Letting go of SBF and Introducing “The Hive House”

Letting go of SBF and Introducing “The Hive House”

I can no longer deny the fact that the Swinging Bridge Farm needs more work than I had initially realized. I paid to have a thorough Home Inspection performed, hoping to prove the appraisal wrong, but wound up further validating it instead. Had the sale gone through I would have used up all my chips just to secure purchase of the property, and then would have had no funds left over to make the necessary repairs to the old house. And so it is with great remorse that I have let go of the Swinging Bridge Farm and the dreams I had for her.

sbf the house
The Swinging Bridge Farm

I asked my realtor, Leah Watkins, to set up the inspection and hired Maine Inspection to come to the Swinging Bridge Farm on February 5th. The team of 3 men arrived on time, and got right to work. These men walked me through any deficiencies they saw, never talking down to me, only relaying what they saw and what it might mean for the life of the house. They were really great, and I had their report the following day.

The report showed that the roof on the old house is still leaking in spite of work done last fall, mold abatement would be required, and the foundation would need reinforcement too. Who knows what else might come up once the work was underway. That’s a good $40-50K worth of repairs, and as I said previously─I’d already used up all my chips.

It was a bitter pill to swallow, but there’s nothing to be done for it.

To save my loan with the FSA I’ve decided to turn my attention to the only other property in the area that would serve me. It is less acreage than SBF, but the house is in GOOD condition and there should be no question as to her livability.

Let me introduce you to “The Hive House”─so named because she reminds me of a beehive, or a traditional bee-skep.

Still located in New Portland and sitting on 53 acres, with 10 of those being open and level─ideal for growing. There’s an attached barn that can serve as my workshop for building hive equipment, and a garage to house the garden tools. I think she’s a good compromise.

Switching properties like this is going to set my timeline back several months, however. I’m already qualified for the loan, but the house itself will need to undergo all of the same tests that SBF went through: the Environmental Inspection (which cannot be done until the snow is gone), and the Appraisal. Where I was initially looking at Closing on SBF in late February or early March, now I’m likely facing a closing date sometime in May or June and the risk that the FSA’s funds might be gone, forcing me to wait until October when their fiscal year begins again. Hopefully it does not come to that though.

Leah and I are going to tour the Hive House on Wednesday, and then we’ll have to negotiate a Sale Agreement for the property. I’ll post an update as soon as I know more, so stay tuned!


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Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm