So, we did it. We really did it. We committed to turning into a homesteading, farm animal raising, gardening, playing in the dirt kinda family. If you don’t watch Game of Thrones and can’t relate to the blog title, SHAME ON YOU. I like to think of myself as a homesteading Targaryen.
We closed on our land purchase on July 17, 2017 after being in contract for a few months and waiting for the sellers to tie up a few loose ends. But we closed! It didn’t quite feel real. I mean, you go to closing, sign some papers, and walk away with… nothing in hand, really. We walked out of the title agency’s office knowing we were about to start some hard manual labor to get the land ready for building.
Let’s start from the beginning —-
We looked online for a good 6 months or more at homes with acreage in the areas we’d feel comfortable. We had some requirements:
1) We wanted at least 10 acres.
2) The house had to have a fireplace.
3) We had to be able to have freedom – no restricting rules in the county or township.
4) We had to be within 30 minutes of our daughter’s dance studio since we are there 4/5 days a week.
And with all those requirements, we just weren’t finding anything that really spoke to us. We were coming across older farmhouses that were too small, or beautiful estates that were way out of our price range. There wasn’t a ton of middle ground. We finally just decided that we should buy some land and build what we want. I mean, we’ve been in our current house for 11 years. We’re realistically going to stay in our next house until the end of our days. Might as well make it what we want!
So the search began… land. What a crazy bag of nuttiness that was. I never really thought there was much to it – it’s land right?! No. Wrong! I researched and read as much information on buying land and homesteading set ups as I could. There’s floodplains, restrictions, road frontage, utility access, wells, etc etc etc until you want to rip your hair out. It was almost so much work that it made we want to just give up and buy a house I didn’t love that was already set up. I’m not kidding when I say we drove buy probably 30 different sites for sale throughout the next several months. And I know, it takes a lot of people years to find their perfect piece of land. But does that really make anyone feel any better when they’re actually going through it? Spoiler alert: it does not!
I ended up coming across a listing for land in a city I had never thought about searching. It’s small and I’d just completely passed over it in my mind. But there it was. So we drove there from the dance studio. And what sweet heaven was this?! It was only 12 minutes away! Slap me silly and call me Susan. It just so happens to be the same little town we visit every year when we go to a great Pumpkin Patch. I’m not lying when I’ve said every year in the fall, “I love this area.” The land – 37 acres. Half of it marshy and wooded with huge amounts of acreage cleared in sections separated by trees with a creek that runs across the middle. It was perfect.
We set up a showing. Walked around with the realtor. Came across deer tracks. Saw a blue heron flying and circling above. SOLD. We put our offer in with a few contingencies. To see some of the challenges we had and things we made sure to research before committing to the purchase, check out my blog on “Buying Land Must Do’s” here! For one, we will have to put a bridge across the creek to access the portion of the land we want to build on. For now, we are able to access the back half with a side road and access rights in the deed.
The sellers shaved off a little piece of the land for their home, so now, they’re our new neighbors! I saw neighbors loosely – we’ll be about 15 acres away, but nevertheless! We’ve got a neighbor farming the open areas until we are ready to build to keep our taxes down, and we’ve left a small area in the back farm free so we can start cutting trees and pulling some brush in what will become our backyard area.
The journey begins, guys! There’s an aerial of the land above outlined with a star where we plan to build. Bask in my Microsoft Paint skills.
Until next time!