If you have been paying attention to the last few posts, you know that we are cutting down our sustainability efforts here at home. We first stopped rain water harvesting. Then slowly started to reduce our organic gardening footprint. None of these decisions were taken on a whim. They were deliberate and well thought out. While I mentioned some of the reasons for slowing down the projects, one reason which I did not mention was that we were not finding enough time. Yes I know, it sounds strange coming from a person who (and his better half) have completely retired and have not worked for money for more than 5 years. Yet, here we are. We finally realized our long-held dream of becoming owners of a farm and that kept us busy.
I hope this does not come as a surprise to the longtime readers of my blog because I have been dropping hints on my blog. It was a long drawn process as any real estate purchase is. There are still some things which we have to sort out. We have been through so many ups and downs that we are still getting to terms with the fact that we are finally owners of a farm. Truth be told, we had more downs than ups but we know in our hearts that this is what we wanted.
Whether it is the right decision or not is something time will tell. I can tell you that this is a bad decision from financial perspective. I hate real estate transactions for all the dishonest and corrupt people you have to work with and this was no different. If anything, it cemented my views on real estate. I will share all that and more information in my upcoming posts.
So when did this all start? Well, we have been thinking of purchasing a small farm close to some water body such as a river or lake since 2020. A friend was purchasing a farm at the time with the qualities that we were looking for, but we could not buy because our investments were locked up all in thanks to the Franklin debacle. Another reason we did not press on, is because the place was quite far from Bangalore and the travel itself took 8 hours or so to get to the farm. In the end, the friend did not buy it either because we could not invest and they did not have sufficient funds to buy on their own.
In the meantime, COVID hit and we had no choice but to shelve our plans. There are bigger and more important things to worry about in life at that point. Eventually as the gloom of COVID-19 lifted and life came back to normal, we again started thinking about the retirement home on a farm. Note how I said thinking. We weren’t actually doing much towards the goal. Even in 2020, it just happened that a friend asked if we were interested to buy a farm and we casually drove over to see it. We did not have any concrete plans nor were we really looking for any land any where. We went, we liked and thought about buying half the share. None of that worked out in the end.
Remember, we are talking about a retirement home after we are relieved of all our duties as children and parents. So we have a long time to decide. Hence, we were putting more effort into thinking than doing the actual footwork. Our first thought process was whether we will be able to live in a farm all alone. We will be far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life we are so grown used to. Will we survive without the ubiquitous services like delivery services (milk, amazon), repair services, travel services (uber, ola), etc we expect here?
One of the reasons we wanted to wait on buying a farm until we are free from our duties was because we know that the place will be far from a hospital and our aging parents will feel anxious to move to a farm if they are not assured of emergency services near by. Now, the same question applies to us too. If we move to the farm when we grow old, will be feel anxious about the fact that there will be no decent hospital anywhere near by? What about emergency situations like a snake bite? Can we wait for an hour drive to the closest town for medical help? Several such questions came to our mind.
Likewise, our parental duties meant that we have to wonder if we will be depriving our daughter of her friends because she will find it really difficult to find friends in a farm surrounded by small villages. It is probably not a life she’d like. Which means that we can only imagine realistically moving to the farm only when she is grown up and does not depend on us. Still a long ways to get there. But on the other hand, living in a farm means pollution free air, water and food. A simple life that we always wanted.
After much thinking whether we really want to move to a farm and weighting in all the pros and cons and what our lifestyle, health and personal life will look like in a few years, we decided to go ahead and do it now rather than wait for too long. Anyway it takes time to build a farm. You cannot sow today and hope for a thick green forest tomorrow, now can you? We thought we should buy a land and develop it for a few years and hopefully the right time will come. With our thoughts crystallized, we decided to understand the farm life a bit first before we dive in head first.
By the time we came to this decision it was already 2022. Since we are unschooling our kid, we know a bunch of homeschooling or unschooling parents. Typically these are the same kind of people who don’t need to be in the city because the kids don’t need to go to fancy schools. Some of them live in farms that are very far from the nearest town. The friend I was talking about earlier who wanted to buy a farm along with us was one such parent. They are also unschooling their children. From this circle of unschooling friends we found a few families who are actually living in a farm already. Their kids are enjoying the lifestyle.
So we thought we should take their advise and experience the life in their farms before we go ahead and buy land. Which is exactly what we did and it was quite an experience with a lot of learnings. That and more coming in my next post.