permaculture orchard*
Permies likes homestead and the farmer likes How do you leave a garden behind?  What do you do to sell a suburban homestead? permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login
permies » forums » homesteading » homestead
Bookmark "How do you leave a garden behind?  What do you do to sell a suburban homestead?" Watch "How do you leave a garden behind?  What do you do to sell a suburban homestead?" New topic
Author

How do you leave a garden behind? What do you do to sell a suburban homestead?

Erin Newell


Joined: Jun 29, 2011
Posts: 33
Location: Vancouver, BC
Hi all,

I'm looking to move, and set up my Permie Paradise on a acreage with another family. The catch: My husband and I were planning to stay in our current house for 50 years, so we have the beginnings of a weird-ass suburban permie garden/foodforest that I have spent lots of time/energy/love creating. I don't want to sell this place and find that it's all been ripped out a year later. I don't want to spend the next year making it look more conventional, because I don't even know what that IS any more (and what if I sell it to someone that would have ripped it out anyways?!). I suppose I'm looking for stories from people that have done similar things, and had it turn out ok, or sold a place and were somehow able to never look at it again. Argh!! Help me decide what to spend my energy on, in the last year I'll be here? Please?
wayne stephen
steward

Joined: Mar 11, 2012
Posts: 1565
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
    
  87
We have moved alot. Everywhere we lived we planted fruit and beauty trees , shrubs, vines and started good soil for the next. This is over four states - Oh to be a gypsy !Now we live on 20acre site that we are making weird - plant guilds , letting part go back to briar and sumac. I want to stay on this one but life pulls you around. We named our site DogRoseFarm after my desire to let some dogroses flourish - neighbors are trying to warn me about what briar will turn into and I try to tell them what a 4 ounce bottle of rosehip tincture costs.Anyhoo - Arizona , California , Texas , and now Kentucky - I want to see what 20 years of this labor will produce but at least I know that more trees have been planted than most folks will ever plant . Arbor Day is just another day to us. Last year my son was on tour with his band and drove by the home he lived in during his youth - he got out of the car and plucked a blood orange off the tree we planted near the sidewalk- made me feel good - and there is a pomegranite right next to it. So you are one of the earths seed spreaders - keep it up.


Permaculture is CPR for the planet !


Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Urban homesteading is getting so popular, I think it might be a selling point to the right people. If it is very neat and organized, maybe even with lots of cute plant labels, I can see the garden being a big plus, not a negative.

But you have to not look back. My best garden was at a house we were renting. After we moved and the house was sold, the new owners ripped out the garden and put in a lawn.


Idle dreamer

Eric Thomas


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 54
Location: Northeast Oklahoma, Zone 6b,
We left our suburban home in PA 8 years ago to move back to the country. We produced a tremendous amount of food on our 1/2 acre keeping the front looking like a typical suburban (read: acceptable to the neighbors) appearance but with a lot of intensive ag in the back. Put up with many years of neighbors that complained of the (perceived) unruly appearance (while eagerly accepting surplus). We sold the house, fortunately right before the crash, took the money and ran...far and fast. Two reputable real estate agents told us that removing the garden and turning it back to lawn was our best bet as it was neutral and wouldn't have the potential to turn off a buyer. So we did. Heartbreaking to tear down the sum of many years of work and love. I took to looking up the place over the last few years on Zillow.com to see what the new owners did, even more heartbreaking was looking at the aerial satellite photos that would be updated every year or so. Looked at it recently and it's a desert, we left a lot of the best features that were more-or-less acceptable to anyone but they leveled it, even cut down my old Jonathan apple tree. Guess the care was too much for them but what delicious apples. One man's pie is another's poison.


