Rebecca Blake

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since Sep 14, 2020
Rebecca likes ...
kids forest garden urban books medical herbs homestead
Young millennial, proud Texan
Central TX, Zone 8b, multi-generational suburban homestead
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Recent posts by Rebecca Blake

I believe we’re .4 acre short from being able to build two separate septics.. :(

Need 5 acres for it and we have 4.6.

Although the document is not clear so I need to call for some clarification. Wasn’t sure if it meant we cannot have more than 2 well/septics in combination or not 2 wells and not 2 septics.

If it’s the in combination thing, in theory, we could do two septics and no well. Which seems risky but the well water there sucks anyway.
1 month ago

John C Daley wrote:Rebecca, please dont freeze your brain over building with a permit. They have a place in society, but your plans need to be detailed and not changed.

I'm not freezing my brain with that... we're not even getting a permit because it's not required here- why would we?

I just wanted some more official document to take to the bank so our rainwater system and owner-builder aspect of it is less scary to them. My husband also wanted it for his own commercial construction minded brain- he likes plans. We're only being charged like $1,200 for the whole thing and we already drew up all the changes and whatever we wanted before we sent it over so... we're doing it the smart way.

Just need a permit for septic.

In terms of the mortgage issues, we've heard people having difficulties getting funding because of their rainwater system. This is because the banks are idiots and can't figure out the value of a house with a rainwater system due to there not being many on the market. It really is silly but that's how the world runs.

I'm not sure it will actually be an issue, but we haven't spoken extensively with any banks yet
1 month ago

S Bengi wrote:Mortgage holders (Banks) and county gov are a business and they have to think about the cash flow of the house after the initial owner is replaced. So that is why they have these standardized bare minimum setups, that makes the house easy to resell. Now once it is approved. For the most part they don't care what you do unless someone complains.

I know that the $3,000 for a septic system is a lot but at the same time it isn't just think of it as a tax/permit fee, so that the gov/bank can quickly make a money after you leave it. Afterwards we are free to make our own environmentally friendly alterations afterwards.

Which is exactly why we were talking about cash flowing the project so we don't have to answer to a bank...

But since it seems we HAVE to have a septic in the state of Texas, regardless, maybe we'll do a mortgage (if we can) to save ourselves some stress.

Unfortunately for us, since we're looking to share the property with my parents it's NOT a simple $3,000 septic system... we got a quote for $20,000 (installed) for a system large enough to handle both homes. Of course this means my parents will have their 'shit go down hill' to the septic system near our house.. which sounds.. yuck, but I guess that's how city systems work.
Your pricing for $3000 makes me wonder if that $20,000 system was way over priced though... suppose it's because my parents want to build a large house but since we're building first we're bearing the weight of getting a huge septic in when we just need a small one... *rolls eyes*

I suppose if this doesn't work in the end we may just have to build a multi-generational home to share or wait until after they build so we can have our 50% 'accessory dwelling' unit.

Of course we're the ones ready to build right now, not them.. so that's another matter.

Sounds like I need some more estimates for sure :)
Our situation is so odd and unique- another reason we wanted to avoid the bank lol
1 month ago
Thank you to those of you who revived this old thread. I was just contemplating doing greywater and alternative toilet (my husband wanted to try this incinerator type...) in lieu of septic... but alas, being in Texas looks like we have to get a septic regardless.

Which sucks... was really looking forward to cutting some cost on our build since we wanted to do greywater anyway.
1 month ago
So happy for your successes! Even with the bad events it sounds like a very lovely summer :)

And congratulations on your marriage! How exciting!

For me this summer was a very good one for gardening as we had a very unusual rainy June and part of July for my area of Texas but my garden in all of its abundance was left unharvested because I fell really ill :(

Such a pity, I wanted to try canning tomatoes for the first time this year... instead they all rotted on the vine. Perhaps I should just try out canning on store bought produce first before growing it myself.

Thank goodness moving forward you’ll have a sister who knows how to put chickens up at night :)
1 month ago
You guys sure are a wealth of knowledge... and you made me realize I need to get serious in designing our rainwater system now that we gave our floor plan over to an architect to draw up!

One thing that you seem to be bending over backwards for is having 4 people under just a 2000 sqft roof. We’re building two homes and my parent’s home I believe will be much larger than our own. We have discussed attaching their system to ours since their 2 person home won’t need as much as our 3+ person home... and they’ll have more roof- say 3,000 sqft.

Of course it is impractical to have our home with less roof space since we’ll be the ones with more people but we’re the ones who are young and poor...

I think the reality is that we’ll be starting with 1600 sqft of roof and maybe only 10,000 gallons in tank (two 5,000 gallon tanks). At first it will just be us young and poor ones (2 adults, 1 toddler) so no second house to steal rainwater from and no funds for random roofs lying around. We’re planning on trucking in water when needed at first... we do plan on expanding our home so that will add more roof... and if we need the roof for more water sooner we’ll put preference for a carport over the second building.

Biggest hurdle is the bank... if we can get a mortgage there’s no problem. But we’re not sure we can get a mortgage due to the rainwater system and wanting to be owner builders.

Also most recently we were discussing forgoing the septic tank and just do greywater filtration and an incinerator toilet (hubs was not open to compost toilet but he loves this fancy incinerator a friend told us about lol). Guess I need to check with the county on that first, though...

In a perfect world we’d build without a mortgage so we can do whatever the hell we want and however slow we want without someone staring down our back but a tiny home wasn’t in the books for my husband so... we’ll see what happens!
1 month ago

Arthur Angaran wrote:What if a permie community had a single place to have their own market, on a road that gets a lot of traffic? Kind of like a full time farmers market.

We have something of the sort near where I live. The market will make jellies and pickles out of the produce they’re selling as well to bring variety to the market.

It’s a permanent stand that used to be open daily before covid, now their hours are less but still open frequently :)

They also have a tamale and bread production going on as well! It’s been such a big success the owner is expanding to get a full kitchen put in.

It’s not only off a high traffic road but also is in a tourist area too.

1 month ago
Wow! Love your stuff. It's definitely giving me inspiration for my place :)

Haven't done much since we don't live there yet, but perhaps once my health is back I can get out there and put up some brush dams like I have been intending to do to help our ravines! They're much more washed out than yours as our land is literally near the top of a hill. Harnessing all that water before it becomes an erosive deluge is a bit of an overwhelming project for me being new to this land owner-ship and permie thing.

But what a fun adventure it will be!
1 month ago
Thank you both!

Unfortunately it’s raining like crazy today, but I did go put DE down while it’s not raining right now. I’m sure it will get washed out later today but hopefully that will discourage them.

Vinegar also has been sprayed, my bathtub looks so bad today... I think they were running away from the deluge into the house :(

At least they get trapped in the tub and end up dying because they can’t escape.
1 month ago
I apparently made a big boo boo and put in a new mulch bed along the foundation of the house. The back side of the house has about 2-3 feet of foundation from the ground to structure, regardless I see ants crawling up and into the brick... oops.

And those ants are appearing in my bathtub, double oops.

What do you say about planting along the home?

Should I remove the mulch? Place bricks between the bed and home? Just try killing the ants?

I’m wondering if the bed would become inhospitable to ants once plants get established there but for now all I have is a coneflower, sorrel, and comfrey that was just recently transplanted.
I debated just moving the plants and destroying the bed but the comfrey in particular looks way too sickly to move so soon.
1 month ago