After finding this beautiful Iron Mountain Wilderness property on the top of Whycocomagh Mountain, we considered how we would and even if we could proceed with the land purchase. Grant and I are too small business owners. As entrepreneurs we have invested considerable time and money into our businesses to build and grow them. Grant opened FireHouse Ironworks Ltd. in 2010 and I started my website and print design business Beach Pea Design in 2013. As any self-employed person can tell you, trying to arrange financing for purchasing real-estate is a little tricky if not impossible without co-borrowers or a spouse with a regular income. If you have reinvested in your business as we had, your personal income can be unimpressive to lenders. Nevermind trying to convince a conventional bank to lend you money to purchase vacant land, off-grid. Hahahahahahaha……..
That being where we were, the quaint thought of purchasing this mountain property for our own little paradise and sustainable farm was not an option for the two of us. However, we were determined to see if there was a way. After all we had been looking for a place like this for over 5 years! Grant wisely held strong in his view that if we were going to proceed with this purchase of property, we had to have a plan for how it would pay for itself. In effect, economic stability needed to be the first “sustainable” or “self-sufficient” item to tackle.
In effect, economic stability needed to be the first “sustainable” or “self-sufficient” item to tackle.
Given the stunning views and groomed snowmobile trails that passed through the property it didn’t take long for the genesis of a plan to offer four season wilderness accommodations to emerge. We had watched the winter snowmobile traffic grow exponentially in our local area year after year, and knew they were an under serviced segment of the tourism industry on the island. We began to do our homework on winter tourism and accommodations. The more we learned, the more of an opportunity we saw in developing a business that would suit our location, our personalities, and the market. We started writing our business plan in December 2017.
Before the New Year, we had placed an accepted offer on the property, conditional on financing. And there began a whole new set of obstacles and hurdles to maneuver, before the closing date of April 30th, 2018.
We had found the property, we had the business idea, we had a plan and now we were lacing our boots and getting after it. What does it take to try and do something like this, some might ask. In our case: two dedicated, loyal, stubborn and very determined people; a patient guardian cattle dog to keep them grounded and sane; and a few generous angels who believed in them and stepped forward to assist when they most needed it.
To be continued…..