Friday, April 26, 2013

New farm purchase -- 10 days and counting to close?

New farm purchase
I've been working on closing on the new property for the last two weeks, and in the last 7 days it's gotten more complicated.   I've purchased property before, and like property as an investment, but what I'd do in the past is save my money until I had enough to make a purchase, and buy the property with cash.  

Yes, it takes a while, years, but when you're talking about property cash has its own magic powers, and it's nice to not have to pay for private mortgage insurance, points or other costs associated with getting a loan.

With this property, I've supplied all sorts of documentation to two banks now; bank statements, proof of funds, explanation of where the funds came from, proof of income, tax returns, credit report (and I paid the $47 parking ticket I'd forgotten about) and so on.  I've signed affidavits, releases, consents and a variety of other documents; and at this point we are probably within 10 days of closing.  It's frustratingly slow, and it seems like I have spent weeks chasing around this paper, or that one.  
visualize farm.  focus on farm.  farm will close.  the white dots on the left horizon are round hay bales.  this is about 40 acres.
It's complicated by the fact that I see the planting season slipping away week by week.  I've worked out an agreement with the fellow who leased the land last year for him to put corn in on 55 acres, and he's been out there plowing and discing the field in preparation, and I have to say that I'm really, really looking forward to having that much space to work with next year.  

My original plan was to close in February or March and have this field in pasture by the time summer rolled around, June or July.  Leasing it for this year means I'll probably frost seed it after the corn is chopped.  I will be doing some test plots to see what I can grow here; I'd really, really, like alfalfa (Lucerne to you, Brett!) and there are various strains that grow well, but no one else is growing it, and there's probably good reason for it.  Most folks around here use orchard grass as their primary pasture grass.  

I've already got the survey in hand, and as soon as I can close I'll start the boundary line adjustment for phase II of the farm acquisition plan; putting the house on a couple of acres, and the refinancing the house.

Part of my concern is that I'd like my dairy cow to have her calf on this property.  The cow facilities here are great -- it was a 300 cow dairy farm, after all -- and it'll be easier to keep and maintain her and the other cows here than it has been on my current farm.    

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