Yesterday, I called a soil scientist to arrange for a meeting on the property site. I was glad when she said she could meet us there today at 10am - such short notice! JoAnna and I got up early (for us) and headed out to Prospect. We were about 45 minutes into the 90-minute drive when she called and reported that she was having car trouble and would have to postpone until Thursday. She also said she was sick with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and was planning to go to the doctor tomorrow. We did not want to wait, so we immediately called a different soil scientist based out of Columbia, TN. Luckily, he was able to rearrange his schedule to meet with us, setting us back only 1 hour from our schedule.
The delay allowed us to enjoy breakfast at Johnson's Bluebird Cafe.
Norman was great. He listened to our ideas and offered his advice. Using a manual auger tool that digs a hole and then holds the dirt in it for examination upon extraction, he dug 6 or 7 holes around our proposed home site. He told us that our soil was very good for water percolation, and there is plenty of area with that type of soil. So, I guess we can expect his report to the county authorities will be accepted. Hurray! Norman was kind enough to give me 6 marking flags that we used to mark the corners of our imaginary house. We planted the flags on the corners of our 1200 sq. ft. house, 40' x 30'.
Stepping back in time a bit...
When we first arrived at the property today, the herd of 30 or so goats and sheep from the pasture next to our land were seen evacuating from our property back to their own. The fence between the 2 properties has not been maintained much, so the goats and their canine protectors have been visiting our land as they pleased. That's OK with me, as long as they are fertilizing as they browse. I did not see any damage to trees which goats often resort to for food, so that's a good thing. Another benefit is that they appear to have been drinking the water from our little pond, so we have decided to skip the testing of that water. "If it's good enough for a goat..." - you know the rest.
We met the owner of the goats today. His name is Bobby, and he is looking forward to a restaurant in the area. He was a talkative man, probably 60 years old, and very friendly - just like practically everyone we have met in the area. It looked like he made a fix to the hole in the fence today where the herd had been getting through, so he's responsible, too. A real nice man. He told us that he had heard that quite a few dogs in the area have died from rattlesnake bites over the years, but he had never seen a one. I'm hoping I never see one on our property, either.
Next, we drove over to the Minor Hill Water Utility office. Our intention was to obtain a written guarantee that the water line that does not quite reach our property can be extended (at our cost). Well, it turns out that the Utility will not run the extension at all. We will have to hire a private contractor to provide the water line from the current end-of-the-line. I'm not sure if the contractor will be the one to get permission from the county to dig and run the line, or if that will be up to us. Either way, it needs to be sorted out before we can close the deal. I have no doubt that it will work out.
We sent a fax to our California bank yesterday, requesting that they close our accounts and send a check to us for the balance. We will be using that money to pay for this property. Once we close the deal, we will be cashing in our IRA accounts to use that money to build the house. This can be done without penalty for first-time home buyers, up to $10,000. There is also a government incentive that has been called a tax credit, but it is actually more like a $7500 interest-free loan that one pays down through taxes over the next 15 years, $500 each year. Seems like a no-brainer.