Some in worse shape than others.
I go check out those neighborhoods that are considered the ‘wrong side of the tracks’. I have always found people in those neighborhoods to be great neighbors and I like the price. My taxes are ridiculously low. I do what I want, and because I am lucky enough to have a great job I have plenty of extra money for fun stuff . And if it all goes south when I retire I can probably mow lawns for what it takes to pay our current bills.
But it wasn’t always that way; during the lean years the only reason that I was able to keep a roof over my head was because my mortgage was often lower than what most people pay for rent. P.S. Never scrimp on electric. I always run that brand new (fire hazard). Everything else can wait.
Another P.S. Welcome to Permies!!
L. Jones wrote:As many a hippie found out 40 years ago: You'll be trading one form of stress for another, especially if you don't have a "real job" with income and are depending on crops for food/income.
fer-instance: A late freeze sucks in your garden, but can be the end of a farm, if you don't have adequate reserves. In proper permaculture methodology you have many things and some make it through and you don't have the same issue a mono-crop farmer does, but it's not so uncommon for there still to be one crop you are a lot more economically dependent on than others - and you'll also have a job getting well-diversified and feeding yourselves in "a year or two" with little experience. Substitute freeze with plague of pests, drought, floods, hurricane irene, etc...or several in the same year.
Consider a job with "not as good pay" that is still a job (preferably with benefits - no health insurance is one of the very expensive stresses of not having a normal job) that allows you to live NOT in a major metro area. That will ease the transition (and you may find that you have more money, too - major metro areas are expensive to live in, and are preventing you from growing your own food.)