Tag Archives: homestead

How to Find Your Homestead

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Finding the right place to settle in and homestead can be a daunting process. We have learned many lessons along our journey to find the perfect spot for us to live self-sufficiently, grow our own food, and produce our own power. The first property we purchased didn’t end up being the ideal situation for us, so we learned what we could, sold it, and moved on to find our current off-grid homestead. I’d like to share what we’ve discovered in the hopes that you can more easily find the homestead that is right for you!
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when it rains – it pours

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Since our move in August, events in life have become somewhat unexpected. It seems that every week some new, surprising crisis or circumstance has presented. From a burglary at our storage unit, septic backup in our shower and other plumbing problems, to mold discoveries, sickness, and an unplanned decision to move again. One beautifully unexpected event did occur amidst all the hardships… we purchased the land for our future homestead!!

We first saw this land almost a year ago. I remember posting a photo on Instagram on December 22 2013 and titling it “Feels like home.” Well, despite us really liking the property, we did not continue to pursue it until a few weeks ago, after selling our house and contemplating our plans. Even though it was no longer listed for sale, we began doing our homework…pulling records from the county office, meeting and talking to the neighbor who was born on the original homestead 80 years ago, walking the land again, scrutinizing the work that needed to be done, considering what we could offer with our current decision to never to get a loan again.

We did not even know if the owner of the property wanted to sell anymore. Brian found the number to call in our search online, and once we finished finding the answers to all our questions about the land, he called. The proposition was very like our offer on our first home (our fixer). We did do some slight negotiations, and at first it appeared that the owner would not accept the amount. In the end, we did secure the purchase and found ourselves at the title company, signing the quickest property transaction of our lives.

It will be a slow process. We have a long list of things to do, and will be building and growing our dreams as we have the cash and time. We have finally experienced debt freedom and do not intend to go back, so we will have to be patient with the journey.

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life after a fixer

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It never goes away. That urge to change every detail to your imagining; conjuring plans for a room. Our current home has mostly been updated to the previous owner’s vision. Still, I feel the need to repaint; to tear out all the pretty landscaping and grow edible things. Maybe I am not made for move-in ready. I have to create; to shape something that reflects my imagination in a practical way. That is why I love photography and gardening.

My husband is equally driven by creativity, even more so when it comes to a house. He is the real genius behind designing and seeing building projects to completion. With his training in architecture and our passion for making things both functional and lovely, we have a hard time sitting still. I am not sure what the future holds, but we are striving to make decisions and progress that will one day allow us to encounter another venture, whether that be another fixer, or building something from the foundation up. We desire not just a house, but a sustainable homestead that will keep us busy creating and doing what we love.

I have slowly been updating details and adding more photos to the life in a fixer series. I really wish I had taken more pictures of the home the day we moved out, but we were already quite behind schedule and the lighting was not favorable. Regardless, I am sorting through the photographs and adding them as I can. Each detail recalls a memory of those special times, as well as the hardships that became a part of our journey.

roller coasters + mushrooms

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It has been a roller coaster ride of emotions and plans over the past few weeks. We have been entertaining and accepting offers on our first house, only to have them fall through. We are  convicted and tested; our goals and ideas changed. Still we have held on. Trusting.

Sunday we leaped. We drove the two hours to our former home and sealed a deal – for now. Then we went mushroom hunting. It was a good farewell to all that we left behind, and a step forward toward our longed-for homestead in the country. Someday. Meanwhile we trust, do our part, and eat mushrooms.

“There are times in spiritual life when there is confusion, and it is no way out to say that there ought not to be confusion. It is not a question of right and wrong, but a question of God taking you by a way which in the meantime you do not understand, and it is only by going through the confusion that you will get at what God wants.”
:: Oswald Chambers

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life with chickens – a girl and her flock

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Cora is happiest while feeding “her” chickens and checking for eggs. She loves to collect greens from the garden to nourish her hens, and distribute their feed for them with daddy. I love that she is learning where her food comes from (eggs are one of her favorite meals), and enjoys caring for her flock. Hopefully we will one day be able to increase our family of fowl to keep up with our garden fertilizing and egg needs!