Learn to live, and live to learn,
Ignorance like a fire doth burn,
Little tasks make large return.
-- Bayard Taylor
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
if your plants are still young enough and you KNOW you are going to move..and if you have the $..buy a bunch of normal flowering annuals in larger pots..save the pots and put the things you really want to take with you in those pots and plant in the holes the normal flowering annuals which will beautify the property for sellinig and you'll have your plants in pots..put your pots in a partially sunny spot (maybe in the garage with the door open toward the sun during the day?) to save them..and the flowers will help sell the place.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
paul sanass


Joined: Mar 18, 2012
Posts: 16
We too have had to move home just lately and know how you are feeling ... we have spent 26 years getting our forever home just the way we wanted it, lots of fruit and hard woods, fruit bushes, no dig gardens, greenhouse, stables, etc.
We are now having to start a fresh, I see it as having improved our last property as we all should do, but when someone buys it, well its theirs to do with as they please ... if they rip it all up, well it will be in their karma ... it gives me some peace.
Cheers
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6491
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
I see it as having improved our last property as we all should do,


I think Paul brings up a good point here.
If we do not improve the property, we can hardly call ourselves permaculturists, nor even responsible stewards.

If you know that you are going to move in a few years time, I can understand not investing thousands of hours, and $$$.
But I think we all owe it to Mother Nature to try to improve the soil and habitat while occupying her space.

Jane Sorensen


Joined: Apr 27, 2012
Posts: 2
Erin Newell wrote: I don't want to sell this place and find that it's all been ripped out a year later. I don't want to spend the next year making it look more conventional, because I don't even know what that IS any more (and what if I sell it to someone that would have ripped it out anyways?!). I suppose I'm looking for stories from people that have done similar things, and had it turn out ok, or sold a place and were somehow able to never look at it again. Argh!! Help me decide what to spend my energy on, in the last year I'll be here? Please?


I joined specifically to put in my 2 cents. I think about the same thing, imagining that the people who move in were like my last tenants or the neighbours on either side: consumers, thoughtless energy users...not averse to gardening but overenthusiastic with the "control of nature" impulse.

I think that this year you need to divide your energy between growing/installing only stuff you know everybody can enjoy, and finding the legal instrument in real estate law that makes it clear that the sale is contingent upon agreement and continuation of the principles you've identified apply to the particular plot of land, the house structure, and neighbourhood. Oh, and yeah, document everything you've done, why, and how, as an instruction manual for the new owners because they will need to maintain and repair -- and the "simplest" thing is (something you figure out for yourself) usually marketed to you for $29.95 and has no concern for long-term impact, and may require getting rid of the complex, thought-about solution that you custom-installed instead.

In other words, with a legal instrument (a contigency), if they rip out what you've done, you sue for all the time that you put into the improvements and the value of ecosystem/neighbourhood services that these improvements provide. So find out how much your efforts have benefited the whole, especially compared to the most consumerist, manicured people on the street, who give the old-time impression of being good neighbours by criteria that I can only describe as antiseptic.

Talk to the urban planning dept of your neighbourhood and see what their values and plans are, and see if there is any possibility that you've pre-configured the place and saved the new owners money or trouble in advance. Or at least see if there's current or future possibility of including the "coercive power of the state" to the threat of suing.

The goal is to make sure that the prospective buyers are not fearful of buying your house because they understand what it is you have done and they intend to enjoy, maintain, and perhaps extend it. This will send away anyone who says "my house I can do whatever I want" so you won't get top market dollar for it, but it won't frighten people of good intent and it may challenge a few assumptions of the people who at least come to the open house. Education helps.


Hope this helps
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6491
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
Personally, if I was looking at a property, and found out that there was a contingency plan on the deal, I would walk away from the deal, even if I agreed to the plan. If I am to plunk down my cash to buy a property, the previous owner has no right to hold a hammer over my head for the rest of my life. And if I (or my heirs) ever chose to sell the property, there would be restrictions on it, which would/could greatly effect my selling price. and scare off the majority of potential buyers.

If a person feels that strongly about a piece of property, then they need to keep it.

