Well we are tentatively moving forward with option 2 from my last post, buying a 2 acre property 15 minutes from the city that has a 100 year old house on it. We can then later build our Usonian House on the property while living in the old house, then we are required by the town to tear down the original structure (sad but rules are rules).
We had our hearts set on another property closer to the city to do this but were disappointed when it sold before we were able to put an offer in. This is becoming common right now as baby boomers are scrambling to get out of the cities and go rural.
Here is our thinking on this. This property is about 1.74 acres square and it is extremely rare something like this comes up. It is usually a bowling alley property that is for sale (small frontage, long property towards back…total waste of time).
The only issue we have is its on the north side of the concession but the road is not busy and the closest neighbor is currently 1000 feet away. So we should be able to back the house into one of the north corners and create our court similar to how the Weltzheimer/Johnson House in Oberlin Ohio is now. See Google Maps view of it — its the only house canted 45 degrees in that shot. People would enter the property from a side driveway and not see the house or center yard at all. There is still an open view to the north and east/west. Should work.
What this allows us to do is live on the property for 3 years, convert the barn into a woodshop, save about $20K in development fees and build our Usonian Dream house on site. So we figured the cost of 3 years in mortgage/tax payments plus the savings on the develop fees will equal what we will pay anyway so we mind as well enjoy country life now instead of 3 years from now.
The area is actually closer to the girl’s school and a quick hop on the highway to just about anywhere we need to go. Very ideal.
The only issue is an old woman that grew up on this property and raised 6 kids on it (none of them want it) is being slightly difficult. But now the other one that was a direct comparable sold for $30K less with a brand new septic system, we are hoping she will understand our plea that we want to homestead this property and start a whole new generation of country dwellers. One girl is already excited to live out there so it may be in our family for as many generations as it was in hers.
Will keep you up to date on offers progress.