Monday, October 19, 2009


Cap and Trade has been on my mind a lot. Especially the one proposed part of it regarding an inspection to make sure your home is "green" before you can sell it. The Range is old. And huge, space wise. Much more than I need for just me. I bought it with the thought that my Dad would come to live with me (he had a small stroke the year I bought it and my step mom was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer) but he's recovered well and wants to stay out west where my brothers are so that's settled.

If Cap and Trade passed, in my state it wouldn't just be taxes going up. My heating bill would skyrocket. Goods and services everywhere would go up as businesses have no choice but to pass on their own increased costs to consumers. Even our own governor said it smacks of "imperialism". Also to be considered, the bill would impose enormous taxes and restrictions on free commerce by wealthy but faltering "blue states" such as California, Massachusetts and New York, seeking to exploit politically weaker states in order to prop up their own decaying economies and pay for their lofty new social programs.

The Waxman-Markey legislation would more than double electricity bills in my state of Indiana, erasing years of reform. In recent years, Indiana has been a leader in capturing international investments, repatriating dollars spent on foreign oil and goods and providing jobs. We've been hit hard by the economy in general. Add in a bill designed to reverse that flow and I'd have to agree with Mr. Daniels statement, "Closed- Gone to China" would be on the doors of many shops and factories.

But it's not just taxes, it's also the cost of taking care of the many large, older family homes that those of us in the "farm belt" have bought. The range is such a place. The bit of land it sits on tends to itself financially but the cost of heating a big old place with 20 foot ceilings, even with new windows. . . ouch. $350 a month now to heat it when it's minus 8 out. Try doubling that. I had planned to "downsize", less house, more land, when I got past 50 but if I wait until after C and T and have to make this thing energy efficient to sell it, I will lose money. I've already lost $55,000 of the equity I had in it in housing crash #1. I'm not excited about losing more in crash #2 in the homeowners market that would like follow Cap and Trade.

So I'm thinking of downsizing now. Small, efficient home on slightly more land. Much smaller house. MUCH larger shop area for reloading and other crafts. I could put stuff in storage and rent a small studio while it's built if this place sells quickly. Further out from the city. Closer to the gun range that I like to shoot at. (It's a 45 mile drive each way for me now). My township is booming, as the crime rate reflects, and houses around me ARE selling. So, what say you readers? Is it time for a new adventure?


  1. Brigid, If you can sell the range without losing our shirt and it will put in a better financial situation in the future, I say pull the trigger and go for it!

    Although we can't move for a year, My wife and I just paid cash for our - near future - home in Tenn. We currently live in Washington State and our utility bills are already too high and going up 9-15% a year, along with water restrictions, for the last 5 years.

  2. So basically, 91% (when I voted) say move now. 100% really, as I don't believe the one person who said they owned a firearms factory and only had one week to live. They just want to marry you.

  3. A Barkley and Brigid reality show would probably go over big.

  4. It's a good sign that you can maintain your sense of humor when weighing such an important position. I wish I could truthfully vote the last selection, except the 1 week to live part. :-D

  5. I say buy enough land that you can shoot on it when ever you want.

    My dream is to be able to work up a load in the basement, then step out onto my back porch and see how it groups..... If I could afford to do that now, I'd be all over it.

    If it puts you in a better financial position... go for it....

  6. Get while the gettin is good Brigid. I do have another suggestion.

  7. If market prices are decent where you are now, so that it doesn't hurt you to sell and move, do it.

    Sounds like a better arrangment and if the housing market crashes again due to the nutty economic policies - you might be glad you're in a better position down the road.

  8. My wife and I own a house in california and another one in Utah. I figure we lost about $250,000 in equity in the california house. To the point I really can't sell it right now. We were ready to pull the trigger 2 years ago but hesitated and did that decision ever hurt us.
    Don't wait. If it's in your mind it's in your heart. Listen to that "small, quiet voice."