Jane Sorensen


Joined: Apr 27, 2012
Posts: 2
I didn't ask for an ideological spanking about the selfish perspective of someone who's very proud of the money they've earned. My advice follows the game the big boy developers play to mess with each other's plans, it's hardly a new invention, and we might as well be using the exact same game for good rather than evil. If you're all libertarian conservative about it, you are free to walk away and that is fine for the preservation of good practices and land. To give attitude that I ought not to affront your assumptions is neither a nice or cogent way to dominate a forum, when you've posted 1900 times and I've posted once. Enough said. I generally don't have time for "somebody on the internet is wrong..." I'm here to learn about permaculture without politics please.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6491
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
Sorry if you thought I was confronting you, or your plan. I merely stated that personally, I would walk away from a property with contingency plans. I also believe that many potential buyers would do the same.

As noble as the idea is, I see it as a way to scare off many potential buyers. In today's real estate market, I believe a seller needs to look at expanding the potential buyers, not limiting them.

Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3689
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  76
Hi Jane, good on you for joining permies to post something you're passionate about, but while you feel attacked by John's posts, I thought he was very reasonable and I found your reply quite intense.
Here's Paul's big ol' link that that might help: http://www.permies.com/t/2296/tinkering-site/nice
Mary James


Joined: Mar 18, 2011
Posts: 140
Location: NW MT Zones 4/5 Rollins Mt
    
    2
Personally I agree with John on this last little thing, contingencies in today's market are a good way to lose sells,,Even the big boys in real estate have backed off from them to move properties,,
On the other side of this and I know this sounds very harsh,, perhaps it is because I have been there done that. I walked away from property that had my heart and soul poured into it as part of a separation from a long term challenging relationship.This had my lively hood on it, acres of show gardens for my company, my organic greenhouse,my orchards,1.5 acre organic garden, herb and medicinal gardens, native plants nursery.my plant breeding gardens.etc,,I seriously thought it would be taken care of in the manner of which I had been doing for years..Not,, the first couple of years I even offered to go take care of it to a point,,,,I cried over parts of it until realized what I have in my life today is so much more.I have since been gifted special plants from the gardens who survived the lack of care to add to my new gardens and I treasure them dearly as each has a loving memory...The parts of the gardens which have importance in the eyes of the new beholders have been kept intact based on their memories and life style,I had to learn to respect that..Just as you will with the buyers of your property..When emotions are involved it is never easy...you have to choose to live in the present and move forward,, looking back being upset never gets you anywhere..
That all said, this is my suggestion,, go through your property take pictures and record the memories..Mark out plants your taking with you to your new home pot them up and fill in the places so they look appealing to buyers.Gather up seeds from plants being left,, anything you feel an attachment to and feel the need to take with you...You can make a potted garden of such plants look mighty nice in a corner ...
You can try to market it to those you think may have more of an interest in what you have been working towards,, But remember in the end who ever buys it is going to want to make it feel like their home, they are going to adjust everything to their needs..
I know that personally I have an attachment to our home and gardens here.It is a bit different for us ,,now to just walk away.Between the wonderful new memories which we built from the ground up here we also have parts of our son who died a few years ago buried on the property, We also have teaching memorial gardens in his name here and donate to the local food banks as a way to honor his spirit which loved to spend time gardening with mom.......We plan on dying here and being planted in the gardens...So no more going through the emotional turmoil that your working your way through at the moment hopefully you can find a happy medium..
Mary
wayne stephen
steward

Joined: Mar 11, 2012
Posts: 1565
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
    
  87
We have sold a few homes and the sale is like a house fire or flood. I don't enjoy it and the process always brings out alot of passion in people - including me. Autonomy is key to sustainability. Who better to steer the eco-building of a property than a passionate steward / owner. Studying Skeeters videos , it seems he has built properties into beautiful intricate ecologies and then turns them over to others to continue. Why not plan, as we build our dream homes , to market them as sustainable , permaculture farms if indeed we do need to move. That way we don't impose restrictions on anothers autonomy but attract others of similar mindset. I believe I have seen a permaculture farm being marketed on you tube.
Kat deZwart


Joined: Aug 13, 2011
Posts: 103
Location: Limburg, Netherlands, sandy loam
    
    1
There are a lot of sensible suggestions above, and you could mix and match some of them to your liking and possibilities...

