(THIS PROPERTY HAS SOLD)
This is an example of a property where the farm can double in value
with a little money and a little work. If you look at the house, you can
see that it was built as a brick owner's house, not a worker's shack, so the
basic quality is there. It is occupied by a caretaker who is under contract
to vacate in a month's notice if the owner desires. I have not seen the inside
of the house, but can imagine that it needs plumbing and electrical upgrades,
including kitchen and bathroom work. Plastering needs to be done, etc.
No doubt the roof will also need work. A lot of this is basic handyman stuff,
not necessarily something needing a major contractor to accomplish.
BAD NEWS vs GOOD NEWS
The pear orchard has not been pruned or watered, or cared for in a long time.
Weeds have overtaken the farm. This is simply a matter of a basic clean-up
and not a real issue. Figure a couple hundred dollars for a clean-up, and maybe
two hundred to plow the orchard a few times.
The soil is not what you would call prime land. My gut instinct tells me
that the water table is high (based on the weeds and type of vegetation there)
but this is also not an insolvable problem. Down the road are two very nice
vineyards which started with the same soil, so a good drainage canal or two to
lower the water table would be in order.
What I like about the farm is that it is in a quiet setting, and selling for a very low cost per
acre compared to other farms. The house is renovatable, there are lovely trees (pines
and willows and poplars and pepper trees) along the front and really nice fruit trees in the park
area -- trees it would take many years to grow. I like the grape arbor and the fact that
despite neglect there is a lot of nice vegetation.
To sum up, I think this is a farm that could rise dramatically in value with a cosmetic
clean-up, could prove to be a very nice house with renovation. It has the basics of
a beautiful property, since wonderful trees surround it and add to the aesthetics.
If you are looking for a farm to provide you income, it's not going to happen here
without a lot of work and investment in the short term. In the long term, that's a
I am confident that a very nice garden could be planted here, but I am not sure
if commercial row crops would be viable. Except for a few acres of chile peppers
I was planting this year which were destroyed by hail (lucky me), I don't have
experience farming annuals -- only experience in orchard, vineyard, etc. Three
things are needed to make a farm a success here: Water, fertilizer and work.
Water rights are attached to the deed, fertilizer is readily available, and the work is
up to you.
If I were looking for a farm on a budget, something I could improve the value of
with sweat equity and cosmetics, something to give me a foot in the door and
enjoy at the same time -- this is the kind of property I'd be looking for.