  9. Don't listen to them. Balloons are dangerous!

    The last time we moved, three years ago, to a bigger place on higher ground - our daughter needed her own room and we'd been scared silly by Hurricane Isabel - I told the friends who helped us move that if I ever called them again asking for such help to immediately dial 911 and send an ambulance, because it would mean I'd totally lost my marbles.

    But that's only because I belong to a tribe of aging gasbags who hate change.

    You're still young. Go for it!

  10. Dear Brigid: Things are ciclical, this craziness will not last. You need not move, downsize the living space in use and work it so that the unused portion needs no or little heat. My dad was faced with this problem and a socialist gov., he kept reducing heated space and sold off 2/3 of the land to reduce taxes. Not fun but it worked long enought so he did not have to leave his home until his natural demise at 80. Survival until conditions change is the game. I am done with big purchases after this year, we are in maintenance mode until 2010 and 2012. Best of luck from a neighbor a bit north of you, with plenty of ammo and deer about.....always prepared.

  11. Same boat I'm in. I'd like to sell the present house and build get something half the size on a large plot of land: a very comfortable, highly efficient house that, unfortunately, wouldn't be "green" in the way the socialists want.

    And I wouldn't worry much about driving distance to the range; if things keep going the way they are the range will come to you....

  12. Anything you can do which will strengthen your financial position while lowering your debt-to-earnings ratio would be a good move.

    It's always easier to encourage someone else to make major changes, but if you can sell the big place & remain happy, then I believe you should.

  13. Same boat I'm in. I'd like to sell the present house and build get something half the size on a large plot of land: a very comfortable, highly efficient house that, unfortunately, wouldn't be "green" in the way the socialists want.

    And I wouldn't worry much about driving distance to the range; if things keep going the way they are the range will come to you....

  14. Smaller place,
    bigger shop,
    more land,
    less people around me,
    lower operating cost,
    If you can swing it, sounds like the way to go.
    I've been answering 911 calls from idiots for the past seventeen years and want as little to do with large groups of supposed humans as possible. If I could move out somewhere with a lot less people polution, i'd be gone in a heartbeat.

  15. Ach and here I though no one else was in the throws of deciding whether to downsize or stay in place! I could write any number of things to do as well as prepare a cost analysis sheet for you, but I believe you have already done this. The simplest thing to say is follow your own heart and do what is best for you.

  16. We are considering the same possibility - downsizing, more self sufficient, possibly off the grid, someplace favorable to hunkering down and waiting it out... We would take a hit on our equity compared to what we could have gotten two years ago... but we would still clear enough to rebuild debt free in another area. It is very tempting.

  17. You have the right attitude, Brigid, and I'm sure things will work out for you. As others have said, this craziness hopefully won't go on for more than a few years. The GF and I were going to buy a bigger place and rent hers out, but with things they way they are out here in Kalifornia, we decided to spruce up her place, and add a workshop/radio room for me in the spring.
    If people think things are bad in real estate now, just wait until all those "Option ARM's" reset next year, and all those homes get foreclosed on, or the owners just walk away from them.

  18. If you want to hear God laugh, just tell him your plans. unknown

  19. I say "go for it". We did and though it's been a little tough lately, we wouldn't change a thing. Don't hesitate as things are going to get worse.

  20. Some of us are expecting it. Some of us are prepared for it.

  21. Maybe you can find someone to do a trade and stay off the books. ;-) It sounds like you have the strength to make a move, and that the local conditions are becoming intolerable - so go.
    We're stuck in a prison of our own equity and we're not prepared to become adventurous for a few more years yet.

  22. We're big believers in the "not so big" house. And the insulating qualities of full bookshelves.

  23. Take what’s left of the equity and run, Brigid. Development brings crime and higher taxes to pay for a local police department, paid firefighters, more schools and other infrastructure that are required. What was a quiet 2 lane state road in front of my house 1986 is now busy with tandem trucks and traffic from MD and points south passing through our rural area.

