Archive for the ‘Horse Property’ Category

El Pepe came to us as a ‘free’ gift. Giana’s husband, Brian and got everything he needed from this bike and had moved on (meaning he couldn’t find a buyer) and gave the bike to us. This old, blue Yamaha 200 shows up at our house looking as worn as a could bike can be. I took one look and he told me to call him Pepe.

El Pepe giving our youngest her first lesson about clutches

El Pepe giving our youngest her first lesson about clutches

El Pepe takes some finesse but he is a hard worker. He was good for a few rides then he needed new tires, get a couple of rides then head gasket, etc.

The reason I tell you all of this is because he brought back a joy we didn’t know we missed. My husband Jim, and I, grew up riding dirt bikes. As a more ‘mature’ man, he’d leveled up to his Harley. But you never lose your first love and El Pepe reminded him of that.

But, as always, nothing is free. El Pepe takes TLC but he’s still a great ride. In the end, Brian didn’t give Jim a bike, he gave him an education in motorcylce maintenance!

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The warm weather season is the time to get out and play every chance you get. But it has been especially hard to keep up with the blog because I had to find new homes for my horses this year. Everytime I would log on and see their pretty faces, I would get depressed and just log off again. Working too much, not being able to get out and give them the attention they needed, not knowing where the economy is heading (lets face it, they are probably one of the most expensive pets you could own without getting exotic) all made me decide now was not the time for me to have my horses. Last year when fuel was over $4 a gallon? Yeah, I was paying $20 a bale of hay when I ran out of my bulk shipment.

But time has helped. I miss my girls everyday but we’ve had so much fun this summer I think its time to get back to writing about it!

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I had a large vacant spot by the kids pirate ship that just seemed to be a waste of space. I also had a need for a protected area to plant tomatoes to protect them from the local critters that like to eat my plants to the ground, given the chance.

So I mention this dilemna to my husband and he built me a creative raised bed with scraps from our never ending wood pile.


Upright boards and 6" Round Posts

Upright boards and 6" Round Posts

Then he used some rope leftover from the pirate ship project to make a decorative perimeter. He was able to flow the look of existing wood retaining wall by using the same wood, but changed the direction of the boards and added  the rope to match the ship with a nautical touch.


Adds a Nautical Touch

Adds a Nautical Touch

It did take a yard of dirt to fill, but that was affordable and easy. We just filled the bed of his truck at Moana Nursery


Jeni Gave Me Heirloom Tomatos and I Use a Florida Weave for Support

Jeni Gave Me Heirloom Tomatos and I Use a Florida Weave for Support

Then Jeni brought me some tomato plants and VOILA! A new garden is born. My only wish is that I had a picture of the garden from this morning. We’ve had so much rain lately that the plants are thriving and blooming.

I use a Florida Weave to support the plants but instead of matal posts, I cut back some willow branches to use instead. They will root and I can transplant them in the fall. And I use standard twine for the weave. We keep a huge roll in the garage since it only has about 2 million uses!

This is also on the edge of our patio, so it provides a few other benefits as well. It is another addition to the defensible space around our home, I love to dine outside and actually watch food grow (for some reason, what I’m eating always tastes better!) and it is convenient to monitor water/bugs/etc when I don’t have to hike out to maintain another section of the property.

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If you are selling your home, or not, I bet you wonder about your home’s value today. Or yesterday. Or what will it be tomorrow?

Constant news coverage of home sales keeps this on our mind. Updates on foreclosures, people mailing their keys to the bank and those who are stuck in their home is mentioned a lot. Is it up or down today? Or you could be like those of us in my neighborhood who are constantly watching the market.

A friend recently refinanced and we have been anxiously waiting for her appraisal to come in…What is her house worth? That gives me (and everyone else wondering) an idea of their home value. Neighborhood BBQs ALWAYS have a conversation that is updating everyone on what we heard a home sale closed for in price, what is pending and what people are asking for the homes currently on the market. It can be depressing to hear that a 2700 square foot home on 10 acres is pending for $180K, but we still gossip. We share info on who has withdrawn their house from the market because they know they can’t compete in this market, considering what they owe. (that would be me!)

Why am I rambling about this? Simply put, we wouldn’t have half of this information about our neighborhood values if we didn’t have the information shared by our Realtors, Jeni and Giana. It is public information so they aren’t sharing information they shouldn’t. But that relationship is invaluable when you want to sell or buy. 

There are people who find this information on their own. They are really interested in searching public records and have time available to do so. But, the rest of us are busy or don’t want to do the leg work so we rely on our friends at Outdoor & Resort to keep us informed. One of the Real Estate Gossipers is now looking to buy another rental property, I’m eye balling a piece of land and waiting for the right time to offer and we’ve met some wonderful families who have recently moved to the neighborhood!

Ultimately, real estate values are changing so rapidly, it is hard to base your decisions off of reports using facts and statistics from even a month ago. We have to keep in touch with informed real estate professionals who know what the market is doing daily. I wish there was an easier answer. Anyone can pay for a full appraisal but that is a pricey decision to make just to know what your home value is.

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With a shrinking economy, I went out looked for reasons why I made a good choice in where I live. I learned many things I never knew….

  • Constitutional Ban against Income
  • Ranked 49th for the lowest tax burden
  • Ranked 7th for the highest income

You can read the entire post over at our blog about living Eco Friendly.

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With more and more people losing their homes, do you wonder where they will go? An apartment maybe, or I’ve heard of people walking away from their mortgages because they can rent a nicer home for half the price they were paying to own….

So my next question is who is making money right now? The rental owners or the banks with mortgages? The banks are working hard to correct their balance sheets but the investors in rental property are where the money is, and will be for a while.

I’m wondering where this is all heading. I would like to sell my home to upgrade in acreage but I’m caught in the same trap as the majority of people these days. But the smart people are always the ones to take advantage of a crisis. I want to be one of those people and I want to know all of my options.

Buying houses now, that sometimes cost less than when they did brand spanking new 4 years ago, is where the economy seems to be going. Those who were financially strong through the boom, and continued to keep financial stability during the bust, are the ones who are snapping up properties now. Especially if you realize that people have to live somewhere, the affordable investment is more secure than the 401k or IRA of last year.

The rental investor can offer such competitive rates and of course there is demand. Any industry that people create wealth in has to have a demand and investors able to take advantage of the situation. Of course, the demand stems from home owners not able to keep their investment but still needing a home and DESIRING a nice home to live in.

The investors with the courage to snap up short sales and foreclosures for 50% (or less) of their value will continue to make a profit for years to come. With the affordable prices, they are gaining a real estate asset immediately. With demand, the business model is a sure bet. With desirability, they are proud of where their money is parked.

Affordable. Demand. Desirable. Today wealth isn’t created like the automobile industry at the turn of the century or even the computer industry in the 1990’s, it is real estate. Where will your investment be tomorrow?

Me? I’m thinking it is time to quit my relationship with Wall Street and channel my funds into making my home a rental property. I have been a landlord before and it is a huge responsibility. At least it is if you don’t want to be a slum-lord. But, my husband and I are looking at our options. If we can’t sell our home for what we owe maybe we should rent it. We have been approached by rental opportunities but we were wary. I think it is definitely time to come up with a game plan and pursue this path.

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