I owned a suburban home that sat on 279 m2... My frontyard was my main "field" and it produced apples, berries, corn, flowers (rosa rugosa, for rosehip-tea), tomatoes, potatoes and loads of herbs and weeds with to feed my bunnies in the back yard, whose manure fed my front yard. It was a nice system and I was the horror of the neighbourhood, although we got along (we just agreed to disagree on the concepts of good gardening). I had to move on jobrelated reasons and now own a nice 1500m2 and a huge house/officebuilding on it. When selling the house (because of its size considered a "starter"home of those new on the real estate market) I took several perenials with me. Some others I took in the form of seeds and/or final harvest. I still left some plants behind, and I left some great soil that I had build from nothing but sand behind, just to start all over again on a washed sandy base again.

We couldn't afford to be picky with the buyers, as we had bought the new house already before selling our old one, and it was like one week later that the whole marketcrashthing happened, just after we quit our jobs to start our own business. That we worth quite a few sleepless nights on its own. We eventually got lucky and still sold our home within 9 months for about 90% of pre-crash value. But that's a little sidestory...

My heart just broke when I passed the old house some time back and saw that the buyers (thank got we found those, as is was post-crash) had created what I call a familytomb or litterbox (covering the whole frontgarden with membrane, gravel, a few artsy big stones and one flowerpot). I know that underneat "my soil" is still alive and I hope that the many bugs moved away to neighbours and the public greenery. Still, it's just business and if advertising to a specialised crowd doesn't produce the interest for a permaculture garden, you should cater to the mainstreambuyers. Otherwise sooner or later the bank will do it for you, and then you're in a whole load of trouble.

Good luck!
Kay Bee


Joined: Oct 10, 2009
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
We sold our place last year after spending 10 years working on the house and gardens/orchard. It was very hard to leave it behind, but our move was done in order to get closer to my wife's family, so it kept us motivated.

I had expected that we would end up getting a bit of a bump in price, even with the lousy economy, as we had such extensive fruit/nut/veggie plantings. We didn't get the bump in price, but marketing the place as a place you could wander outside and pick something year round was very helpful in getting traffic to view the property. We had a LOT of people come through just to view the yard.

I'm convinced the plantings were the only reason we were able to sell. There were over 450 other houses on the market in our zip code at the time, and many were short sales or foreclosures.

My suggestion is to put the permaculture to use in your marketing, and let the new owners continue your path or create one of their own.

good luck!

"Limitation is the mother of good management", Michael Evanari

Location: Southwestern Oregon (Jackson County), Zone 7
Erin Newell


Joined: Jun 29, 2011
Posts: 33
Location: Vancouver, BC
Thanks, all. You are all wise, and I hope to be as successful in leaving this place behind as you all. I plan to take a mass of cuttings, and my most hard-to-find plants - if the people that buy it are gardeners, they'll understand, and if they're not, they won't care
lil hodgins


Joined: Feb 06, 2012
Posts: 31
Location: s w france
good idea with the cuttings, that's what i have done so i don't feel like i am leaving the plant behind ! i have revisited one or two of the places i have lived, never a good idea, they had been hacked down and turned into lawns.....i would rather keep the image of what i had planted in my mind. you never know the person who buys it might be a gardener and that's why they chose it ! good luck.


lil
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6491
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
Perhaps if you were to write a 'booklet' (with photos) describing what the plants were, and their usefulness, the new owners might be more reluctant to rip it all out. The booklet could be a powerful selling tool as well. Depends on who is looking at the property. Whether they like the plan or not, they will see that the previous owners cared for the property. That is a good selling point. People are more likely to buy a property that has been cared for, than one that has been treated as 'just a place to sleep at night'.

Lori Crouch


Joined: Sep 26, 2011
Posts: 104
Location: Amarillo, TX.
    
