Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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I hope there is a railroad spur line going to your house, because after I read just how much you have to move I think it's going to take a freight train of box cars to move your stuff!

:yuckyuck:gig

Actually, STA, funny you should mention that possibility! One of the properties that we liked the most had 2 houses on it - one older and one newer, barns, well, good pipe fencing, hayfields/pastures, and some trees. Looked perfect and we would have put in an offer sight unseen (other than pictures) but on looking at the property through Google maps we discovered that A RAILROAD LINE DOES RUN ALONG THE ENTIRE PROPERTY LINE, PASSING ONLY 110' FROM THE OLD RANCH HOUSE.
:ep:th
That certainly answered the question of why the newer house was situated on a different corner. However, the newer house is only 310' from the railroad tracks. While the possible ease for shipping our goods and equipment back to Texas is undeniable, the noise might be disruptive to our lives. :lol::lol: And sheep? And dogs?

On the other hand, DH is pretty deaf so when he said the RR wouldn't bother him I believe it. My mind keeps leaping to the "My Cousin Vinny" film when their first hotel is situated next to the train tracks and they are awakened in the middle of the night by shaking, rattling, and loud whistling as the freight train comes through town. :eek:

It is a nice property though and checks all the boxes so we will look at it and check on how often the train comes through. DH suggested it might even be an abandoned spur.
The listing refers to the property being situated on a "QUIET COUNTRY ROAD" but since advertising is traditionally misleading, you notice they do not mention the RR tracks.

Anyway, DH and I are leaving on Sunday to drive back to Texas to look at ranch properties. We have found 6 that fit our price and other requirements. If we can't get a contract on one of them, we will go back in February and look again.

The properties range from 42 to 77 acres. We need to verify the Agricultural exemption, as well as other things. One has what looks like a fenced off 3 acre former oil pumping spot with tanks in place. We will need to check that for previous sale of oil rights and whether the pumping has been abandoned or the oil company can come back anywhere on the property and pump again. Everything else is good on the property.

Our favorite property (property only) has a spring fed year round creek and pond, with lots of lush pasture, a small pecan and fruit orchard, and lots of good cattle pens and barns. BUT (there is always one of those isn't there?) the house was built in1947. Not intimidating to us - our first house was built in 1920 and we remodeled it and loved it. The problem with this house was that there were only 2 photos on line of it. I kept researching the property and finally found the original listing photos from 2014 showing all the rooms and the room sf. This little house - so cute from the outside - is typical of old farm homes. (DH's family all were farmers in Kansas and Colorado.) Start out small on the house because the barns and fields are the important part of your farm livelihood. The house has a porch of course. Have a couple kids, enclose the porch for a bedroom. Build another porch. Have more kids, enclose that porch for a bedroom. ETC!

This house was renovated with dual pane windows and a new kitchen and bathroom in 2012. Sold in 2014 and never lived in again. We were excited until I found the pictures showing THAT THE ORIGINAL OWNERS HAD BUILT ON AND ENCLOSED PORCHES ALL AROUND THE MAIN LIVING ROOM. THAT MAIN LIVING ROOM NOW HAS NO WINDOWS OR DOORS TO THE OUTSIDE AIR.
:oops::ep:th:eek:


Oh yes, and it has a cute wood stove. Can anyone say carbon monoxide poisoning?
:lol::lol:

However, in search of the perfect ranch we will look at it. As well as the oil field, the railroad tracks, and the completely outdated house full of wallpaper. No stone will be left unturned in our search for the right ranch at the right price.

Baymule has offered to accompany me and support me through this ordeal. Naturally, as true and loyal BYHers, we will examine the barns and fences before the house - which we have agreed can be brought up to snuff once we are living in it.

I am bringing wine.
;)
LOTS of wine!
 

Bruce

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Oh yes, and it has a cute wood stove. Can anyone say carbon monoxide poisoning?
Do they not have a stove pipe to the outside? Just pumps the smoke into the house? ;)
A lot of us heat at least partially with wood stoves.

That RR 300' from the house could be a problem or a BIG problem if there also happens to be the type of road crossing where every train will have to whistle.
 

Mini Horses

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My farm is next to a RR. It was sanctioned for 2 runs a day. I bought anyway as everything else was great with this piece of land. I doubled all my foundation sizes when I built. No issues. After buying, I found one train went thru at 3-3:15 am! Whistles and all. :lol:. But, not a huge issue, especially with windows closed. After about 3 yrs they stopped using it. Track still there, no trains.

So look anyway -- you never know.
 

thistlebloom

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We heat with a woodstove and have never died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Not even once! 😄
We installed it to code and use it the way it's supposed to be used (basic common sense there). We also have a CM alarm, just to be thorough.
I love wood heat, nothing else comes close. We've used wood burners for 42 years, but I can understand it might make some people nervous.
For instance my neighbors will not eat any home canned food EVER, because they knew someone once who died of botulism.

And a RR may or may not be an issue like Mini Horses said. We are three miles from a double and a single track that goes through our little town. We are about 200 feet higher so the sound of the horn carries. But if you aren't close to a crossing you don't have to worry about hearing the horn.
Three miles isn't 300 feet, but you do adapt and learn to not hear it.
 

Ridgetop

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We are going to look at it. If the RR does not go past all the time it might be ok. The tracks run past the entire side of the property between the road and the house. Not even on the other side of the road. :( The second small house needs updating (window ACs) but will do for a second rental until we move back there and reno it. Since this property is $450,000 we will need the rental to offset the loan we will have to take out in the property. Doable though if we love the property.

We used to live on a very busy boulevard in town and with the windows (only single pane back then) closed there was not so much noise. You get used to anything. We can put in dual pane windows if necessary I am more worried about the trains going past and causing a lot of noise and dirt when we are outside working the sheep since the barns and pens are on the railroad side of the property. We will check it out.

