ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
henrik
Posts: 777
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: EE

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by henrik »

An ffj house-build-from-scratch journal? Yay, go for it!

ffj
Posts: 2188
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@henrik

It would be a couple of years in the making for sure, unless I just contracted everything out. The good news is that my house is paid for, so I wouldn't have to juggle two mortgages, thus eliminating any time constraint.

Currently I am estimating the true cost of buying this land, with the largest unknown the cost of running utilities (the deed stipulates underground utilities only). Thus no overhead wires allowed. My realtor is finding the answers to my questions and if I like what I hear, then an offer will be made.

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

After A LOT of research and negotiating, I have bought some land on which to build a future house.

I am very excited, and if I play my hand correctly, we should not have to carry a loan for long. My current house is paid in full and we will be paying for the land in cash, so I have many advantages going into this endeavor. My goal is to secure a construction loan, build the house, and then pay the loan off with the proceeds of the sale of my current home. I plan on doing much of the work myself, at a pace that isn't going to kill me, to save as much money as I can in building. I won't be starting the house until 2020, but there are a bunch of things that need to be done beforehand so once we close here soon, it's time to go to work. At my pace. ;)

The land is 8 acres, with six of it cleared and two in woods. The previous owner had done some work, namely building a fence, building a barn, and had begun installing a septic system, which consisted of hauling in tons of dirt that would percolate. Around here we have heavy clay soils that has to be removed and good dirt put in its place so that the septic leach lines will work properly. She hauled in 26 dump truck loads of dirt and leveled a spot for the system. That was a selling point.

As you know, I have a neighbor that has forced my hand. I could write a book about how horrible him and his dumbass family are or link everyone to their arrest records, but I am choosing to look at this in a positive light. One of the things I miss most about my current life is privacy. I live next to the road, have neighbors on each side of me with multiple people living on each side, and not a whole lot of isolation unless I stay inside, which is not my preferred way to be. This land and opportunity gives me the privacy I have missed for so long.

I have a long driveway, 500 feet and no neighbors. You can see the barn in the foreground.

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Speaking of the barn, I'm disappointed on how it was built, which was about 10 years ago. I'm definitely going to have to do some work to it to prevent future problems and make it more usable. I don't know who built it but they just threw it together. It's picturesque though.

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I also have woods, which is a major selling point of this property. I grew up running around in the woods and I absolutely love the solitude there. When I first ventured into these woods I was amazed that there were mature trees with a proper understory. People around here typically cut down any marketable timber as soon as they think they can make some money. It's sad really. So when I saw mature oaks and hickory and maple and others I instantly fell in love with it. So far I have identified 14 different tree species and there is more. Now these woods still need some work to cut out the invasive stuff and clean it up, but man I love doing that kind of work.

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This is a massive black oak whose trunk I measured in circumference to almost 15 feet. It's about 110 feet tall by my guess. I compared it to the state record and it is 4 and a half feet shy in circumference to that tree. It's huge but the pictures don't do it justice.

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There is also water on the property. We have been in a drought for the last two months and still I have a seep that continues to flow. Thats a win.

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Maybe because of the water, I also have dozens of monarch butterflies flying around. I have never been able to be around so many at one time before. This little guy actually let me take his picture and at first I thought they were viceroys, but nope, monarchs.

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Smashter
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Smashter »

That looks idyllic. Congrats! Can't wait to follow your progress. We haven't had "day in the life of an ERE construction badass" updates since CMonkey's journal a few years back.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Wow, the place looks great! Good for you!

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Nice. I feel you about needing the solitude. I’m hoping to buy some acreage in the future. Looking forward to all the updates and taking notes.

Nuuka
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:22 pm
Location: Europe

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Nuuka »

I will act here as devils advocate: Are you sure this is right action to take? Building a new house seems like you get yourself new full time job for a long time. You will drain your money low so you have little buffer for unseen cost overruns. If you are not able to sell your old place you can run into two house trap. Whatabout if there are some other drawbacks with your new place that you are not aware of?

Have you considered approach that you keep and live in your old place and instead buy some smaller piece of land with forest and some run out cottage and fix that for your use when you need to vent out your pressure in solitude. You don’t need running water, sewers, electricity if you keep you old place. For your old place you can just install trees to have coverage of your neighbours.

ffj
Posts: 2188
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@Smashter, Gilberto, MI

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm excited about the whole prospect.

@Nuuka

This decision has been a month in the making for this particular property. I chuckled at all of your questions because I have thought of each and every one of them more than you will ever know as I am a very calculated person when it comes to finances. Nobody is going to take my freedom away from me.

I'll address the concerns however because they have merit.