  24. It sort of sounds like you have decided. However, if the city is creeping up on your your land value will only increase (although the presence of "cidiots" will decrease its value to you). Where I am from, the price of decent size parcels of land has not decreased at all. I would hold your present plot, expecting to profit from its rise and possibly meanwhile buy the dream land further away. Covers both sides of the equation.

  25. Brigid,
    that little voice is years of experience speaking and as long as you think it through and apply a solid decision making process you will be happy with your decision. You even admitted that the reasons you bought the current house no longer applies.
    My family is in a similar situation and we are planning the move out of the urban area to a more rural scene for many of the reasons you said. I see a lot of the same signs of decay/blight you are and I am planning on getting out while the interest rates are still low and prices are on an upswing.

  26. Look at berms. You can build a very nice berm home- or even a full underground- for remarkably little money, they're inexpensive to heat and cool, and they can be built so they're invisible from the road. Build a barn that looks abandoned from the outside, and on the inside is a cozy workshop. Connect the workshop and the home underground. Use a pellet stove with a propane furnace backup, and the chimney of the stove and furnace can be plumbed far away from the house so no smoke ever gives away it's location.

    Helped a guy build a home much like this in Minnesota one summer. Southern exposure meant the exposed wall of the house, all glass- collected light and heat all day, and automatic shutters sealed in everything and made it secure. Three bedrooms and a modest living/family area, and he spends more running his computer than heating it.

    I like traditional farmhouses, but the idea of a modern hobbit-hole appeals as well.

  27. You know, it's funny. The 'green' house is exactly what most of us really want. Efficient, cheap to run, can even be enough to run off the grid without too much trouble. It's getting to that 'green' state that is expensive. Plus, the fact of being driven there like cattle instead of lead there like thinking people.

    As for the other... given your crime anecdote, it's time to go. Oh, sure, you can certainly defend yourself, and thankfully there's no pitter-patter of tiny feet to worry over, but do you really want to read the book with the .40 in your lap just in case ? ( reading while armed just because you can is a separate issue... maybe a blog post! You're welcome.)

    I infer from the OP that you might be constructing a new abode. Consider a Liteform Flexx-Block enabled design. I know someone with a tower (long story) made with that method. You can pretty much heat it with a candle, it has that much thermal mass.

  28. Brigid;
    I'll assume with your ability you have already made your decision, and it will be a good one for you.

    I took the loss(money wise)on both my condo and my business to get my freedom. It has been worth every single dime. I have a small piece of land(5 acres) that my MH can set on if I choose, and the freedom to also move where ever I like. I to seek that land I could build a shack on but be able to shoot from my front door. When I find it my freedom will be complete.

    You go girl....And if you wish to adopt a dad I'm available.

    See ya

  29. Well, with all your considerations in mind it sounds like a smaller home on a large piece of land is just the ticket. The bigger the land the better as no neighbors are good neighbors. An efficient wood stove for the house and shop to help with the heating costs is helpful. This makes nearby wood essential.
    It does sound as though your heart is no longer in your current home.
    You could move here to Canada. Lots of land but the guns would make you persona non grata to the government. Penniless, criminal gang-tied immigrants are fine. Just not guns.
    I suspect the right decision will make itself clear with time.

  30. it's not obvious but the berm homes/underground places I've seen have taken advantage of high efficiency skylights and windowed walls and very high ceilings to make them very not-underground feeling. Search "Earth homes" or "Earth sheltered homes" and look at some of the plans. I developed claustrophobia late in life, and I know what you mean- but you'd be very surprised by what they're doing. Plus, you can make a berm home look like a traditional house on the lee side, and like a grassy knoll (sans kennedys and lincolns) on the street side.

  31. We're out in the country on 35 acres and I've got basically an unused apartment in walkout basement (we were planning for parents to move in, too) - when can you move in? ;-) No crime to speak of, wide open spaces, but I'd have to check with friends on the local gun ranges.