    1
We have a small urban plot that I am turning into a permie haven all knowing that in the next 5 years we are going to move to some acreage. (basically we found permaculture after buying the house) All my neighbors keep stopping by on walks or rolling down their windows as they drive by telling me how wonderful it looks. We have a summer block party each year and I hope over the next few years to be able to ask people what they are hungry for, then go to my yard and pick it for my dish to pass. I hope that when we leave someone with a green thumb will purchase the property as it is definitely going to be unique to this city. I am prepping my neighbors to know everything that is in my garden both front and back. They are very talkative and will definitely tell the new owners what they think if they try to rip out their favorite apples, peaches, tomatoes, etc.
With all of this being said, we are planning on taking a lot of plants with us when we go. I will be taking blackberry, raspberry, and all perennials with me to some degree. We'll know a year in advance when we are ready to move and at that point I'll begin harvesting all my seed and working on preparing transplants. I will also be leaving my Sepp Holzer book with the house when I move in hopes that it will be read and used. I've learned from my grandparents that you never go back to look at a house you've moved out of. I worked for years helping each of them in their gardens only to find it paved over or completely neglected when they sold the properties. I hope that someone will use my garden as I hope more and more people become aware of food security and caring for the earth. However, I'll spare myself the agony of looking at a garden gone back to bermuda grass and never google this place when I'm gone.
Laura Sweany


Joined: Aug 08, 2009
Posts: 218
Location: Seattle, WA
I've been in your position several times: even when I was living in a rental, I couldn't help but create gardens, enrich soil and plant food to enjoy. In each circumstance when it came time to sell, I was able to market the "sustainable" nature of the property, the number of years it had been developed organically, and the beauty and liveliness the gardens added to the property. Each time we found our home value had increased because of our cultivation. I chalk this up to the 'dream' mentality of buyers - they are buying a dream, so you might as well sell them a dream. A lovely, scented, yummy, healthy dream. Then walk away, and start your new dream. Good luck!


"It is, of course, one of the miracles of science that the germs that used to be in our food have been replaced by poisons." - Wendell Berry
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
What a lovely vision, Laura!
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3756
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  53
16 years ago, I moved a house that was about to be crushed and sent to the dump. My family lived in it for 14 years. I started a garden and other nice plantings. The house was sold at a huge profit and the new owners have expanded the growing area. When they first came to look at it, the lady asked whether we used pesticides since she didn't want to inherit poisoned soil. I knew right away that the garden would fare well. My kids had outgrown the play house, trampoline, zip line and other play structures in the yard. The young family with a garden mad stay at home mom are great stewards of my creations and they are improving upon my efforts continnually.

It's no longer mine, but that house and garden will out live me. It's a pleasure to drive past it. The money earned on this property has set my ex-wife up in a totally paid for townhouse in a good neighbourhood. That house was a very good home and investment and I have no regrets concerning it's sale.


QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
Erin Newell


Joined: Jun 29, 2011
Posts: 33
Location: Vancouver, BC
Like balm to my soul, you guys I'm working at scaling back the parts of the garden that will look like work to novice gardeners, and planting lots of flowers. AND I'm taking my PDC (finally), and leaving the house with a detailed plan and map. Hopefully it will be enough to maintain the little lives I've stewarded here.
Clover Love


Joined: Mar 17, 2012
Posts: 52
Location: Tacoma, WA [8B-7B]
Gardeners buy houses too! I was hoping for a medium home with any yard, my husband was hoping for a yard (oh, does it come with a house?). We got a tiny house and a huge yard (for city; 0.26 acre). The lady who sold it to us was very relieved to know that gardeners where moving in. Is it possible to rent it out to permie enthusiasts?

I feel like we could stay in this house for the rest of our lives, or we could find ourselves motivated to go for 20+ acres, or we may inherit a small property in S. Cal that was built by a Grandfather. When I consider what it would mean to leave this property, I sooth my soul with the fantasy of renting to young, not ready to buy, permaculture enthusiasts. An urban beacon in the permaculture community, only rented to permies pals...


