…by the way

Gawd!  We are so seasonal.  We’re like bears.  Things this spring have been just dragging along.  People have been out and about, of course, doing what they have to do but the weather put a virtual dampner on everything.  We all went about it slowly and wearing a lot of weather-cover.  I feel as if I know the burka better than I should.

This weekend, however, turned out to be the turnaround.

A smidge late but better than never.

The ad hoc grill at the dock opened for business, more people worked on the bunkhouse.  Three of us went to the Q-hut.  Wwoofers are showing up.  More small boats in the water.  A few summer residents reappeared.  Parking at the end-of-road is getting full.  Folks are starting to talk about projects again.  This time with enthusiasm.  I think we have finally gotten started this year.  We’ve turned a mental corner.

Emphasis on the word mental.

There is even an event planned for the not-yet-completed-but-close-enough renovated bunkhouse the first week in June.  Now that is commitment.

BY THE WAY.…………..One of our neighbours has their land for sale.  48 acres of very good soil, well-treed waterfront property.  Tiny, tiny cabin.  They are asking around $550,000 and that is just a smidge over $10K an acre.  A good price, I think.  And I feel obliged to mention it.

They are not  – I don’t think, anyway – marketing it very well.  They are selling it because they are in their 70’s and they are thinking they should ‘move on’ while they can still move on.

The problem, of course, is that they are very good community members.  We all like and care for them.  So, consequently, no one is talking it up.  The message is not being sent.  No one outside really knows about it.  And that suits us just fine, thank you.

But, that is not fair.  I came to realize that this weekend while working with them on the Q-hut.  They want to sell and I should help.  Thus this advertisement.

And, anyway: If you feel you have to go, you have to go.  A truism in all sorts of situations.  Right?  Anyone interested, let me know.  I’ll put you in touch.

“Geez, Dave, can we do it?  Can we make a cabin and retire to the woods and all?  I mean like………will you ever get a ferry or a Starbucks?  Ever?”

No to the ferry.  Probably NO to the Starbucks.  I’d say that if you are under 55 and healthy, you can pull it off.  Over 55, you have to start ‘helping’ such a dream along with large dollops of money.  Really.  If you are over 60 and have to pay to have it done, building and equipping an off-the-grid cabin today is at least $500.00 a square foot.  But, if you can do a lot yourself, you can do it for less.  But not a lot less.  Off-the-grid ain’t cheap.

Bear in mind: even if you are useless with a hammer and a chainsaw (not at the same time…most of us have trouble using those two things at the same time), you will have to get good at some of it.  At some point.  And I am talking about after the building is built!

Unless you are a millionaire or better you simply cannot pay to have 80% of what needs to be done for everyday living done for you.  Impossible.  There are not enough ‘workers’ for that.  You have to put on jeans and clean your own gutters, paint your own house, move your own furniture and fix your own everything.  You have to know how everything works and, believe me, that will be tested.

Service?  Fuggedabout it!  Help?  Yes, of course.  Some.  When you really need it.  But only then.  Advice?  Plenty.  We are knee deep in advice although the excellent advice pool is a bit shallow or at least not running free and clear.

“Can I do it cheaper if I get creative?”

Absolutely.  Renovate and re-model four or so shipping containers down in the city and then have them ‘barged’ or ‘helicoptered’ to a pre-built deck and you have a great place for the summer.  May to mid October.  But it might lack a little in being ‘homey’.  And ‘systems’ are systems whether they are for a fancy tent or a mansion.  You need water, gas, electricity, etc. And that is what it is.  Hard to make your own generator from scratch.  Yeah, you could make a place for less……….but not a lot less.

“You are not selling me very well!

Sorry.  But first, I like them.  I hope they stay.  Secondly, no one should take this on without knowing what they are taking on.  We, however, did.  And it was hard and we are very thankful that we were healthy and determined.  And remained so for the entire time we built.  But I must admit; being ignorant helped.  We didn’t know how hard it would be.  I can’t really recommend doing it the way we did it.  Planning better would make it easier.

Thirdly, if you do it and have trouble, I want to be able to look you in the eye and know that I told you the truth.  So, here’s the truth (as I see it): you should buy it.  You really should.  And then let our neighbours live in it for a few more years.  That would be nice.  And, while they are there, give the property to your kids.  Let them build a nice cabin!  And then our old neighbours (after helping your kids) will leave.  Then you go up and stay in the little renovated guest cabin that your kids built and maintain for you.

Now THAT’s a plan!

 

 

 

 

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