Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Update on the inspection report

So we went over the inspection report (which was about 32 pages long) and winnowed out what was and wasn't an important fix. I picked the plumbing and electrical to concentrate on because those to me seem to scream professional help for health and safety reasons.

The sellers' contractor was at the house this past weekend and is confident that the repairs we requested can be made within the confines of the budget that the sellers have set. The amount isn't small by any stretch of the imagination - they set a cap of $3500. There is a problem with stating a specific amount however. What happens if the contractor gets in there, and the repairs are actually closer to $4500? What happens then? Well thankfully my realtor is totally on my side and wants the actual price of $3500 removed from the paperwork so that it just states repairs will be made. Period.

Meanwhile, I was looking at Lowes for a new dishwasher and then started looking at fencing material and options. Checking out cabinets to build an island at the Ikea website.

I knew when I started painting here that I was going to move....bad side? The colors I picked/purchased/painted on the walls for my living room, dining room, kitchen, front entryway, stairwell, and upstairs hallway are all from Home Depot. The closest "home improvement" store is a Lowes (and closest is relative - it's 25 miles away) and they don't carry the same paint brands/colors. So I'll have to do this all over again. At least now I know what I want as far as color families.

The kids more and more vacillate between being gung ho and being OH NO about moving. I keep trying to keep them engaged and moving forward. This week, I asked the 7-th grader what color he wanted to paint his room - choices were RED or BLUE? RED? No - mama struck down red as inappropriate for a bedroom. Any shade of blue is fine. Female second grader wants her room to be purple; that works actually since her en suite bathroom is already a pale purple. Male second grader wants his room to be LIME GREEN! LOL It's navy blue now; primer will be involved.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Been reading and reading and reading.
And with all the research I've been doing, I've learned one thing...

I will not be fully prepared. There will be problems along the way. I have many things that will need to be learned by doing.

And I'm good with that. As much as I've learned through books my entire life (when faced with the prospect of going to girl scout camp for horsemanship, I read every book I could on riding that I could get from the library. All for good because when faced with the hows of seating myself in the saddle, I did pretty well. Won a blue ribbon that year for the ring.

By in the long run, I learn best by doing.

Inspection report

So, after the inspection comes the winnowing through the report to figure out what is an actual repair versus an upgrade. What is important and probably expensive to what is easily done and could be handled by us. To what is truly important and what is not.

Plumbing and electrical are serious matters to me.

I can deal with a lot and to be honest, sections of the house are 231 years old. I'm not asking for the moon. I've done masonry work so the mortar missing in spaces, I can manage. The rotten boards at one of the four doors into the house, I can replace myself (we were thinking of putting a deck there anyway). We said they can not clean up the crap in the yard (think a few random windows, doors, and a bunch of crap in two of the three outbuildings) and I'll clean the gutters come spring when the leaves stop falling down. But an outlet that doesn't work? I don't know whether or not it's that outlet or an electrical issue. We were informed when we put in the offer that the dishwasher doesn't work; however, it wasn't plumbed correctly either and I don't want to have to pay that much extra when I put in a new dishwasher.

The ceiling fan? Sure - it's ugly but I'm not sure why it doesn't work - faulty wiring or broken fan? That needs to be checked. And so on and so on...

The house has a well and along with a well comes a water pump with settings. Currently, the water pressure in the house is not good. I'll have three kids with their clothes to wash, people who drink water, gardens eventually, and animals too. I need to know that the water is there...drilling a well is Xdollars per foot down. It can get pretty pricey.

It's about safety for my family. We've moving there full-time; this will be our forever house. The sellers have moved to Richmond. They are obviously interested in selling the place (why put it on the market otherwise) but they haven't live there full-time a while. I'm going to be living there for a LONG WHILE. And I want to make sure everything works.

We went through the list at the onset; to have them come back and ask if we would take credit for some items when they have the full report along with our checked list is annoying and rude. I didn't ask for anything ridiculous. The seller has two children with a third on the way; I would think they would see some things and think "Well, if we were buying, we'd want the same."

I don't want a credit. If they lowered the price of the house by $5K, it would make a $4 difference in my mortgage payment. Fixing things now is money now. Getting a "credit" is money, theoretically, in 30 years.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A variation on a saying...

I've been reading a lot....lots and lots about gardens, animal husbandry, shed/barn construction, products that a farm can sell via a farm stand. LOTS of reading.