    In all seriousness, we're facing the possibility of a move, too, as husband has just landed a job around two hours away (this economy sucks). The current home has actually got all the bells and whistles in terms of green - Energy Star and Green Built certified, among other things - (in my alter ego I am perhaps the only Conservative green person on the planet). Still, I'm pretty sure we'd take a bath on it if we had to sell because the market is so soft.

    Cap and Tax drives me absolutely nuts, as does most of the so-called legislation coming out of DC. I'd love to tell them all just to stay the **** out of our lives.

  32. Take my advice with a grain of salt: I turned down a job offer from Cisco in 1990 when the stock was at a split-adjusted price of, oh, a penny ...

    I don't think that Cap and Trade is going anywhere meaningful, because the Democrats still have some grownups in the party (and these grownups don't want to lose elections). They may pass something called Waxman-Markey, but nothing like you describe.

    That said, if the market is decent then the old saying holds: nobody ever lost money taking profit. If you're willing to move from your current place and if the new place is somewhere you like, it might be a win.

    But move because you want to, not because you think you will have to.

    But that's just me.

  33. Brigid;

    If you are "financially secure" and also thinking about moving to your "final home where you'd stay until they pry the .45 out of your cold dead hand", then I would suggest you go the full auto clip route and do the following:

    With your desire for a small house, and remote location, as well as a workshop, it seems to me you should invest in hiring an architect. With your mention of claustaphobia, you might be a good choice for a Half-Berm house, where one side of the house is enveloped by insulating dirt and trees, etc., while still having the opposite side a glass house type affair giving you the view of the lovely land you choose to place the house in. As strange as it may seem, it's not the windows that cause insulation problems, so having a lot of windows won't be a problem if you plan right from the start. This would give you major "green" factors saving you money while not making you feel as though you're in a hole or basement. Because like it or not, even if the Trade and Cap thing doesn't pass, electricity and other fuels are simply going to have to raise in cost as supply and demand changes drastically (supply down, demand up). Also, if you do a half-berm concept, this will allow you to place your house anywhere on your property lot, as you could literally be right next to the road and no one would know there's a house there because you'd have the window side facing away from the road. Thus, privacy, value, quietness, and with good planning on your part, a glorious view. Don't forget to pick a plot with a lake, so Barkley can have his daily swim.

    Start this now before you have to move, as of course it takes time to design and then build a new house. You can then impliment all design and material ideas you have, right from the very start. Once the house is done, you can then sell your current place, hopefully in a better market.


    P.S. I second the idea of a Brigid and Barkley tv show. Shooting and Cooking hosted by a beautiful irish lass with her trusty side-kick. How can it fail?

  34. Where was the option "Move to TX and get land at a good price with no state taxes"?

    It's a big tree stand...

  35. I'd like to point out the following: you can make a small house bigger with some work and some lovin'. However, it is considerably more difficult to make a big house smaller.

    And regarding the AR vs Marriage thing? Well, I need my Restricted license for that...I figure if I can treat myself, it might as well be a Tavor.


  36. Some factors to consider:

    Due to a strong increase of inflation on the horizon, liquid assets (Cash, most stocks, etc...) will be devaluing soon. Faster than investment banking can cope with.

    General property values will continue to decrease for another year in with an overshoot of devaluation near its end (Though inflation will/continue-to hide this).

    Though Property values have decreased, Property tax has not.

    With the devaluation of the dollar, utility costs will increase (not even mentioning Cap and Trade here). Construction materials for maintenance will also increase significantly.

    What would I do?

    I may not necessarily sell, Brigid - especially if the building is entirely paid for - which makes it a very nice holding tank for preserving the value of your liquid assets. Besides, you can also put insulation in the walls and find other ways to decrease the utility costs and be compliant with Cap and Trade. If Cap and Trade does come about, and
    you do need to be complaint with the new codes, working with inspections is really not all that bad. Sure you'll probably have to sink in thousands of dollars in modifications, but that is just a fart in a whirlwind when it comes to the tens of thousands in dealing with buying and selling a house. Besides, this is residential property. Inspections will allow for you to do MOST of the modifications yourself. Your a smart lady, you could do that.

