ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@henrik

Thanks man. Oh yeah, the pictures will be coming, but unfortunately we can't close on the property until later this month due to scheduling conflicts. I have been working on small projects at my house in the meantime to get it ready to sell. Painting mainly, but small improvements too that will help influence a potential buyer.

One of my first projects at the new place will be to reinforce the barn and make it more usable. The carpenter inside me cries every time I walk inside this building as whoever built it just did a horrible job. Nothing is level or plumb, but worse it isn't built well structurally. I am going to have to live with the crookedness but the barn has to be reinforced if I am going to use it. Once I post some pictures it will be obvious what I am talking about.

@Nuuka

Yeah I don't know where to go from here in this conversation. What I am describing in regards to friends is a type of barter system, with the benefit that there is no official tally at who has done exactly what and in which timeframe. It's very prevalent in the fire service, which is where most of my friends come from, so it's a natural type of situation.

Imagine this scenario: Somebody sends an all-call out that so-and-so needs help. It may be because of many reasons, but many times it is simply because its a big job and the guy needing help is a fellow firefighter. In the past, I've helped pour concrete, build decks, cut trees, lent my tools out, built cabinets, etc. with my only reward the company of my friends. No money changes hands, no future expectations are outlined, and nobody wonders what type of homeowner insurance the recipient carries. You just get the job done.

I feel weird having to explain this set-up. What are your experiences when you need help with something? What is your alternative?

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

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Nuuka »

Contunuing in the role of Devils advocate:
There are different work barter schemes allowed in different countries. Usually they are controlled by local tax administration guideline (e.g. IRS in US).
Last edited by Nuuka on Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Just remember that in the U.S. we are supposed to record our bartering to the IRS for taxation purposes. ;)

I find the threat of litigation has an undue influence on too many people's lives. While I am not advocating being reckless or negligent, I refuse to live my life constantly worrying whether something I do is potentially litigious.

George the original one
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by George the original one »

Risks will be taken to achieve greatness.

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Ego
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Ego »

You took a negative situation and turned it into a positive. Good for you!

The desire to build a house has been with me since I read Helen Nearing when I was 19, so I look forward to watching and experiencing it vicariously through your journal. The property looks incredible. Congratulations!

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@George, Ego

Thanks gents. I am itching to start working on the new place but since I don't own it just yet I am forced to work on my current place, which isn't nearly as fun.

There have been several projects that I have postponed on my home because why not? Now that I am faced with a bit of a deadline and the reality that strangers will be walking through my house with the intention of possibly buying, then all of those little ( and not so little ) imperfections that I could live with before need to be dealt with while I am free to do so. This past week I have sealed my deck, painted trim, dug a 40 foot drainage ditch, installed trim on my barn, and today I will start painting the barn. It's amazing what you can do when you are motivated.

We also had our house appraised. The appraisal came back very high, so high that I am suspect that we could garner that price in the real world. A friend of mine said the appraisers work with the banks to inflate house prices so that equity lines of credit can be greater. I was assured this guy ( the appraiser ) was independent. Does anyone have any experience with this? I'd love to hear your perspective.

What I need to do is get a real estate agent out here to price the home without them having prior knowledge of the appraisal. I need to be dealing with reality once the new house starts getting built.

Fish
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Fish »

ffj wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:44 am
We also had our house appraised.
Are you taking out a mortgage or HELOC? I don’t expect anyone pays for those just to get an idea of what their house is worth.

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Ego
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Ego »

Before mentioning the bad neighbor to anyone else consider what you are going to enter on the Transfer Disclosure Statement. Some states have a particular section on the form where you are required to disclose bad neighbors. Some have a miscellaneous section where you must disclose anything important (like the neighbors). If you fail to do so and the new owners discover that you've filed official complaints or talked to other neighbors who are willing to go on record, you might open yourself to legal troubles.

Good luck.

suomalainen
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by suomalainen »

I had my house appraised several years ago for a refinance. He showed up in a corvette, spent no more than 30 seconds in the house, and while he was walking upstairs he asks, “This for a refinance?” I said “yes”. He asks “how much?” I say “$190k” He says “hm.”

The appraisal came back at 190/.8=237.5. Appraisers do what they’re paid to do - give the asker the value they want. Within some reasonable limits. Probably.

George the original one
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by George the original one »

For appraisals and realtors, everybody's ultimately paid by how much the property sells for, so there's always an incentive to be on the high side unless there are obvious problems. Good realtors can market the house appropriately and get you that price, though some of it depends on timing and how long you're willing to wait for the sale.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@Fish

Home equity loan. We already had a line set up but with a set limit. We had our house appraised to extend that limit but I never dreamed they would value it so high. I am wondering how that appraisal works within the framework of a real estate agent and ultimately the PVA, property valuation administrator. My taxes will more than double if the PVA uses that figure.

@Ego

It's going to be very obvious why we don't like our neighbors to anyone who tours the home. He has created a virtual dump next to us for his business, taking a pristine field and littering it with various vehicles and machinery. Now I have blocked the view from our house with landscaping and fences, but if you approach our house from one direction it will be very clear why we don't want to see his shit littered everywhere. Because there are no rules out in the country regarding planning and zoning, he could make it even worse and not break any rules or laws. I am going to take a loss on the house simply because this asshole lives next to me. There is more to the story and once I sell the house I'll let you guys see with pictures what I am dealing with.

