Sunday, April 19, 2009

Real Estate

"This is the day which the Lord hath made: Let us rejoice and be glad in it." That is the scripture on mom and dad's headstone.

That is the first thing that popped into my head this morning. I try to be thankful for each and every one of them. It is so much easier here.

We never found this farm, this farm found us. Seriously, we were bound and determined to buy something much less. The Lord just kept closing doors until we got frustrated, then voila, here came this one.

I always wanted to own a farm, it is my nature. I was always too poor to own one, well, not quite rich enough to buy one or dedicated enough to do it. It takes a lot of money to own and keep a good farm. Remember, I am from a long line of tenant farmers.

We found a really nice one in Highland County not too far from Hillsboro, a beautiful farm. We made an offer, it was rejected, we made a counter offer, it was rejected, we made a final offer and it was accepted.

We get ready for closing and the realtor showed us the closing papers and low and behold, an acre was missing. The elderly, ill couple had decided to keep an acre to build their "retirement home" on. I thought the place was their retirement home!

We said no and the deal fell through. We found another unique farm, you have to have the best GPS to find this one not too far from here. It had a nice tract of land and a long lane easement to it. Talk about privacy, it had it! It didn't have the best house on it and one night in the middle of a dream LuAnn popped up in bed and said "we can't live there!"

She was right. It was a private deal and we had agreed on a price and were to sign the papers that week. I finally summoned the courage to talk to the couple and explain why we wanted out of our agreement. They graciously let us out of that deal and we kept hunting.

Another beautiful tract came up for auction near here and we set our price and actively bid at that auction. The price got to our range and it was only us and CountryTyme Realty bidding. The crowd was actively supporting us because CountryTyme was going to split it into 5 acre tracts for houses and the neighborhood wanted to see it stay a farm.

We made our final bid and CountryTyme trumped us, it was out of our comfort zone. That farm now has five new homes on it and some have went through bankruptcy in the last year. Funny thing the Lord said "wait, I have the one you want to live on" and my younger son now owns one of those foreclosed homes and a nice tract of land for a new couple.

I was retired from teaching and was discouragingly driving SR 28, the old Cincinnati-Chillicothe Pike each day and passed this 4 by 8 sheet of plywood painted in yellow on the corner of 28 and Martinsville Road. I got home to Rhude Road and told LuAnn she got on the Cincinnati multi-listing website and said it was just listed!

We made an appointment to see it five years ago, almost to this day and we were the second couple to see it. We pulled into the drive and LuAnn said "if this looks anything on the inside like it does on the outside, we are going to bid on it!"

Sure enough this 1880 brick house was just that and we no more got into the house and while the realtor was upstairs checking it out she was jumping up and down in the kitchen crying "make an offer, make an offer!"

We toured the house and buildings and told the realtor we wanted to make an offer. The realtor said "I have had my license two weeks and am showing this for the broker. I didn't bring a sales agreement."

We looked at each other and I said do you have a legal pad?" He said yes and we wrote one out longhand on that pad. LuAnn and I had both been realtors in our younger years before we figured out we couldn't live on a paycheck of properties sold.

After some negotiating, we had a signed contract and had to sell my paid off property at age 54 to go towards this one. We borrowed more money than I had ever felt comfortable with because those kinds of figures can keep me from sleeping well at night.

Five years ago next month we moved in. That is another blog but here we are. We have never been happier and the debt has never bothered me very long. In the meantime we have invested a considerable sume making it the place we are humbly proud of. It was the best deal imaginable for the couple selling it and we who bought it, a deal "made in heaven."

One email prompted this story today so your input is valued. I hope you find your dream farm too, so many people would like to have what we have but it took a lifetime to get here and the actual intervention of the Lord himself to do it.

This is a real story and I can stick to it.


  1. We went through the same process twenty some years ago.We were twenty miles from downtown Cleveland and the city was engulfing us.There was a four lane highway to be built right through the farm landlocking sixty acres behind it.My grandfather bought the farm in 1919 and my dad was born in the house but it was time to leave.We looked at farms all over the northern part of Ohio and studied soils maps.All of a sudden there it was and everything fell together.It was twenty years ago on April 1st that we moved the dairy herd down here in southern Ashland County.My how time flies!!So when I read your story I knew exactly what you went through five years ago.We went through a lot of ups and downs putting this together but it finally all came together.It was meant to be I guess.It has been a great experience and we have accomplished alot in the last twenty years. I have a lot more improvments I want to make, so I have got my work cut out for the next twenty years!

  2. That is when I should have made my move Terry! Twenty years ago I was near divorce but never knew it. What kind of soils do you have up there? I have the Miami Russell series down here, ground that should be no-tilled. Your story reminds me of Gary Sweet but he stayed. That is no easy task, glad you and I made the right move.

  3. Our soils are mostly Wooster-Canfield.There is some Chili on the farm where I live.Gravelly hills,good drainage for alfalfa.There is a lot of no-till around here but it doesnt work to well for us with all the manure we use.Slugs can be a big problem also.We grow mainly corn and alfalfa for dairy feed.We usually seed cereal rye after silage and harvest it for forage in the spring.I started getting the chopper ready this morning,that rye can come on fast!