Escape From the Prison Planet

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DRIVEN
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Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:01 am

Part 2 of The Compound Saga

The Manifesto; There was just not enough to keep me here anymore. My daughter is done with school. My wife has topped out at her job. My job is going nowhere. Every day it gets more crowded and the traffic gets worse. Taxes keep going up at an alarming rate. I totally disagree with the politics here. Most of my projects are at a standstill. It's time to eject.

The plan; This has been simmering for years. It actually started as a half-joke about finding a little town somewhere and setting up camp like Boss Hog. Evolution took us to a more practical conclusion. I needed to find a more rural local. Oregon and Washington were off the table. I researched Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Wyoming. As my focus narrowed to Idaho I found that my parents were beginning to have the same thoughts about the Portland area as I was. Being freshly retired, they made the move first. That gave me the opportunity to get a feel for the region without having to move there myself.

The hunt; After kicking around the western side of the state for awhile, I decided that it made the most sense to be on the west side of the Snake. Owyhee county is much less populated yet close enough to Nampa/Caldwell/Boise to make travel reasonable. Focus narrowed even tighter to the Marsing area. Official population 970. The town is on the left bank of the Snake river with the north side being relatively flat. Pockets of housing are interspersed among corn fields and a couple dairies. My parents are 2 miles north of Main street (AKA Highway 55). To the south of town the terrain backs up to a range of hills that mostly parallel the river. The river side is mainly orchard and vineyard with some corn fields mixed in. It stays pretty green. On the back side of the hills it gets much dryer and runs out to the Owyhee mountain range, high desert. That's where I wanted to be.

The spot; I searched for over a year and found that places in my target zone didn't come up often. Then one day I accidentally stumbled across a poorly placed by-owner sale. The location was perfect. The topography was exactly what I was looking for. Best of all the price was reasonable. After pleading my case, my wife was reluctantly on board. We did the deal. That was last fall.

Limbo and the hustle; Since my wife and daughter still had to finish out a school year, we were able to put some short-term renters in the house over there. I mentioned the purchase to one coworker who can keep his mouth shut but said nothing more to anyone else. Just kept going to work. As spring approached we contacted a realtor about selling The Compound. I always assumed due to it's lot size and location that it would probably just sell to a developer who would tear it down and build townhouses. She was convinced that it would be more valuable as it stands but needed but needed a remodel first. Sure, why don't I just go borrow even more money so I can get out from under this place. When the dust settled we had a new roof, gutters, flooring, countertops, paint inside and out, lighting, fixtures, door hardware, concrete work, landscaping, and a host of other small odds and ends. My last day of work was June 2nd and the house listed later the same day. Lots of interest but no real action yet.
While all the remodeling was going on we were packing and liquidating. I sold lots of parts along with my Goldwng and the ShotRod Sedan. I also hauled two Uhauls worth of unneeded household stuff and almost the entire contents of 2 shops along with all remaining vehicles to my parents' house to be stored in my dad's shop. I'm a huge inconvenience.
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When the only tool you have is a hammer every problem starts to look like a hippy.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:15 am

The transition; Renters were out the first of June so I grabbed my rucksack and brown dog and rallyed the Neon to new location A. After getting the keys from the rental agent I went to the house to assess and strategize. I found the house in better condition than when they moved in and the lawn was even mowed. The decision was made to go back in the morning with my dad's tractor and start cleaning the spread. The house will get some deep cleaning and maybe a little paint later.

The spec sheet; I suppose introductions are in order. Just under 5 acres on an east facing hill. The lot is rectangular in shape. The lower third is very green and has plenty of trees and lots of birds. The transitional housing isn't much to brag about. Just a small manufactured home with a huge porch.

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There are a couple of outbuildings as well. The shed on the left holds the well tank. The one on the right was a chicken house and was given to a neighbor.
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This was being called the salsa garden by the previous owner. All dead now.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:33 am

Big, old weeping willow.
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Irrigation canal on the north border.

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Runoff ditch that catches all the water from the farms uphill. Keeps everything in the yard green with minimal additional watering.
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Fruit trees
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:40 am

For now I'll refer to this as the upper pasture until I can come up with a more clever name. This is looking up from behind the well shed. You can faintly make out the path where i ran the mower around the proposed driveway for the new house.
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This is the mid pasture after mowing. The house is just out of frame to the right. Grass and tumble weeds were waist high. lots of mice for the Redtails to eat.
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This is the small lower pasture after clearing. Again, waist high. It is basically the southeast corner of the property.
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This is where the new driveway access will be along the southern border. My dad showed up and was a huge help for this task. Aside from the tall grass there were some trees and fencing tat had to be removed as well.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby 510freak » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:47 am

Awesome 5 acres, congrats Jess
Taterhead » Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:35 am wrote:[quote="Taterhead » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:41 pm


Sorry, I was channeling my inner flatcat.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:56 am

Thanks, man. There's more coming as it progresses.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby flatcat19 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:44 am

Beautiful plot.



