10 days and counting...

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JohnE
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10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:05 pm

We hope to be closing on our 54 acre parcel of land on Jan.4.

Northern New Mexico, we have community water but will be off-grid solar and have a septic system for our other utilities.

Our 2 year plan involves selling our place in SoCal and then building a straw/adobe house. Couple of corrals, a much larger chicken coop and a vegetable garden.

Now we wait...
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"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by Beowolf » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:47 pm

SWEET!!

Have you posted more details on your plan? If not...will you?

Congrats!
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by Halfapint » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:22 pm

First: CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!

Second: Pics or it didn't happen. Haha, of course keep OPSEC, but would love to see the terrain, vegetation, wildlife etc. That is one good size chunk of land. Could have quite a bit of good stuff there.

Lastly: I second Beowolf, I'd love to hear your plans. While only 1/10th your size I have so many projects on my 5 acres that right now I couldn't imagine all the work you'll have in front of you. Once again congrats!!
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:56 pm

Plans so far are as described.

Build a straw/adobe house with an off the grid solar setup, we're looking at the Tesla power wall as a possibility.

Water is metered from a community water co-op.

The terrain is pretty typical for Northern New Mexico, rolling hills, mostly scrub.

We're thinking chickens, both layers and meat birds, as big a garden as feasible with our water supply, and a couple of horses. Maybe some bee hives.

The size of the place is nice but since we won't be cultivating much of it, it'll remain mostly scrub with some areas fenced into individual pastures for the horses and an overall fence for equine and canine containment.

We've been looking for quite a while, had picked out a couple places that we were going to pursue when this place popped up on Zillow. It's been an interesting process. The sellers don't live in New Mexico and communication isn't their strong suit to put it mildly. We've been using a local real estate agent and a local attorney to work out all the details. Our agent gave us a 50/50 chance of the deal going through due to familial issues as well as personality issues with the sellers. With any luck we'll close on Jan. 4th.

I'll update as we move through the process.
Last edited by JohnE on Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by texagonian » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:27 pm

Congrats!


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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:21 pm

I appreciate the supportive comments and interest.

Couple of small glitches have popped up and been dealt with, the wire transfer for payment went out yesterday so barring a complete breakdown on the sellers part we'll be closing next week.

Been getting organized for our "it's ours now" trip.

Taking some basic tools to check on water lines, fix some fences, layout our potential building site etc.

We'll be camping out on the property the day we close, really looking forward to that.

First actual project will most likely be a complete fencing condition survey around the perimeter, there's a lot of older fencing already in place but we need to ensure that the horses won't be able to get out so that will be our first priority. Planning on barbless wire for the overall and steel gates and pipe fencing as needed for the horse corral(s) and the eventual driveway(s). We also want to use the fencing to mark our property lines more effectively. One of the issues in the sale was an outdated, hazy on accuracy survey of the property. It's never been used as residential property and over the decades there have been some discrepancies that we had to get addressed so the fence will help put some of that to rest as well as keeping our eventual horses safe.

We can only have a temporary structure or mobile structure on the place during actual construction so we'll be camping out on our earliest visits and then probably buying some sort of temp/mobile housing to be sold once we finish building the house. We're also planning on leaving a vehicle parked in long term parking at a nearby airport for use when we fly in. Long term parking is cheaper (by far) than an actual storage facility and it will be much more convenient to fly in, grab a free shuttle to the parking lot and then drive up to our place than it would be to use a storage facility in Santa Fe or elsewhere. We can also store equipment, tools, and some limited supplies in the parked vehicle for our use while in town. The lot we're using is well fenced, has 24 hour live security on-site and it's cheap!

More to come...
John E
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by Dark_Rhodes » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:36 pm

Congrats John,

I used to live in the boonies of East Tucson (lots of desert scrub).

Make sure you leave yourself a solid, clean-cut buffer zone.

We had some terrible fires out in Tucson a couple years before I left.

Desert scrub burns fast and very hot. Watched it torch a fire truck that was too close to the side of the dirt road when the fire rolled in.

Good luck, great you got out of CA. I'm still stuck here!

Mike.

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:36 pm

We are here in New Mexico.

