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With any big undertaking in life there are always two sides to the coin: the encouraging moments and the discouraging times.  As I began this project, it was soon apparent I had an audience, and you have been my biggest cheerleaders.  Your interest in watching this metamorphosis has been the most encouraging aspect of this project, and hopefully the impetus you may need to tackle your own home improvements. 

When I purchased this abandoned farm, envisioning what it could be, I realized the magnitude of this endeavor. Although I had building experience, I didn't fully appreciate what I was getting into on my own.   I was looking at one large barn, two outbuildings, and one very old farmhouse.  However, I considered something I once heard:  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!  So, I began with the first bite: restoring the barn.  Having a plan of action, but choosing not to look too far into the project, I focused on the things that needed to be done first.  Visiting with my friendly banker was step number one.  At that time, they had no interest in the buildings...only the land.  However, the bank assessed the situation and took a risk, allowing me to plunge ahead on this project.  Unfortunately, my higher property taxes are proof that assessors don't always agree with bank appraisals!

After years of hard work, mostly after-hours and weekends, I learned I was the topic of conversation at Town Hall meetings.  This job was more labor-intensive, requiring more labor than capital!  But not long into the project, I was paid a visit by my tax assessor.  They are aware of my objectives and are happy to visit me any time an improvement is made.

So before you attempt to improve your property, beware that in some county's, including mine, there is a price to pay for improving your property and protecting your investment.  Hmmm.  There's not many improvement projects that you can do without your taxes going up.  Strange, isn't it?  America the beautiful, as we'd like to keep it, comes with a price tag. 

But it has been said, "A thing of beauty is a joy to behold."  So don't let politics or local government discourage you.  If you're thinking of pursuing a project that will enhance the landscape, your neighborhood, and your community, go for it!  The rewards are many!

Finally... the builder recognizes that he really owns nothing.  He is merely a manager of God's land for a very short period of time.    Mathew 6:20-21 "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (NIV). The opportunity to creative and make this country a great place to live is a wonderful thing!


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