Sunday, April 3, 2011

I hear there’s gold around them parts

I’ve started looking for gold on our land. Surely there’s something buried on the place that will make this whole thing worth it.

It’s really been a stark reality check week and I’m starting to waver. After calculating how much money we have compared to how much will be needed to get out on the land the math doesn’t seem to work. I’m sure it must be wrong. It can’t be this expensive to build a small structure for living purposes.

Just to dig a well and get it operational will cost around $10,000. To build a road 900 feet or so it’s going to cost around $7,000. Some people think that’s a good deal. I’ve considered building our road with my own scoop shovel and truck but Milly thinks it will take 20 years to finish. Greybeard says if I put all my effort into it the road could be done in about 15 years. I’m guessing he doesn’t want us to live with them that long as he’s encouraging us to take the more expensive, quicker route.

So what am I wavering on? We committed to staying out of debt. When we sold our last house we said that was it. It was the last time we would owe money to anyone. But….it sure is tempting to borrow just a bit to build something bigger than what we are planning. We’ve been in some kind of debt most of our married life. What’s a $100,000 mortgage when all is said and done? Ack. I can’t believe I’m tempted so strongly with this decision. Surely it will be worth it to scrimp and sacrifice now while we try to make this work, won’t it?

I feel exactly like the saying “Sometimes you have to crawl even after you walk”. Maybe that’s a country song…. In fact I think it comes from Life’s a Dance from John M. Montgomery…. I digress. Back to the saying. We’ve crawled before when we were students, just starting out, etc. We started walking when we bought our last 4 houses (2 primary residences and 2 rental places). We’ve lived nicely and now we are back to crawling and starting over.

*************Side story**************************

Student type living standards aren’t all that bad. We have fond memories of sleeping on the floor when we didn’t own a bed. Graduating up to an air mattress for a year. Then having a really nice couple give us a bed that was only 30 years old, pee stained and indented enough that if we wanted to say hello to each other we had to crawl out and peek our head over the side.

We got to live in apartments that grew mushrooms on the carpet on the other side of the shower wall.

One place we lived in was constantly over run with ants and cockroaches, granted that was in Western Samoa.

When we lived in L.A. we heard gun shots outside our apartment and the police helicopter would occasionally shine it’s lights in our windows at night. There was one time our whole block was blockaded from a drug bust or something. We just wanted to get home and tried to sneak past a police car. The cop yelled at us but then told us to get inside quick and don’t come out for a couple of hours.


Having to do what we are trying to do with only the money we have or will earn in the next little while is certainly challenging. So we are back to thinking a really small, small type structure. We started creeping up into the 1200 Sq. Ft. range. Can’t go that big. Not this time around.

I’ve haven’t found that gold deposit yet on the place but I have found some sand. I guess it will have to do for the time being. Maybe it will help with that road I need to build.


  1. I am enjoying following your story. I especially find the decision to eschew debt very interesting. I also want to build some day, so I have thought about how to build a house inexpensively. I will just make one suggestion. Make sure you pick a plan or home design where it is clear how and where you could add more space later. This way if in the future you feel like you need a bigger house, you will have a plan. If you want more ideas (I don't want to hog comment space) send me an email.

  2. I'd be interested in talking with you Steve.It is always fun talking to people smarter than myself. Also glad to see things are going well for you and your family. I've noticed that I get some traffic from your site. Thanks for posting my blog there.

    Shoot me an email when you'd like to talk.