If you know ANYBODY looking to buy a piece of land to come back to, send them to this page. We've got something for everyone. No really... Look, here I'll even give you the direct URL: http://greenbluebrown.blogspot.com/2010/03/instant-homestead.html
The house is about 2200 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and a loft that could easily be converted to a fourth bedroom (it's already got a closet even), plus a full unfinished basement. The land is just under 9 acres. About 6 acres are fenced pasture, with a 1 acre pond and another 1/2 acre "sunken marsh". (It was meant to be a pond, but it doesn't hold much water, so it's mostly cat tails, frogs, and red-winged blackbirds.) We're about 10 minutes from Circleville, Ohio (the Pumpkin Show!) and 30 minutes from Columbus. Based on local comps, we feel our asking price is fair at $264,900... but we can talk.
(Some of you are going, "Wow that's a lot!" and other's are going "Wow, that's all?" What can we say, real estate prices are what they are.)
What's so great about it? What does it have for me?
(No stock photos here, this is all legit...)
For the Nature Lover: We've got at least three species of frogs and one species of toad living here, along with a surprising number of salamanders. Our avian visitors include red-tailed hawks, great blue herons, bluebirds, barn swallows, barn owls, merganser ducks, mallard ducks, ring-necked pheasants, and even an occasional snowy egret. (Not to mention hordes [or possibly hoards?] of red-winged blackbirds, robins, cardinals, cowbirds, etc.) We get skunks and possums from time to time. Still hoping for an otter. Or a hippo. At least a dozen types of butterflies, and plenty of dragonflies and a fascinating array of beetles. The pond is well-stocked.
For the Bright Green environmentalist: Our pole barn has a big roof facing true south (I marked it off with my compass and even accounted for magnetic declination), for all those solar panels you always dreamed of. And plenty of room (and a good bit of wind) for the tallest wind turbine you can afford. There's a recycling center five miles away.
For the energy miser: CFLs throughout the house, R-60 insulation in the attic (mostly blown cellulose), a heat stove that can burn corn, pellets, cherry pits, sunflower seeds (or hulls), soybeans, or almost any other "granular" fuel. (Propane furnace serves as a backup.) A vaulted ceiling/loft that lets all that heat flow right up to the second floor, so the bedrooms can share the warmth. Low-E windows throughout. Removable shade screens to cut the summer heat. A super-efficient whole-house fan to draw in the cool summer night air. And of course the over-engineered clothesline.
For the Passive Solar enthusiast: We put in extra windows on the south face of the house for some winter warmth. We've got a porch overhanging some of the east facing windows, and a grape arbor overhanging some of the west facing windows to get some summer shade. We had plans to put up solar hot water panels as an additional shade structure over some of the south windows. No windows on the north face. In fact, most of the north face is a 2-car garage (and the beginnings of a green windbreak) to buffer those winds out of the north.
For the Local Food enthusiast: We've got a number of other small farmers close by and one good sized organic dairy. And a fabulous farmers' market in the next town over.
For the gardener: That south-facing barn was built with an attached greenhouse in mind. The soil in the garden area has been amended with: Several pickup loads of finished compost from the nearby organic dairy, many bags of leaves from yards in town, dried molasses, hay, straw, shredded paper, newspaper, cardboard, worm castings, composted wood chips, and manure from chickens, goats, cows, and a donkey. Oh and lots of biochar from our biomass stove and wood ash from when we burn pellets. And no chemicals. And scattered wildflowers.
For the edible landscaping enthusiast: We've got apple trees, peach trees, cherry trees, grape vines, gooseberries, currants, sunchokes, asparagus, and a big patch of lemon balm. And possibly some salvageable nut trees if you can baby them a bit.
For the livestock enthusiast: We've got a chicken pen inside the pole barn, and a milking stall suitable for cows or goats. And room for plenty of hay. We've got acres of pasture well suited for rotational grazing, and fences built to last. The property has had no [pesti/fungi/herbi/insecti]cides of any kind on it, and it's got a nice variety of grass and red clover with occasional volunteer alfalfa, wheat, corn, wildflowers, etc. We've also got an Amish-raised Jersey cow who gives gallon after gallon of amazing cream-colored high-butterfat milk. It makes awesome butter, ice cream and yogurt (and presumably some incredible cheeses too, though we haven't gotten that far). She's bred to a proven Angus bull for your grass-fed beef needs. She doesn't come with the house, but if you're interested, she certainly can.
For the small farmer: We've got lots of room to grow small row crops, with pasture gates wide enough to fit most any equipment that would make sense on this scale. We've also got a Ferguson TO-30 tractor, a bush hog, and a 2-bottom trip plow we could throw in. The soil is already fabulous, and we've been working hard to improve it.
For the aesthetically inclined: The sun rises out your bedroom windows and sets out your living room windows. There's nothing ostentatious about this place, but it does have oak trim throughout, and most of the doors are solid oak. It's got beautiful stonework around the fireplace. It's got light-stained maple cabinets in the kitchen, and French doors leading to the dining room. It's got a vaulted ceiling up to the loft. It's got a big wrap-around front porch.
For the busy parent: It's got a 50x50 fenced back yard, and it's in a great school district (with a fabulous special needs program). And lots of room to roam and explore. And a surprising number of kids in the area.
For the homeschooler (or the amateur inventor, or the artist): it's got a 6-foot tall chalkboard in the kitchen. And great spaces for books and projects. The main library up in Columbus is regularly rated as the best library in the nation.
For the cook: We've got a wide-open oversized kitchen with tons of cabinets and counter space and a lovely south-facing window for a little herb shelf.
For the telecommuter: We've got DSL or WildBlue (satellite) for your broadband needs.
For the lazy mover: Everything in the house or on the property is negotiable except the kids, the dog, and the cat.
For the pumpkin enthusiast: The Circleville Pumpkin Show!
For the Red-Blooded American Consumer: Walmart, plus one of each of the major fast food chains.
For the TEOTWAWKI Zombie Hunter: We've got a clear view all around, with visibility approaching ten miles in some directions. We've got a full basement that's perfect for your underground bunker, root cellar, cool storage, and weapons cache. 20 miles from the nearest big city, but just 5 miles from (non-passenger) rail lines and a mile from a small river.
PLUS IF YOU ACT NOW, we'll throw in contacts for any/all of the following (a list I wish I had when we moved in):
- A local organic dairy farmer who will load up your pickup truck with finished compost for next-to-nothing
- Several neighbors who will cut and bale hay from your pastures (or who can sell you hay if you need it)
- A neighbor who will rent your pastures for his beef cattle if you'd rather that than the hay
- A neighbor who raises pastured poultry and garden vegetables
- Next-door neighbors who are both nurses, and have kids of all ages in case yours need instant friends
- A garbage collector who will come up the long driveway to get your trash, so you don't have to drag your garbage cans across all that gravel.
- A neighbor who can fix tractors if you need it
- A neighbor who can repair/replace tires (tractor or otherwise)
- A nearby source for dried corn in case you want to use it in the corn/pellet heat stove.
- A reputable auto repair shop
- A neighbor with a snowplow that can handle a gravel driveway if needed
- Various neighbors who raise cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, llamas, horses, turkeys, and chickens in case you need advice on any of them.
- A great local source for honey
- A great local-only farmer's market