Paula Jakobs

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since Oct 10, 2011
Central Texas, zone 8
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Recent posts by Paula Jakobs

Another option might be to go ahead and build your porch on it, and turn the "downstairs" into just a water storage tank for rain water from your gutters. The water could go into rain barrels and then a hose would empty the barrels into your storage tank. I guess you'd need a pump of some sort though to draw the water out to use it for irrigation.
8 years ago
If you have a steady job with a 401k that you've saved up and you'll keep that job while living on the new property, another option is to take out a loan out of your 401k. My husband and I are looking into doing this to purchase our dream property. The way it works is you can borrow up to 50% of what's in your 401k (in our case that means consolidating several separate 401k accounts from different past employers). You then have 5 years to pay it off, plus interest. You get to keep all the interest, so it's better than giving it all to a bank. The risk is that if you quit or leave your job before it's paid off, you will have to pay it off in full or incur a tax penalty. And of course any loan is risky in general.

Another down side is that your money isn't earning income in the stock market while you take it out, but these days what does that mean?
9 years ago
I can tell you my favorite use for berries (especially blackberries and raspberries), though doing this commercially might have some legal loops to jump through:

Blackberry (or other berry) cordial: Pick berries, put them in a pretty mason jar, add vodka and a bit of sugar. Let it sit for 2 months. You end up with a pretty and delicious drink. If you pick them and do a large batch of these when they're ripe in the summer, you'll have lots of jars of cordial ready to sell in time for the holidays when people are looking for gifts. Tie a ribbon on each jar and you're set to go. I made a batch for Christmas presents. It looks really pretty with the berries inside.

Like I said though, there's probably a lot of licensing issues with selling alcohol (unless you can sell it wholesale to stores?)
9 years ago
Good luck! Are you sure you want to do that on halloween? Sounds spooky.
Good luck with your project! Can you explain the 30 seconds thing? Why only test it being on for 30 seconds at a time?
9 years ago
There's a lot of cheap land in my state of Texas right now. My husband and I are currently looking for some property and it's definitely a buyer's market, I constantly get notices of properties I'm watching dropping in price. Of course, Texas is in a horrible drought right now, making homesteading more complicated. I'm hoping that with careful permaculture water harvesting and storage practices that we'll be able to overcome that problem, but we're also looking for something on or near a lake, just to be sure we have access to water. As you can imagine, those kinds of properties are more expensive.

For the absolute cheapest, you can look in the beautiful mountainous area near big bend. I've seen 10 acre properties for 3k. Of course, that is in an area where you are in the middle of nowhere (nearest town an hour's drive), don't have access to electricity and have to dig a (deep) well for water. I'm considering buying one of those properties just for shits and giggles. It is a really beautiful area. A good place to start is:
http://www.landsoftexas.com/texas/

But as others have said, you get the best leads just driving around and looking at for sale sites and then going to the websites of those small local realtors.