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Becoming an Otis in (hopefully) a few years

 
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I'm not really sure where this thread should go...I could see it falling in suburban, rural, decision making. I'm not sure if there exists a thread about the sale or rent of permie homesteads. If so, could someone please point it out to me and I will delete this post and bag my bags and move over there!

Basically, my situation in a nutshell: My husband and I are young, we're both in our mid twenties. We came in to some family land (the land which was the subject of some of my other posts). Originally we thought we would be getting around 20 acres, but life happens and it ended up only being seven. This is a wonderful amount of land for many people I'm sure, but not us. We were hoping for more space to stretch and use the land for lots of different things. The entire area has also been rezoned from agricultural to residential, so while we have been Grandfathered in as a working farm, the area around us is slowly turning into light residential Suburbia (each lot is around two acres, but it used to be that the SMALLEST lots were 15 acre crop farms). Due to all of this, we are giving it the old college try. The land has a beautifully productive spring that never goes dry even when our neighbors' deep wells dry up in the dead of summer, which we are developing. We have plans for a small barn, small house with attached greenhouse for year round gardening and tropical plants. There are plans for earthworks and ponds and basically stuffing as much stuff into the 7 acres as possible while still respecting wild space and the zones. As long as the land is constantly being farmed (no breaks longer than 6 months), it will continue to be grandfathered in regardless of who is actually on the land.
But we know we wont want to be here forever. My husband says he never wants to sell the land, which is the last surviving piece of his family's land, which used to be a 150acre parcel that's been in his family since before the civil war. This 7 acres is all that's left, and I understand his desire to keep it in the family.

In the meantime though, once we move to bigger pastures, we wont all our hard work to go fallow. So, what we want (when we're ready), is a SKIPer who would be willing to *rent* the land. We don't want to rent to just anybody, we want someone who, yes, may change things around, but wont let the hard work go to waste, and a permaculture mentality.

So my question is this; Is that unfair? SKIP is about inheriting property, and earning those BB's are supposed to make you attractive to Otises who are trying to find someone to leave their property to. Is trying to find a well-qualified SKIPer, and then charging them rent, unfair? It wouldn't be an obscene amount, certainly not market value, just enough to cover the taxes and any repairs we (as landlords) would be responsible for. But does this defeat the purpose of what SKIP is supposed to stand for?

If you don't think this is a fair idea, do any of you have suggestions for what we could do to solve the problem? We don't want to stay on this land forever, but we also don't want it to leave the family. What to do?

Thank you so much for your help!
 
AnnaLea Kodiak
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Oh! I forgot to say!
For those who are curious, the land is mostly south-facing moderate slope (kind of rolling east-west, moderately steep north-south). the spring produces several gallons a minute year round, regardless of the weather conditions, and is in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia, near Smith Mountain Lake
 
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I don't think that is unfair at all.  As long as you're up front about the situation and the potential for the future.  

Perhaps a SKIPper or PEPper needs some land to build their skills on as they prove themselves to an Oits.  If they could rent your place for less than they are currently paying, it's a win-win.  

I think a post in the Permaculture Real Estate section (clearly labeled as a rental) would also be reasonable.

Once there are enough posts by potential Otises, we might have to create a land share and rental subforum in the Skills to Inherit Property forum for these sorts of situations...
 
AnnaLea Kodiak
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Thanks Mike!
I appreciate it!
Like I said, this is probably a few years out, I'd guess ~5 years, but I am a type A and like to have all my ducks in a row, and wanted plenty time to plan for something else if the consensus was "Don't charge rent! They worked hard to inherit, not pay!"

So I appreciate the perspective
 
Mike Haasl
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My pleasure!  Unless I'm misunderstanding, I'd see it as a chance to rent for a low price as they work hard on PEP to earn a property elsewhere.  Like a low cost PEP work/live location.  You could even tie the rent to the number of BBs or badges they earn
 
AnnaLea Kodiak
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That's a really cool idea, i hadn't thought of that!
Sliding rent scale based on badges earned...i like it!
 
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