Conor Haley

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since Feb 04, 2018
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fungi chicken building medical herbs woodworking
25 years old, living with my parents, saving up money to buy some acres in north Georgia, build a house, raise some animals, garden, and continue my crafting.
North Georgia
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Recent posts by Conor Haley

Y'all are great, really. I appreciate this feedback. Glad to see other permies with similar sentiments.

Something I should've mentioned earlier. For the past 5 months I have become the handyman for my dad's rental. Basic stuff - toilets, faucets, water heater/ furnace issues, pest control, shelving, landscaping... I find it rewarding for now. My dad bought a rental a year ago. He has no idea what he's doing. I find that I'm having to take over for a lot of things because he is not quick at resolving the issue - he never had to fix anything in his life because he makes good money in business. My sister and her two friends are renting it out from him. Any little problem she comes screaming at me to fix. So I'm starting to understand what the headache is about. But it feels good to fix things. And my dad isn't even paying me. But I'm not paying rent living with him so I can't complain.

Another idea I had that I forgot to share -

I work in a small woodworking shop building custom stairs. It's just me, my coworker, and my boss. My boss pays rent and it's expensive, so it got me thinking that maybe I should buy land and build my own shop. I would become partners in the business, or have him pay me rent at a lower rate and continue with my hourly rate... though the latter might just be a horrible idea. lol.
Thank you all for the suggestions and ideas.

I live in a very good area for starting a family and one that I think will prosper even more once/if we come out of this epidemic. Lot’s of tech jobs here, and given there will be a shift in more people working from home, this area will be even more appealing since it is in semi/rural land 40 minutes from Atlanta. Lots of amazing international restaurants that are supported by these tech jobs too. Here and the surrounding cities has one of the lowest crime rates in the US, and an excellent education. Lots of Indian immigrants working these tech jobs, would make an ideal tenant.

Everything has become crazy expensive here though. The once quiet town I grew up near only had 4 restaurants 10 years ago. Now there are easily 30, a brewery, bars, music venues, a biannual singer/songwriter music festival with 4 stages.  I would have to go at least 30 minutes further north in order to afford to buy a fixer upper in cash. But we’ll see if that changes.

I imagine a growing number of people needing a cheap place to live. An RV/camper/trailer/tiny house park seems like it will grow in popularity. Especially since the retiring baby boomer generation has a meager social security income, and not much retirement savings. Though I’ve heard government zoning laws make this type of operation prohibitive. And I imagine I would be crazy with all those dwellings.

I have read some forum posts on Permies regarding strategies for financial security during a recession and depression, and the consensus seems to be the following:

- Buy land
- Grow trees like black locust, 60ft pines suitable for electric poles, fruit/nut trees
- Buy depreciated, quality machinery
- Cultivate trades that will be needed during recessions/depressions
- Buy silver, gold, or bitcoin

Buying stocks doesn't seem to be too popular... I guess since most of the companies are unethical... and a good few here seem to think the world is coming to an end so there's no use in buying now anyways.

These strategies I understand, however what seems to be the least popular is buying a run down house, fixing it up, renting it out, and letting it appreciate over time.

I guess I understand why... because the people buying these houses are using bank credit lines indefinitely to buy more rentals, and causing the housing shortage we have, as well as driving up the cost.

Though I am finding myself in a lucky opportunity where I have no debt, am 26, live rent free with my father, and am sitting on a lot of cash during the brink of an economic collapse.

In my opinion there will be many foreclosures in the coming year or two, and it seems like the smarter thing to do is to capitalize on this misfortune, as dismal as it may sound. I apologize for coming off this way, I don't know how else to put it.

I've heard stories of airBnB "superhosts" having over 10 properties with 10 mortgages tied to them, all with vacancies. It's crazy that banks allow people to do this.

Sure I could buy land right now, but I would have to continue to work off site and take time away from my land. I would much rather put all my money in a cash flow stream now, and buy property later when have an income stream to give me more freedom to work on my land. But if I go with the latter, I would have to wait another 5 years or so to buy land.

So I guess what I'm asking is for other peoples advice on what they would do in my position. Also, if you don't support the idea of buying a rental property, why? I should add that I am experienced in several woodworking trades.
Should I just buy land and begin my dream of having a multifaceted homestead right now? Or invest my money now so I can have more freedom when I buy my land?

I don't believe much in meritocracy. I am one of the lucky ones.
Thank you Rick and Rose. Thanks for the book recommendation. I'd love to see pictures of your cabin. How old is it? One of the things that appeals to me so much about them is that they can stand the test of time and require little maintenance. Has this been the case for you?
Hello Serkan, here is my review as promised (thank you for reminding me I posted this! XD):

If you want to build your own house on your own, without hiring other people to do it, then you will want get the full package that includes the log cabin academy. Those are the videos that go step by step on how he does it. If your young, fit, have the time, I say go for it. I live at home with my parents, so I'm able to save a lot of money and afford the cost. It's a lot of money - 600 dollars if I can remember.

