The circumstances are actually a little unique in my case. Yes, I am young (29), but....my "mortgage holders" are my parents. The house I own at the moment has no mortgage. It's totally paid for. My parents bought it five years ago, and I've been paying them back every month, ever since.
They have agreed to do the same for this house--pay cash, and I pay them back. The equity I've gotten out of my current home goes towards the new place, and its necessary repairs.
So...no actual mortgage is involved. I owe my parents money (no interest).
The economy's continuing death spiral is one of the primary reasons I want to do this. While having a market garden, chickens, and goats has always been a dream, making that dream a reality seems now, more than ever, to be imperative. I'm not a starry-eyed city girl who has no clue what farming entails, either. I've worked on farms my whole life, and I'm ready for a small one of my own (or as ready as I'll ever be).
Other reasons I want to do this--and feel almost certain I will succeed at it--is because even though 29 is young...it's teetering on the edge of the years we enter into as we get into comfortable ruts. I'm ready for a change. A big one. And right now, I have a TON of time to do projects and get my mini-farm established. I teach 5 week, once-weekly English writing classes in the adult education program for a private college. Some weeks, I'm gone out of town for one or two nights, but also many, many weeks go by where all I'm doing is teaching online or, better yet, waiting for the next class to start. I'm salaried, so I get paid the same regardless of whether I'm working or not. A dear friend of mine just committed suicide, and I'm not going to lie...it's made me think twice about letting myself just laze around while I could be doing the things I've always wanted to do.
This incredible flexibility in my job, the generosity of my parents, and the dire need to be as self-sufficient/self-sustaining as possible are all factors that help me see I'm faced with a potential "now or never" situation. I DO have some part of myself grounded in reality, though. My parents are very savvy when it comes to real estate, and I know they won't let me get into a total money pit--they're too wise for that. They also know, though, that I have some fantastic people on my side. My boyfriend's father is, as I mentioned, a contractor, and has offered to help us do much of the work that is needed. Another good friend is a very experienced woodworker and carpenter. Another is restoring a house of his own and has offered tools and expertise. The bank has agreed to an allowance to cover most of the roofing costs.
I hope this doesn't sound defensive! I'm just wanting to explain that my circumstances are a bit beyond the normal scenario. I probably still sound like a big ol' fool, but again, I'm not going to do anything unrepentantly foolish. I just have a feeling this will all fall into place..I have a feeling I'm thinking the way I'm supposed to be, right now.