I live in Bizzaro World.
Timothy Gift


Joined: Jun 10, 2012
Posts: 2
Location: North Idaho
I also finally signed up to reply to this thread.

We just went through this exact same thing. The stars lined up for us to finally make the move from a large metropolitan area to our slice of heaven on 10 acres last fall. Likewise we had been working to make our little suburban lot a productive little oasis. The tipping point for us in that regard came a few years ago when our teenage boys were arguing for the umpteenth time about whose turn it was to mow the back yard that neither of them played in any more. My wife and I decided that we didn't need all that grass any more and began the change over to garden space.

I knew we wouldn't be there forever, so I left all the hardscape in place, and changed the turf heads over to drippers. We had fruit trees, and a huge garden space. We marketed it as an "urban oasis" with lots of pictures of inside and outside taken when the corn was tall, and the flowers blooming. I walked our realtor through the yard and explained what I had done, and showed her how easy it would be to put grass back in if that was what a potential buyer wanted to do. I was back and forth between places for a couple months, so I just planted a flower mix in the beds that weren't occupied by return crops like chard that had reseeded.

To a person, all the lookers that came through said they loved the yard. That was the biggest item we got on feedback. There are plenty of people out there looking for what you have. I would just say probably concentrate on what you have already done, and not put more money in to "go all the way." If buyers who are gardeners can find something to be excited about and non-gardeners don't see something that will totally scare them off, you've found the right balance.

Last but not least, and this is the hardest part, is you will have to let go of that property from an emotional standpoint. We hoped someone would buy our place that would love and appreciate what we had done, but the reality is selling the property is the priority. Hopefully what you have done will attract someone of like mind, but you can't guarantee it.

We have been out a few months, and I've heard from friends that the new owners are talking about making some drastic changes that make me sad. (like cutting down a beautiful shade tree because they don't like the birds pooping on their cars) But it's not our house any more, and I think our energy is better spent working on where we live now than worrying about where we left. (hard as that is...)
Karin Schott


Joined: Apr 19, 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Western foothills of Maine
We are only on this planet for a short while, in the grand scheme of things. I want to acknowledge that you have so much invested in this piece of land. I have been where you are. I invested a lot of energy in a piece of land. I took many plants with me to start my new place and I left a lot behind. But as I work in my new garden I have learned that no matter how hard you try to pull out the old stuff there will always be volunteers. Calendula, Borage and cilantro are just a few of the many plants that have shown up in the most unusual places. In the process of connecting with my new land. I I have found forgotten rhubarb, peony and a mint variety I am still trying to identify. Unless someone takes napalm to your old garden the new stewards will always find remnants of what you left behind. It may not be maintained and cherished the way that you cared for the land but your postive impact on the land will be felt by the new folks and probably the folks after them...
Julia Winter
volunteer

Joined: Aug 31, 2012
Posts: 841
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
    
  75
I'm struggling with this same issue. We have an exceptionally large yard, almost an acre, and I pretty much neglected it this spring while I wallpapered and painted the house, getting ready for a sale we were not planning on. "Life pulls you around," all right!

I just started working the yard (some of the time) a little over a week ago. I have cleared out three of the four formal raised beds, but I've only planted one. I filled a full sized pickup bed with Canada thistle, and I'm not done yet. I know I need things looking tidier, or the property will just scare even the gardeners away!

However, I still have oodles of packing to do. We had the realtor through, and he said everything was great--just remove half of your belongings.


Ask me about food.
Peter Ellis


Joined: Apr 04, 2013
Posts: 539
Location: Central New Jersey
    
  10
Jane Sorensen wrote:I didn't ask for an ideological spanking about the selfish perspective of someone who's very proud of the money they've earned. My advice follows the game the big boy developers play to mess with each other's plans, it's hardly a new invention, and we might as well be using the exact same game for good rather than evil. If you're all libertarian conservative about it, you are free to walk away and that is fine for the preservation of good practices and land. To give attitude that I ought not to affront your assumptions is neither a nice or cogent way to dominate a forum, when you've posted 1900 times and I've posted once. Enough said. I generally don't have time for "somebody on the internet is wrong..." I'm here to learn about permaculture without politics please.


