Every good story has a backstory, a beginning, plot twists and hopefully a happy ending.
My husband and I met when my neighbor was trying to help me sell my POS ’93 Chevy Lumina. He pulled up in his even worse POS ’89 Cavalier with busted out windows and spray painted bumpers. Well, it wasn’t love at first sight. But a couple of attempts to help me get the Lumina running again so he could buy it, led to a friendship of sorts. Fast forward through times of not talking, drama with exes, and random catch up meetings. He made me his official girlfriend. I at the time was sort roaming. Living between my parent’s couch, my grandmother’s spare room, the trunk of my car. I never got officially invited to move in with him, he just sort of started giving me a corner or a drawer to put my things in. Eventually, he came out and said “Yeah, I guess you are sorta living here now”.
Next thing we knew, we were rental hunting. With connections through a friend, we ended up finding a cute little (and I mean tiny) on over 4 acres of land that backed up to a creek and a state park. Its then that we fell in love with the idea of living simply and to get as close to the natural world as possible. We talked about what we would do with the land if the landlord would ever sell us the property. Talked of adding on or just building a new house on the site. Then one day less than a year into us living there, our landlord broke the news that he was going to put the property up for sale. This was a hard blow. We both were just getting settled in. We didn’t want apartment life and there wasn’t any rentals at the time we could afford. We asked how much he was selling for which was a even harder blow. $999,000 in hopes a land developer would buy it. Well, almost three years later and many price drops, that house is still on the market and he has other tenants living there.
We did not want the day to day not knowing of when we would have to move. This was the second time a landlord had royally screwed me over. First time I came home to a sheriffs sale posting on my door. Our landlord had gone bankrupt and didn’t bother to mention it. So I was done, and my husband was sick of putting work into something that wasn’t his.
So the research began. Luckily there is a great new program for first time buyers in our state that really saved us. We literally ended up buying our house with $1,000 down. The state covered the closing costs through the program. Now since we did an FHA loan and didn’t have enough to cover the required down payment, we do have to pay mortgage insurance.
Our house we are currently in was only the second house we looked at. The first one we looked at was basically a complete tear-down. I fell in love with our house the second the realtor unlocked the door with a skeleton key. I’m a sucker for anything old and with a story to be discovered. Four bedrooms, character, two porches, original hardwood floors. This 1910’s gem was just waiting to be shined up. January of 2013 we somehow made it to settlement. FHA loan inspectors somehow passed our house and we got the all clear.
Hubby then purposed to me during our first get together in the house for the super bowl that year. Everything fell into place. That same year we had a sort of shotgun wedding. The next year, we found out we were expecting our baby girl.
Our house in its four short years with us has seen a lot. We have been also giving back to the house and bringing it up to its former glory. The multi-shade green shag carpeting got ripped out. Fresh paint to cover all the old cigarette stained paint. Took off the horrible awning that surrounded the porch. Amazing what some small changes can do.
But most of our time, effort, and funds have gone into the “boring” fixes. We had to replace the entire HVAC system 6 months after moving in. Had a pipe break…well more like it disintegrated. Had to replace the toilet and the tub fixture. Tore down the stand alone garage in the back of the property or face loosing our homeowner’s insurance. Not to mention we had an all out battle with mice that were deemed “smarter than average mice” according to the exterminator.
Its been a love/hate relationship with our house. I love all its charm and the memories we have made. We have learned so much being here. But it was never what we imagined we would be building our lives on. We still craved the open land and space to grow. I can also say we learned a lot about what we want in our next house. But its time to move on. The fear of putting our daughter into school in our area (highest school rating by us is a 3) and wanting her to grow up in a way most kids don’t get to experience in this day and age is our biggest driving factor now. That and the fact we both took on new career paths that are jobs we are passionate about and we have a great schedule. Now that we are actually home, I want to put our spare time into building what I would call our “Homestead”. Yes, you can homestead anywhere, but we have made the decision to find our definition of a homestead.
So here we are, getting ready to meet with our realtor in a short couple of weeks and see what next year or so has in store for us! The posts on this blog will actually be as close to “real time” as it gets. So stay tuned, its going to be an interesting ride! I also will be posting DIY’s and How To’s money management and life organization pieces.
If you can relate or are just here for the ideas. You can follow us along this journey by joining our mailing list. I promise I won’t send countless e-mails (less is more). You can also snag some ideas off my Pinterest account. Thanks for reading!