In this newsletter: saving family farmland, agritainment, Saunders Farm, real estate entrepreneur opportunity, wealth-building through real estate, coaching and
dream of a lifetime home
I’d guess that people are heading back home to return to work, get
kids ready for school, get yourself ready for school, start making money again,
re-entering the real world… unfortunately. Me too.
This summer I spent time thinking about why, for the first time in
my career, people are buying farmland in eastern Ontario not to develop it or speculate, but
because they want to actually try their hand at farming. I also spent time
visiting with the Saunders family in Munster
learning how agritainment is helping save the family farm.
Saunders, led by matriarch Anne and patriarch Bill, are a close knit
rural-based family with four kids—Vicki, the eldest, followed by David, Mark
and Matthew. David used to work with me at the Sens. The agra-tourism business
they’ve built in Munster Hamlet (population just 1,300), 40 minutes southwest
of Ottawa, is a local phenomenon attracting nearly 100,000 paying customers
each year to a wide range of attractions including hedge mazes, hayrides, gem
mining, puppet shows, mountain slides, splash pads, jumping pillows, day camps
for children ages 5-12, weddings, meetings and company picnics.
Saunders Farm is still primarily known for their haunting season, which begins
late September and ends November 1st each year. They’ve had over one
million guests come to their Halloween performances since they opened up their
farm 24 years ago for agra-entertainment. It’s not just little kids who seem to
enjoy it—teens show up by the thousands. Perhaps they’re attracted by one of
the farm’s slogans, “the scariest date you’ll ever go on.”
pivot saved a failing strawberry farm 20 years ago. You can read more about my Munster visit here, https://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/126680461024/how-agritainment-saved-one-family-farmthe-story.
If you’d like to try your hand at artisanal farming, you could do worse
than follow the example of Caitlan and Kyle White, who run Milkhouse Farm and
Dairy. Caitlan first wanted to be a doctor then a psychologist, but eventually
saw the light and now makes artisanal, organic cheese with her husband. They
sell enormous wheels of cheese at farmers’ markets every weekend for $100 each,
and they sell lots of them–at least 30 a week. Here’s their story, https://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/118968203979/milkhouse-farm-and-dairy-my-friend-bill-dobson.
If you would like to do something like this yourself, Silvia
Blanchard (Century 21 Explorer Realty salesperson, firstname.lastname@example.org)
and I have a 50-acre organic farm available in Montague that comes with barns,
outbuildings and home for $890,000. You can take a drone visit there courtesy
of Flying Camera Ottawa, https://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/126593757784/flying-camera-ottawa-what-you-can-do-these-days.
If you just want great farmland, and are prepared to build your own
home, here’s 50 acres near Renfrew for $149,500, https://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/114232989764/50-acres-of-dreams.
I have another opportunity that is crazy good IMHO. You can own 177
acres of waterfront property on a fantastic lake (Constant lake near Eganville
and Renfrew) with not one, not two but three homes, plus three cottages and eight RV sites, plus a fish hut, three docks and 50-acres tillable land with farm
credit. A high efficiency wood furnace heats all three homes via underground
pipes. The place provides great fishing, boating, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and has its own creek,
island & wooded peninsula with superb waterfront.
How much is all this? $740,000 (that’s Canadian pesos, err, excuse
me dollars not USD). This is the place to build a terrific outfitting business,
a tiny house community, a RV and cottage park and much more. All that is missing is a real estate
entrepreneur of which there is an acute shortage. Read about that shortage here, https://www.eqjournal.org/?p=4349.
If you are one of the 80% of Canadians and Americans who don’t have
a defined benefit pension plan, if saving millions of dollars to provide for
your sunset years just isn’t doable, if you are fed up with tech bubbles, fund
and financial advisers as well as poor returns from mutual funds, GICs,
t-bills, money market funds, bank savings account interest, bank fees, life
insurance “investments”, the stock market, bonds, LIRAs, RRSPs, TFSAs, 401(k)s,
IPPs, IRAs, option trades, day trading, precious metals, gold and other types
of investing save and except your own small or medium sized enterprise, one you
own and control, and real estate then you’ll want to talk to me about my real
estate coaching, which really works.
I have a simple program that I put everyone on—own your own home,
place of business (if you have a business), three or four residential rental properties,
some small commercial and land. In about 15 or 20 years, you’ll have a decent
independent (but not work-free I’m sorry to say) income of anywhere from $70k
to $100k per year and a portfolio worth maybe $2 to $3m, mortgage free by the
way. It’s get rich, slow but at least you won’t be eating cat food when you are
an elder. You can aim higher if you want to, but not lower than this. Find out
more about Prof Bruce coaching here, https://www.brucemfirestone.com/coaching/.
My other real estate listings are at https://www.brucemfirestone.com/real-estate-brokerage/listings/.
Firestone, B Eng (Civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
Ottawa Senators founder and Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc
613.422.6757 x 250
my friend, NYT best selling author Peggy McColl has her fabulous Manotick home
for sale. It’s $1.49m. If you would like to tour it, let me know. It’s a former
dream-of-a-lifetime Minto-built house that Peggy bought from the lottery
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