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My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 01:24 PM   #1
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My Dad "Bought the farm"

Wow! I've been bursting at the seems about this one for over a week, but I wanted to wait until I had pictures! My Dad and Step-Mom bought 10 acres in Northeast San Diego county (at the foot of Palomar Mountain, for those of you who know the area) and are planning to build their retirement home and several guest cottages for the kids and grandkids to stay in. It's only 30 minutes from my house yet seems a world away. Ten acres is big!

Here is the front gate of the property, it was formerly occupied by followers of an eastern philosophy/religion who raised sacred cows on the property and made organic snack bars to fund their way of live (believe me, they didn't have to sell many to fund it!)


I didn't get a good picture of the part of the property forested with oak trees, but it is simply amazing, those are peacocks rooting around underneath them, with my sister in the foreground:


My Dad hopes to have a small organic farm in this area. While there is a lot of work ahead, electricity and water (a well) is in place, and the area gets good solid rainfall. This is my other sister, both are teenagers and are a little reserved about this adventure, but are being good sports:


Anyone have advice, been through this process before (building from scratch)? I'm so excited, I haven't seen my parents this excited in a while! I'm going to do everything I can to help this dream along!
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 01:26 PM   #2
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Any sign of the "real" money crop? :P

Great place!!
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 01:31 PM   #3
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

The Vice Prez can deal with those birds for you.

Nice looking place.

Oh yah, your sister is better looking than you.
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 01:48 PM   #4
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

I purposely took a wide angle shot to keep the resolution low on my sisters! One of them has a boyfriend and she won't let him come around, I guess my Dad and I hummed "you got the knife, I got the gun..." a few too many times. ONe more shot:



ten acres is so big, you just can't capture the feel in one picture!
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 01:51 PM   #5
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Niiice. My other house choice when I bought this one was a ten acre flat as a pancake tract part of the way up the sierras. Unfortunately the cheesy 1000 square foot house with no shower or dishwasher killed it. $210k. I should have bought both.

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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 01:52 PM   #6
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

It's beautiful property Laurence.

No advice here, just envy.
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 02:18 PM   #7
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Wow, what a nice piece of land!
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 04:34 PM   #8
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Wow, what a nice piece of land!
LOL! Makes me think of that montey python skit, "she has huge tracts of land!"

Extra plus side: 20-25 minutes to the nearest Trader Joe's, so we can easily stock up cheap wine gourmet foodstuffs for the weekends!
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Nice! I just wish I had the financial resources to afford 10 acres in San Diego County!
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 05:36 PM   #10
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Looks like a great place!!!
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 05:59 PM   #11
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

It was "only" 360k. :P

My parents kept their first house in oceanside (north coastal S.D.) when they moved to Carlsbad (just south of that) and 15 years later they've built up a bit of equity. So the plan is: sell Carlsbad and move back into Oceanside (now that the last of the kids are finishing up high school), live there 2 years and sell it, all the while doing construction on the "Pauma Gardens" property. If all goes well it will be ready for move in by then.
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-19-2006, 11:48 PM   #12
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Nice! How far are they from the observatory? What elevation?

I've never built from scratch, but I assume the first step is to create a site plan. Sit on every square foot of that 10 acres, stare off into space for a while, and decide which spot they want to build on.
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-20-2006, 01:16 AM   #13
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

About 2500 foot elevation, about 10 miles from the observatory. The road splits and to the left is the windy switchback up to the top and to the right about a mile down is the property.

....my secret devious plan is to work extra hard helping them clear the property, drive in fence posts, whatever, all the while injecting my "creative input" and making sure the property is some place I would want to retire to as well.
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-20-2006, 03:11 AM   #14
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

.. with your sisters, or...
do you have some other plan?*

really a lovely spot..
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-20-2006, 08:31 AM   #15
 
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Looks like fun.

We built a house from scratch -- my wife enjoyed the process, I did not.

My only advice would be what I would do in that situation: Make the house very small, very simple, and very energy efficient (thick walls with lots of insulation, passive solar heating, well-located wood stove, etc.).
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-20-2006, 12:49 PM   #16
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

We just completed a ‘from scratch’ home. We had the lot for 4 years before we built on it. Lots of trips looking at where the house would go. I purchased a copy of Punch software and designed the floor plan during the 4 years. When we got ready to build I was on plan number 9. Talked to all the neighbors and obtained the name of a local builder. Sent the floor plan to an architect. Survey, construction loans, soil samples, then turned it over to the builder. He took care of the rest. More decision that I thought we would have to make. Like what type of trim around doors and windows? Doors, three panel, no panel, painted, natural, what type door knobs, locks no locks, must be 100 door questions. Knobs for drawers? Lights in closets? Jam switches? Never picked out a fireplace before, gas logs or natural? Carpet, tile, wood, Pergo or all four. Gas or electric kitchen, dryer, etc. Neighbors were right, builder was easy to work with… What ever you want…. Your paying for it! House came in on cost, but not on schedule. No problem as we were not in a hurry. You can have it fast or right… take you pick.

The one think we did that I would change is we worried too much about the cost of little things. Sixty percent of the house is labor, twenty percent of the rest is things you really have no control over, foundation, studs, sheetrock and such. (rough guess on percentages but close) The things you can control, counter tops, flooring, and such, make up a small percentage of the house. So if I were doing it again, I might have upgraded some of the fixtures. On the other hand, they all work. (we found outdoor fixtures for $15 each at Costco, saw similar in other stores for ten times that) Looking back saving on things was part of the fun of building it.
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-20-2006, 02:30 PM   #17
 
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Yes, Rustic describes the experience quite well.

What I didn't like is that sometimes something didn't get done the way I wanted, and it was too late to change it.

Example: if the boards on a deck are too close to one another, pine needles and other duff gets stuck between them, and causes rot.* But the builder put them closer than I wanted, and it wasn't worth it to do the whole deck over again.* Yes, I should have specified the spacing beforehand, but there are too many details, and you can't think of everything.

Another example: The carpet looked great when looking at the tiny sample in the showroom, but DW and I both hated it when we saw it installed.* No way to change it without wasting big bucks.* We had to live with that stupid carpet for seven years.
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-20-2006, 03:45 PM   #18
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

We had two beautiful oak trees where the deck goes. We built around both. Three months after the deck was completed, one died. Now we have to figure what to do with the hole. Not really a builders problem, just one of those things that you have to deal with. In retrospect if we had gotten the foundation clay off the roots sooner we might not have lost the tree. Live and learn.
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-20-2006, 06:33 PM   #19
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Ever see one of those fake wooden "wells"?

How about a huge planter?
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"
Old 02-20-2006, 06:46 PM   #20
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Re: My Dad "Bought the farm"

Cute Fuzzy,
Fake wooden 'wells' ? If you mean fake wooden wind mills or housing for a wishing well with no well, then I hope the home is in a trailer park. Otherwise the lack of any feeling of authenticity would negate a serene (might I say Zen) experience.

Better to find a 1980s rusty monty carlo and use it for a planter.

For the cost of a fake wooden structure one might buy a high quality stone Buddha, Deco nude, or art glass to accent a small garden without the underlying denial associated with 'fake' anything.

Just my humble opinion, when ever I made such a compromise, I came to regret it in time.
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