First of all, there is no time constraint here for the most part. I don't have to rush and get a house built. And I plan to pay out of pocket for everything that I can up until the foundation is ready to be built. That means all of the utilities will be installed by me or friends, including electrical, water, and finishing the septic. I met with a good friend of mine yesterday who is a heavy equipment operator who is going to help me out, either by performing the work or showing me how to operate the machinery. There are so many workarounds to just writing a check to a contractor, and hopefully I can highlight some of the ways I'll be saving money. All of my friends are blue-collar and work with their hands so I have lots of resources available to me. However, once I secure a construction loan, then a time constraint will be placed upon me as the terms stipulate I must finish the house within a certain time frame. But once the foundation is in, I am fully confident I can meet those demands as I am a carpenter and builder.

The work doesn't bother me as I really enjoy working on things I like doing, and I like making my life better. Also, I am retired performing the odd job here and there so I am free to work. My money will not be drained, as our current house is fully paid for and we are using cash to buy the property. Cash that has accumulated in addition to our aggressive saving goals. I will not be floating two mortgages, and worse case scenario is that I have a construction loan for a couple of years that will be paid in full once the old house is sold. And that's the kicker. I am assuming we can sell our old house, which I think is a reasonable assumption even with our shitty neighbors. However, I still have the means to sit on two homes for years because worse case scenario is that I will have one mortgage (construction loan) and two properties to upkeep and pay taxes on. Not ideal, but I really don't think that will be the case as we have a nice home that I am confident will sell. I am taking a risk here though.

Your last point is something that I have implemented for many years now. Instead of buying a new place it is much cheaper to fix up your existing house to a higher standard. If you have followed my journal at all you will see many examples of this highlighted. I wholeheartedly agree with you here. However, the neighbors have upped their game to an intolerable level. I have lost most of my privacy unless I want to stay holed-up inside my house, and the noise pollution has increased dramatically, to which I am very sensitive. I am actively trying to fix this, but I have an uphill battle. If the conditions were to change, then yeah, I could stay here and create a nature preserve on the other property. But that is doubtful at this point. Don't forget that I have another neighbor too, and currently that household is great, but they will be moving within the next 2-3 years, and who knows who will move in? I have lived here over twenty years and have seen every house around me change hands, some multiple times. You can only play that game so many times before you get burned with bad neighbors.

7Wannabe5
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Location: Clinton River Watershed

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

This is an interesting problem at systems level. Also relates to why people prefer tiny house to similarly scaled apartment. Maybe the ratio of the buffer space is most important? Things to be buffered might be noise, smells, crime, ugly sights, etc. and some of these might be pretty universal while others would be more "eye of the beholder." For instance, it drives my BF insane when our neighbor plays loud bass, but I literally do not hear it when I am hyper-focused on reading a book, whereas I do hear it when my BF cranks up his own bass in retaliation :lol: , which is why I just broke down and bought a tiny car in order to get some buffer space away from him :roll:

On the other side of this spectrum is a note I remember from "The Bark Covered House", a memoir of pioneer living, expressing relief when the family could finally see the distant lights of the home of another family. Which is also why I might drive my tiny car back through the buffer zone in the evening to crawl into bed to cuddle with BF once he has tucked himself in and quieted himself down.

Anyways, I think everyone* should own 2 acres of woods.

*impossible at current population levels, but one can dream.

ffj
Posts: 2188
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@7

You ever see those sound deprivation chambers? Where people go nuts after 30 minutes? I don't think I would. I would welcome the silence.

I can't shut my brain off and not hear noxious noise. If a toddler is screaming in a store, I hear it. I hear all of the conversations around me in a restaurant. If someone is talking on a phone where they shouldn't be, it drives me insane. A busload of kids all around me? You could almost drill a hole in my head and it would be less painful. Hearing the thump, thump, thump of someones shitty music like your boyfriend deals with makes me want to commit homicide. People having loud conversations in a car while I am driving gives me a splitting headache.

I am so looking forward to building a treehouse in the woods. :)

7Wannabe5
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I comprehend yet do not grok. I am off the charts N vs. S. However, I almost always find myself in relationship with men who are much more in possession of Se (high alert to actual surroundings) trait than me, which inevitably leads to "opposites attract but then attack" dilemma. Since it is usually the case that they actively choose to date me rather than vice-versa, I am wondering if you have found that you have some sort of inexplicable attraction to females whom you might describe as "sweet but dopey" and/or "messy little street urchin."

Anyways, that's why I encouraged my BF to buy his 12.5 wooded acres.

Nuuka
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Nuuka »

Continuing in the role as Devils advocate:

Let’s assume you proceed your plan to build with own your labour and with your pals effort the new house within a time window dependent on your construction loan.

There are two major problems:
(1) You have some health problem or accident preventing or slowing down the construction work. This would leave you to the same situation as the previous owner, i.e. two house trap.
(2) Even if (1) didn’t happen, you would no more be financially independent, because you are now dependent on your pals, whom you are counting on in your plan. Did you ask them beforehand if they are ready to help you build the house? Can you count of them being available all the way through? Is it even possible that you start to lose your pals once they realise that your plan is to build a house in partly with their free work.

