Monday, April 18, 2011

still waiting...and missing my pony

Well it’s been 6 weeks since we signed the paper work on our house and we are still waiting for the sellers to send them back. We were supposed to close last Thursday. Obviously it didn’t happen. Hubby and I have come to the realization that we may have to walk away if they keep dragging their feet. It’s not what we want to do but we don’t want to wait forever.

We have been keeping our eyes open for properties in the area, and there just aren’t many in our price range. Obviously there are great homes in double and triple our price range but those are just obviously out of the question. Everything we’ve seen needs some help. It would be so much easier to just buy a home in town and we could get a lot of house in town but it’s not what we want. We both want to have room to run and play. We want our horses nearby and for the dogs to get out and stretch their legs. I want a barn darn it! I’ve been in lots of barns that had everyone elses rules and set up I just want my own!

Yesterday we decided to head out and check out one of the houses we’d found. It’s in North Dakota which hubby likes since we wouldn’t have to transfer our vehicles over to MN, and he could retain his ND hunting. We went out there and tried to hate it…but we didn’t. We wanted to hate it because it was so far away from work. I think we figured that we’d end up putting 150 miles a day between the both of us. And I’m not sure I want to commute 2 hours a day. And with gas prices climbing higher and higher it would end up costing us almost $9,000 a year in fuel if we kept our current vehicles. Hubby said I will have to get a geo metro to use as a daily commuter vehicle if I want to keep my pretty white dodge ram. Haha.

The yard of the farm didn’t have the thick tree cover that the house we are waiting on has. Which is sucky. The yard still had quite a bit of snow so it must have had pretty high drifts this winter. The yard could also use a lot of landscaping (but every house we’ve looked at needs landscaping!) The house is on a very low traffic dirt road. Which is great for the dogs. We wouldn’t have to worry about them playing on the highway and getting smucked by a car. But with North Dakota winters we would be snowed in a lot more as I’m sure they aren’t high priority to get cleared right away. The house itself was an old farmhouse probably built in the late 1800’s early 1900’s. It had new siding, shingles, and windows which is great. We peeked in the windows and it was a typical old farm house…small. It appeared that it was in the process of being remodeled and a lot of the paint and flooring looked great. But it was very small. I honestly don’t have a problem with that…less house work more horse work!

There was a huge garage like building that was in ok shape. needed some repairs and it didn’t have a cement floor which hubby didn’t like but it was definitely big enough for his toys and cars. But on to the best part…the barn. It was a great old barn that looked like it was going through some remodeling too. It had new garage doors on both ends and a newer entry door. There were three homemade box stalls and looked great as well as a small tack room. We didn’t go up into the loft but there was a newer garage door up there too. But the lean-to on the south side of the barn was another story. It was missing half the roof and looked like it was about to fall down. It would require a lot of work to make it a bit safer for the pony beasts. But I liked that it was open on both ends so they could come and go as they pleased. The pasture was HUGE! It had a Ritchie waterer that was still functioning too. The fences must have been hot at one point because there were a lot of insulators and a newer charger in the barn but it hadn’t been on in a while since most of the fence was down. There was also a smaller pasture up by the road and house that must have housed mini horses or sheep or goats because there was a tiny little run in shed and the fence was all no climb fencing with wood at the top and there was the remains of an old hay bale. But It is almost the perfect size for a riding arena… a little small but workable.

But as much as I like the place is having a great barn worth all the driving I’d end up having to do? Property taxes are lower and we’d retain our ND residency but 2 hours in the car a day?? Probably more in time in the winter. The property is also about $20,000 less than the one we are waiting on. But again 2 hours a day in the car!! We asked our real estate agent to check out the house and see what the story is. Hopefully it’s something major that is super expensive to fix so we can just rule it out entirely.

Ugh I just want the sellers of our house to get their butts in gear and let us close so we can stop looking around! I want to close and get my horse home already! I miss him!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

treasure hunting

It’s over a week since I’ve done chores or even been out to the barn. It feels really weird. I had been going there for over two years, at least three times a week. I kind of miss it but at the same time I don’t. I don’t miss hauling in hay bales, or fighting with frozen buckets or hoses. I certainly don’t miss crabby horses or devil ponies. I won’t miss the awful, frigid -40 degree winter feedings or the hot, humid, buggy summers. But I will miss my friends, both human and animal. I’ll miss the smell of the barn and arena. I’ll definitely miss the arena that’s for sure.

Sadly finances won’t allow us to have an indoor arena anytime in the near future. I’d happily settle for an outdoor arena. In fact I think I prefer an outdoor arena. Hubby thinks I’m weird that I prefer “riding around in a circle” rather than going out to explore the world. An arena is like my safety net, but don’t get me wrong I’ve gotten plenty banged up in an arena and I’ve eaten my fair share of sand/woodchips/dirt/etc. I just have more fun working on things in the arena.

We went out this week to look at the new place. The snow has melted a lot and it was our first chance to go out and explore the pastures. The fences are in much better condition than I’d originally thought. I still want the top barbed wire to be replaced with hot rope though. The east pasture is in better shape than the west one. And it even looks like the wooded area to the north is fenced off into a third enclosure. I doubt that we would use it. The west pasture has a very deep lake in it right now, so it will definitely be off limits in the spring. Under all the snow was a lot of treasures that we discovered and will have to have hauled away. Its kind of interesting to see what was under the snow. To the east of the barn was an old pickup box liner with some tools in it, an old fridge and a pickup box camper. The camper has a big exposed hole in the side so I can only imagine what lives in there. YUCK. Up on the north east side of the pasture is a little gun range. Hubby is happy about that. He’s wanted one for, forever. He wanted a place to sight his guns in for hunting, now he will have one. Guess the horses are gonna learn to not be gun shy. Yellow wasn’t gun shy because of a similar reason. In north end of the pasture near the middle is a HUGE pile of old foundation from some sort of building. No idea as to why it’s there but it is. Close to it we also found the remains of a young buck that was more than likely last hunting season’s target. We also found parts to an old swing set, and a chain link fence. The chain link fence will be used to make a kennel for the dogs. Towards the east side of the pasture was the bottom of a snowmobile, a pick up topper, a big rusty roll of no climb fence, and an old fuel tank. In the west pasture we saw an old kiddie pool, and a tent with a quilt inside. That pasture was pretty swampy and snow covered so we didn’t venture too far into it. There were also a lot of downed trees in the East pasture that will have to be chopped up and used for bon fires. Up by the west side of the barn was a bunch of bikes. All shapes and sizes. Too bad I can’t ride a bike! Randomly around the yard we found a lot of buckets and misc. trash that will need to be picked up. There was a nice bench that was tipped over that could use a nice shabby chic make over. As well as a few more rusty antique pieces that may receive a new life.

We are still waiting on a few things with the house to go through 100% the inspection passed but we had to wait for the septic to get tested and pass. I just want to get everything over with so we can bring Pinecone home! I miss that big red creep!