I was just driving back from the feed store with a load of hay, listening to NPR. Somebody was doing a piece on how far the country has come (or not) since the failure of Lehman Brothers five years ago.
I can tell you one thing that has changed -- the process for getting mortgages is about a zillion times more onerous. I know, cause I just sent in the last piece of paperwork for the loan on our new property (the place next door). Woohoo. I used the same mortgage broker this time that I used when we bought the current property just over two years ago. We do almost all our communication by email, including passing documents back and forth. Two years ago, it took about 25 emails to get the job done. This time it has taken closer to 60. The amount of paperwork required, were it in actual paper form, would bury me. I'd have to buy a house just to store it. The underwriters have required documentation of pretty much every breath I've taken since I signed the contract.
And now, having documented every inch of my life--past, present, and future--the end is within sight. We are set to sign the papers next week.
It was not my original intention, but now I think the 12-year-old and I will move into the bigger, newer house on the property. In the long run, I'd like to use the original farmhouse where we currently live as a farm office/guest house. In the short run though, I'm leaning towards renting it out to a nice lady who keeps a horse at the stables across the road. She is willing to help out in the barn here in return for lower rent and I could use both the cash and the help. My only hesitation comes from losing daily access to this little farmhouse that I have grown attached to. Yes, the plumbing sucks. Yes, it is too small for us. Yes, it is dark inside. But it is the heart of this farmstead and my plans for this farm, such as they are, have grown around it. So it is not easy to give it over to a stranger. Though that is the wiser thing to do.
I haven't had a chance to think about the logistics of getting our stuff out of the one house and over to the other. It's probably less than 500 ft as the crow files (or as the chicken waddles), but I can no more carry a sofa 500 ft than I can 5 miles, so arrangements will have to be made.
I can, however, walk the ponies to the new pastures with no extra planning at all. This will be the biggest moment of all. I can not wait to get my hands on those pastures. The 3 big ponies (Josie the appaloosa, Annie the hackney pony and Shadowfax the POA) are destined for the big new pastures and the three stalls at the back of the pasture barn. The sheep and goats will also move to that barn if I can figure out a way to divide the space. There's 2500 sq ft under the roof, but the only space that has been subdivided so far is three stalls and a small tack room in the back. The rest is open.
Much work to be done.
Much change coming.