As a result, I've signed up for many mailing lists. Recently, I got an e-mail from the Murray McMurray hatchery! It's a place to purchase all kinds of chickens, turkeys, and other assorted kinds of fowl. I'm so excited. The research that I've done has led me to Buff Orpingtons. From what I've read, they are large (6 to 8 pounds at maturity), good layers of brown eggs, and really mellow and good with people. So I was very happy to see that I can preorder the buff's and get them anytime from Jan to May.

But do I order my chickens before I get the farm? I feel like it's "don't count your chickens before they're hatched" only a variation.

From the web site: These are large, stately birds of quiet disposition. Easy to dress for the table they are white skinned, plump, and juicy, a beautiful eating bird. Their heavy, full plumage make them excellent winter layers, shelling out brown eggs right through cold weather. They also make excellent setters and mothers. These "Golden Beauties" have been one of our most popular varieties for years and years with their glistening plumage and pinkish white skin. Baby chicks are a soft light buff color.

I'll be ordering chicks. They are priced by each but you get a break at certain numbers. My number to start with is between 25 and 30 girls (so they'll be $2.76 each). I want layers. I don't want to have to worry about dealing with fertilized eggs right off. Eventually, I'll have to have some roosters if I want to breed my own meat and/or grow more layers; but for now, I'm sticking with the quieter girls. The property already has a fenced-off area that will work for chickens. I just need to build a coop; luckily there's a 10-unit nesting box lying near there that I will take full advantage of. A 10-unit nesting box can be used by up to 30 laying chickens. They like to snuggle up at times. And they also don't all lay at the same time.

As for pigs - I want guinea hogs - unless they are cost-prohibitive. They can be up to 220 pounds at the end of their growth cycle but I'm not sure what the meat yield would be. I'm thinking I'll start with two weaners (pigs that are young but weaned from their mama) the first time and just raise them on forage with kitchen scraps and good pig feed.

Goats will be nigerian pygmys to start. They are small so easy to deal with as far as fencing and housing and barn space. They are apparently super smart and are like dogs in that they are food-driven so Catherine will be able to teach them tricks. Also, even though they are small in size, they can produce up to quart a milk per day. I'll be getting at least three - we have their names picked out (they will be dairy goats so they can be named as they'll be living with us for as long as they live versus the pigs which will be named Bacon and Porkchop every year we get two). The goats will be named Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles.

The husband talked to his work yesterday and they are very supportive of helping to renovate the slave's quarters into a studio/office space so that, eventually, he'll be able to work from home! This is great because we figured he'd have to stay up in this area longer.The original plan was that he'd come to the farm on weekends and keep his job; I prefer this latest development.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our neighbors...

The name of the highway that we're located on is the East James Anderson Highway. The tombstone on the property is for the Anderson family and the back listed two men named James who are buried here. There are thirteen people listed between the front and the back. Latest person buried was 1954. First person died sometime in 1852.

More farm pics

Cute sign at the front. We're going to use Whispering Creek as the name for my husband's planned distillery. The farm is going to be Corny Goat Farm.
Back stairs - the armoire in the far left is covering over one of the four doors into the first floor.
Master bathroom. It was an addition that was added to the back of a parlor on the first floor. To access the bathroom, you open a door that used to lead to a closet (there are shelves on either side) to get into the bathroom. There's a big closet on the opposite wall from the bathtub. Which, I'm very happy to say, I can fit into! LOL But I'll have to install a shower ring cause I'm not taking a bath every day!

Inspection - pt 3

Andrew's room - it's 17'3" x 17'2". No closet so good for a boy.
Landing at the top of the front stairs...or was it the back stairs? I can't remember. I had to laugh at the kids because they went up one of the staircases and could only find two bedrooms. Turns out, Catherine's room has a door with access to either stairway, but the other two bedrooms do not. So when you went up one stair, you saw two bedrooms and if you went up the other stair, you saw two bedrooms. Andrew couldn't figure out which room to claim as his own!

I can fit four or five bookcases on this landing!

Front entrance. First set of stairs and behind that door is a full bathroom.

Inspection - Catherine's room

The three photos above are all of Catherine's bathroom. One half has the plumbing, the other half has built-in shelving and a little closet.


Inspection - pt 1

Had to be at the farm house today at 10:45am to meet the home inspector and my realtor. Managed to get some pictures and measure all the rooms.

View from the side of the house up the driveway to the highway. It's way back there - near the line of trees in the distance.

Side view of three kids chasing after the realtor to get into the house. It was 39 degrees this morning
Next shot down is another view of the house from the other end. There are six fireplaces in the house....and none of them are currently functionable. That's okay with me for now. We can get them lined one at a time and use them eventually. I'll be in this house until I'm carted off to the crematorium.

Front porch - it's an L shape.