Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

All I want for Christmas…

…is this:

I ask you: is that not to die for? It’s just down the road from our old ranch outside of Yarnell, on 40 deeded acres. The ad doesn’t say anything about lease land, so I assume no BLM land is attached. But still.

That little palace is not quite as grandiose as it looks in this photo: when you see the inside shots, it appears to be almost identical to a house some friends built outside of Flagstaff, largely on a DIY basis. I assume the plans are some sort of standard thing. Maybe even the house is a kit of some kind? Click on that link, assuming it’s still live by the time you see this post. That downstairs room: our friends used that as their office — Gerry was a retired zoologist who still wrote, occasionally, on his specialty, and Jean was an amazing creative writer. I edited one of her books, about her experiences during World War II flying as a WAC.

Well, two stories is not very practical for a 72-year-old broad. But I’m thinking…what if you made that downstairs room into your bedroom? Then you would not be required to run up and down those steps every day. You actually could rent out the upstairs rooms on Air B&B. Or turn it into your own small B&B, come to think of it.

It appears to be pretty much off the grid:

3KW solar power system powers all the electricity needed. Backup power provided by Generac generator with very few hours used. Well with 3K gallon underground storage tank provides ample water, 10-15 GPM. Outstanding water supply with water level at 25 feet and well sunk to 100ft. Septic system. Large propane tank fuels gas WH, Range, Blue Flame vent less wall heaters.

Hot dayum!

They don’t say anything about water rights. Just because you have a well on a piece of property around here doesn’t mean you own the rights to the water that flows under the property. “Seasonal stream”…hmmm…it may be on the Hassayampa. I believe John Hays owns the water rights to most of the Hassayampa. But…one wonders.

I don’t see a lot of tree of heaven in that brush…the area is fast becoming infested with that stuff, which is a serious nuisance plant. Hmmm…

The fencing looks to be in pretty good shape. Looked at that and thought: Here’s how we pull off this $650,000 purchase: we turn it into agricultural property by keeping a small herd of llamas, which could be rented out to hiking, hunting, and fishing guides. Presto-changeo: you don’t make any profit but you DO turn that thing into a tax haven.

Then, whilst looking into the question of Valley fever in dogs, I stumbled across the startling fact that llamas are preternaturally prone to Valley fever. And they die fast from it.

Ohhhhkayyyy…. There was an idea whose time came and went at the speed of light.

Another possibility might be to turn it into a small winery. I do know grapes will grow up there. One of the Gold Bar’s previous residents had planted a couple of Thompson’s seedless grapes on an arbor up against the house. They were huge, and they bore a large crop every year.

Remembering that one is not really looking to make a profit when one claims one’s property as “agricultural”…this could be an answer. I could either make wine and sell it here in the Valley as some kind of ultra-chic boutique item, or I could sell the grapes to the wineries up in the direction of Cottonwood. The latter, of course, would be the path of least resistance.

Or I could use those pastures to board horses. With the upstairs rooms…think of it: B&B for you and your nag! Seriously: I know people down here who would cheerfully board their horse up there and come up on weekends and holidays to ride. That way…I could have horses, but they could pay the vet bills. 😀

Y’know…. Seriously. If I could turn that thing into an excuse for agricultural property, thereby foisting a fair amount of the expense onto the taxpayer, I could marginally afford it. My house is worth three & a half. With practically no water and power bills, it would be relatively cheap to live there. You’d have to drive into Prescott or down to Wickenburg once a month to buy groceries, racking up some gasoline bills and wear & tear on the vehicle. But…with a good enough freezer and a reliable enough propane system…

Welll….no…probably not. Propane up there is damn expensive. If you’re running your stove, fridge, freezer, and heaters on propane, it’s going to cost at least as much as Salt River Project costs to power your house down here, and possibly as much as the piratical Arizona Public Service gouges its customers.

Yet. On the other other hand…I hardly ever use my stove anymore. I use a propane grill, which in fact does not consume much fuel. Despite daily use, I change out a tank maybe once every two or three months. Hm. “Ventless wall heaters.” Right. That means they are using propane to heat the place. And that’s what costs the money. Imagine heating two stories with propane….holy sh!t.

I wonder if a solar electric system can sustain space heaters. That’s mostly what I use down here to heat my house in the winter. But…the Valley of We-Do-Mean Sun ain’t Yarnell. Helle’s belles, it’ snows in freaking Yarnell. You would need to be able to heat something more than just the chair where you’re parked to do your day’s writing and editing jobs.



Author: funny

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  1. That’s a gorgeous property, I can certainly see why you’re interested in it.

  2. You should do it. Get away from the Conduit of Blight and leave the Alley. Nature time for you and the pups would be amazing…

  3. Unfortunately I don’t have $650,000 laying around. A lot of Californians do, though, and they’re buying up property here left and right. My real estate agent friend called the agent for this thing yesterday and learned it’s been on the market for a month. It had a contract right away; that fell through, and now it’s already under contract again.

  4. Here’s what immediately crossed my mind when I read the description:
    * Has their water been tested recently? Do they have a treatment system for the well water? Is it filtering out everything it’s supposed to? What would good filtration cost? Both for install and maintenance?
    * Is high-speed internet access even possible? It isn’t in a surprising number of rural places. We looked at a house where the only internet access option had upload speeds that were measured in K.
    * How long would it take to get to the nearest hospital in an emergency? Or for an ambulance to get there and then get back? How long would driving to/from dentist/doctor/etc. visits take?
    *Are there any other people around to become friends and neighbors?

    My husband would LOVE that house, regardless of the answers to those questions. Me, I would want the answers before I really considered it.

    • Good thoughts, one and all!

      It’s a pretty upscale piece of property for that area, and so chances are they’re treating the well water. B-u-u-u-t…you’ve got somethin’ there! Absolutely it would have to be tested and during the home inspection process you’d need to hire a person who understands wells and septic systems to take a good, close look at both lash-ups.

      Yes, we do know there’s high-speed Internet there, because friends have houses in Yarnell and have been able to connect. Peeple’s Valley is just a few miles on toward Prescott; also, the Hays Ranch, owned by a long-time mover-and-shaker in Arizona, is in behind Peeple’s Valley, and you can be sure THAT guy has told the utility companies to Make It So. Good thought to check the upload speeds and the reliability.

      Ahem. Yes. Well. The hospital thing. Here’s the trick: don’t do anything stupid to hurt yourself and be verrrryyyy careful not to get sick. 😉 It’s about 30 or 40 minutes into Prescott, where the Yavapai Regional Health Center ranks as one of the two (sometime three) top-rated hospitals in the state. There’s money in Prescott — not necessarily the McMansion type, but the type whose lifestyle is “nice but not gaudy” and who have the clout to “make it happen” (cf. above, “Hays Ranch”). Yarnell, I was told last time I chatted with a local, has two EMTs on duty 24-7. They can provide first aid and arrange for a helicopter airlift in a truly dire emergency. Dentist, obviously, would require a 40-minute junket (80 minutes round-trip), as would the eyeglasses guy, the hair stylist, the vet, and all that.

      As for neighbors: the more I get to know people, the better I like my dog… Seriously, I am not a people person myself, and am not very disturbed by a certain degree of isolation. Yarnell has a bakery that serves as the community coffee house and social center: you walk on in and get a sweet roll or buy a loaf of bread, order up a cup of coffee, and park yourself at the nearest table with an open spot. Before an hour passes, you know everything about everyone in town, their dogs, their cats, and their relatives. 😀

      Sure is a pretty place, isn’t it?