The Search for Farm Land Continues
[*UPDATE: We found a farm! But this is still good reading for anyone who is still searching for their piece of homesteading heaven!]
Our search for farm land centers around this quote: “The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.” These fine words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln – but they are proving to be quite difficult to achieve so far in our adventure. The cost of land seems always to be on the rise and homes with farm land that are for sale are priced way over our budget. I have clear goals when it comes to our future budget and maintaining a low to zero debt load is high on the list. Why? Low overhead is a beautiful thing for any business. Plus I don’t know about you, but the thought of too much debt really stresses me out. The main reason for us getting into farming in the first place is quality of life and I foresee that end is justified by living within our means.
Search for Farm Land – False Advertising?
Since starting this adventure two major farm land prospects have come and passed with all too familiar consequences. The first was one listing of three separate parcels being sold individually as they were advertised at a for sale for by owner website. One of the lots was perfect for us and the price was spot on for what we were ready to pay. Strangely though, when visiting with the broker, he said that he would only sell the three parcels as one. This was great for him and I wish him good luck but at the end of the day it’s false advertising. He has since updated his ad. But still, for the price he now wants – it does not fit our future budget.
Search for Farm Land – A Heart Breaker
The second and most recent one was definitely a heart breaker. This piece of land has been for sale for over a year. It is one of two parcels with the same owner listed individually for sale. One of the properties we drove by and viewed several times. We could actually start to sense that “Wow this might be OUR FARM!” The location was great and the price was good for our budget. We would consider buying the land with 35% down and secure it with a land loan. This would allow us to use the cash we have saved to build our little eco farmstead. Our payment would be around what most pay to rent a 1 bedroom apartment per month in town. So yeah, the numbers worked, at least on paper.
Wow, this might be OUR FARM!
Now for the sad part. We were ready to make an offer after visiting our bank for the pre-qualification letter. The real estate agent calls up in a somewhat excited voice that she told the seller about us and my blog and that he really liked the whole idea. “Yeah man! How cool,” we thought. But then our jaw dropped. She said the seller has decided to NOT sell the parcels individually and wants to now sell the two parcels together as one. I could see the tears in my wife’s eyes. Why, we asked? Well he just wants to be done with it all and unload it. Unfortunately his “unload the land” price was way over our budget. We were frustrated but told the agent if the seller changes his mind and wants to help out two willing and able farmers on the one parcel – to please keep us in mind. Again I wished them the best of luck not wanting to burn any bridges, but I can’t help but feel like there is a weird pattern here.
Things Take Time – “Ting Tar Tid”
It’s easy to become jaded by these two eerily similar coincidences but we try our best to remain positive. Our farm and future is out there somewhere waiting for us. My good friend in Norway, Jochai, has reminded me of something intrinsic to the Norwegian culture. “Ting tar tid,” which means “things take time,” sometimes written out TTT. And we need to keep reminding ourselves of this.
It’s not always going to be bread and ales in the journey.