It is with a heavy heart that I write this. As many of you know, I have been absent from my regular posts for the last few weeks. I have been taking that time to mourn and process the loss of what I had hoped would be our forever farm.
If you hadn’t seen it yet, we put in an offer on a beautiful fixer upper with 63 acres. We got approved by the bank, put in the offer, got a quote from a contractor for the renovations, and met with a structural engineer to verify the house really was in as good a shape as it looked. In fact, it was better.
Then we backed out of offer. Why? There were a number of reasons, but they all boiled down to this: the list of reasons not to buy outgrew the list of reasons to buy.
The lists of reasons not to buy
- the house was very close to a main road, and I was worried about always keeping an eye on the little one (and dogs and chickens, etc) to make sure he wasn’t hit by a car
- we would have emptied almost our entire savings to purchase it, leaving no room for emergencies
- job insecurity. My husband could be forced to move next year, three years from now, or not at all
- there was a portion of land that was protected wetland. We didn’t find this out until hiking back in the property we found a faded flag hanging from a tree. We’d probably seen that flag a dozen times, but never thought anything of it, until we saw “wetlands delineation”
- the schools were not great
Reasons To Buy
- it would have allowed us the lifestyle we want. Currently we live in 1/3 acre in suburbia. We want land and livestock and the ability to be self sufficient
- it would have been a good investment. The area that it is in is poised for growth in the next 10-15 years.
- the location was perfect. It was within commuting distance of our current jobs, close enough to grocery and friends, but rural enough to give us a small-town feel; something that is very important to us
- it was a steal! The purchase of the land and the cost of renovation was still well below what we could have asked for it. We could have turned around and sold it again for quite a bit of profit.
So after a lot of back-and-forth and self-negotiation and deliberation we decided against it. It may or may not make sense to anyone else, but it was the right decision for us and our family. We’ll stay where we are, save up more, and start looking again once we know where hubby’s job will send us.
The funny part of the story is that after a few days I noticed the property had been taken off of the market. When I called the engineer to pay him, he confessed that he had put an offer in on it! When he met me out there to go over the house, I showed him all of the information on the property, the plat, everything I had and he was really interested in developing it with me. Now he can develop it himself and get all of the profit. So it all worked out in the end!