Exciting News

Exciting news!  I’ve found The One. No, not a man; a piece of property! It is a little over an acre with good gravel roads almost all the way there (there’s a rocky section that I’m told the county will take care of if I tell them someone is living there). I’m not going to say it already has a driveway, but it’s been driven over quite a bit so it’s packed down good; I don’t think I’ll need to do anything more to it until July when the monsoons start. It has lots of nice bushy pinon and cedar trees that are good for shade and windbreakers, and also some grassy and rocky areas. It drops off at the property line on one side so there are beautiful views over the valley.  The closest neighbor is about 500′ away (but not in sight) and some friends live just 1/3 mile away.  And it’s in a county that has minimal building codes and practically nonexistent code enforcement.  There are people living in storage sheds all over this subdivision!  Taxes are $39 a year plus $100 a year to “subscribe” to the fire district. It’s less than 20 miles to big supermarkets, Home Depot, Walmart, etc.

Concho View

I am very excited! I can’t think of a way to get a building to live in before spring, so it means winterizing the camper….reflectix on the windows, foam board skirting all around the bottom, and cramming strips of foam (A/C weatherstripping) into every crack and crevice I can find! And getting a larger heater. Last night it was 30° here with no wind and the camper stayed at 59°. That’s fine, but I’m going to need something a little beefier for when it gets colder.

Concho View 2

And I guess the only way I’m going to get a “house” to live in is to build it myself. Since I had to borrow some of the purchase price, I don’t want to go even deeper in debt to buy a little storage building. And the Rent To Own prices are ridiculous…it’s something like 40% interest! I didn’t really like the look of the storage buildings anyway; they are not cute or pretty. Most of them don’t have any overhangs and super-cheap aluminum windows. You can upgrade to double pane windows for $150-250 extra per window! That’s robbery….I can buy a nice thermopane window for well under $150.  I’m sure I can build a She Shed for about half what they are selling for; it’ll just take me a lot longer.

There is electricity near the property but in this county you can’t get electricity hookup until you have a septic system, and I can’t afford that, nor will I really need a septic system as I’ll have a dry toilet/composting system.  So I’ll be continuing to live off-grid. I’ll get an additional solar panel and some beefy 6-volt golf cart batteries, which will give me 250 amps of power. I’ll wire the shed for 12 volt lights and cigarette lighter plugs. I’ll get a large water tank and have water delivered ($25 for up to 500 gallons). Wow, running water! It can be pumped with a simple battery-driven pump.  Appliances will be propane; RV stove and refrigerator.

So….the basic theme of this blog is going to change from boondocking & travel, to the agonies of a 69 year old woman trying to build her own Tiny House. I’m sure my back and knees will not thank me! I hope everyone will hang in there with me. I’ve built an 800 sq. ft. home, a 10×16 cabin, 13z22 barn cabin, and a 14×24 houseboat. So I know how to do it all; including wiring and the minimal amount of plumbing I’ll need to do.  It’ll just take me a lot longer because I’m old and creaky. Heaven help us if I have to get down on my knees to do anything! Maybe I should invest in a Life Alert……please help me, I’m kneeling and I can’t get up!

Concho Carport

I have found a self-storage facility nearby that rents 5×10 spaces for $30 a month so I’m going to do that for a while. I’ve GOT to get my car emptied out! Right now it’s so full, I can barely fit groceries into it. I need to be able to carry building supplies, and maybe buy some things at thrift shops that I’ll eventually be able to use on the shed.  Wow, and I can finally get all the rocks out of the car too! If you open any door (including the driver’s door) you see rocks. Some of them are pretty good-sized, too. I’ll bet my gas mileage will improve when I get all that weight out of the car!

Concho driveway

I have been dogsitting for my new neighbor friends while they went to a funeral in Oklahoma. They have three tiny dogs and a doggy door, so all I really have to do is give them food & water and put them in their crates at night & let them out in the morning. I’m camped in their driveway (with electric hookup!!)  I go over to the house every evening to spend a few hours with them. It has nothing to do with being able to watch their big screen TV with every available channel, honest! When Candace was still here, the dogs were all over me. As soon as they left, the dogs were terrified of me and would run out the doggy door the moment I came in the house. They weren’t eating much and I couldn’t get them to go in their crates at night because they ran if I came near them. Then one night it was chilly so I borrowed her robe from the bedroom, and draped it over me. Suddenly all three dogs were all over me……they loved me!! Since then it’s been much better; even the really skittish Yorkie lets me pet him, and the dogs go into their crates at night all by themselves.  I’ve been taking Roxie over there with me and they all pretty much ignore each other.

 

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23 Responses to Exciting News

  1. Deb says:

    Congrats Janis…it sounds wonderful!🙂👏👍

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  2. Vicki says:

    So happy that you finally found a place. Look forward to watching it develop into your home.

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  3. Tom & Deb says:

    Congratulations Janis on finding the “one”…:). So happy for you and Roxie. I can almost hear the excitement in your voice as you write about it. Looking forward to reading more about your new place as you get settled in. Stay safe.

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  4. Audrey says:

    I am so happy for you and your upcoming adventures. It sounds really workable.

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  5. Linda in the Rocky Mountains says:

    Janis,
    This is wonderful news. Your property looks beautiful. All the best for you and Rosie.
    Linda in snowy Colorado

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  6. MB Dillard says:

    Hi Janis! I am so happy for you. You have done and are doing what I would like to do sometime in the near future. I would love to travel around and look for my perfect little piece of property out there. I like the northern third of AZ. I want a tiny straw bale home that is as self sustaining as possible. I look forward to reading all about your new journey. Good luck! MB

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    • janispaqu says:

      Oooh, straw bale! Such good insulation! FYI, Greenee County over by the NM line has no building restrictions at all! Apache County does not have many restrictions on alternate building methods, or so I’m told. Myself, I’d love to have an earthbag home but I’m just not up to that much manual labor.

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  7. Marti Guidotti says:

    Sounds great, Janis!

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  8. Denice Rayburn says:

    Congratulations Janis!! So happy to hear of your great news – FINALLY, a place to call home! I hope that your new adventure is as fabulous as the past ones have been, can’t wait to read all about your new ones!!

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  9. Congratulations Janis!! I’m living in my van and traveling. I’m in NY now, but going to be heading south and west in a few months. I’d love to visit you, finally get to meet and see your land. I’ll connect when I know I’m heading west and see if the timing works for you. Suzanne

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  10. Linda Louise says:

    Janis,
    Did something happen with your Amazon account? I needed to order several things and went to your blog for the link and it is no longer there.
    Hope you are doing well and that everything is moving forward with your new home.
    Linda in the beautiful Rockies

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    • Janis Paquette says:

      Yes, something did. New rules, I can no longer mention that I am an Associate, and I can’t post a general link to the A. homepage. I have to post links to specific products, which you’ll be able to use to get to Amazon, and then use the Search box to find what you really want. Like this: http://amzn.to/2yaUmkt Thank you!!!

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  11. Thinking about building help… Can you invite folks to come and have a building party? A go fund me? Do you know folks that could come help you? Folks go to quartzite or rubber tramp and help each other. Ive had friends go to sites to help other women build shelter. I just don’t know how the woman advertised it! I’ll ask and let you know.

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  12. janispaqu says:

    Frankly I’d be more than a little bit nervous that they wouldn’t know what they were doing, and would not take “direction” from a woman! And I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough money to build it right now, sadly. I would not ask my friends to “Go Fund Me”. Good suggestions though!

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