Did our final inspection of the property earlier today. Found the likely building spot and a few other places.

Met the sellers who were there taking care of some last minute details.

We close in less than 2 days...

Can't come fast enough for me.
John E
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:40 pm

And it's ours...

We closed on the 4th as planned, deed and survey have been recorded with the county and we even got a small refund of our escrow funds!

Back home now and making plans.

More to come...
John E
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by Halfapint » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:24 pm

One thing, long term parking while cheaper isn't really that cheap. I suggest as someone who's worked at an airport for 10+ years now, is this. Go to a motel that offers "airport parking" they often have a free shuttle to and from. Ask them what it would cost for monthly/yearly rate. Most will jump at the opportunity for extra income. I know lots of people I used to work with who didn't get paid parking at the employee lot would do this. it would be $20/mo most of the time at one of the fastest growing airports. TUS isn't a real busy airport I'm sure it wont be much more or less than that.

Keep us posted! Can't wait to follow along!
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:29 am

Back to New Mexico...

Heading back out on Sunday, need to start getting some excavating work done along with our eventual residency and other legal stuff sorted out.

Planning for a culvert along the road to keep some flooding and erosion problems in what will be our driveway from getting worse. Wondering if I could make a small pond using runoff water to fill?

More to come...
John E
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by teotwaki » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:17 am

Pictures.

Do you have water rights for the land?
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by Stercutus » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:51 pm

JohnE wrote:Back to New Mexico...

Heading back out on Sunday, need to start getting some excavating work done along with our eventual residency and other legal stuff sorted out.

Planning for a culvert along the road to keep some flooding and erosion problems in what will be our driveway from getting worse. Wondering if I could make a small pond using runoff water to fill?

More to come...
A pond in NM? I guess it could be done. Mostly out West I saw containment areas that tend to swell like you might need to build an Arc then dry up quickly. I always though this might be a good system in a dry areas (like West Kansas):

http://www.kclandscapes.com/Rain-Water- ... s-City.php
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:29 am

Not too much to report.

Met with a couple of guys to get the excavation estimates done, took care of a few eventual residency issues and just generally hung out.

The more I go the more I don't want to leave...
John E
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:11 am

Couple of quick updates.

Went back out a few weeks ago, mended some barbed wire fences and looked into getting the new gate installed for the eventual driveway. Got a couple thousand feet of fence to install too...gonna buy the tools and try doing as much as we can by ourselves. Probably pay to have the larger reinforcing fenceposts installed and we'll drive the metal T-posts and run the wire.

We met with our builders while in town, turns out they fired a client which changed their schedule for the rest of the year. That means they can move our project up on the list so we should be breaking ground quite a bit sooner than originally planned. The builders also have a sub-contractor they work with who does excavation work on the side. They're going to get us an estimate on getting the driveway leveled and the drainage culvert installed. Needs to be done before we break ground on the house. They're confident that they can do it for less than the other estimates I've gotten. They've also donated an outhouse to us! For use by the construction crew or anyone else working on the place. They even offered to deliver it and install it on their dime!

All of the above means we've got to get our current house fixed up and on the market by August.

We've already scheduled the painters and we've worked up a list of "to do's" in order to increase the curb appeal a bit. Doing some upgrades to my workshop in anticipation of some of the house projects. I've always been very good at rationalizing additional tool purchases...;^)

We've also gotten a letter from a cell tower locating/installation company about leasing a small piece of our land for a new cell tower. I don't think it's gonna work out due to the restrictive covenants in place but they're coming out to scout the property next week. Might be able to make it work, the extra income would be sweet.

More to come...
John E
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:20 am

Wow...

Long time since my last update.

We moved to Santa Fe a year ago, ended up buying a manufactured house instead the custom we really wanted and it's now on our land and mostly working. 7.5 KW Off-grid solar power system, septic tank and a 500 gallon propane tank are all installed and operational. Our water is from the local water co-op and it required about 800 feet of new underground pipes and a small pump and pressure tank system to get it to our house. Pump is being completed and water line is being connected today. We also have access to a drilled and capped well if needed.

