Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Monday, December 21, 2015

At the Farmette #13 - How the Farmette Came To Be or Creative Financing 101

Six years ago I took over the maintenance of a piece of property where horses were being boarded - one of only two on the island. I had been guiding for a trail riding outfit, taking monthly dressage lessons and had a job caring for a friend's horses with free use of them to ride whenever I wanted... a perfect situation.

Of course that couldn't last. There was a falling out, and suddenly I had no horse to ride.

What's a girl to do? I promptly went out and purchased the first horse I looked at with my trainer, brought him home, and boarded him at the above mentioned property. The acreage needed to properly keep a horse is almost impossible to find here. Real estate is way overpriced. I was even able to offset monthly board by managing the property. Again - an ideal situation.

Four months in, the property owner suddenly put the lot up for sale. Surprise!! A twelve hundred pound thoroughbred was not going to fit in the backyard. And what about all his stuff?! Boarding him at my trainer's place three hours away wasn't feasible either.

While discussing the situation with the property owner, the idea of me buying the place came up. 2.7 acres for $250,000 was out of my price range and I told her so. She asked what I could offer. Thinking we had strolled off down the road to fantasy land at this point, I gave her a figure, expecting she would laugh out loud or possibly be greatly offended. To this day I'll never know why I spoke up. I figured it was all pretend at that point anyway.

She accepted my offer.

Now I was really freaking out. I did not have much money saved up. Mortgages on raw land require at least a 50% down payment if you could find someone to lend to you. My local bank literally laughed at me when I went to them.

Again I improvised. Owner finance was the only way to make it work. To my utter astonishment within weeks we had a deal. The plan was five years owner financing culminating in a balloon payment which I would roll the balance over into a construction loan, pay K off and build my house.

Fast forward to September. Property values on the island have conveniently fallen 30-40 percent. The housing/mortgage crisis + great recession has scared the pants off banks and mortgage lenders. I put a big dent into my savings supporting myself while I was laid up, and the appraisal (where the appraiser never set foot on the property or looked beyond the front gate) was appallingly low.

After months of finagling I procured a mortgage, two more years to apply for the construction loan, and best of all, piece of mind.

The funny thing is, without Val, I never even would have known about the property. Nor would I have had the balls incentive to risk making an offer despite feeling super foolish, petrified and in over my head.

No experience, single income and minimal savings + a great big dream.


                                          ♬♪♫ On the Fifth Day of Christmas... ♬♪♫

This video is amazing. Do watch the whole thing. A great lesson in what we can accomplish when we put aside fear.



  1. Congratulations on getting your farmette and living your dream. Love the creative financing. Just goes to show you that where there's a will there's a way. It sounds like it was meant to be for you and Val.

    That video was amazing! Love that horse!

    Have a great Christmas!

  2. Without our horses, we would also never have had any land... now we can't imagine going back! Congrads on finding your little slice of heaven - it's perfect!

  3. That video is amazing. I think I have far more work to do with Carmen!
    I love how brave you are- it worked out in the end but it must have been nerve wracking. Sometimes you just have to do it yourself.

  4. It never ceases to amaze me how things fall into place when something is meant to be. Your farmette was your destiny.

    LOVED the video! That horse is incredible!

  5. I love your dream. If you didn't have the passion, you would never have had the courage to even try. :) That's how you did it!! Awesome story and accomplishment.

    Love how the horse just quietly does his job. Magnificent horse - well done!

    Merry Christmas to you and your horse on your little island...

  6. Many things in life I never would have done if I'd had much time to actually think about them - it would have been SO easy to talk myself out of the majority of my life decisions (and let's face it, some of them I SHOULD have talked myself out of them!!).

    Congratulations for being brave, innovative and able to make things happen. Life is a crazy journey!


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