The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Putting the annex on hold

Hay field

The auction we visited yesterday was one possibility for the Walden Effect annex.  It's the land that's within easy walking distance and had an oil and gas lease that had expired.

Since the property was a foreclosure, we thought the tracts might sell for much less than they did.  I'd read that 75% of market value is average for foreclosure auctions, which would have put the cheaper tracts just barely into our price range ($15,525 for the cheapest one, which is 35 acres).  In fact, they went for 103% to 167% of market value.

Land auction

But we didn't even put up the 10% to allow us to bid.  After a month spent cogitating on the repurcussions, we decided it just wouldn't be worth it to have the annex if it meant we'd clean out all of our emergency reserves and go slightly into debt.  (Plus, we'd heard through the grapevine that a lot of folks were interested in the land, which made us doubt that the property would sell low.)

Yes, we probably could have buckled down and paid off the loan in a year or two (or three or four at the prices the land actually sold at), but only if we focused a lot more on making money and lot less on building relationships with folks like Bradley (and on our random experiments).  I think Mark and I both felt relieved when we decided to put the annex off for a few more years until we'd saved enough cash to buy another piece of land outright.

Instead, we'll be focusing on building local community with our meetup group.  Time to think of another fun get-together for local permaculture nuts like me.  Mark says a kill mulch party is crazy.  Ideas?

Our chicken waterer keeps the flock happy while we're off at auctions.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Devon --- Yeah, there was a lot of shady stuff going on that I started to write about, then decided it was water over the dam. :-) I suspect there was a bank person bidding --- otherwise, why would both the first and second tract in a buyer's choice auction go up to the same amount? They also had the tracts marked wrong, which will end up being a legal nightmare (only hopefully not so much since a father and son bought the pair that were switched). But it still could be worth dealing with all that if you know ahead of time what you're getting into and get a good deal.
Comment by anna Thu Sep 27 11:25:30 2012

Come on over... I will host this one! :-) Building community is so important... Kudos on all your efforts in that regard. We need lots more of just good neighboring!

Comment by Deb Thu Sep 27 20:53:05 2012
Deb --- I know --- I think it sounds like fun! :-)
Comment by anna Fri Sep 28 08:03:15 2012

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