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So what's going on now. I just got back from a monk challenge and the bottom dropped out of that. I did however learn that if we call it 'roadwork' instead of 'running' or 'jogging' it makes it permissible to do cardio once in a while. This summer, I had/have been looking for jobs in data analysis, and relearning some programming, and thinking about getting back into biology. I applied and interviewed for a job recently as a data analyst for a nonprofit that does clinical trial research... but didn't get it. That got me down a little bit, and I started thinking about things.

 

1) The main reason I want(ed) to switch back to this type of work is the money. Really. That's it. Granted I like the work of programming and analysis, and there's some value in the biological research (if it went that way) but I'd do (almost) anything else in a heartbeat.

2) Why do I want more money? Simply to pay down/off my debts and buy a home. And to make ends meet where I live.

3) If I do buy a home, no matter where it is I'd be doing the homestead thing, urban or rural.

 

Then earlier this week I found out about USDA rural home loans. This might start sounding like an ad. They are no money down, they give them to people with bad to mediocre credit, and they are insured by the government (this, I believe, negates the need to purchase mortgage insurance. The only catch is you can't use them for city properties... though many single family homes (even within city limits) qualify... in case you're interested.

 

Those of you who have been following the Brogo saga for a while might remember a few years ago I had this idea of starting a farm/homestead kind of thing. I was raised out in the country. I like being outdoors. I like gardening. I like building things with my hands. I'd like to get a piece of land (5-10 acres) and just live off of it as much as possible (gardening, hunting/fishing, farming etc), take care of it, and do it all off the grid with as few external inputs and leave as small a footprint as possible. Basically, having some land will give me resources to take control of my environment and rebuild my life.

 

Right now, the way I live is the exact opposite. I'm in the city, surrounded by man made noise, and I'm completely dependent on my ability to make money to buy stuff or services. And I'm flushing my money down the toilet with each months rent. I'm lazing around staring at screens. Blah, yadda, etc.

 

These USDA loans might make it possible to change all this. Here's how:

 

A little ways south of here (Indy) are some really pretty farm and country lands. I've been looking and I can find 5-10 acre properties that are cheap... mostly wooded lots etc. I can get a mortgage for one and since I'm willing to rough it for a while and build, I can live on it either in a tiny house, or possibly a  yurt (google it)... for a start at least. I'd either expand or just save up and plan out building a more permanent structure. The mortgage would probably be less than the rent I'm paying now. With no utilities comes no bills. If I can grow my own food I save on groceries (one of my biggest monthly expenses). So the move should cut down on my living costs.

 

Anyway. I need to get to sleep. My challenge will be focused figuring this out, and researching and preparing myself for a home brosteading lifestyle.

 

Goals:

Work

Exercise

Cooking

Camping

Finance/Research

 

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7 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

if we call it 'roadwork' instead of 'running' or 'jogging' it makes it permissible to do cardio once in a while

 

Ha! This made me laugh. As an Adventurer, it is my assertion that ‘hiking’ is equally permissible :)

 

I feel you on the job decision front. Life is far too short to waste in a job you hate, but at some point we all have to eat, and that can force us into sub-optimal choices. Good luck in your property search!

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12 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

if we call it 'roadwork' instead of 'running' or 'jogging' it makes it permissible to do cardio once in a while.

 

I guess I do a lot of roadwork then...

 

Welcome back, btw. Let me know if I can help in any way. Do you still do artwork? How is that going?

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21 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

I did however learn that if we call it 'roadwork' instead of 'running' or 'jogging' it makes it permissible to do cardio once in a while.

I lol'd

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19 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Living off the grid is very adventurous. I like the idea if you having a goal to work towards. 

 

Indeed. Glad to have my thread once again graced by your good company sir.

 

14 hours ago, oromendur said:

 

Ha! This made me laugh. As an Adventurer, it is my assertion that ‘hiking’ is equally permissible :)

 

I feel you on the job decision front. Life is far too short to waste in a job you hate, but at some point we all have to eat, and that can force us into sub-optimal choices. Good luck in your property search!

 

Hiking is fine too of course. Though I consider that a different thing from running or jogging completely as it is to not have to euphemize it.

 

9 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:

 

I guess I do a lot of roadwork then...

 

Welcome back, btw. Let me know if I can help in any way. Do you still do artwork? How is that going?