In the worst case you end up sick in two house trap without friends and lost your financial independence, and you still have your neighbours problem.
———-

In the previous message the alternative plan was:

(A) Build a fence of trees around your current piece of land where your house is
(B) Abandon plan for buying the new piece of land that you are negotiating
(C) Go search new outback piece of land with forest and with just some run-down cottage without running water, sewer and electricity. Fix this slowly on your own. Enjoy solidity

daylen
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by daylen »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:50 pm
I comprehend yet do not grok. I am off the charts N vs. S. However, I almost always find myself in relationship with men who are much more in possession of Se (high alert to actual surroundings) trait than me, which inevitably leads to "opposites attract but then attack" dilemma.
I think this can be even more polarizing with Te. High Te cannot help but notice how others are failing to achieve their objectives efficiently, whereas Ti focuses on how objectives can be formalized across time. So, Te users would be prone to seeing how A leads to D, but Ti would get caught up in constructing a template for A-Z that does not depend on the operational details.

Ti domination and Se PoLR is a bit like a superpower. I can tune out just about anything indefinitely. The downside is that I will probably get hit by a metaphorical train someday while contemplating how it can be represented from the perspective of the metaphorical tracks.

7Wannabe5
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@daylen:

I am sure you are correct. I am never quite sure what mode flip is causing which behavior set. All I know is that it never in the history of my lifetime happens that I am pressing on the horn and screaming out the window because the 5th car ahead of me is not turning fast enough, but I too frequently find myself riding shotgun with an individual who feels frequently compelled to engage in such behavior.

OTOH, it very well may be wrong-minded to assign this to some sort of dysfunctional, Freudian semi-conscious trap or tendency, when it may just be happenstance based on the fact that due to my age and location on the planet the median man I am likely to date would be a previously divorced, declining in vigor, Executive Engineer type.

ffj
Posts: 2188
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@7

I am wondering if you have found that you have some sort of inexplicable attraction to females whom you might describe as "sweet but dopey" and/or "messy little street urchin."


Haha, I should show my wife this quote. I like smart people, and my wife is smart, she is certainly not dopey, and she can be sweet when she chooses. :D I know you aren't making suggestions about her but I thought I would have some fun.

I don't know enough about personality types to begin to ponder how relationships happen based on those metrics. But having read your comments over the years I get two distinct impressions: you are very low maintenance and you like sex. That's a pretty powerful combination. The fact that you are intelligent on top of all that has to have an influence on many men regardless of their personality types.


@Nuuka

Sure, I could get hurt or develop a disease in the next couple of years. I have never lived my life based on what could happen that is out of my control however.

I want to be clear though about friends. My friend Mike is the guy that advised me on the excavation work the other day. The reason I can call Mike and ask him to stop by is because first of all, we are friends, and secondly, there have been multiple times he has called me and asked for help in my expertise, which is construction. We both freely give time to each other. Now, if Mike does want to do the work as far as excavation, I will be paying him. The difference though is that since we are friends, he won't be padding the bill and will have my best interests at heart. He would also gladly show me how to do the work myself and advise me where the best deals are in regards to renting equipment. Now in return, when he needs help I will gladly help him with whatever needs done. See how that works? Nobody is talking advantage of anybody. Quite the contrary.


"In the worst case you end up sick in two house trap without friends and lost your financial independence, and you still have your neighbours problem."

No. I wouldn't abuse my friends and I can afford to build a house independent of selling my current one. Maybe I end up sick though, who knows?
———-

7Wannabe5
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Location: Clinton River Watershed

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Gotcha. Yeah, on superficial level, I am a pretty good universal mixer-kind of like 7-Up or a Benji dog.

henrik
Posts: 777
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Location: EE

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by henrik »

Congrats on the decision and purchase! I look forward to your seeing this through and enjoying the new home for many more decades. Of course, in return for all of us sending positive vibes and stuff, you have to provide photos and details.

Nuuka
Posts: 113
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Location: Europe

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Nuuka »

ffj wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:41 am
Sure, I could get hurt or develop a disease in the next couple of years. I have never lived my life based on what could happen that is out of my control however.
Apologies for continuing as Devils advocate:

The above quote is inconsistent, because you are in control of your health and proactively safeguarding against any accidents.

If you exchange favours with your pals for building your house, and if no-one is abusing frienship it means that you have to return within reasonable timeframe the help that you receive. This actually means that the total work effort that you commit to is actually the same whether you get your pals help or not to the building your house. You only trade your expertise and contacts to theirs without using money. So the argument that you get help from your pals is valid only in the skills sense.

Thre is also risk of accident involving your pal while at construction site. Does that make you liable if you had verbal agreement of exchange of work? So you can add potential lawsuit to worst-case outcome.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Pessimist - "this glass is half empty"
Optimist - "this glass is half full"
Nuuka - "this glass is piss"

Nuuka
Posts: 113
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Nuuka »

Devils advocate: “this glass needs to be replaced because it has fractures”

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