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with a rental truck and a couple helpers moving the bulk of our stuff down to the house. Spent the last 3 weeks in a hotel here in Santa Fe due to a whole host of fuckups by the home company and weather delays. House was delivered almost 6 weeks late and then we had a foot of snow here on Thanksgiving, makes it a little difficult to get much done so far as construction type work.

We still love the place and our new community.

More to come when we're completely moved in which should be this coming Saturday.
John E
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by RoneKiln » Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:20 am

Congrats!

In a few years, everything that went wrong will just be good stories you'll find a way to make funny as you tell them. Till then, remember to give yourself what space and time you need to recover from that stress. Housing issues like that take a deeper toll than it's easy to be conscious of.
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:16 pm

I missed this thread when it started! Cool to see it through all at once! Congrats!!
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JackBauer » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:58 pm

Great thread, thanks for keeping it updated as your plans evolved!
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:37 am

Thanks guys. I'll try to be a little more proactive in updating.

We learned that our water connection was finished late yesterday afternoon so I'll be opening some valves and turning on our pump later today.

Can't wait for this part of the process to be over.
John E
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by 91Eunozs » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:55 pm

Congrats! I’m more than a bit jealous...but very happy to see another ZSer on the way to being more self-sustaining!

I especially love that you’re already incorporating your neighbors into your plans.

We’re about a year out from building our “forever” home on some land we bought on a lake up North of here; only 2.5 acres though, so it won’t be truly off grid and self sustaining. It’s only 1/2 hour or so from town...so not as far out as I’d like, but had to compromise with my wife who wants to be as close to amenities as possible. It’s a private, gated-community and most of the neighbors are of a similar bent: want privacy and the ability to be semi-independent from local utilities, etc. with solar for electricity and hot water, septic, and propane (most of my neighbors running 500-1000 gallon buried tanks). The neighborhood abuts a park on one side, a large lake on another, and a large game ranch on the other. We have just over 100 lots varying from 1-8 acres; only 30 or so actually have houses built though. About half my neighbors are retired/former military like me but several other retired or semi-retired professionals too. Gonna sink a well, and will have a decent sized garden with a green house, etc. but not much in the way of livestock.

Thinking about buying the 2.7 acre lot next to us to get us over 5 acres...opens up options for animals. However, the land is ridiculously expensive, and for what we’d spend on that lot we could buy 25-30 acres out on the western edge of the Edwards Plateau. Much more aligned with my real long-term goals, and gives me a place to hunt without relying on friends who have property.

Regardless, looking forward to hearing more about your plans...especially water management and storage, as well as feeding animals in a semi-arid environment.
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:58 pm

Update time.

We're completely moved in now. House is humming along nicely with our off-grid electrical system.

Today was a big day, we finally have wireless internet access! Local co-op volunteers came over and wired up the system with our sweat equity helping in the process. Had to dig about 175' of shallow trenching to run the CAT 5 cable up to a pole I installed on the hillside behind the house to hold the radio antenna and receiver. Due to a rather nasty injury to my hand last night my wife got to crawl under the house and together we then ran the cable to my office to hook up the router. All went well with the install and I'm enjoying not having to drive to the closest public access internet to catch up with things here on the web.

Fencing, corrals, landscaping and plenty of other projects still to come including walling off my workshop and building the "Chick Majal" of chickn coops. We have a couple potential commercial customers interested in fresh, organic eggs already.

More to come..
John E
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by RoneKiln » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:33 pm

So we'll get more regular updates now?
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Re: 10 days and counting...

Post by JohnE » Tue May 12, 2020 8:55 pm

Latest update.

Well like most of the world the Covid-19 Pandemic has precipitated a lot of changes around the Ranch.

I've been unable to work in my regular industry since the first week of March. Been "stuck" in NM since coming home from what turned out to be my last foreseeable job in CA.

I've taken a temp job at a nearby big box store that rhymes with Dowe's.

Been working as much as possible around home too.

We've got 2 raised beds of vegetables planted and a drip watering system ready to install, couple of fruit trees out back and the chicken coop has been started. We're still planning on having chickens this year.

Workshop is coming together and should be finished in another week or two.

Planning a concrete slab and lean-to roof structure to give me a place to park a couple of motorcycles.

Work goes on as time and paid work allows...
John E
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life:The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

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