Sunday, December 18, 2011

A load of water has passed under the bridge.....

Winter may have now arrived in Maine and we are looking at a few major developments in our quest to have a farm up in the North East of USA.

Our farm back in Colorado did not sell this year and so we rented it out again. This lasted all of three months - with the renters deciding that they could no longer afford it (which is a complete bummer). Come January 10 we will be without renters and income to put food on the table! That sucks! But we know we had good interest in renters last time and sort of hope we can get more renters into it withing two months. t the same time, we intend to put it back on the market using a different agent - and hope to move it through the year. So that's the stressful bad part of the story. Lets not dwell on it too much...

The other stressful but good news is that we are under contract for a place in Maine. It is just over 12 acres of beautiful pasture land with a small crappy house (3 bedroom, one bathroom). It has a great large garage and a small run down barn/shed. We think we can get at least two horses in the barn...with a little room for hay storage...but it will take some repairs to make it stable and safe. The down side is that we need to get a new septic system and furnace in the house for it to be able to be 'home'....but we are working on a loan to include those things in the price (by the way ..its a GREAT price).

Probably the best part is that it is right close to family - you could walk to their place! That will be a big help for us - and t be honest, the whole reason we moved to Maine.

So fingers crossed that we move this one forward.....a few more steps to go, but things are looking good :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

A few people looking....

It's been on the market a few weeks and we are please tomreport that a few people have been looking. It's a good start, and we hope someone soon sees the farm and falls in love with it.

However, it seems some of the "ladies" on the street have decided that they want to skuttle all attempts to sell the place. One on a horse, we are told, informed a potential buyer that the placed used to be a Meth Lab! Don't you just love some people.....nice to your face, and then spread rumors to make your life difficult. I just hope any serious people don't get to meet the neighbors who are like that....other neighbors are just wonderful people who we love and miss.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that things move quickly and we go under contract soon!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The renters are gone and the farm is on the Market!

I just came back from a weekend in Colorado to sort out the farm. After a few days of hard work, the place is looking much better than I expected. The renters did work on cleaning up the house - I have some issues to fix, but on the whole, it was in good shape. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the property.

The biggest issue was the barn. It was loaded full of the renters name it I found it! (This includes a 30mm cartridge for some kind of cannon, loads of good kids out-door toys, a set of Olympic-grade weights, mattresses and goat poo! Beautiful!). So I hired a dumpster which I loaded to the gunwales! I also threw a few things up on Craig's List and sold about $110 worth of stuff which helped pay for the dumpster (it was $335 alone!). It took we an entire day...and with some help from a few neighbors, I had the barn looking much better.

I also re-landscaped the front of the house - 30 bags of mulch and a load of weeding. A new door mat and a good sweep and the place started looking like it did a year ago.

After the attempt to sell-by-owner (which was not a bad experience, but was not one we could do from 'afar'), a year of rent-to-buy (which really was not worth the hassle), we handed the Farm onto a local realtor who we hope will do a fantastic job of getting the place in front of buyers. We even dropped the price a little to try and get it moving.

So fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Renters are weeds....

A rainbow shows how close to heaven our barn is on BluBelle Farm.

How sad it is to see a place you put blood - sweat and tears into become run down by lazy renters! After all the work Jen and I (and friends who visited) put into clearing away tumble weeds and putting up fencing - just to see the fields completely over run with weeds and fencing all broken is heart breaking.

I guess I was never cut out to be a landlord. I hate having to chase people for rent. I hate having to send official notices telling renters that they have to 'pay on time or move out'. I hate having to try and tip toe around sensativities when people are living in the last dream we had.

But a landlord I am - and a hard-arsed one at that. The final notice was sent and as of the 18 May, the rent-to-buy process is over....and I will be dealing with just a renter who has 13 days to pack up and move out.

I just need to keep a focus on the prize here. Why should the renters live in our last dream and stop us from moving onto the next dream? Why are they on 5 acres and a 1976 sq 4 brd room house when we are on 0 acres, 2 bedroom apartment?

So we now have our fingers crossed that the next stage (they moving out and us cleaning up) goes smoothly!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The dream has already started....

It may seem funny that we have already have a name for our Farm, but not actually a farm! But I guess that is the way we roll - we work on big plans building on ideas we have from our past experiences and things we have read or seen. And to be honest, this is the fun part.

So let me start by telling you about the name - Murramarang is a special place on the coast of NSW Australia. It is a beautiful national park with the most wonderful beaches, fascinating coastal clifflines and amazing animals (marine as well as terrestrial). We love the place - and even have a caravan (trailer) in a nearby campground that we maintain from the USA....just so we know we always can stay when we visit Australia. We wanted to always remind ourselves of this special place...and so have decided.

So where will it be? We are currently looking, negotiating and dreaming about places in the lakes district of Maine, USA. This is, for the geographically challenged, the most northeastern state of the USA - a wooded, lake draped piece of heaven just a short commuter flight from Boston, New York and Washington DC. It is also a place of mountains, a beautiful coastline and a fascinating history. Each village is a step back in time with beautiful old white farmhouses and red barns surrounded by stone walls. Each stream has the remains of an old mill. Our farm hunt is around 40 min drive inland from Portland (the largest population center of Maine) in a area full of beautiful lakes carved from the local granite by glaciers of past.

Why a farm? After 40+ years of me living in cities in Australia and USA, we bought a small farm (5 acres) on the plains of Colorado close to work. It was just a weed patch - but with sweat and planning we made it a respectable horse farm by putting in fences, a pole barn and other sheds and infrastructure. We learned a lot along the way - mainly how important it was to have water (Colorado plains is really a high desert).