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Old 04-14-2009, 09:07 AM   #21
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I have plenty of square footage at 1650, but my 80's ranch is too boxy. I'd like a more open floor plan for the LR/DR/K. I don't think I want this badly enough to move...
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:14 AM   #22
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I have plenty of square footage at 1650, but my 80's ranch is too boxy. I'd like a more open floor plan for the LR/DR/K. I don't think I want this badly enough to move...
Sounds like tearing out a few walls could be the solution. I'd say you are an ideal candidate for one of those "Pimp My House" remodeling shows on TV - you know, those with hot women hosts and decorators.

I see you're working on the application already...
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:17 AM   #23
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I'm thinking Amy Matthews and Candice Olsen...
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:54 PM   #24
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I'm thinking Amy Matthews and Candice Olsen...
As FinanceDude says, this thread is worthless without pictures.

Heh-- interesting-- when you Google "Amy Matthews", the software automatically supplies the word "bikini". Great way to boost her DIY home-improvement credibility...
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:58 AM   #25
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As FinanceDude says, this thread is worthless without pictures.

Heh-- interesting-- when you Google "Amy Matthews", the software automatically supplies the word "bikini". Great way to boost her DIY home-improvement credibility...
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:14 AM   #26
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I own 40 acres of land just as you describe with creeks, springs, and a river running through it. Lots of woods. To a farmer it's a small unproductive piece of ground. To a homeowner its a huge maintenance battle to keep nature at bay. Constant brush hoging to keep the willows from taking over. The grass can literally get over 10 feet high and so thick that the ground never dries out. The creeks and river rise with floods and deposit whole tree trunks on what you cleared last year. The landscape changes from year to year with storms. If you are raising a family and working full time your dream house will turn into a frustrating chore. In heavily wooded ravined country with multi flora rose growing in the underbrush it will take you an entire day to walk the perimeter of 40 acres.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:06 PM   #27
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I own 40 acres of land just as you describe with creeks, springs, and a river running through it. Lots of woods. To a farmer it's a small unproductive piece of ground. To a homeowner its a huge maintenance battle to keep nature at bay. Constant brush hoging to keep the willows from taking over. The grass can literally get over 10 feet high and so thick that the ground never dries out. The creeks and river rise with floods and deposit whole tree trunks on what you cleared last year. The landscape changes from year to year with storms. If you are raising a family and working full time your dream house will turn into a frustrating chore. In heavily wooded ravined country with multi flora rose growing in the underbrush it will take you an entire day to walk the perimeter of 40 acres.
Not to mention I'd have to plow my own (however long) driveway, punch through to a paved road after a storm or wait for the county to plow, etc.

I hate mowing, but I'd also make sure I wasn't mowing 40 acres either. Plant native grasses, etc. to keep things simple if need be.

I'd also have more room for fruit trees, and be fending off deer from the garden, but hunting them in the fall, etc.

There's lots of pros and cons, I agree.

In what locale do you live 'ratface'? Part jungle?

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Old 04-16-2009, 06:51 PM   #28
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If you get 40 acres, my advice would be to have a good part of it be established woodland (>= 40-50 years unfarmed).

Wild plants and animals have 24 hours a day and nothing else on their agenda except to take over your property. Ratface mentioned multiflora rose, but was too kind to bring up kudzu, honeysuckle, mile-a-minute vine, ailanthus, and other thorny, smelly, non-native pests that run rampant in non-arid parts of the U.S. No matter what kinds of grasses you plant, if the other pests like the situation, they will ruthlessly shove your plantings aside and take over...unless you brush-hog several times a year.

The nice thing about 40 acres - as opposed to our 3.5 with neighbors on all sides - is that you could actually shoot your deer, instead of helplessly watching as they destroy everything good that you plant. Deer are like giant rodents. Much like rats and mice, they take bites here and there and end up ruining much more than they actually eat.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:24 PM   #29
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After having to assist the old man with a few strands of electric fence, 10' fruit tree surrounds, and such, I've only missed one deer with a 7mm Remington Mag. in my life. The other half dozen have eaten their last apple/corn/etc.

