Friday, June 22, 2012

When Your Friends Consider Rural Seclusion


This is a Crater Lake Oregon underground home.
Stunning private Earth home on timbered acreage! 45 minutes from Medford, OR. Concrete construction built into the Earth, engineered for strength, low maintenance and energy efficiency. Beautifully updated with new appliances, floor coverings, and Jacuzzi tub with 10 jets. Large sunny garden area with plenty of covered parking and a large shop; all located on 5 timbered acres. Truly unique, perfect for green living and privacy. Asking $279,000.
For more information, contact:
Kathrine Henry
RE/MAX Ideal Brokers, Inc.

    We have lived in a secluded place now for about sixteen years. Before that,we lived in a large suburban house on about an acre, when our children were small, and when we felt we needed to be closer to hospitals and pediatricians. Our original reason for moving to an intensely rural place was to allow our children to experience many of the things we did, as children. We wanted them to be able to raise livestock, build things like tree houses, and study astronomy in a totally dark night sky except for the stars themselves.  Although we were always preparedness minded, our primary reason for ditching the suburban in favor of the rural, was family centered. We wanted them to forego being consumers, and to learn, in some respect, to be creators.   Since then, many of our friends or people with whom we either worked or with whom we attended college, have asked about moving to a rural location.  In the past year or so, many of them are actively seeking either a rural retreat, a mini-farm or an actual farm with significant acreage.
          Each of us have to consider such a move very carefully.  It can be much cheaper to live in a suburban area. Travel for groceries is easier, less time consuming and is likely to be cheaper. Travelling to work may be cheaper than living farther out. Sometimes, suburban areas may actually have some form of public transportation.  Suburbanites adapt quickly to coffee shops, electronics stores, and we become accustomed quickly to a life in which most of our needs are met within a five mile radius of where we reside.  Urban dwellers not only enjoy rapid access to often, world class hospitals, but have a lot of advantages.  My father lived in an urban area, and sold his car. He walked everywhere. He took trains to relatively local destinations, and took a taxi to a port for a cruise when needed, and he lived in a lovely area.   One needs to do a good deal of soul searching before decided on heading for the hills, because a rural location is not for everyone.  If you can get past longer commutes for work, longer distances to obtain medical care or pharmacy supplies, or to school, then you may grapple with another issue. Will there be people where I am going who can help me drill wells, build my home, or provide other services should we ever need them ?
          We chose to build our own farm, and we actually did so twice at two different locations.  However, especially now, there are many fine rural homes, farms, retreats, ranches, etc. which are for sale for reasonable prices.

           There are many realtors who actually specialize in survival or preparedness retreats, farms, or other large rural properties.  Interestingly, depending upon where you wish to reside, there really are properties in all price ranges.  Although I don't know these realtors personally, and you should always do your own background work and due diligence, this is a starting point:

In Colorado, for example:
Contact:  Jim Jacobs    719-648-2315    719-689-3139
This is just one of his listings:

      This Colorado home sits on 35 acres.  It has 2156 square feet.  This log built home has five bedrooms and four baths, and is in a private community. It has separate pastures and a barn.  There is also a guest cabin with its very own kitchen and bath.  This particular rural home with acreage, is only $199,000 US


      In rural Florida and in Tennessee, there is Freedom Realty.
      The agent is Kimberly Rocha at (931) 445-2377

       This home is on Big Piney Loop, Lot 147, in Wilder, Tennessee.   The home needs finishing, and rests on 6.96 acres for $139,900. US    It is a level lot with mountain views.  The home is concrete construction and features such as a covered deck and patio, and walk-in closets.  It has three bedrooms and a total of 1800 square feet.   It is in the Knoxville area.  Kimberly and Christopher Rocha have many other listings.



     This Yazoo, Mississippi retreat offers a great deal.

The below is the exact verbage from the broker below:
This topographically diverse 209 acres has two houses, a spring fed pond, fertile meadows (currently deer food plots), and completely wooded hills.The subject is approximately 40 miles west of the Nissan plant and less than two hours' drive to Jackson, Vicksburg and several cities in Louisiana.
There are no mortgages on the property. At the purchase price of $669,500, the owner will finance the balance after $100,000 down payment.

Served by an all weather road, behind a heavy wrought iron gate, with no structures visible, this parcel functions very well as a retreat or a primary residence. The overseer's cabin is immediately habitable. The five thousand square foot earth covered home has not been occupied in over eight years. The three car garage is still in use for storage, but due to root growth through the waterproofing, resealing and mold removal would be necessary for safe and comfortable occupancy.

E. David Cox, Broker


            Of course, I could go on.   In almost every area, there are excellent buys on rural retreats and on acreage tracts, and if this is a time in which you can consider buying in the US, you probably should explore this as a possibility. Of course, you can choose to enlist the help of a realtor who specializes in survival camps, as these advertise they do, but we always used simply a rural realtor.    Consider your area carefully and visit. You need to assess everything from jobs, business climate, to healthcare, educational opportunities, and even whether you have immediate allergies in terms of arriving in a new place.  There IS financing available in the US, although getting it can be nerve-wracking and time consuming.  There is also owner financing on occasion, as there is in the large acreage tract above.

           I bought my very first house in my twenties. It was a very small summer house which "hid" on the side of a mountain near a lake, and deserved, loving renovation. Since then, we sold and moved up every four years or so, and this provided a lot of learning about homes, our preferences, and real estate in general.  It is much less likely now, that today's new homeowners will trade up as often. It is therefore doubly important that you carefully assess your needs and pick well.  There are, however, far more opportunities and choices available than I had as a young person.

            If you haven't found your heart's desire yet, it IS out there.


kymber said...

Jane - couldn't agree with your last sentence MORE if i wanted to! yes, if you know exactly what you want (and learning that takes some time) - then your dream property will find you!

i spent years on my own searching, and then jambaloney joined in the search and we spent a few years refining what we wanted. we wanted 6+acres and got almost 10. we wanted a half-decent house and got a crap-ass cottage. we wanted phone, electricity, a well, septic already installed and the ability to grow our own food. i cried over many places that i thought was perfect but was waaaay above what we could afford. and then we found the Manor. and dreams and dreams and more dreams are waiting to be fulfilled. i loved this post!

your friend,

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks Kymber, I LOVE the manor, and I think it is a charming cottage at an exceptional location. Your journey to find it served you well. As you know, finding perfection in life, is less about finding housing perfection, and is more about balancing all in your life that is good and is satisfying. Those who overbuy become slaves to their property, and can't hope to become centered and balanced by the calm which comes only from having the time to spend with nature, and alone reading or doing what fulfills you. I have watched Stephanie struggle trying to get her new house, and with the financing issues of this time in history, but in some ways, she is incredibly lucky. She enters the home market on a decidedly higher rung than I did.