The reply from the seller of the property we're interested in (a bank), which we received Friday evening, was less than positive. While it was a counter offer, it was nearly a slap in the face, which we are sure is the same way they felt about out opening offer, and would have been better (almost) if they had outright rejected it.
We've countered their offer, with a 24 hour expiration date (meaning we should hear again by Tuesday sometime) and a general request that perhaps we should have a sit down, given the price of the property and the major work that needs to be done to it and the house (new well, new septic and new roof...not to mention the house needs to be finished in a big way)
We've been spending the last two days talking it out, rationalizing their asking price, babbling, ranting, and then, finally, in case it all falls through, working on a "new dream", which means calculating how many animals we'd like to have, eventually, and then finding out how many square feet they need, indoors and outdoors, to be healthy and happy animals, and then calculating those numbers into acreage and adding our yard, tree cover, and gardening desires.
When it's all said and done we came up with a very generous 10 acres needed for the bare-bones of our dream: 4 acres for animals, 2 acres for garden/greenhouse, 2 acres of trees, and 2 acres of yard. Not a whole lot of wiggle room, but sustainable. Happy...enough.
10 acres is 30 less than the property we have hanging in the balance (40 acres), but it's nice to have a "backup" dream, and so we've found 6 more properties that we'll try to see this week. More hours of driving.
If this back and forth with counter-offers does fall through, despite feeling realistic about it, the willow tree in the front yard of our dream property won't be the only one weeping.
We do have so much to be thankful for though...we shouldn't stress.