Each topic is covered in about an hour video:
the basics of types of logs, hiring someone with a portable bandsaw mill to cut your logs (if you have good ones on site)
footers, foundations, floor systems,
notching and setting logs
making door and window openings
ceiling joists and the second floor,
finishing it up
then some videos of some log cabin tours, and theory about aesthetics and why some houses are beautiful and why some aren't

Also, he just released a new section for the full package members, the stonemason academy. I have yet to watch it, but I'm sure it will be helpful because he doesn't really cover stonework in the previous chapters.

Keep in mind though, in the videos, he doesn't show you how to do flooring, build a staircase, build cabinets, apply cedar shingles or a copper roof. Those things you will have to research on your own time. I managed to get a great apprenticeship at a small custom wood staircase shop, and it has given me the knowledge to go about these other trades within the house. There are other things that you will likely have to hire someone to do, such as grading, cement foundation, stone chimney, and definitely electrical work... unless you have a lot of time and patience on your hands.

If you go the cheaper route and buy the The Handmade house guild/academy package, you'll get a more general knowledge for someone who would want to contract work to other people to build their house. The best part about this cheaper package is you get 3 of his classic cabin blueprints. However, without the knowledge you get from the log cabin academy videos, you won't really know how to apply them yourself, without hiring tradesmen.

I'd say the only critique I have is he is not the best with speech, and is prone to rambling.

I've never done those workshops where you go somewhere to build a timber frame/cob house etc., but from the little research I did about them, they're really expensive (like 2k for 3 weeks). It would be helpful to research some of those in person workshops around you, read reviews, and see if thats a worthwhile experience instead. I know they post some workshops on this forum.

Feel free to contact my anytime if you have more questions

Hey Judith. I just started making ladles! I work in a stairbuilding shop so I have access to any tool I want. All the wood I use is just scrap pieces, so I am pretty lucky! What I do is start with a square piece, cut out the rough shapes on the band saw, then move over to the belt sander to round things out. Then I use a drill press to make the concave part. I start with a 2 inch drill saw, then move to 1.5 inch, 1, .5, etc. Then I smooth things out with my bosses round chisel, and then finish off with a die grinder with a circular sanding attachment. It's a lot of equipment and totally unnecessary, but that's how I figured out how to do it! I'll post a picture of one later.
1 year ago
Dave, I chose the wrong field path too. Agriculture Economics. Hah. And then I discovered Joel Salatin, who led me to Wendell Berry, and then my world flipped upside down in the best way ever. I suppose my degree is helping in showing me what I'm up against
It's nice to hear you are feeling things again. I think we can all sympathize with that one. This year I've been getting better at it too. I think what really helped me was reading the book, "Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest". It's great.

Daniel, I need to get on starting winter veggies - will be my first time planting for winter. Kinda bummed I didn't get in pumpkin or butternut squash.

This past year has been my most successful year of my life, and quite a roller coaster. I moved back in with my parents and helped them move into their new house. We tilled the only place that got enough sunlight, but it was all clay and urbanite, so it didn't do much. I wanted to do raised beds, but my dad has his way, so we dug. All the rain from the road cascaded down through our little plot and flooded just about everything. Nothing really made it, except the herb garden which was raised. We scrapped the whole garden and got A LOT of free flowers from our nursery friend who ended his business, so we just ended up making our yard real pretty. I'll have to post some pictures. Its kinda funny how my dad and I do all the gardening and cooking. Next time around we are definitely doing raised beds, and I probably should look into the whole waterworks permaculture thing that everyone is talking about.

I think the best part of this year was my new job building custom staircases. The stuff I've been learning is indispensable, and I'm feeling more prepared for when I design and build my house.

Also pretty proud of my chickens. I have 5 easter chickens. The chicken coop that I built I made my own plans for, since I wanted it to be connected to the earth, for deep litter. I throw in all the sawdust that the planer produces at work and it's turned into great soil already after 3 months. Probably can fill it in there for at least a year or two before I have to clear it out. One thing I wanna do is start taking all the bad fruit and veggies from the farmers markets and giving it to my chickens.

I've also been taking all the horse manure from local horse farms and mixing with the wood shavings I get at work. Might be able to start a business out of it lol. We used to take a lot of expired food from trader joes. Most was still good to eat. Wish they still did that because I would love to start a soil building company.

Oh, I started making allergy tea - rooibus, stinging nettle, and whatever else I felt like throwing in there. It works!

I think the dumbest thing I did this year had to do with filing my taxes for the first time. I owed 415$ and when I mailed it I put cash in the envelope instead of a check. I never occurred to me that you never wanna do that. They never got the money. I can be pretty damn naive.

Anyways, I have more I want to talk about, and some questions, but I need to get some rest. I might post tomorrow if I have time.

2 years ago
Hello from Georgia.

I'm glad I found this post, thank you for starting it Daniel. I struggle with being gay, let alone finding gay men with the same interests, so its nice to see y'all here.

Anyways, I'm 24 years old, saving up money living at my dads house, and planning on buying about 10 acres in north Georgia. I built a chicken mansion last year, and my chickens should be making eggs this month. It's been a very productive year, full of many failures and lessons, but I think I'm starting to make the transition towards my homesteading aspiration.

I hope y'all find someone you can spend the rest of your life with.

2 years ago
Well, I ended up paying for the full course. When I'm done with it I will leave a review here for others to use. So far I'm four hours in and I'm happy with the progression.