 

The artwork is on hiatus. I haven't picked up a brush since March I think. :( I always come back around eventually tho.

 

40 minutes ago, GoodDoug said:

I lol'd

 

Laughs are always welcome.

 

Also, for those who missed my last challenge. I was in the monks' guild and exploring the idea of finding a martial art to practice. I ultimately decided on boxing. 'Roadwork' is what boxers call their cardio which is jogging + punching while jogging + doing other footwork and agility work. Just picture a Rocky montage... anytime he's outdoors, that's roadwork.

 

But basically, I'm at the level where getting up early and jogging for 10 minutes is a challenge so... let's work on that. BTW... I switched back to the adventurers and whatnot because of a shift in priorities, but I think my primary form of cardio from here on out will be boxing and roadwork. It's just on the backburner.

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Sketching out some...

 

Goals:

 

Work: 45+ hours / week.

Grading: 1 pt for every hour over 45

 

Exercise: workout 3x weekly... idk yet.

 

Cooking: weekly food prep + daily (M-R) food prep

Grading: 3 pts for weekly bulk lunch cooking, 1 pt for each evening prep (setup coffee maker with timer, make whey protein shake)

 

Camping: Go camping once during this challenge

Grading: Pass/Fail

 

Finance/Research: open ended, this is pretty exploratory

 

=========================================

 

It dawned on me that if these usda loans are not totally restricted to rural properties I should also consider cheap homes close to where I live now. Flipping a house as practice for home ownership and maintenance/repair/construction would be helpful. Then I could sell it and use the profit, or even rent it out to pay for the next one.

 

I spent some time this evening looking at home and property listings. There is a cheap <$50k 2 bed, 1 bath shit hole right down the street that might be a good start. I tried looking more into finding out where I can get one of these loans, but the web forms I've tried filling out can't match me with a lender, and they don't say why. It could be my credit score, location, price range... It looks like I'll have to call someone on the phone.

 

Also, now that I've realized there might be another option on the table, I'll have to decide which is the better option for me, rural vs. city house.

 

To be continued...

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I don't want to assume you haven't already looked, but there is a wealth of information on urban homesteading. I have a few books I could recommend and there are dozens of websites about it. Search for the terms Urban Homestead and Backyard Homestead for a lot of great information. Yes, being out in the country will get you closer to your ideal of living off the grid and it might be a great final goal. But I think that staying urban or even suburban and getting that closer to your ideal is a great dry run. Most municipalities will let you keep chickens and bees, and some creative gardening can make a lot of food from a small to medium yard.

Being closer to town means you can make the change in bite size increments, you have access to classes on subjects you want more information on, and it can be easier to find a place that suits your needs right now. Being in the country means the city or county generally can't tell you how many chickens you can have, you have control over your water and solar access, and it will be easier to find a place that suits your needs forever.

 

I do think starting in town makes it simpler and means you can get started right away...

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Jumping in here on a few things: 

USDA loans do have mortgage insurance. You don't "purchase" mortgage insurance, it's built in as part of the loan (this is true if you have a conventional, FHA, or USDA loan with MI). I'm not very familiar with USDA loans but this link says you pay 1% upfront (rolled into your loan so you're paying interest on it) plus a percentage every month. The link doesn't mention it going away once you get to a certain loan-to-value ratio so it may be for the life of the loan (with conventional it goes away once you get 20% equity). 

 

Most online mortgage resources won't give any information for loans under $100k. Not that banks won't loan that little, but it's rare enough the web programs aren't written to go that low

 

Buying a fixer-upper....this can have a whole host of fun hoops to jump through. How do you plan on financing the work you do? How handy are you? Often banks won't give a mortgage on a house that's in poor shape without at least 20% down. They don't want to end up taking over a shithole if the borrower defaults. There's something called a 203(k) mortgage that's an FHA loan that gives you extra to do remodeling, but there's strings attached (like I think you have to use licensed contractors). If you're gonna cashflow the work do you have ideas of what things cost? How comfortable are you identifying and dealing with foundation problems (my personal biggest fear with buying a fixer-upper)

 

Homesteading - a future plan of mine, but not for a few years. I'm interested to hear any discussions on this since I know nothing about growing my own food. 