    OTOH, being that you like to stay mobile, you may not want to deal with these have-to modifications as it would pin you down for a time (Thats IF Cap & Trade goes int oeffect).

    So... what would I do with the likely-hood of selling the house? Okay... I'm getting to it.

    Sink most of your liquid assets (Cash, etc) into hard assets, sell your house and live in an apartment.

    If you have siblings that have children to raise and you trust they are not slobs and care for the place they live in, sell your house, pull all your cash out of the market, buy a foreclosed house(s) (many new ones out there) for you sibling(s) and have them pay equal to whatever expenses it takes to have the taxes, insurance and utilities on the property. They benefit because they can raise their kids in a very nice, cheap place (uh... do your homework) with a very nice landlord. You benefit because you won't financially bleed to death with 10% inflation, high utilites and taxes tearing huge hunks out of your hide. If you do not have enough liquid to buy a house(s) outright, DO NOT DO THIS. There are always unforseen issues that can happen and you may end up paying some or all expenses for the hard asset. Mortgage payments can be a crippling and decisive failure that could lead you to bankruptcy - especially in
    this economy.

    Lastly, if it appears that I am condoning renting to the general populace, I'd like to emphasize most extremely that I am not. The general rental market is also soft (yes, yes, people are losing their homes - but they are NOT going into rental units. Simple math here) and you are opening up a whole can of worms that you should probably leave unopened. Rent only to relatives/friends that you REALLY trust (that should narrow the field down considerably).

    Sadly, the is no sure thing in this era.

  37. Or maybe... instead of renting and apartment, renting a townhouse or duplex so Barkley can stretch his legs.

  38. Mrs. Roscoe and I have similar concerns regarding Cap and Trade and our house here in Florida. It sounds like our respective houses are about the same age/size, and we currently spend $300 monthly on power bills on average to cool/dehumidify the place from May through October.

    While we were already planning to move out of the state at the end of the school year, C&T would advance that timetable. However, we've decided to take a wait-and-see approach about the laws for several reasons:

    1) If the bill did pass, we doubt that the enforcement period would start immediately.

    2) We don't believe the bill will leave conference with the inspection requirements intact. That seemed like a gimmie for ACORN, and that group has been discredited for now (Thanks to a Florida college student!).

    3) At least in The South, the demographics of potential inspectors vs. potential inspectees will ultimately make the program wildly unpopular if not downright dangerous for the people charged with enforcement. The current truce between the demographics down here is tenuous at best.

    (Sorry to be non-PC. I'm a realist on that point. I've lived here practically all of my life and grew up in a town still controlled by the Klan as late as the 1970s.)

    4) Housing crash #1 is NOT over. I live outside Tampa, ground zero, and, given 15 minutes walking up and down my street, I can show you multiple examples of how the banks are hiding the extent of the crisis; I don't think the banksters want the added problem of getting the houses in shape for "green" inspectors.

    Of course, if we're wrong, we've made sure that we are in a financial position to get out quickly and rent. Buying even at these prices is insane at least in our area.

  39. My first impulse was to go for the wealthy firearm factory owner scenario, but I didn't think I could pull it off.

    For me the house, while important, is secondary to the location (away from people) and the acreage. I want as much space as I can get/afford. The small amount of tillable land on my 193 acres is in the CRP.

    You have arrived when you can do "couch shooting". I can open the door and safely shoot while sitting on he couch.

  40. Do whatever you can to stick it to Henry Waxman and the other limousine liberals like him.

    Just sayin',
    Mike S.

  41. Yeah, Housing Crash #1 still isn't over.

  42. With the economy the way it is and what is happening in washington and overseas I would definately consolidate. Smaller is easier to manage and the extra you save could go toward other important items.

  43. During this time of tumult I believe there are some genuine opportunities for those willing to avail themselves to them. Our homes have lost some value and our equity has shrunk but most other properties have too. The interest rates are extremely favorable if you have good credit and can qualify conventionally. If one could find a property in an area that is more salubrious then there may be no better time.