Get some cats! You have too many cars to not have some extra protection from those mice.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:13 pm

Thanks. I really do feel fortunate to have found it. From what I'm told there are no more buildable lots in this part of the county. None. I looked at buying 2 other 5 acre lots together about 5 or 6 miles NW of here but didn't like their proximity to 3 dairies. They were supposedly the last two bare buildable lots outside of subdivisions. The only way around that is to do what we did. Buy something with an existing house and replace it. I already have a possible buyer for the mobile when I'm done with it. The county will allow both houses to exist simultaneously but I have to move the old one out before they'll issue an occupancy permit on the new one.
The old guy next door has his place for sale right now. The county has weird rules about how many times a piece is divided. My parcel was original part of his and he's split to the max so it's unlikely that someone would buy his spread and go through the expense of subdividing.
If that all sounds confusing, let me try to explain water rights.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby Taterhead » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:53 am

Upper pasture = bunker hill


Great buy it seems. Didn't you say ground will be broken in about a year or am I remembering incorrectly?
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:54 am

Hope to be done within a year. And yes, bunker hill. The house plans call for full basement. I just got off the phone with my builder to volley another round of questions. No solid numbers on anything yet so it's entirely possible we may have to scrap it and choose another plan. Let me be perfectly clear up front. This house is a monster. I'm going way bigger than necessary with an eye on my later years when I'll be ready to downsize. I'm banking on what it might be worth in 20-30 years as a large house on view property in wine country. I'll probably be dead by then but at least my family can benefit. The downside is that the shop may have to wait. I'm probably an idiot.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby flatcat19 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:21 pm

Get some. I like the cut of your jib, Sir.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby Indy510 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:07 pm

looks good .. and good luck. I'm glad to see the Datsun is still nearby.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:29 pm

Thanks. I'll be back behind the wheel in just over a week.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby noflers » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:42 am

DRIVEN wrote:The downside is that the shop may have to wait. I'm probably an idiot.


Lack of shop space sucks, but you're going to have a personalized house, on a beautiful piece of land when you're done. I'd be okay with waiting on a shop.

I've been eyeballing land in Southern Oregon for a few years. It's not too hard to find 2-5 acres for under $10,000, but the land is totally undeveloped with no established county utilities like power or water. Drilling a well is the only option, but that's money... For me, the shop will come first, with an adequate living space in the loft to get us by.

I got big dreams, haha. Looks like you're on the way to living yours. Good work, man.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:31 am

Thanks. The house thing is really more for long term return and to help bribe my wife into agreeing that this is a good move. I'll have a pretty large 3 car garage and access to my dad's shop just a few minutes up the road so it won't be too bad. If I was a single guy I'd find a few acres and build a huge shop with a small apartment inside. We actually looked at a place like that (60x80?) but I can't say I blame my wife for wanting something more traditional.
I'm still just hoping this all works out. The math is still pretty foggy but the rough numbers say it's possible. Luckily neither one of us have really opulent taste so there won't be any marble columns or gold toilets. Well, At least not in the house. Maybe in the shop.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:32 am

Progress is being made but updates might be sparse for awhile. No internet yet and phone is pita. Anyway, we turned down 2 offers on The Compound last weekend but accepted a 3rd yesterday so it looks like it's tentatively sold. Deal don't be closed for a few weeks though.
Also got the rough numbers back from the builder and it appears that I in fact can't quite afford to build a 7000' house. Sooo we regrouped and have 90% settled on a much less ridiculous plan. We'll be meeting with the builder after the holiday to start the ball rolling.
Meanwhile we've just been unpacking. I've also spent a few hours digging a ditch in the uphill neighbor's lot to redirect irrigation runoff. Should be starting work soon too.
I really like it here.

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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby wayno » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:18 pm

Do you own the property you were standing when you took the photo of the river above?
I wouldn't have a clue what to do with a 7000 square foot home.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:01 pm

Yes. That photo was taken from my front porch. The canal is just on the other sided of my fence.
That first house plan had the ability to be built out that far but I never would have done it. The main level was 2600, which is big if you ask me. There was an additional 600' suite upstairs that we would have done as well. All the bonus footage would have come from building the apartment above the huge 3 car garage and finishing the basement. Neither of which we would ever have done. It really was ridiculously huge. Plan B is much more realistic.
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby wayno » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:36 pm

I take it that the water is not actually on your property though.
I don't need a lot of room to live in myself, the vehicles and parts take up a lot more room than I do.
Well that appears to be a nice view, at least it is not the next door neighbors houses, that is the view I have.
“The difference between genius and stupidly is that genius has its limits” Albert Einstein
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Re: Escape From the Prison Planet

Postby DRIVEN » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:42 am

The canal is on the other side of my fence butg part of it is technically on my property. I have water rights but I'm not allowed to pull any directly from the canal. There is a junction box across my neighbor's field and a water line buried that goes to my property but I would need a pump and switching valve to get it to me. A simpler and cheaper way to do it would be to drop a circle pipe in the runoff ditch in my front yard and pump from there. It's basically a 4' culvert standing on end buried 8' deep with a gate going in and out. It essentially makes a reservoir tank I can pump from using runoff just water just before it drains back into the canal.
Also in water related news; I have a rare "good water" well. The water tables around here are weird and it's common for 3 houses side by side to have wells at drastically different depths that tastes completely different. Much of the water around here is gross and everyone has filtration/ softener systems. Mine tastes great. Huge happy surprise!
I'm with you on the living space thing. If I didn't live with 2 girls I would be perfectly happy with a huge shop that had a small apartment in it.
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