 

*Just for reference: I'm an accountant with an interest in real estate who's had 5 mortgages on 2 houses (multiple refinances). We bought an $80k townhome a few years ago and did most of the remodel work ourselves including flooring and completely redoing the kitchen. I don't want to sound like I'm poo-pooing your ideas, I just want to make sure you go into this plan with as much knowledge as possible. I'm more than happy to go into more details on things if you have questions about anything finance related or what we did with our remodel. I know more about how mortgages work than most realtors and even mortgage brokers and can actually run real numbers on the true costs of loans. Oh, also, I'm originally from your neck of the woods and so I understand some of the quirks about Indiana realty.

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20 hours ago, GoodDoug said:

I don't want to assume you haven't already looked, but there is a wealth of information on urban homesteading. I have a few books I could recommend and there are dozens of websites about it. Search for the terms Urban Homestead and Backyard Homestead for a lot of great information. Yes, being out in the country will get you closer to your ideal of living off the grid and it might be a great final goal. But I think that staying urban or even suburban and getting that closer to your ideal is a great dry run. Most municipalities will let you keep chickens and bees, and some creative gardening can make a lot of food from a small to medium yard.

Being closer to town means you can make the change in bite size increments, you have access to classes on subjects you want more information on, and it can be easier to find a place that suits your needs right now. Being in the country means the city or county generally can't tell you how many chickens you can have, you have control over your water and solar access, and it will be easier to find a place that suits your needs forever.

 

I do think starting in town makes it simpler and means you can get started right away...

 

When I moved back to this area I lived with my parents and they have both bees and chickens. I helped them build up their chicken coop and manage their flock. Chickens are easy. Then I was taking care of the garden. I've read two or three of the key books on market gardening -- not just homesteading but having an organic vegetable farm on a few acres. I was mostly into SPIN farming for doing the same on sub acre scales. I experimented with those methods and quickly realized that running a market garden wasn't what I wanted to do, but I could easily... easily... grow all my own vegetables and then some on a small plot.

 

Then there was the time I built an aquaponics setup in my apartment. Which was a failure but one with many lessons learned. At the very least I can rig up PVC and pump water through it without it leaking.

 

Also, I grew up in the country. Not on a farm, but I took plenty of Ag Science classes in high school. I've had plenty of exposure to farm life. I've done plenty of plant and animal research and spent my fair share of time in the greenhouse and managing a mouse colony. Then there's that Master's degree in genetics I have.

 

Yeah. I've had plenty of dry runs. I'm ready. Not to run a farm as a business, but I can grow and take care of my own food. I just need land.

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6 hours ago, Maigs said:

Jumping in here on a few things: 

USDA loans do have mortgage insurance. You don't "purchase" mortgage insurance, it's built in as part of the loan (this is true if you have a conventional, FHA, or USDA loan with MI). I'm not very familiar with USDA loans but this link says you pay 1% upfront (rolled into your loan so you're paying interest on it) plus a percentage every month. The link doesn't mention it going away once you get to a certain loan-to-value ratio so it may be for the life of the loan (with conventional it goes away once you get 20% equity). 

 

Most online mortgage resources won't give any information for loans under $100k. Not that banks won't loan that little, but it's rare enough the web programs aren't written to go that low

 

Buying a fixer-upper....this can have a whole host of fun hoops to jump through. How do you plan on financing the work you do? How handy are you? Often banks won't give a mortgage on a house that's in poor shape without at least 20% down. They don't want to end up taking over a shithole if the borrower defaults. There's something called a 203(k) mortgage that's an FHA loan that gives you extra to do remodeling, but there's strings attached (like I think you have to use licensed contractors). If you're gonna cashflow the work do you have ideas of what things cost? How comfortable are you identifying and dealing with foundation problems (my personal biggest fear with buying a fixer-upper)

 

Homesteading - a future plan of mine, but not for a few years. I'm interested to hear any discussions on this since I know nothing about growing my own food. 

 

*Just for reference: I'm an accountant with an interest in real estate who's had 5 mortgages on 2 houses (multiple refinances). We bought an $80k townhome a few years ago and did most of the remodel work ourselves including flooring and completely redoing the kitchen. I don't want to sound like I'm poo-pooing your ideas, I just want to make sure you go into this plan with as much knowledge as possible. I'm more than happy to go into more details on things if you have questions about anything finance related or what we did with our remodel. I know more about how mortgages work than most realtors and even mortgage brokers and can actually run real numbers on the true costs of loans. Oh, also, I'm originally from your neck of the woods and so I understand some of the quirks about Indiana realty.