    Much of the discussion has focused on the financial ramifications. Brigid has repeated mentioned the degradation of the quality of life that she once enjoyed there. To me this is reason enough and a primary motivator.

    We are in a similar circumstance, living in what was once a rural area that has eroded to semi-rural and is headed toward suburbia. The change comes slow and goes almost unnoticed. For us the contrast became most apparent when we purchased another parcel in a rural location and we began spending time there. The difference in the quality of our life between the locations becomes more and more stark. Our awareness of things we have lost without noticing (star filled skys, quiet, elbow room, self reliant neighbors...) have a value that isn't easy to measure in dollars.

    Thanks for sparking this great discussion Brigid.

  44. Brigid, I've been trying to convince my other half to do just this, Haven't had a lot of luck so far, she is of the opinion things will turn around and this McMansion of ours will regain lost ground. However, were we to sell now for more land less house there would still be a substantial profit made on this house...and we have moved past the point where we need 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths.

    Cap and Trade coupled with Socialized Medicine is going to kill people when its implemented, I think its smart to make the move now. Costs will soar and EVERYONE but the ultra Rich are going to depend on subsidies from the government to survive..which I think is the goal. Very depressing time to be alive.

  45. Run like the wind. If you have the money, if it will cost you less in the long run, then pack it up and move it out. We've got creeping humanity here too and would like to do the same thing but not feasible at this point.

  46. You just returned from a visit to Colorado and you even ask such a question? There are a lot of states that are gun friendly, price friendly, tax friendly, and with wide open spaces and low crime. With broadband, you can work from anyplace. With your technical expertise you will be in high demand wherever you go.

    I moved to TX four years ago, not to downsize from my place in Colorado, but to get out of the city and to get twice as much new house built to my specs as my equity in Colorado was worth. I've never regretted it for a second.

    We've lost nothing in comfort, convenience or income while we've gained much in serenity, security and quality of life. Could do the same in NM, WY, UT, AZ, OK, MT and more places.

    I can go weeks without encountering a liberal where I live.

  47. Brigid, I think I agree with the majority here -- provided... provided... the Range doesn't have much in the way of mental baggage for you, or you can unload that baggage. My own predicament is a very large house, fair amount of land (for Connecticut)... where my family has lived and farmed for eight generations. The downsides are tremendous (Connecticut has to be one of the worst places in the country to live, the place is expensive to heat, the taxes are outrageous, etc.) but... but... we've been here kind of a long time...

  48. Tough decision. Real tough. The question is, "Will Cap 'n Tax get passed?" I don't know. Are the dems ready to force it through over all the objections? Are they willing to lose Big Time in 2010? In 2012? Do they think they can pass Cap 'n Tax and still retain power in the next few years?

    Don't know.

    If you have a prospective "new" Home on the Range, I'd say do it now. Can you pay two mortgages for a short period of time while the old is on the market? If so, do it now.

    I think there is more economic troubles coming and if you can lock in something now that you'd be doing in the future and still afford it, do it now.

    The future is no place for weaklings as many will discover.

  49. On selling and buying during a down market:

    To me it's a wash. You have to live somewhere, and if your home is down in value so is the one you will be buying/building. Go to Home Depot, plywood costs a 3rd what it did 2 years ago.

    Myself, I just put down a full price offer yesterday on an irrigated acre with 2000 sq ft house. Asking price was $164K. During the boom it had sold for over $400K. So what if my place is worth half what it was 2 years ago, so is anyplace I'd want.

    I'm having a hard time imagining a $350 heating bill. I suspect you'd have a hard time imagining a $350 air conditioning bill though, but that's what us AZ folk are used to.

    Go for it.

