Yes. I sold the farm. I keep wanting to write about that, but can’t seem to get it done properly. I sold it for a combination of reasons. The property taxes had gone through the roof. It was a money pit anyhow, and it absorbed a lot of my free time maintaining it. We had some very serious problems with trespassers, my wife’s car got shot by a careless hunter, and she was afraid to enjoy the property by herself because she never knew who se’d encounter. There were two ponds on the property, and they were like a magnet for people to trespass.
One time believe it or not, I saw all these lights down by the pond, went down in my truck and there was a band of bikers having a party!
I’d been shot at once by accident. There were problems with wild dogs, and are new neighbors were a horror, with a puppy mill right on the property line causing all kinds of problems.
What clinched it though was that my wife wanted to move. We weren’t true rednecks are Amish so she felt somewhat isolated. It was hard for her with a baby and the schools sucked.
So, I put the farm on the market for a ridiculous amount of money, and we went looking. We found something nice, five acres with a pool and outbuildings in the country but only 2 minutes from my work.
These people from Baltimore fell in love with our farm, and came very much to paying our asking price.
With that money all the hard work reconditioning the farm for the last nine years paid off. We were able to buy this new property on top of a hill, a gorgeous house, for cash. No mortgage.
I usually like to do things myself but we hired this band of crazed Mennonites with a folding moblile piledriver and they fenced in a horse fence and the pool for us in two days. It was quite incredible. They had these ten foot poles with a ten inch diameter and when showing off they could drive one five feet into the ground in a single blow! The ground would shake.
The house we bought is probably just as good an investment as the previous farm. It’s a very desirable property but the previous owners overcustomized and made some bad choices that limited its saleability. It has a bad kitchen and a bad floorplan. Little by little I’ve been doing the work to improve the place.
With the rest of the money I opened one of those 503c College plans for my daughter, and bought a killer BMW for myself, as my old car had been in bad shape since I got it and hit a deer at 60mph a month later. I was overdue, and my wife decided I deserved a present since I was giving up the farm.
We still have groundhogs here, but it’s not the problem it was on the farm. We’re not growing alfalfa.
In fact the problem on the farm was substantially ameliorated when our farmer rotated out of alfalfa. That and a determined hunting spree by myself and the farmer prior to their breeding season reduced them to an occasional nuisance rather than the ubiquitous presence.
We now literally have the greatest neighbor in the world. He’s so great it’s actually a problem, as I have a tough time living up to his standards.
We had to put our farm to dog to sleep. He didn’t make the transition well, and I’d been somewhat irresponsible in the way I dealt with this mutt that just showed up one day. He didn’t like being fenced in. Being very territorial he kept trying to kill the neighbor’s dod, and he started to get aggressive with me.
With a small kid, I couldn’t take the chance, and I put him to sleep. That was the low point of the move.
I’m very happy and have nothing to complain about although the propensity for manly adventure in my new place is much lower than out on the farm, so is the danger. I wrote about it with humor, but I’m a city boy by birth. I’m not good enough with the heavy equiptment nor gifted with abilities or knowledge to operate it safely. I hurt myself and came very close to really killing or doing myself permanent damage several times. It’s scary to think about how dangerous life is when you try to take care of things yourself.
The only other downside is that I pretty much had the farm exactly how I liked it when we moved. It will be several years before I have this place up to my standard.
I have a lot of landscaping to do, a pool relining, I need to build some decking, remodel the kitchen, add some bedrooms upstairs (the previous owners built an addittion and the entire upstairs consists of a single humongous (and I mean humongous bedroom.) You could play basketball in it. The reason we got the house so cheap was partially because of this.
Anybody that buys the place is going to do it to raise a family. They’ll want a good kitchen and more bedrooms upstairs. Once I get it right we could probably sell it for twice what I paid.
But, I hope we stay. I don’t like moving.