Stella!

We returned to a property in Prospect, TN today for a second look. I was there on Monday and thought it was good enough to show JoAnna.

First, though, was breakfast at the Bluebird Cafe in Pulaski, TN. We have been there twice before for dinner, each time a pleasant experience and good food. Friday nights they have fried catfish with white beans, hush puppies, cole slaw and fries. $7.49
We both ordered cheeseburgers the other time and they were excellent. Today was breakfast; eggs, bacon, home fries and biscuits. Great for $4.

We met with the listing agent, N@th@n Lee, and then drove to the location in separate cars. We walked the property and talked with N@th@an for a long time. He has lived in the area for a long time, so he had a lot of suggestions and recommendations for the work we would need done to set it up for building a house. JoAnna and I both agree that the property can work for our plans, and unless one of us does a 180 in the next couple days, I believe we will be making an offer.

Here are the details for the property:
MLS #995634, STELLA RD, Prospect, TN
Giles County
9 acres of Rolling Land. Fenced with pond and 2 small barns.
List price: $32,000
MAP
Here's an image, for historical purposes:


There will be a TON of work to do to make the place work, but that's expected. We want to make our life, not buy it.

Some items we will need to consider for this property:

City water is approximately 500' away, so we would have to pay about $1000 to have the line extended to our property, then pay $1050 for the water tap, then run the water line across the property at our expense.

A well could be dug which would probably run $2500, but we would never have a water bill. If the water is pure, we would just need a pump and the usual set up. If the water is yuck, we add filtering to the system. Unknown cost at this time. Also, there is no guarantee the well will reach water. My kind of gambling! If a well failed, we would bite the bullet and pay for the city water option. :(

Septic system: If we make an offer to buy, it will be contingent on approval by a soil scientist. The soil scientist digs into the dirt in an area close to the proposed home site and determines if the soil will percolate liquid enough for the proposed home size. The more bedrooms you have, the more liquid is expected to be running out of your house. We plan to route all gray-water to a separate drain path where it can be used to water plants or flush toilets. It's not the standard "easy" way to do it, but it seems logical. If we build cottages on the property, they, too, will require some sort of septic system. We might end up going with the INCINOLET for the cottages, and maybe even the house. "But what if the power goes out?", you ask. Well, if the power goes out, so do you. Go out. Outside. In the woods. Like a bear.

We would have to carve a more level drive along the length of the front part in order to reach the upper deck. There currently exists a general path that has been used in the past, but it would not be safe to traverse in a standard car. It's probably at most a 15 degree side-pitch (not steepness) which would make most drivers uneasy, though I don't think a sober driver would have any trouble. One bulldozer - four hours, tops. I'll have to find a place where I can rent a bulldozer.

There is a small pond on the property that looks like it just catches rain runoff, but we want to have the water tested to make sure it is safe for animals to drink. Though it might be cool to have some 6-legged goats at some point in time, it's probably better to have normal, healthy ones for now.

The property to the east is 6 acres, currently an open field used for goat pasture.

The property to the west is 35 acres and has a nice-looking hunting cabin that is viewable from parts of "our" property. If we buy this land, I'm planning to contact the owner to see if he'll consider renting the cabin to us while we build our house. It would be a win-win, I think.

The property to the south is part of a really big tract, and drops off steeply. The steepness is good for us because it is not likely that anyone will build back there.

There are mostly pine trees up on the upper deck, with some hardwoods and lots of scrubby trees. The pines and hardwoods are 30 - 40 feet tall.

*BONUS* - There are two outbuildings on the property, each containing a pile of usable lumber. I don't know how usable it really is, but it would definitely work for new sheds or chicken coops, maybe more. I can tell that someone has been helping himself to some of the 2x4s by the lack of dust on the 2x4 pile. The other piles are coated in many years of gray dirt. I plan to post a sign there that says "You are being watched" next time we go there.

We dug a few shallow holes around the property to see what the earth is like, and it is mostly clay, with random small rocks. We'll probably need to add topsoil if we want a garden to be bountiful right away, but we can experiment with the dirt as-is at the same time. There's probably 40 years of decayed leaf matter and pine needles all over the upper 7 acres, so we'll have to collect what we can for organic garden matter - if we buy the place, of course.

We visited Heritage House in Pulaski, TN for a late lunch, and it was good. I had the Special Sandwich (named The Rose or something) and JoAnna had a Reuben. Yum. Hazelnut coffee for both which was quite good for 3:30pm.

Today I yearned: to buy some land.

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