Gillian and I started convincing ourselves to buy the farm as soon as we got in the car. Over the years we have become experts in talking ourselves into things that normal people would think crazy, both of us having developed an intimate knowledge of each other’s most irrational buttons, and how best to push them. Gillian and I are very different in many ways, but we both have the ability to drop everything and seize an opportunity. Unfortunately, we also have the ability to view buying a rundown farm in the middle of nowhere as an opportunity.
The main stumbling block was financial. We simply couldn’t afford the $350,000 asking price. It took us a couple of days to think our way around this obstacle. We eventually came up with a two-pronged strategy: we would put in a lowball offer and we would move to the farm. That would allow us to rent out our apartment in Toronto, freeing up cash to make mortgage payments on the farm. It also gave us a double out: I didn’t think the owner would accept less than his asking price, so the offer was probably doomed to fail. And even if he did, we could sell the farm after a year if we didn’t like it and move back to our house in the city. Vicki wrote up the offer and I promptly wrote off the whole endeavor, convinced the owner would say no.