New to this forum, some feedback needed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-13-2010, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas!

DH is a candidate for a job in the far north of our state, and there is a house for sale that we've become interested in, but we don't know much about off-grid living at this point.
It's a 2300 sq ft log home on 45 acres, with a big wood stove for heat, a wood cookstove and wood space heater stove. There's a composting toilet system, a well and what seems to be a propane tank set-up (they have gas lights installed, and a gas range in the kitchen). The place has a "generator building with battery bank," whatever that means.

We're heading up north for a interview/meeting on Friday, and hoping to have a look around the house and property, but I am hoping that you all can give us some feedback about what to ask about, some issues you might have dealt with, etc. It's my understanding that it's difficult to obtain financing for properties without utility hookups? How does one handle greywater from laundry and dishes, bathing, etc without a septic tank or city sewer? My DH's family heated their home with wood exclusively until he moved to college, so we feel comfortable with that part.
I don't know if we're ready to go off the grid, but this house has excited both of us...so any feedback you're willing to send my way would be much appreciated. Oh, here's a link to the realty website http://www.northerneaglerealestate.com/offthegrid.htm

Thanks!

Married to P and mama to DS (1/09)blahblah.gifand DD  (09/13 babygirl.gif). I'm into friends and family, gardening, exercise, yoga, reading, knitting, photos, traditional foods, breastfeeding, home birth, babywearing, and much more. 
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#2 of 6 Old 01-13-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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No helpful questions, but I Love the pics and I want to live there!

Wendy,loving wife to Brian, happy mama of Trinity(15), Christian(15), Gavin(13), Logan(11), Griffon(9),Jubilee(7), Epiphany (4), and Lucian Danger( born 18 April 12) <3
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#3 of 6 Old 01-14-2010, 09:54 AM
 
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We don't live off grid but we do live slightly remote...a few things to consider are, how long is the driveway and how is snow removal handled? I didn't see a shower or bathtub...is there anything? If there isn't a greywater system, it shouldn't be hard to build one. Have the owners ever been stranded? Is there cell phone access or a landline? Do they have radios? If you want internet...how would you do that? Is this job your DH is applying for 9-5 type job? What happens if you get stuck out there? What kind of vehicles do you have? Does the property come with any equipment to support the lifestyle...things like a woodsplitter or tractor....these things can help a lot. A lot of these questions can be answered by the owner. Our first two winters here were very hard because my kids were so young and it was hard to get them outside. They are older now and it is easier, but we still get cabin fever. Are you homeschooling?
PS, it is beautiful up there. I was born in Hancock and I still have a lot of family there. There is a UP thread ....http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=359537
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#4 of 6 Old 01-14-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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Is that a microwave on the counter in the kitchen picture? Just curious.

You've gotten great advice from the pp. It's a big house. Is there a good wood lot for your own source of wood? Looks like you might need a sizable amount?

Love the house.
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#5 of 6 Old 01-15-2010, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the feedback! I grew up in the UP and DH went to college there, and we've been trying to move back for a few years now.
It's a very cool house, but it *is* big (like twice the size of our current house near Ann Arbor). We're hoping to see it on Saturday, so I'll know more then.
Sparkygirl brings up some great points (the greywater is one that I've been wondering a lot about...do folks have a dry well?). From what I know, there isn't a shower/tub in the house. There is a sauna building outside, but it doesn't specify if there's a shower in the sauna. While I'm interested in being self-sustaining, I am not willing to be unwashed! We need to find out about how they heat their water, do laundry/dishes and bathe, and how they get rid of their water.

The listing says there's landline phone, but I don't know about internet capability with DSL or wireless; good thought. The house is on 45 wooded acres, but I don't know if the owner is cutting on his/her property for fuel, or if they have another source.

The job is a 9-5 Mon through Friday. We have a 4WD Outback wagon, and a Focus that would get sold to buy a pickup to haul wood and plow with.

Our son is only 1 (almost), so we're still thinking about our schooling route.
It's exciting, but a big change from our current lifestyle! Lots to think about...thanks to all who weighed in.

Married to P and mama to DS (1/09)blahblah.gifand DD  (09/13 babygirl.gif). I'm into friends and family, gardening, exercise, yoga, reading, knitting, photos, traditional foods, breastfeeding, home birth, babywearing, and much more. 
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#6 of 6 Old 01-16-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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With 45 wooded acres you should be able to get more than enough wood....you will just have to do a lot of cutting
We have loved living out here for the most part. I would say two of the hardest things we have delt with would be snow removal ( we use a tractor and with two small children I can't leave them alone for the 1-2 hours it can take so DH has to do it when he gets home from work or before he leaves...in the dark) and family expectations. Dh's family lives about an hour away and no matter how many times we gently tell them they don't understand that we have to do stuff around here on the weekends. There is more work involved in living this way than a house in a normal neighborhood in a suburb, but they get upset that we can't make it to every single family get together....pretty much one or two every weekend.
While it can be more work, the work is usually enjoyable
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