Friday, October 7, 2011

Farm Tour: Windham Greenhouse/Nursery

Right down the street from the Windham Cape Fixer-Upper was another property that had a lot of potential.  The property was a former poultry farm, turned nursery/greenhouse, that had closed about a decade ago.  From pictures, the house seemed pretty well maintained and it was sitting on 6 acres of mostly cleared pasture.

The owner of the property greeted us unhappily as we pulled into the driveway.  Let's just say, he gave a terrible vibe for the property and especially the house.  He is currently renting the upstairs of the house to tenants, so we were unable to really see the upstairs and unable to really get a feel for the downstairs of the house because it was set up as an apartment of sorts.  Although things seemed to be in general good repair from afar, the house had zero character.  There was really nothing of note, good or bad.  I felt uninterested.

The buildings in the back were also lacking in character.  There were two very long buildings (roughly 12 x 70 feet) formerly used for poultry housing.  Aside from the stale smell, they were in pretty good repair and offered usable indoor space of some sort.  In the center of the two buildings was the frame for a greenhouse, also in pretty good condition.  There were a few toppled buildings in the back of the property and a small shed in the side.

The land itself was fairly level, but unkempt.  It would need a good amount of work to convert it into a lush pasture. Again, more than an acre of the property was unusable wetlands.

All in all, the property seemed usable, but left me feeling uninspired.  Normally I have lots of visions for farm space, but the long buildings and odd design left me a little lost.  At $279K, it was only slightly less expensive than the Windham Gentleman's Farm.  We drove by the Gentleman's Farm on the way home.  It was striking how well-maintained and beautiful the property was.

So, after four property tours, the gentleman's farm is still in the lead.  The next step would be to research the zoning for the property (to see if livestock is allowed) and to explore financing options.  Financing the house requires me working, and while I've applied for quite a few positions, I still haven't had any leads.  And I'm not going to settle for just any job quite yet.

I'm also not sure that Windham is the right area for me.  It certainly seems like the right area for purchasing farmland, but it's not what I had originally dreamt.  I moved back to Mystic to settle here, and I'm not ready to give up on that dream yet (even if it means losing out on some of the beautiful opportunities in Windham).

So where do we go from here?  Back to Mystic!  Tomorrow I'm looking at a leasing opportunity and next week I hope to visit the town hall to get more information on potential usable space in the area.  In other words, the search continues!

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