 

I just got a response from a lender today. You're right, they do have MI. Supposedly it's lower than regular loans. I will have to research this more. I just remember a year or so ago I was researching conventional/FHA loans and the thing that seemed to make it harder to do was MI. Anyway, now that the communication line is open I can find out more about the restrictions. I was reading this document. Odds are they aren't going to finance a yurt. However, I'm good with whatever terms and restrictions on housing, as long as I can get it cheap.

 

On that note, I can be pretty damn handy. One thing I have come to realize is that contractors are not wizards and houses are not held together by magic. A license doesn't give you magical abilities that allow you do anything a normal person cannot. Anybody who has the time and patience to study how houses are made can build one. Yes, it will be difficult, but I don't have to do it on anyone's time but my own. Plus, I can live with it being sub-perfect for longer than most. As far as financing the repairs, part of the idea here is to pay for it with what I'm saving on this mortgage vs rent. That will depend on what the rates of everything is. Plus, I have a good job, and OT is always available... and I'll be taking advantage of that this weekend.

 

Ugh. There are a lot of variable to think about, too many in fact to bother planning it out now. It will all depend on the house and the mortgage I choose.

 

 

 

 

 

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Also, check your County. It varies from

state to state and county to county, but some places offer government grant downpayment assistance for first time homebuyers. We had the program pay about half of our downpayment, and the catch is that it’s forgiven over time (usually 5-6 years) so if you move early you have to pay it back. 

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Good luck on your homesteading aspirations! I had a suburban homestead for a couple of years and I really, really loved it. I’m not looking to get off the grid, but I’m looking forward to the day when we leave the city and I can have food-growing gardens and chickens again. A friend of ours here in the UK is currently looking at wrecks up in Scotland to fix up and retire to. Homesteading (or small holding, as it’s called here), is frequent topic of conversation around the table of Vries.

 

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52 minutes ago, Ann of Vries said:

Good luck on your homesteading aspirations! I had a suburban homestead for a couple of years and I really, really loved it. I’m not looking to get off the grid, but I’m looking forward to the day when we leave the city and I can have food-growing gardens and chickens again. A friend of ours here in the UK is currently looking at wrecks up in Scotland to fix up and retire to. Homesteading (or small holding, as it’s called here), is frequent topic of conversation around the table of Vries.

 

 

Seconded on the homesteading aspirations. We’re currently working on suburban homesteading and I love it. Even with the frustrations. 

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14 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

I just got a response from a lender today. You're right, they do have MI. Supposedly it's lower than regular loans. I will have to research this more. I just remember a year or so ago I was researching conventional/FHA loans and the thing that seemed to make it harder to do was MI. Anyway, now that the communication line is open I can find out more about the restrictions. I was reading this document. Odds are they aren't going to finance a yurt. However, I'm good with whatever terms and restrictions on housing, as long as I can get it cheap.

MI doesn't make things harder, just more expensive. I'd guess most mortgages have MI since few people can put down 20% (4 out of 5 of mine had it) so lenders are very used to it and they handle everything about it and work it into the monthly mortgage payment amount. You won't have to do anything except write bigger checks every month. 

Yeah, a yurt would be a very non-traditional mortgage that would need a lender willing to work with you. And probably be at a much higher interest rate (hell, even mobile homes have this problem). 

 

14 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

On that note, I can be pretty damn handy. One thing I have come to realize is that contractors are not wizards and houses are not held together by magic. A license doesn't give you magical abilities that allow you do anything a normal person cannot. Anybody who has the time and patience to study how houses are made can build one. Yes, it will be difficult, but I don't have to do it on anyone's time but my own. Plus, I can live with it being sub-perfect for longer than most. As far as financing the repairs, part of the idea here is to pay for it with what I'm saving on this mortgage vs rent. That will depend on what the rates of everything is. Plus, I have a good job, and OT is always available... and I'll be taking advantage of that this weekend.

Hubs and I are not particularly handy but have managed to do a decent job (if I do say so myself) with the remodeling. Partially because we've been lucky (our slab is in very good shape and the kitchen is surprisingly square) and partially because we've been willing to try. We've also been lucky that we haven't had to do big things outside of our abilities; the furnace and ac are under 10 years old, the roof is under 15, the bathtub and shower tiling were good enough to keep, etc. Those can be huge expenses with cheap houses that you can't really put off too long

 

11 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

Also, check your County. It varies from

state to state and county to county, but some places offer government grant downpayment assistance for first time homebuyers. We had the program pay about half of our downpayment, and the catch is that it’s forgiven over time (usually 5-6 years) so if you move early you have to pay it back. 

