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New Member Saying Hello :)

 
E Hambleton
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dog fish food preservation
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Hello, All.

Just wanted to say a quick hello and introduce myself to the forum.

I am a new member - directed here on a search for homestead forums for those in BC, Canada.

I am early thirties, single male, with cool dog, somewhere on my journey to land owning and homesteading. I currently own/service a mortgage on a fancy new cookie cutter home in small town Alberta, Canada. At the end of the (last) summer I took a huge step (for  me) and came clean to my family and friends that the cravings for a real life just wouldn't go away. Luckily for me; all was met with acceptance and encouragement.

I have a bit of experience in the horticultural side of things so, hopefully I can be a useful member of the forum right away. I've got a few questions though so if you guys would be so kind to offer some experience/ opinions/ thoughts it would be appreciated.

I have two big questions so far and both somewhat different from each other. First off - my interest is to buy in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada. I know I've picked a sought after area so will save you guys the tears over pricing, but isn't the name of the game for real estate 'location, location, location'? Anyways I am currently looking at two different pieces of property and they would both hold drastically different finance options (one is in foreclosure).

For those who have been faced with the decision of spending every cent they have to own land; mortgage free OR to not blow your whole wad and be left with a small land loan. Which did you chose, why and was the decision right (for you)? I will be faced with a few more years of work, either way - so in no way do I think I can show up with no money and be ok or show up with some money to just throw at problems and think I'll be ok.  Both will have their own set of circumstances and I understand that.

Secondly for others who have bought in any mountain region - what was the ratio of flat/benched land vs. sloped land (say over 20 degrees) that you were looking for, accepted or think is reasonable? Hilly land is just part and parcel with where I would like to be, I know not all will understand but some will understand the call of the mountains and get it.

Thanks very much for your time and good luck to everyone else out there!
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 350
Location: Ohio, USA
21
dog fish food preservation forest garden fungi solar trees urban woodworking
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Hi! Welcome!

So, I'm the don't spend it all at once type because of unforseen circumstances and it takes money to make money. When we bought our house we found all sorts of repairs we had to do and things we would need to buy to get the garden going. They end up paying for themselves in a year or two, but required up front capital. Not to mention, there's the learning curve and oops fund I have to pay for too sometimes. All and all I try to leave just enough cushion and invest the rest. I even calculated out the cost and potential return on my investments and started by going to the ones with highest rate of return (unless necessary) that way my funds would recuperate the fastest for the next project. So, first was the garden 6mo turn around, and continually reinvest that. Then, there's climate management (which we are working on now) and, paying off the mortgage, slowly while maintaining a cushion and movement towards our goals. This are broken into specific things, so lettuce has a real high turn around, but curb not so much, so we started with lettuce and waited to run into corn (which we did).
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 350
Location: Ohio, USA
21
dog fish food preservation forest garden fungi solar trees urban woodworking
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Ugh auto correct. Corn not curb.
 
E Hambleton
Posts: 7
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Thanks for your quick response. Better judgement is telling me that is the route to go but the prospect of being mortgage free has the call of a siren to me.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2102
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Great advice on keeping a cushion in the bank.

Land selection is tougher for many people, you need to have in your head (and written down) your perfect parcel, then you want the what is acceptable parcel.
Keep in mind that land with more than 20% grade will perform best when terraced over swales and berms, anything under that grade will do nicely with swales and berms.
We have part of a mountain, flatish on the ridge and steepening down both south face and north face.
We have swales and berms going in from the ridge down both slopes until they get to about 15% grade, where we are doing terraces on down.

The most important thing to know is that doing the earth works first makes all the rest go not only faster but also easier.

Redhawk
 
E Hambleton
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dog fish food preservation
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Hey Bryant,
Thanks for the reply, I do plan to do most of my tree removing and land clearing 1 season before I spend any extended amounts of time on it trying to get it going. Thanks for the tips on the slope as well, it just comes with the territory I guess.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9577
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I agree with those who advise observing the land for a period as much as a year before making permanent decisions about it.  Also to make a permaculture design before making permanent changes to the land.  I wish we could have done this, we would have avoided some major mistakes.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 902
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Hubby and I opted to spend everything in getting the best piece of land, then working for two more years to amass as much cash as we could before moving to the land. It worked for us and we were happy with our decision. After having been under a mortgage cloud our entire lives, it was exhilarating to know that our land was debt free. It made working our butts off for two years, while being ultra frugal at the same time, not only bearable but actually enjoyable.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9577
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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That's almost exactly what we did, Su, except we bought a crappy piece of land because we liked the location.  Big mistake, but oh well, here we are!  We bought the land for cash and then moved two years later.



 
E Hambleton
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Hey Guys,
Thanks for the replies! Su and Tyler, I was secretly hoping someone would say that. My plan was to continue working full time hours for at least two probably three more years before I made the permanent transition with maybe one full summer in there doing land work.
I am very interested in the freedom that comes along with homesteading  and adding no mortgage to that mix would just put me in heaven. That being said, did you guys find it hard to save money over those years leading into the transition or like Su mentioned above was it much easier with the plan now tangible?
On the flip side if I didn't spend it all, even the lenders with the best rates are still going to drag me over the coals so they can collect their interest for as long as possible, and I worry that that will be a big drain on the overall feel of freedom I'd like to achieve.
I want to sink or swim on my own accord, not because I still owe someone debt notes!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9577
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I don't remember it being difficult once we decided to do it.  We had some lucky breaks in our paying work, so that helped.  Without the good fortune, we certainly would have had to wait another year or more before moving.  We did not do everything for cash, however.  We had a house built on a mortgage, which we paid off a few years ago (30 year mortgage refi to 15 years paid off in 7).

I should mention that most of our time and effort after moving to the land was spent working for money to pay the mortgage, and that we kind of flailed around with gardening and animal stuff for years because we were ignorant and didn't have a plan. But you're here on permies so you won't make that mistake!  I wish I had had this resource back then...
 
E Hambleton
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Thanks for the help, Tyler. I am also on my own for the moment so even though costs may be less I also don't have a partner chipping in either so my plan of two years might be three anyways.

I agree that this site is a huge help! I follow lots of blogs and YT channels but it's hard to get those guys to reply when they have like 975 other comments. I have an ever evolving plan that I have been working on for close to two years now, to have myself both financially and skill wise prepared. Over the last year I have been writing it down in a book I keep. I've changed careers to learn skills, I've sold toys and canceled memberships etc. etc. I also don't want to get a tunnel vision on my dream and end up missing something, I appreciate the help.

Did you do the work of building your own home or did you mortgage and have someone else do it? I have this romantic (maybe silly) idea of dragging my trailer there to live in as I build my own home. Just cutting and drying the wood is a year before its usable so like I mentioned I can keep working in between. 
 
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