Insanitek HQ is Moving {Homestead Log #1}

Back in May we started looking for a house. We were looking for a place that had more than a postage stamp for a yard, was relatively close to work, and could be considered rural. This was a tall order considering the price range we were willing to consider — just one of our incomes.

Why? Because we fully expect something dramatic to happen to take out one income or the other. Plus, we are hoping to get pregnant and start a family soon, which means I might be out of commission for a little while.

We did not find it. What we found was a lot of places that were either on 1/4 of an acre and not really more than an apartment in space. This would have been an upgrade if we were not considering family. But, not what we were wanting for the prices people were asking.

We also realised competition was extremely high. We found a two bedroom modular home on 2 acres in that geographic Goldilocks zone. It didn’t have a basement and was on a flood plane. We were debating it, but it was a tight time frame to toss in a bid. We decided not to compete, and when we saw it go pending on Zillow, we saw that it went for well over what we were budgeting for.

I’m glad we didn’t. As we looked, we kept expanding our geographic area. We found a couple places that might due for my business and were doable, but not ideal. We debated it, but weren’t happy. Nothing truly spoke to us till we found an old farm house on 6 acres.

Insanitek HQ and Slightly Domesticated Scientists

Future location of Insanitek Research and Development and The Slightly Domesticated Scientists.

It has two stables which we intend to board horses at, a barn across the street from the house which I’ll put my business in, plenty of room for a garden and a homestead… and a lot of issues.

It’s old. It was built in the 1900 (give or take 50 years) with oak floors. It has no HVAC so we’re going to put geothermal in. It’s kitchen was gutted — then we discovered handmade Amish oak cabinets are a comparable price to that of IKEA. It smelled of dog piss and shit (turns out that the previous owners rented the place to animal abusers that never let their animals out…. EW), but that will be taken when we refinish the floors.

The bathrooms are disgusting from a lack of care, but we plan on remodelling the one on the main floor right away, then the second one we’ll remodel later. The stables also need cleaning since it looks like no one has cleaned up horse shit in nearly a decade.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention the summer kitchen which will be transformed into an FDA kitchen for canning and selling food stuffs. We’ll have canned goods, extractions, honey products, etc. Well, really, it’s a homestead. The question is more like where would we stop because it’s too much?

There is a lot of work to do, which means we needed a rehab loan to do it. That’s where the “fun” starts.

FHA 203K Loans

Thanks to our timing, we started looking back when everyone thought Covid was a really scary pandemic. Turns out that the banks decided to scrap the idea of a home loan plus a rehab loan. Well, all but a few select places that still did the government branch of loans called an FHA 203K loan.

As you can guess from the phrase “government loan” it’s got a myriad of rules and stipulations to it.

Oddly, not as many as we thought we’d have to deal with. We have to have a government minder, who is a HUD specialist that makes sure that the house is up to code, because we we are spending more than $35k on the rehab loan.

By “up to code,” I mean that this guy actually looked for things that would make the place safe — a couple loose stairs leading to the basement, handrails on both stair cases, and smoke alarms in every bedroom as well as on each floor. (I didn’t know that was a code in Indiana, but OK…) He also added the low hanging fruit on there like paint on the exterior he knew the appraisal guy would add just to help us get it on the list of things to do before we took over.

Frankly, I’ve been quite happy with our government minder. He’s a good guy.

Now that we have it officially, I feel like I can share the story and adventure. It’s nowhere near what we planned to get in the beginning as it’s over an hour away from work, way bigger than plan A, and definitely not a standard starter home. But, we think it’s going to be a helluva lot of fun with that hard work.