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

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Met a good boy today:

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My volunteer dept. responded to a little fire today and I got to jump fences and chase fire and put it out:

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It had a head start on us but fortunately my hose line reached far enough to easily put it out.

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@suomalainen

Yeah, the appraiser spent maybe 15 minutes at the house. Didn't even walk the property. He would shove his camera into the doorway of each room and take a picture without even looking inside each room. We easily got our equity line extended but it makes you wonder who is influencing who.


@George

I hope so. I've never sold a house before so I am learning as I go, and I don't want to be penalized because I wasn't in on the know. Once we close on the property, I am going to ask the realtor to come take a look and see what is realistic.

daylen
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by daylen »

ffj wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:41 pm
He has created a virtual dump next to us for his business, taking a pristine field and littering it with various vehicles and machinery.
My mind goes straight to post-apocalyptic metal scavenger hunt when reading this. :D

Fish
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Fish »

Hopefully this is not too nosy, but did you have any difficulties increasing the home equity limit, or do you anticipate any trouble getting approved for a construction loan as a retired person?

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@daylen

I know you are having fun, but it really is a tragedy what this idiot has done. I am trying to remedy the situation, but legally there are few options left at this point.

@Fish

No worries. No difficulties whatsoever. The last time the house was appraised was about 15 years ago so we could re-finance at a lower interest rate, and I've had that number bouncing around in my head for all this time. The current appraisal is 2.6 times higher, which I hope is realistic, but I have my doubts. We have had an open equity line for many years which we have used as a short term loan for various projects, with a limit of $75,000. It was set to expire here shortly so we thought we would extend it to $100,000, thus the need for the appraisal. Like the house, the balance of the equity line is $0.

When it comes time to start construction, we may ultimately go with a construction loan which has a slightly lower interest rate, but we wanted flexibility. My end goal is to have this house built for $100,000 or less. We'll see if reality slaps me in the face.

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

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

It's been beautiful weather here lately so a buddy and myself went for a hike. This is Pilot Knob, outside of Clay City, and is believed to be the spot where Daniel Boone himself surveyed the land before him.

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While we were resting and admiring the view, none other than Daniel Boone himself joined us for a very in depth history lesson on his travels. ;) This is Jordan, and he works for the park service bringing Daniel Boone to life. Very interesting guy that taught us a lot.

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I also gathered a bunch of acorns from various oak trees. Since I have some woodland now, I am going to attempt to germinate them in the Spring and plant them where they are needed. According to Youtube, it's a pretty simple process of placing them in water, throwing out the ones that float, and putting them in the refrigerator for a several months. Around March, I'll put them in some soil and see if they germinate.

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We finished the day with some spooky Mexican food. My kind of day.

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halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon »

It's been so long that I've completely forgotten how to use this site, but...DH has planted about a zillion acorns without doing anything but sticking them in dirt. Many have grown, and a few are full-sized trees now.

I love the "good boy" photo.

Now must go back and read about 2 years of posts. ;)

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

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

I have to confess that I don't read a whole lot of journals, which is why I appreciate people looking at mine, but I always read yours half-moon.

You have quite the fan base here (for good reason) and I hope you become active again. Welcome back!





I think I will go with a version of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ9GBCHdqi0

I don't want to tie up refrigerator space for several months and I like that Mother Nature will do the work for me. I have been busy collecting various acorns and hickory nuts and I don't think I have the room for several hundred seed nuts.

Riggerjack
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Riggerjack »

Awesome news about the land!

The 300 yards of UG utilities was a bit unnerving, though. Have you spoken with your electrical utility engineer, yet?

I had about 450 feet between the pole and my homesite, over land I own. Their plan was to extend primary power 7kv by pole across my driveway, then using a transformer and extending the rest of the way with 220v on poles. I had to get their design books out to come up with a plan I could work with and pay for. I had them put up a pole to cross the street, and trenched for them 150' to a meter I put in. Then I ran my own wire from there in my conduit 300' to my house. They had to use 350 kcmil wire, and I had to buy 250kcmil for my end. All in, I spent about $7k, doing the work myself. Then got hit with a $2700 fee with my first bill. Turns out the state has a utility extension tax I didn't know about...

Extending primary power is $$$$ expensive, and utility engineers are always looking to extend their network on the customer's dime. Just so you know...

Our local phone company (not the one I work for) wanted a 10 foot wide prescriptive easement to get us service, and the engineer was adamant that was the only way it could be done. Until I asked for their tariffs (the rules under which they were granted their monopoly), and he suddenly discovered his creative abilities. End result, I have a a terminal at the street, and I am responsible for the cable in between my house and the street, and no easements on my property.

I hope all goes smoothly for you, and I am looking forward to reading about your adventures.

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

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

I hope this method works, because I literally put every acorn and hickory nut in the same bucket that I have collected over the last few days.

Pretty simple really. Take a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, drill lots of 1/4 inch holes, and then layer peat moss, acorns, potting soil until the bucket is full. Then you wet down the mixture thoroughly and bury it into the ground. They'll stratify over the winter and be protected from squirrels, chipmunks, and mice. Around February I'll dig it up and start potting them up and see what sprouts.

The other method which I considered involved throwing all of the nuts down on the ground and covering them with a wire screen to protect against the squirrels. Then once they sprout in the Spring dig them up and put them in pots.

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Here is one of the trees I got the hickory nuts from. Not only is the hickory tree valuable for its wood, but animals love the nuts. And humans too.

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