We’re doing the last walkthrough this morning before signing the contracts for a building in Sanderson, about a half hour south of where we live. The town doesn’t have any amenities, and the population is under a thousand people. There are a lot of reasons why it’s attractive to us as a place to buy, beginning with the fact that there is no zoning in a town this small.
And, when I say “building,” I mean it. We’re not looking at a house–but a building with three office suites, one of which is usable now, plus a 1300 square foot space that would make a very nice apartment (and no zoning means we can if we choose). There’s also a 44 x 40 workshop, which you can’t see in the picture, as it’s directly behind the building. Guess which part Corey’s in love with? 🙂
So, basically we’re buying a strip mall with a garage. No tenants at the moment, or possibly ever. We haven’t decided whether we want to try to turn it into an income property. There are good things and bad things about renting out space for anything.
We’ve always trusted our instincts–possibly more than we should, but considering our lot in life continues to improve, I think we’re right a little more often than not. And, along the way, we’ve paid a little bit (OK, a fair amount… OK, quite a bit) of what I call “stupid tax.” Most of it was before we met–but we did get into a one-year lease when we went up to Oregon, and on reflection, that was a mistake. And we paid for it.
But we learn–when I went to Alpine to take on the managing editor job, I only signed a three-month lease, which turned out to be a really, really good idea in the end. Who knew that, less than a month after I started, I was going to be offered a job that paid twice the money for half the hours and that I can work from home? I couldn’t even think about turning it down. It effectively doubled my salary, because one of my two editor paychecks a month was going to the rent and utilities. Here at home, of course, that doesn’t apply.
There are other things in the offing–am in discussions about starting my own business as a subsidiary of the business I’m working for now. Don’t know if it will work out in the end, but it’s something to think about really hard.
Also looking at a van much like the one in the picture. We had to get rid of the big F350 truck once we got to the ranch, for a number of reasons, but it basically bought the little Chevy Cruze I’m running around in now.
But with a building to renovate, plus some post-retirement plans to RV around the country with a bumper pull trailer someday, a vehicle that’s a tad bigger than the Cruze will be necessary. We’ve been looking for one for months now, as we knew we’d need one. Not intensely, just looking. And we may have found one yesterday. Looks a lot like the one in the picture, but it’s a 2003 with a 7.3l diesel engine. The year model means no computers to futz with, which means that Corey can pretty much fix anything that goes wrong with it, which is very reassuring.
It will tow pretty much any trailer out there, albeit with gas mileage that is pretty sucky, but then they all are. The key for us is that with that roof rack and the internal space, it gives us the ability to haul any construction materials we need right now… And the price is good.
Thinking about all this is much like standing on the diving board at Balmorhea. Scary, but a good scary. And the chance that we’re going to turn around and walk away from the building are approximately zero at this point unless we see something like a portal to hell behind one of the doors in this morning’s walkthrough. Corey will be able to look at the engine in the van and drive it this week Tuesday. And becoming my own business again? Well, that will come when it comes. Or not.
Every one of these things could fall through–or they could all come true. Or any combination thereof. You know, life’s an adventure, peoples… and we continue to live it at our pace and no one else’s.