  50. There's some pretty good advice contained in these comments - of all types, and I'll echo a couple of them; listen to Brigid first, last and foremost - it sounds as though you no longer feel "home" on the range, so it probably IS time to "git". The insulating qualities of dirt and bookcases are well worth taking into consideration and the former doesn't necessarily translate into cave-like living.
    Bride and I just bought our first house after returning from overseas almost a year ago and at least weekly congratulate ourselves and each other for really searching until the place was "just right". Again, wait till Brigid (and perhaps Barkley too) says "just right".
    Liquididty and return-on-investment matter less when you're buying a home instead of "investing". You were just out in our neighborhood on vacation, there are still some good deals to be had in property and there's work for those that will. C'mon out and help us take back our state!

  51. We bought a large house 3 years ago, in anticipation of Incubii remaining under our roof and much more company coming/staying with us. As it works out, that's not the case, and we found that we're bumping around with a couple of thousand more square feet than is really necessary. Yes, Marco/Polo has gotten to be a joke with us.

    While a garden and yard is nice, and the dogs really like being outside on these really nice days, we're seriously considering downsizing dramatically. Maybe going downtown to a highrise or the 'Burbs in a townhouse for awhile while looking for some land which isn't in an area which will be overbuilt in the next 10 years. We're even considering moving further NW in the state to a much more rural, agricultural area. Some days a yurt with a wind genset and solar panels looks really good, but a steel-framed shop type building, super insulated, isn't highly objectionable as an abode. Even looked at the Clayton i-house, which, although seems excessively 'greeenie', probably fits our needs best.


  52. I was joking when I picked D, but I believe that EVERY man that has read this blog for any period wishes that they had someone in THEIR life like you.

    Love your writing, please don't ever quit!

    So Louisiana

  53. Sounds as if you already know what you want, so I have no doubt you'll make the best "move" at the right time.
    My suggestion would be: Never do something that would cut the recreation/family funds, if you can avoid it. That's takes too much out of the real reason for living. We all have a bigger purpose in life than working and keeping up our homes, etc. But you know that...

  54. Brigid, You really seem to "belong" on your little homestead you have there. It just seems to be part of you! If you are happy there, I would stay!

    I didn't like the way option two was worded on the poll, so I voted option 3.

  55. Ed - I don't want to move out of state, until retirement. I have a unique position here, one I probably wouldn't get unless I went to LA or Miami or DC or such. Don't want to.

    Mike - I belong here, but I adapt anywhere, and thrive, belonging again. Put me on another piece of land much further out with a "fixer upper" and I'd be happy as all get out. It's the mind set, not the walls. I've lived in this place alone, had my heart tromped on here a time or two, spent a lot of nights alone here, too many. What is=t holds is not sentiment, just memories of learning, and growing, like other places I've lived.

    Crucis - yes, I can easily afford two mortgages. The decision isn't about paying more for utilities and taxes, it's about paying for it when it's not necessary, in a place that I didn't intend to retire in, just provide a nice big place in a country setting for my Dad to spend his final years. But he remarried, recovered from his stroke and wants to live near or with my younger brother if we do lose my stepmom to cancer. No regrets, he would have done the same for me.

  56. I like the smaller house and more land. My daughter is about to head out into the wild blue yonder. I have decided that anything over 2 bedrooms is a waste. All I need is a weapons room, a healthy pantry area, and an open living/kitchen area, will be about right. I just cannot imagine cleaning a house, where I only live in 25% of it, and then there is the energy expense on top of that. A combo barn and shop would be a requirement also.

    Of course, there would be wood stoves all around.

  57. Ever notice that when a friend wants your advice, they really want your agreement on what they really want to do anyway?

    And it's a good idea, so do it.

    Ian, Connecticut's not all that bad, just the big bucks towns around the infernal upside down T, running along I-95 on the coast and up through Hartford along I-91. The entire north-eastern and northwestern parts of the state are almost uninhabited.

    I particularly like the dirt cheap rural privacy out around Winchester. I was looking at some land up in Vermont, but I think I'll stay where I can get back and forth on secondary roads.

    I can pick up a sound old John Deere 1010 crawler-loader for peanuts, do a discrete Roman vallia type trench and berm, plant the berm in blackthorn (nasty!), and fill the trench with blueberry plants. A month of ball-busting, then no maintenence ever.

