As I'm writing this in Leoma, here we are at another property, which, as pretty as it is, also fails in many ways.
The charming chirping of a million crickets doesn't quite block out the low roar of freeway traffic. The gorgeous line of trees along the road, turned magenta and gold by the chill of autumn, aren't on the plot that we're looking at. Finally, the landscape slopes down to a creek and then goes straight up, with a hill covered with dense trees.
And so it goes. We've been looking seriously for only a month, and it's been a good learning experience so far, but Kelly and I are getting impatient. We REALLY want to get started.
Another thing that's kind of 'eating' at me is trying to save money. We've put away as much as we could for as long as we could. We don't live extravagantly by any means... in fact, some people might consider us downright cheap. We don't spend money the way i think most people do. I'm content wearing old clothes and sensible shoes and eating beans (as long as there's a little bacon in there!) and Kelly's the same way. He's been driving the same car for 7 years, which has been paid off for quite some time, and I'm driving the same honda element I bought for work, to replace my adorable mazda miata which was fun, cute, zippy...and useless for catering. It's nearly paid off, too. All that's left is my college loans from culinary school.
Luckily we agree on being frugal. Kelly thinks it's because we both grew up in families where there were a few kids (5 in my case, 3 in his) and we both had dads with blue-collar jobs. We didn't get what we wanted just because we asked for it, but we always had what we needed. We both earned the money we needed to buy what we wanted, and appreciated those things we bought that much more.
So now, as we keep looking for land, we are still of the same frame of mind as when we were growing up. Have the money first, THEN spend it. We can either go into debt to buy the land of our dreams, or change the dreams a little so that we don't have to worry about coming up with a huge sum of money every month. Our credit score is great, and we could probably get a decent loan (except for that I'm self-employed and Kelly's UN-employed) but we don't want that obligation.
If the land is fully paid for, free and clear, then we can be pretty independent. Of course, we'll need money to buy gasoline, propane, electricity, Internet, cellular service and (sadly) pay taxes. Seeds, baby chicks & goats, and stuff we can't grow will require money to be bought, too. I'm probably not going to be sewing up the tanned skins of deer that Kelly shot for our shoes (probably!) but they biggest chunk of money that most people spend - the mortgage or rent - won't be an issue if we stick to our plan.
Today I learned: a lot covered with amazing quartz geodes is PROBABLY not going to be good for farming.