Yet your post that provoked that response was one of a distinctly political nature.

It also urged the OP to take steps that would, without a doubt, reduce the sale price of their property and almost certainly increase the time it would spend on the market.

Restrictive covenants are certainly part of the real estate business, but so are economic concessions to accept them and they, not infrequently, push potential buyers to other properties without such covenants.

I'm looking at leaving a property in the next couple of years that I've been on for twenty years. I've done some things, and will do some more before I part with it, but the next owner will do what they will do. And I will be busy working on making my new property into what I want it to be, just as the person who follows me on my current property will be doing.

I think we all have better things to worry about than whether someone who followed us on a piece of land changed it to suit their needs and desires.
Julia Winter
volunteer

Joined: Aug 31, 2012
Posts: 841
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
    
  75
Well, one thing I'm doing is taking a lot of pictures. Maybe they will even help sell the place, maybe they'll just be bittersweet reminders of how much room I used to have. I've posted a lot of them here:

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/country-living-forums/real-estate/488901-one-acre-homestead-near-madison-wi.html#post6642077
Karen Crane


Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 153
When I was looking to buy ( and even now) I would have loved to find something that already had the garden and loving work in it. I agree with the persaon who said to make up a little booklet about what you have planeted and what it can be used for and how to take care of it. there are more and more people who would love to have what you are selling.
Julia Winter
volunteer

Joined: Aug 31, 2012
Posts: 841
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
    
  75
I started a new thread at homesteadingtoday.com here. Our home is officially listed since Monday the 1st. We had two couples come see the place on Tuesday, but neither of them liked it all that much. The trouble is, the vast majority of people aren't all that fond of gardening. I feel like I'm at odds with our realtor: in our MLS listing he just says "many perennials and shade trees." I want to say "Dude, there are 6 fruit trees and 4 shade trees!" Not to mention the dozen blueberries, the northern hardy blackberries, the raspberries, the blackcurrants, the lingonberries, the asparagus, the horseradish and three different veggie gardens. If you don't list at least some of these things, you're not going to get the sort of people that like these sort of things. Well, that's what I think. He's sold a lot more houses than I have.
Karen Crane


Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 153
Wish I could afford it!
Hey! Get a new reator! You need someone who understands what you are selling. YES you need to list all those things you mentioned. Also you might want to post it on the www.ic.org site as lots of people there are looking for such a property. Also United Country rea; estate would probably be a better realtor for this property as they deal more in farms and country property.
Julia Winter
volunteer

Joined: Aug 31, 2012
Posts: 841
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
    
  75
Hmmm, I hadn't thought of that. I could have an ad for 3 months for $25 - that would only be online. . . do you think people really look for single family homes on ic.org??
Renate Howard
pollinator

Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
    
    9
If it helps, we sold our house with many more fruit trees than yours to someone who wanted it partially because of all the plantings. They had me make up detailed instructions on how to care for all the plants because, tho they were interested, they were not experienced gardeners. It had peaches, apples, plums, cherries, mulberries, chestnuts, aronia, hazelnuts, jujubes, currants, raspberries, blackberries, wineberries, grapes, asparagus, blueberries, horseradish, strawberries, and more. I found out later they did cut down some of the trees, but it's their home now and they were a lot to mow around!

I started doing some of my own advertising and then the realtor got nervous re: the commission, I guess some have contested the commission if they find their own buyer, so she jumped right aboard and changed the listing in the MLS to include the plantings!