    Some dwarf apple trees, a two acre pasture, and two or three head of grass fed Dexters, all 45 minutes from Avon or Canton, smack in the middle of some of the best deer hunting on the planet.

    Taxes are peanuts out there, a diesel generator, and a well. The best of both worlds.

    And Brigid, there really is no downside, so do it. And sadly, I only work in a firearms factory.

  58. One gentlemen on a board came up with a pretty decent solution with this scenario. He built a small pre-fab metal building, then lived in a mid size travel trailer inside that. His shop was around him, as were his vehicles, all enclosed in the space. So you get the outdoors around you, have a shop closer yet where you lounge and work, than heat / cool a small living space where you eat and sleep. The pre-fab is an extra layer of insulation for the home, keeping snow / wind / sun away from surfaces and extends its life quite a bit.

    And if you decide you want to pull up stakes for a longterm visit, the trailer gives you the opportunity to hitch up and go.

  59. Dear Brigid, I voted, but as so many above, need to add my thoughts. The choices frame your mindset. There were no people in them, (other than work and the terminal bangstick builder). Just you and the Barkley. All else being equal, you should spend what you have to get what you want, shop and land, and that was my vote. That said, don't run off and hide. Don't tear out your roots and network of dinner party or shooting club friends. They will find someone for you and hopefully he will have more than a week left on the meter. Paradise is people not place, humans not hobbies. If you let the right ones in. Good luck,

  60. House on land my dream, enough for the kids and chickens and some other stuff to run wild. Its very expensive in the UK to buy land with a house already there and almost impossible to find a significant plot of land you'd be allowed to build anew on so may long remain only a dream.

  61. Hmm - lots of good comments.
    My take-
    Things are not going to get better economicly speaking , for a long time. NONE of the debt problem has gone away, just been papered over. So a major crash is on the way. (no, this blip is not the one I am thinking of- My opinion is we are in for a body check, full on slam of a depression, a nation changing event). This country is insolvent, everyone knows it, and we are slipping rapidly into a full on communist government.
    Find a place with a lot of support from folks who think like you. If it were me I would find a place to rent and buy later, after the crash- this does have the one great problem of assuming your money will be worth anything , the longer you wait....
    Good luck on whatever you decide.

  62. I so wish I could be your ideal man. i.e. that last option in the poll...

    I believe you should do what makes you happy. Don't be stampeded by state sponsored terrorists.... er legislators. How does one do that line thingy anywho?

  63. Do what you must to protect yourself and what's left of your investment. However, when you do it don't forget that it wasn't your choice--you were forced into it by your own government. Let that thought work for a while and then turn it into action. Of what kind is, of course, up to you.

    And I was tempted to tell you that I own a large firearm factory, but I just couldn't. I have more than a week to live, I think. ;-)

  64. We only have so much sand in our timers. My grandmother said on her 90th B-day that if she had it to do all over, she'd do "a whole lot less housework." Her regrets were doing things she didn't enjoy and living in places she didn't want to. Being fortunate enough to have all four grandparents alive until I was 30 and have been bless to have been advised by the experience of four lifetimes and over 350 years of life experience. All advised following my passions, especially when I was young enough to enjoy them.

    I suspect if Brigid follows her heart now she will have fewer regrets later in life when her choices are more limited.

  65. Brigid, we know that sometimes it's nice to have difficult decisions confirmed by your friends. Even those of us you've never met.

    That's what we all are here for. To give advice, our thoughts and opinions when asked. And ignore all that when it hasn't been asked.

  66. Your blog is fabulous. Full of energy and depth. Finally, here's a blog I think my husband (who's a gun lover) and I can enjoy together. Thanks so much.


I started this blog so the child I gave up for adoption could get to know me, and in turn, her children, as well as share stories for a family that lives too far away. So please keep it friendly and kid safe. Posts that are only a link or include an ad for an unknown business automatically to to SPAM..