Cota Farms' Blog

June 20, 2019

Going Homeless In Style

Filed under: The Plan — Cota Farms @ 6:16 pm
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I’m taking a little break from my ‘selling the farm’ series as progress has become painfully slow mostly because it won’t stop raining. The change in weather across the world is real and far more serious than the media in the States will admit to. When they do speak about it, we are pelted with politics and misinformation. Eventually the crop losses across the world will force even the distracted Americans to wake up and take notice.

I spend a lot of time considering what I want to happen if the farm sale goes my way. I began this line of thought long before I considered selling and moving on. In my heart I have already moved on. What I don’t want to happen is more of the same. I’m done with all that, really, seriously, completely. I’ve even convinced my wife and long time companion to give up the acceptable life of working, struggling, paying taxes, and struggling some more. It really wasn’t that hard. We have no retirement, no savings and can’t apply for social security for a few years yet but I can’t stand it anymore. Truth is, I dropped out of society years ago and became the stay at home part of the marriage. I busied myself with trying to make the farm work for us; I gave it my all but in the end it just wasn’t enough.

A couple of years ago I decided to up and run away to the desert. My poor health and better sense (at the time I was not prepared to live that way nor did I intend to) brought me back after only a few weeks but the seed had been planted. I learned that there is a surprising large number of people (tens of thousands) that live in not just recreational vehicles but converted vehicles of all kinds in the western part of the country, in the desert, national and state parks and land managed by the government. I did a quick estimate and perhaps 20% of the land within the 48 states is public.

I’ve done a lot of research on this since and have fully committed to spending the remaining days of my life living like so many others are already doing. God bless the internet! It is so easy now to see and understand how this is done. I’m sure most of these people do not consider themselves homeless, it seems that category is reserved for those who primarily live in the cities without traditional housing. Within that grouping people are divided into those that live in their cars while working yet not earning enough money to afford housing and the rest who are labeled addicts. Unfortunately, they are sometimes all just considered undesirable no matter their circumstances.

Those that live in their vehicles outside the cities fall into different groupings the most interesting of which are those that choose to live that way. I long to be one of them. The biggest difference between those in this category has to do with planning. Many people didn’t have the time, resources or inclination to plan ahead when they made the choice to move outdoors. I have an engineering degree that when coupled with cheap technology allows me to envision a more comfortable and graceful transition to this kind of life. I want to wake up in the desert or mountains but I also want a little refrigeration, be able to enjoy my music, book and video collection, access to the internet and a comfy bed. I also required a certain number of dogs and cats to be right there with me. Of course this would only be an improvement in living conditions from their point of view. I love all my other farm animals too but I will just have to settle for the wild variety.

Our Tiny Home

There are so many YouTube channels on this one subject that you must sort through them to find the specific information you want and get past those personalities that are just not for you. I haven’t had a question yet that there is not several people out there wanting to share their experience or expertise about it. Health care, no problem, concerns with pooping, I’ll even talk about that myself in subsequent posts, how much money do you need, I’ll share my budgeting plans.

My wife has zero spacial conceptual skills so I drew her a picture. This is how much space we will have and this is were everything will go. I naturally think my design is one of the best out there and I’ll explain how it works, about how much it will cost and why I chose the cargo trailer conversion.

May 23, 2019

Disassembling Your Life – Selling The Farm – Part 4

Filed under: The Plan — Cota Farms @ 5:31 pm
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It is difficult to prepare your home, farm, business for sale when you are not moving upward but rather moving on. After speaking with my realtor I understood what selling this property, my home, means. It is about erasing my presence here as much as possible. Sure it make sense, perspective buyers must be able to see themselves living there, not the remains of the former owner.

We have seen the closed store fronts where the ghosts of the logos still linger. It is generally an impersonal thing because despite the laws of the land, these are companies and not human beings. The persons that worked for those companies hopefully moved on to other opportunities. If they didn’t then perhaps they were forced to sell their homes and likewise erase their presence from where they once lived.

It’s a life changing experience particularly when future expectations run toward the bleak end of the spectrum. I recently re-watched “The Grapes of Wrath” just to verify that my frame of mind was more than just self pity. Yep, my feelings are totally justified and I am in the good company of many a fellow human being past and present.

The Grapes of Wrath Poster

Like those characters in Steinbeck’s novel, I too am looking at homelessness but I hope to do it with more grace and comfort. It’s a race and there are so many of us joining it all the time. The number of homes for sale in my county is disturbing but I can only see competition for the too few buyers that are able to secure mortgages. It’s a shameful thing when we are set against one another over scarce resources, exactly the point of Steinbeck’s masterwork.

March 19, 2019

Selling the Farm

Filed under: The Plan — Cota Farms @ 7:48 pm
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Now that I am past the hard part, admitting failure and deciding to act, it’s time to move on to cleaning up the mess.  That really was the hard part because whatever comes next is as a direct result of the failure and is only to be expected.  It won’t be smooth sailing (how I would so love to just go sailing) but it will be sailing to whatever destination even if that is sailing off the end of the flat earth. I read somewhere we can do that now. 

In an attempt to make that final save, the goal here is to sell the farm before losing the farm. It is a race against time on many race tracks; the mortgage, property taxes, collapsing housing market, my ability to function, and so forth.

Selling a farm is a little more involved than selling a house.  It is potentially such a problem that I have decided to not sell the farm but instead sell a house that sits on acres of land. And if that doesn’t go well, a very real possibility, I will have to resort to plan x, something I would just rather not do. There is also another option that fits between house on land sale and plan x, the auction. I mention it because in certain situations when the constellations align just right, it is possible to make more money in an auction than a normal real estate transaction. Maybe it’s a rural thing, not many actions in the city, but they pop up all the time in the countryside. 

If you’ve never been to an auction, a good one meaning there are a lot of people there that want what you need, then you’ve missed an enlightening experience. Very often the property or livestock or painting receives much more than it would have if just listed. If you’ve got the time and a few thousand dollars to pay the fee should you not get your needed price, you may do well. This doesn’t really apply to eBay because it also lists the same item right next the auctioned item essentially creating a ceiling.

Plan x would require more time and investment in my own failure, don’t want to drag this out. But interestingly enough, it could bring more money by dividing the land into smaller pieces and raising the per acre price. All I can do is prepare the property as well I can for presentation and there you go.

Unfortunately there are others who must sell out or bug out and, and do something else so maybe my experiences may be useful in some way. This journey will expand from the original postings full of optimism, innovation, and energy to homelessness. Hopefully my writing will have improved at least. If all goes well then it won’t necessarily have a sad ending.

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