The funky woodstove property is also on our list to look at. Being an interior room, maybe we could call it a "media room". LOL We loved our woodstove in Yelm and my aunt used to heat the entire house with it, However, it was not in an interior room without any windows or doors to the outside. This house is very funky, but we are looking at it anyway. It was remodeled in 2012 but has not been lived in since 2014! Agent says it is "rough". Love the property though - lots of expensive pipe fencing that can easily be raised with T-bars clamped to verticals with hose clamps and wire added to bring perimeter to 6' high for Anatolians. And marvelous cattle working pens - even a separate round pen. Those pipe corrals and pens don't need wire attached to them since they already have heavy duty wire panels welded on them.

By the way, the smaller antique woodstove we have in the old bunkhouse in Yelm is coming with us to Texas. It heats fast and burns long on just one log and we plan to put it in either a shop building or our barn for use in the winter. I made sure to list it as personal property on the sales listing. We tried it out when we were clearing out the place somewhat after my aunt died. We were there in rainy cold weather and DH decided to try lighting a fire in it. Worked great! It's coming to Texas too!

DD2 and FDSIL came by this am so we lost several hours of time to work. When they left we went out and moved the Orange tag unbred yearling ewes and the ewes that lambed 3 months ago down front with MoyBoy. He is an enthusiastic fellow and was really checking iut the older ewes. Wearing a purple crayon so will be checking for breeding marks. Wanted to move 2 other ewes into the creep but DS1 said "no". He wants to wait another week or so t give the 5 in the creep enough space to eat comfortably Some of them are getting thin. I think we need to take the 3 month old lambs off their mamas to let them build up a bit. They can go on the large field with the younger 6-8 month old lambs and bred ewes.

Told FDSIL about Texas having its own electrical lineman classes un junior colleges. He was very interested. Said that his cable company is thinking about opening 2-3 places in Texas. He could transfer and d his apprenticeship in TX. DD2 said she wants a house on the water and I mentioned that there were lots of small lakes in east Texas where they could afford to buy compared to here. DD2 had already said if we move to Texas they are going to move there too eventually.

Back to putting away Christmas decorations. The tree can come down next. Each ornament has to be wrapped separately since most of them are old and fragile I keep trying to give the old ones made by the kids to my children but they refuse to take them since they like identifying them on my tree. :he DD1 brought back the ornaments and stuff we used to decorate her Christmas dinner table. I told her she could have them but she said she preferred that I store them for her!

Early sale of our house and faster move to Texas is looking better and better! LOL
 

Bruce

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Double, or better yet triple, pane windows will cut the cost of running A/C in the hot TX summers substantially. The temperature of a single pane is the same on both sides. If it is 105°F outside you have a LOT of 105°F "heaters" in the walls radiating that heat into the house. Even hotter if the sun is shining on the window.
 

Ridgetop

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Some of the houses we are looking at have already put in double pane windows. We put them in here in California for the energy savings before it was required. Whenever we replaced any widows at the old apartment building we retrofitted with dual pane windows and doors. It really cuts down on the sound.

If any house we buy doesn't have them we will retrofit when we move to Texas. Possibly do triple pane in Texas, depends on the cost savings in energy, and cost of the windows. We are also considering putting in solar in Texas. Solar panels will work on daylight as well as sunlight, just not as well. We have to see what the prices are and whether it will benefit us. We will definitely buy a good backup generator though.

Got the tree down yesterday and packed, also the rest of the garlands etc. in the family room. Working on the living room today. Already half done. The only big part is takig apart the wooden reindeer boxes my mother made years ago. She made one for me and one for my grandmother. Gammy gave me hers when she moved in with mom, and I put one on either side of the fireplace with imitation pointsettias and lights. They are cute but large and I have to remove the antlers and heads to store them. Only a couple of screws. Then packing and repacking the storage bins and hauling all the giant bins off to the shed.

DD2 commented she felt bad that they did not have many decorations, and she only had stre bought stuff on her tree not special ornaments like I have. I pointed out that I have been decorating our house for almost 50 years and if she lives that long she will be burdened with all this junk too! And feel guilty if I don't put it up. I can almost feel the disapproving stare of my grandmother between my shoulder blades. If she turns over in her grave we will have an earthquake here in southern California! And I will be personally responsible! :eek:

Not decorating for holidays was almost a sin in her book. When she got too old, she made me come over nd get her stuff out of the storage area and hang everything u for her. Then I had to go take it al down and pack it away. LOL When we bought our first house she came over and directed me in decorating our house too. Feisty gal, my Gammy! My best friend. :love

Orange 5 has marked this morning. She is a yearling out of the Axtel ram I bought. Not impressed with his get, but will give her a chance to see if she produces well. Sometimes the ugly ones have the combination of genes that produce champions, while the champions produce garbage. It has happened to us before so reserving my opinion. Breeding gd stock s not just for the first generation, sometimes it takes several years to see what you have. Since I have not advertised the Axtel ram I will wait to see what she and her half sister produce in 5 months. They are the only ewe lambs he produced, all the others have been ram lambs so he has not really had a chance to show me his genetics. I am thinking about removing the two older ewes from the breeding pen and graining them. They look a little thin and I don't like breeding thin animals. I bred them with 3 months lambs n them last time but they were coming off good forage and were in great condition. problem is we need another corral to hold them in while i grain them up. I will discuss with DS1. He has been putting up portable corralling and might have another pen. I will also pull their lambs. These girls are getting dragged down by still nursing those big greedy lambs. Time to wean!

Back to Christmas deco packing. Just realized that I only have tomorrow to pack before leaving for Texas!!!
 
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