This is something to look into. My city offers programs for downpayment assistance and fixer-upper assistance. An old coworker bought her house as a 23 year old single mother and got assistance with the downpayment plus another chunk to do things like replace the roof, furnace, and move her water heater from her kitchen to the crawl space. It was forgiven over 10 years and she had to pay back 1/10 of it back when she sold the home 9 years later. I think she got like $20k of assistance on an $80k house and had to pay $2k back

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35 minutes ago, Maigs said:

 

Hubs and I are not particularly handy but have managed to do a decent job (if I do say so myself) with the remodeling. Partially because we've been lucky (our slab is in very good shape and the kitchen is surprisingly square) and partially because we've been willing to try. We've also been lucky that we haven't had to do big things outside of our abilities; the furnace and ac are under 10 years old, the roof is under 15, the bathtub and shower tiling were good enough to keep, etc. Those can be huge expenses with cheap houses that you can't really put off too long

 

It’s definitely possible to do all this. You’re right in that contractors aren’t wizards. I grew up around remodeling and my padre is an electrician, which helps. But it’s all possible to do. The big caution is making sure what you do is up to code, not just for safety but for the purpose of any required inspections or resale. I had a repair that required a licensed electrician since you had to cut the power from the utility side for it and that cost me $2k when the repair, which was otherwise simple, would have cost me an afternoon and $40. But I added a full bathroom including the rough in, built and wired several rooms, completely remodeled kitchens and bathrooms... it’s hard work and still isn’t super cheap but you can save yourself tens of thousands of dollars. And it’s so very much easier with YouTube these days. 

 

I dont touch HVAC or foundation work, though. 

 

 

Quote

This is something to look into. My city offers programs for downpayment assistance and fixer-upper assistance. An old coworker bought her house as a 23 year old single mother and got assistance with the downpayment plus another chunk to do things like replace the roof, furnace, and move her water heater from her kitchen to the crawl space. It was forgiven over 10 years and she had to pay back 1/10 of it back when she sold the home 9 years later. I think she got like $20k of assistance on an $80k house and had to pay $2k back

 

It helped us and several of our friends. 

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19 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

Yeah. I've had plenty of dry runs. I'm ready. Not to run a farm as a business, but I can grow and take care of my own food. I just need land.

AWESOME! You sound super ready. It also sounds like the hard part will be finding and affording the right place.

Best of luck and keep us in the loop, as you can tell you have quite a few interested parties here!

 

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This is awesome information. Thanks everyone.

 

The mortgage lady contacted me today with a map of eligible areas. Places I'm looking at are eligible. So I responded with a brief description of what I'm trying to do. Basically just said I want to build a small house by myself, off grid on some empty land. I said I'd be interested in other loans, strategies... basically that I'm open and flexible. We'll see what she responds with.

 

With that, I need to focus on getting myself loan ready. For my financial/research goal I'm going to do a priority checklist:

 

Finance:

1) Get caught up on all debt payments

2) Don't miss any other payments for one month.

3) Pay off credit card X.

 

Mortgage Research:

1) Schedule a phone discussion with the mortgage lady.

2) Research County Building Codes

3) Research County Mortgage Assistance Programs (etc.)

 

As for 1 on the finance list, it's payday, and I put a couple hundred dollars toward my past due student loan payments. I just have a couple hundo more and I'm caught up there. Then I think I'm short by like $50 bucks on a credit card. Once I get current, I'll set up automatic payments and just work my ass off. That was working earlier this year. I should be able to manage 1 and 2 during this challenge. 3 probably won't get done until later this year but at least it's on the list. Credit card X is actually a closed account, and having that monthly payment gone will be a huge help.

 

Now you know why I never made it to boxing classes. Once I tried to come up with the money...

 

Also, today I worked damn near 11 hours. I got into work at 5:15 am and didn't leave until 4:15 pm. Lunch was 15 min. I almost stayed until 4:30, but 4-4:30 is that golden half hour after the school buses have dropped off the kids and rush hour hasn't quite started and I can get home with a lot less delay and frustration... which is a huge help after an 11 hour work day. I'm going to try to repeat that again tomorrow, then I'm going in Saturday morning, and can get another 6 hours in. That should get me close to 55 hours for the week. On Sunday I'm not doing shit, except maybe laundry and seeing what I need to add to my camping gear and supplies.

