It took a lot of gumption to pick up the phone and make that call. Hard because no one could say no if I didn't ask. However, no one could say yes either. So that's what I banked on and picked up the phone.
I called and asked him about the land and if he'd ever be willing to sell me five acres. Preferably the area that floods a little at the bottom of a hill. I thought this would make it more desirable for him to sell since his crops really never took hold on that 1/4 acre spot.
Well, I was wrong. He was very attached to his property as most farmers are. I explained what I wanted to do with the land including build a barn, permaculture design the land, add fruit trees, and have more foraging area for my pigs. Farmer's around these parts aren't huge supporters of sustainable, save seed crops so I might as well have been talking to myself. It was his land and I could feel there would be a premium that would come with it.
He said he would think about it and chat with his wife and get back to me.
six months went by.... no call. So I called him again. Squeaky wheel gets the grease right? Or the annoying neighbor girl that wants to grow her own crops keeps calling...whatever you want to call it.
He asked me what I was thinking about pricing and in the meantime I had done a little research for the area. I had two real estate agents both give me approximate amounts of currently selling/sold prices so I felt prepared the pay that.
Well, he wanted twice that amount. GULP. Ahem. barf.
UGH, I wanted this land. And I have never made an emotional purchase decision on homes/land before but I really wanted it. After discussing with the husband, we figured it would be more expensive for us to cut up our woods to build a barn etc. so regardless of the price at that point, we decided it would be worth it since his bumps right up to ours.
So I called him back and counter offered. He said he would ask his wife and call back. No call, so I called one month later. They are sticking to what they wanted and never really wanted to sell anyway he informed me. I told him we would think about it.
So I slept on it two nights, called him back and said ok. We went to his house the next week to discuss where we would be buying the said property.
I thought WAAAHOO! I bought 5 extra acres. Oh how I wish that were true. Now we had to get a survey which was about one month out with any contractor you called. Then we had to ok it with each other and write a purchase agreement, sign it, and set up a title time. He also had to get a partial loan agreement from the loan holder on the land to free that part to be sold. Uff da. Not to mention having to get it all ok'd with the county and having to follow their paperwork trail to make it legit.
Buying land was more than I thought. It's not a good handshake and just handing over the money.
But needless to say, we DID get the process done, I jumped through all the hoops, paid all the fees and found victory in buying five additional agricultural acres for twice the current market price...Yay me :/ I guess that's what happens when you try to buy land that isn't for sale. Regardless, it is pretty super exciting. It's mine mine mine now. I badgered my neighbor for a total of 2 years from start to finish of the sale and it was worth it in the end.
Currently me and some friends/volunteers planted 200 trees on the new property to give it a border. I'll post pics of the ongoing process of design at my facebook page facebook.com/modernroots.org