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8/29/2001

Have breakfast, buy a farm

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:49 pm

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Breakfast tomorrow morning may decide whether or not we buy the farm we’ve been after.

I’ve told you it’s really expensive, but we’ve nailed down just how expensive it is. After talking with the banks, the federal government, the local tax assessor, nearby land owners, and other people who were interested in the same property, we know that the current owner is asking roughly more than double the actually appraised value of the land and buildings. That’s a heck of a markup, and no one I’ve spoken with can justify spending that much or lending that much for the land.

So, tomorrow Chris and I will sit down with the owner and his realtor over breakfast (at a local greasy spoon) and attempt to convince him to cut his price in half. Laughable? Yeah, but if it works… and besides, you never know until you ask, right?

The owner is a shrewd businessman, according to all accounts. So we can try to get much of his asking price by throwing in add-ons. Such as the tractor sitting on the property. And having a well done (he does well-digging). And putting a home on the property (he brokers log homes). And when my Saturn’s lease expires next summer, I’ll need to replace it with the truck (he can likely get one himself very cheap and sell it to us at value). If he can do all these things at low or no cost to him, but get their fair value for them from us, he’ll be right back up close to what he’s asking. And the bank will loan us that money.

So he’ll have to decide, over a platter of scattered hashbrowns, whether he wants us to use his old family farm (well… his cousin’s, anyway) as a working cottage farm and do a little work himself, or whether he wants to hold out and fleece a weathy city person who can pay in cash. It’s been almost a year since the property’s been on the market, and he hasn’t found the right rich person yet, so I’m hoping he’ll settle for us.

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