Monday, March 19, 2012

Watercress


I once heard Doug Kaufmann mention that watercress is a great detoxifier. I can't wait to add it to our juice! Of course, I'll probably be too nervous at first to use it since there are corn fed cows on the property that use the spring. But maybe after we get a tractor we won't have to lease the land (the guy who owns the cows also brush hogs it and we need him to continue to maintain the property since we won't be able to right away) and can section off the first half of the spring to keep the animals out of it so we can use the water and the watercress.

Water

Our property has two springs, and ideally we would pump spring water up to the house and use that water for showering and drinking (purified first in our Berkey of course!). But for now, I guess we will settle for fluoridated city water since it is the cheapest option. Actually, I don't know for sure that the city water is fluoridated but it probably is since most are. I do know that Arkansas recently passed a law saying that any drinking water municipality servicing over 5000 people was required to put fluoride in the water. I guess since this is a small town there is a possibility that they are not affected by the law. I would've asked when I had the guy from the water department on the phone, but when I found out that he is also the building inspector for the small town I decided to keep my mouth closed. I'll wait until after we have our house built before I start causing trouble.

So here's what we need to do in order to get water to the property:
Pay $1200 for a road bore
Pay $1100 for a tap
Pay another $1100 for the second tap that will service the second house (That totally stinks that we have to pay for 2 taps! Oh well, at least they said we can pay for them as we need them which is good because we don't want to spend any more money than we have to since the costs just seem to be piling up!)
Pay an unknown amount of money to get the water from the meter to the house (I sure hope they don't use copper!)

Obviously this is still cheaper than a well, and who knows what kind of water you'll get with a well. So I suppose it is a blessing that city water is at least an option.

UPDATE 5/7/12: What a blessing! The guy at the water department gave us a discount on the road bore. He said he's just happy that he has another customer. Only $600 instead of $1200. So the grand total to get city water TO the property is $1650. That included the start up fees, deposit, and everything! Of course this doesn't include digging the trench or running the pipe to the house, which will be close to $3000. But still...that's pretty good!

Septic Permit

My mom is about to purchase a property and K and I will be in charge of getting water, septic, electric, and a house. Not to mention a tractor but that will have to wait since it's not a huge priority. I'm going to make a series of posts to document our journey, as well as everything involved in case there is anyone else out there who is crazy enough to buy land.

Please excuse the dullness of this post. I'm sure the first few posts will be very dull, but hopefully they will get more interesting as we get more involved with making this land our home. Trust me, all these things are dull for me too! I just want to start living there so we can have chickens and a garden!

The first thing we had to do was get a perk test. This was written in to our real estate contract. If the soil didn't perk, we would've walked away from the property. When we had the environmental consultant come out to do the test, we had absolutely no idea what to expect. He dug 2 great big holes and did a soil reading to determine if the soil would work for a septic system. He said our soil was perfect! Then he asked if we just wanted a perk test or if we wanted to get the permit. The permit was $500 as opposed to $200 for the perk test only. We decided to save the money up front and go for the permit (which I'm glad we did because I realized reading the contract later that we were supposed to get a permit anyway. Our realtor later told me that it is a risk to the buyer not to get a permit before closing on a property since Arkansas requires a septic permit in order to get a building permit. You certainly wouldn't want to find out after closing that you have bad soil and can't get a septic permit.). In a stressful last minute decision we decided to get a permit for a 5 bedroom septic that would serve a 4 bedroom house plus a 1 bedroom apartment. This took the pressure off of us in case we later found out that building a house is more expensive than we were thinking. This way we would have the flexibility to build a smaller house and live there until we saved for something bigger and not have to pay for 2 septic permits.

Well, here we are, 4 weeks later. We're STILL waiting for the government to approve the permit so we can close on the property. Anything the government does is SO slow and SO inefficient. But I am glad that we decided to leave our options open as far as putting two structures on the property. After doing more research, we have realized that it is unrealistic to build our main house right now. In fact, I personally think we'll be lucky to be able to afford a smaller house (since we're paying for everything with cash because the short sale pretty much ruined our credit). But more on that later!