No matter how great the yard, the house is still important to the sale, so if your realtor says to declutter then you probably should. And paint anything you're told to, repair what needs it, etc. Some of us (me included) have the problem of, we spend so much time outside we let things go indoors but buyers won't appreciate that. Nearly anyone buying a house these days is watching too much HGTV and expects the inside to be kind of trendy, imho.
Julia Winter
volunteer

Joined: Aug 31, 2012
Posts: 841
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
    
  75
You are totally right about the decluttering. I think we've done a pretty good job on that, (scroll down to see interior pictures of our house) but sadly I let the property (Canada thistle!!) get away from me while I working on all the painting and wallpapering and decluttering. The past two days I had two people that responded to an ad on Craigslist come help me weed and clean up the back yard.

I'm curious about how/where you advertised your own property for sale, because I want to do everything I can to sell as quickly as possible.

I mentioned to the realtor yesterday (at the beginning of the open house) that I thought the listing should mention the fruit trees, and he said he would add that. I should offer him a complete blurb: any ideas, anyone?
Karen Crane


Joined: May 03, 2011
Posts: 153
As for putting your ad on www.ic.org, ....yes, I have seen many single family houses for sale on their site. They always are saying a lot about the gardens and etc.
and talking about it as a homestead.
Renate Howard
pollinator

Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
    
    9
I put it under "Farm/Garden" on Craigslist, also I was a member of PASA - the state sustainable agriculture group so I advertised it on one of their listservs.
Julia Winter
volunteer

Joined: Aug 31, 2012
Posts: 841
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
    
  75
When I posted our property in Farm/Garden, it got deleted by the local Craigslist police. (They are self appointed--I think if something gets flagged twice then it is deleted.) I went ahead and put a classified ad here: Communities Magazine Classified Ads, Land, Houses, Real Estate. I figure it's worth $25. I had our house up in the FSBO section of Craigslist for at least a month but it only got a few responses, none of which were very serious. I'd get things like "What's your lowest price?" and when I wrote back asking "Have you talked to a mortgage broker? What are you offering?" I'd get no reply.

I'm on the Madison Permaculture Guild listserv, but when I posted a bunch of things for sale because we were moving, I only got offers from two real estate agents to be our sellers agent. I'm thinking now we should have gone with one of them. . .
Julia Winter
volunteer

Joined: Aug 31, 2012
Posts: 841
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
    
  75
I just sent emails to every garden club related person I could find for the Madison WI area, saying I had written to them because they knew a lot of gardeners and maybe they knew someone who was looking for more space. I'm afraid I'm getting a little stressed out. My realtor did accept my blurb:

Beautiful property on more than 3/4 of an acre. Conveniently located near 4 levels of excellent Waunakee schools. Spacious kitchen w/loads of cabinets & counter space. Modern ranch design w/ open floor plan, vaulted ceiling and gleaming hardwood floors. Fenced yard w/ fruit & shade trees, raised bed vegetable gardens. This home is located on the Waunakee Airport and has a 45' hangar. WaterFurnace geothermal heating and cooling system installed last fall, solar hot water system saving money since 2009.


So, that's better, I think. However, he replaced all of the photos I took with pictures that the official Stark Realty photographer took, including a truly awful picture of the house and front yard. After I emailed him he changed the main picture back to the one I took before the shipping container landed in our driveway, but the official listing still has the horrible shaggy front yard pic, plus three more outdoor pictures that were taken from way in the very back of our property and are about as bad as they could be.



This is the photo I took.



This is from the professional photographer. I have since gotten out the string trimmer and cleaned up the edges of that garden, but his picture completely leaves out the new landscaping we spent thousands on last fall!! Grrr! Even if he came out today and took the same picture, it would be better, because the cherry tree is covered in bright red cherries (have already made one pie--yum!) and the monarda is in bloom.
 
 
subject: How do you leave a garden behind? What do you do to sell a suburban homestead?
 
cast iron skillet 49er

more from paul wheaton's glorious empire of web junk: cast iron skillet diatomaceous earth sepp holzer raised garden beds raising chickens lawn care flea control missoula electric heaters permaculture videos permaculture books