The plants you've mentioned, I've not heard of in ND. But, there are other fun plants like thistles that blow in from the farmland.

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Old 04-16-2009, 11:12 PM   #30
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Reading these comments on multi-acre properties has given me a new perspective on enjoying our 15,688 sq ft of low-maintenance landscaping...
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:56 AM   #31
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CCdaCe-The property is in NW IL. 9 miles east from the Mississipi River and about 30 miles south of Galena. This land was non glaciated in the last Ice age so it wasn't ground flat like a pancake as the rest of Illinois, thus the rolling hills and ravines and rock outcroppings. I now know why the Irish built walls of stone, because it's everywhere under the ground. I bought the house and two barns, and 40 acres of a once 500 acre farm. I have 11 acres of tillable bottom land adjacent to the plum river which floods every spring. I've got 11 acres in pasture adjacent to the barn. The rest is a combination of swamp and wooded ravined terrain. I've been working weekends on the house, barns, fences, and land for ten years, it's a second home that I plan to downsize into at FIRE. It isn't much good for farming because of the river, springs, and two creeks, it's more of a wetland. All that said it can be enriching to just walk around on dirt that you own, cost of living is cheaper, and My two neighbors have been wonderful. One thing I should mention considering finances, check to see what is considered a farm, acreage wise ,whereever you buy. In Illinois, 40 acres is a farm and is taxed accordingly. My cousin who bought five acres adjacent to me pays twice what I do in taxes with no house. His property is considered recreational.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:40 PM   #32
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... All that said it can be enriching to just walk around on dirt that you own.
Well-said- a good answer for those seeking an explanation of why anyone really "needs" so much property. I recently sold a large ranch in Wyoming (part of my long-term ER strategy) but kept a few choice acres to do just that.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:50 PM   #33
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All that said it can be enriching to just walk around on dirt that you own
I feel the same way walking around my 50'x100' city lot, if I take REALLY little steps! Just kidding..
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:33 PM   #34
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I feel the same way walking around my 50'x100' city lot, if I take REALLY little steps! Just kidding..
Hey, 50 'x 100' is a ranch in Japan!

Speaking of RE, How's the Mizzouri property search coming?
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:57 PM   #35
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Hey, 50 'x 100' is a ranch in Japan!

Speaking of RE, How's the Mizzouri property search coming?
We found some extremely nice, suitable houses for bargain basement prices. We will probably wait until we have sold our present houses before buying anything because we would rather not own extra houses in this housing market. Once we have sold it looks like we will find our ER homes very quickly.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:27 PM   #36
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After having to assist the old man with a few strands of electric fence, 10' fruit tree surrounds, and such, I've only missed one deer with a 7mm Remington Mag. in my life. The other half dozen have eaten their last apple/corn/etc.

You da man!! The only good deer is venison. I am so not a Bambi-lover.

The plants you've mentioned, I've not heard of in ND. But, there are other fun plants like thistles that blow in from the farmland.

Oh, we have those too--Canada thistle is a major pest.

That being said...and since you appear to know perfectly well what you are in for...best of luck achieving your dream of acreage!
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:49 AM   #37
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We went from a starter home through 2 others into a 5000 sq.ft. acreage with pool, spa and 3-car garage.

Now we are downsized into a 1700 sq.ft condo. Never regretted the big place for 6 years. After that I started to resent the days every week devoted to maintenance. It started to feel like a second job. Therapeutic for the first 6 years though.

PS We made money on every house but the last one.
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:46 AM   #38
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You seem to have a realistic idea of what country living entails. I think you will do well. Go for it!
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:15 AM   #39
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House Upgrade

A few years ago my wife and I decided to keep the 1200 sf house she inherited from her late mom. We have been slowly refinishing it. We just re did the bathroom. It is not the nicest room in the house now. We had a friend do the work and it cost us about $7K with labor and materials. I am very cheap, but it was worth it.
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