 

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Work: I put it about 10 hours today. I decided to call it a day right after 3pm. I was hoping to push till after 4, but I only got 4 hours of sleep last night so I'm tired. Plus the Mexican lady I work with brought in tamales and I ate four of those. They were big. And muy delicioso. I checked youtube for how to make them. Now that I know how much lard goes into them: 1) I know why I'm so tired, 2) I'll restrain myself in the future. She said they'll be back in two weeks.

 

Exercise: I still need to nail down a plan/program. I'll put some thought into it this weekend.

 

Cooking: I'll do my batch prep on Sunday. I'm going to give early morning whey protein a break and make some breakfast burritos for next week. Then chicken, rice, and veggies for lunches.

 

Camping: I'll finish out my supply list this weekend too. With some luck and cooperation from the weather, maybe I can do an overnight trip next weekend.

 

 

Finance:

1) Get caught up on all debt payments

2) Don't miss any other payments for one month.

3) Pay off credit card X.

 

Mortgage Research:

1) Schedule a phone discussion with the mortgage lady.

1) Contact the USDA about their loan programs

2) Research County Building Codes

3) Research County Mortgage Assistance Programs (etc.)

 

The mortgage lady says "that is not something we can lend to." She suggested no alternatives. Which I'll take as their bank isn't going to help. So I am going to start asking the USDA about their programs directly. First, yes, I need to work with a lender/bank, but their rural development department has resources for finding the properties. Second, they will likely be able to  guide me to lenders that work with people wanting to develop rural properties. Third, they may have other options that I'm not yet aware of, like grants for solar panels, small farm operations, etc.

 

It's likely I'm going to just have to start with a small house, and at least by making payments on a first mortgage I can build up equity and use that to by some land later. The main challenge will be finding a place that is within reasonable commuting distance to my current job.

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On 9/13/2019 at 7:37 PM, Curl Brogo said:

 

Work: I put it about 10 hours today. I decided to call it a day right after 3pm. I was hoping to push till after 4, but I only got 4 hours of sleep last night so I'm tired. Plus the Mexican lady I work with brought in tamales and I ate four of those. They were big. And muy delicioso. I checked youtube for how to make them. Now that I know how much lard goes into them: 1) I know why I'm so tired, 2) I'll restrain myself in the future. She said they'll be back in two weeks.

 

Exercise: I still need to nail down a plan/program. I'll put some thought into it this weekend.

 

Cooking: I'll do my batch prep on Sunday. I'm going to give early morning whey protein a break and make some breakfast burritos for next week. Then chicken, rice, and veggies for lunches.

 

Camping: I'll finish out my supply list this weekend too. With some luck and cooperation from the weather, maybe I can do an overnight trip next weekend.

 

 

Finance:

1) Get caught up on all debt payments

2) Don't miss any other payments for one month.

3) Pay off credit card X.

 

Mortgage Research:

1) Schedule a phone discussion with the mortgage lady.

1) Contact the USDA about their loan programs

2) Research County Building Codes

3) Research County Mortgage Assistance Programs (etc.)

 

The mortgage lady says "that is not something we can lend to." She suggested no alternatives. Which I'll take as their bank isn't going to help. So I am going to start asking the USDA about their programs directly. First, yes, I need to work with a lender/bank, but their rural development department has resources for finding the properties. Second, they will likely be able to  guide me to lenders that work with people wanting to develop rural properties. Third, they may have other options that I'm not yet aware of, like grants for solar panels, small farm operations, etc.

 

It's likely I'm going to just have to start with a small house, and at least by making payments on a first mortgage I can build up equity and use that to by some land later. The main challenge will be finding a place that is within reasonable commuting distance to my current job.

 

I’ve found that banks are not at all excited on lending money for land unless you’re a commercial farmer buying quality farmland. That’s part of why I keep looking at land in rural New Mexico.  I know it’s really, really far away, dry, difficult to access... but it’s also got a cash price tag I could actually afford. It’ll likely be many years before I can afford he kind of homestead I want without mortgaging it, which I don’t want to do at all. 

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