Zach Bradshaw

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since Apr 20, 2014
Snohomish County, Washington State
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Recent posts by Zach Bradshaw

So the owners won't actually meet with me at this time. Initially they just wanted an offer, but they now understand I am more serious than I was before. The "owner" is 83 living in a retirement home and his 4 sons/daughters are the 2nd gateway between the listing broker and myself. Everyone has been very helpful. At this time they wanted to see a list of my questions. I was thinking I would be really honest with them and write why I want this and my intention with the property then list my questions and finish with how I believe a meeting would be mutually beneficial. Excited as I see this developing.
4 years ago
Paul - Awesome idea! I'd never even thought about farm financing. Definitely something I will look into. I wanted to look into owner occupancy, farm, etc. The owner is also willing to carry some balance (which I would consider if the terms were beneficial), and then I have an aunt with money rotting away with inflation in a bank account who will lend me some money at favorable terms as well. My wife is looking into a program to cash out her 401K, she would have to quit her job but it's less of a penalty if you roll it into your primary residence which were hoping would be quantifiable and she would then find a new job in this area in the meantime.
4 years ago
Ann - awesome questions - my list is coming along quite well. Thank You! I love the idea of making hard cider. I go brew with my uncle sometimes and did a few batches in college. Definitely something I have been interested in pursuing, nonetheless a fun hobby to make a delicious drink!
4 years ago
Also I looked up other farms, and between the two "metro" areas I mentioned, there are no other Christmas Tree Farms. There are several both north and south of those two areas but nothing in-between. Within 3 miles, 3,488 residence, with 67k annual household income. I don't know how demographics relate to tree farms, but that doesn't seem bad.
4 years ago
Paul -

This farm is 91% of the average 2013 sales price for "comparable" land. It's very difficult to find exact comparable, as it's unique but on the best ones I could find, so on that front it's okay. I will have to pay on the high at least $1,300/monthly (unless I am able to get FHA Owner-Occupancy Financing, which I don't think is possible, then I would have to add PMI). I make $2,000/monthly after fixed expenses on the rentals I currently own. So I can feed the property and live frugally and then use the potential tree income to pay down principal. I would like to do a blend of both. Probably not keep current jobs, but keep jobs to bring in some income; however, diversify the farm would be something we would want to pursue to phase out of our current type of work.

It's basically on a lake in a "rural" area but 20 minutes to metro areas both north and south.

I bought a couple thousand ounces of silver and not nearly that much gold to just sit on. It's an investment that will just sit, in my mind. I don't plan on trading, borrowing against, or using it for the foreseeable future, but I like the idea of owning it. I have bought a couple things on craigslist with some 1oz silver coins for fun, but that's the extent of my silver dabbling. I am much more into the property acquisition as you seem to understand! Would love to pay something off on a 15 year amortization; however, even finding awesome deals - the current state of the market here does not support it. I don't love the debt but at least the 30 years is locked in with no adjustments.

Two of the properties I bought almost a year about are worth about $150-200K more this year so I've debated selling and buying a smaller, simple duplex and just paying it off in a less metro area where prices are cheaper. I like being locked in 30 years at 3.37% though. Lots of debates for me on that one! Need to focus on the farm for now!
4 years ago
Thanks, Bill! Starting a nice list of questions. Hoping to secure a meeting with the owner later this week or early next week and see where I can go with this. Appreciate the feedback.
4 years ago

Ann Torrence wrote:I'd hire a business broker to represent me, someone who can help run the financials. The realtor won't know squat about net income.

I hear you about wanting to exit the mainstream economy. Is a Christmas tree lot all that recession-proof? Or do you want to start diversifying right away to satisfy that personal security need?

The numbers I will understand okay, not too worried about that part but good idea nonetheless.

I would think Christmas Trees are the last thing people spend money on in recession, but the land is more what I am after. The tree farm is just an added bonus for while the economy is okay. I hope my thoughts are wrong and the economy stays fine so I can run a neat business out of the farm.

My secure investments are silver and rentals housing locked in on 30 year fully amortized non adjusting loans. This can ( a risky one and I am okay with that.
5 years ago
Mike - there is an important aspect of my personal opinion which I did not mention but upon further review and reconsideration, I think it's fair to mention to you as you seem to be taking an honest interest in what is driving me to pursue this odd interest. I didn't want to bring politics into this discussion and will not; however, I am pessimistic as to the global financial strength of the current monetary system and in this pessimism part of my contingency plan is being able to be self-sustainable. If analyzing commercial real estate trends and economic data has led me to anything, it's that I don't believe we are headed towards "good economic times" - this is a large part of me personally wanting land. This particular piece of land fits well into my criteria of acceptable land. If not this Christmas Tree Farm, I still want some sort of land!
5 years ago

Good questions for personal thoughts and reflection:

Help us understand where you're going with this goal. You mention "the rat race." And you mentioned "a computer screen 14 hours a day for someone else."
What do you do for money now? I am in the commercial real estate industry making investors lots of money. Which has been great to team me everything about investments up until this point.

How much extra money are you making right now? Above your bare needs? Currently I am making quite a bit but I have been rolling it all into real estate investments. Haven't really pin-pointed a dollar amount as I have been moving/buying places for the past 2 years and haven't ever stayed in one place for more than a few months.

What are the problems with where you are now? What exactly are you trying to change? I currently live next to 7 of my tenants with zero land. I want land, incoming producing land would be an added bonus.

How do you anticipate that being a agricultural business owner will remedy what doesn't suit you about your current situation? I like the sustainable act (or thought of it anyways) of this. I wish to produce more of my own food, work with my hands outside, etc.

I would like to hear the answers to these things, but for an initial bit of feedback with the little information we've got, I wonder if you might be shooting your mosquitoes?

14 hour days are tough. Is there a way to get your work under 40 hours, with the commensurate pay cut, and regain some of your life without necessarily uprooting and changing everything? Absolutely; however, I don't mind working long/hard days. It's just what I do. I am motivated. I would just rather focus this energy towards other endeavors. I am going to keep my rentals, and keep buying more with syndicated funds among people I know earning myself ownership without putting in my own money and taking finders fee's.

I'm in a situation these days where I dread my work. I've been her before, and I got so desperate that I changed fields. I regretted it, and came back. Turns out, the work isn't bad, but an unreasonable workload is. The answer? In my case, go self-employed. People will overwork you when you're salaried, because why the heck wouldn't they? But if they pay you by some unit of work, then they're much more sensitive to things like, "Sorry, that's more than I'll be able to do a good job on right now." - I am currently a commission contractor, and have the freedom to do what I want, I just don't enjoy it. I am all for taking huge risks and leaps of faith. We won't be 30 years old for a few years yet so we have plenty of time to decide we don't like it and undertake the next endeavor should we want too.

Nonetheless, I will be buying land away which I can enjoy, grow some food, etc. We both want to quit or "jobs" and migrate to jobs we fully choose to do which result in us having more time for ourselves, hiking, outside, wilderness, etc. I will keep my investments, I will keep my float business, etc. Just want to add to the portfolio of life by figuring out something that gets me into being outside and creating something (if that makes sense) - food, tree's, whatever it might be.
5 years ago