Manifesting a New Homestead
Some of you may not have been reading this blog when I first began it in 20012. That blog was called The Small House Under a Big Sky http://smallhouseunderabigsky.wordpress.com/2012/03/.
In case you are new to our blog you may not be familiar with the story of how we manifested our homestead?
A wet snow covered the trees and turned our homestead into a winter wonderland!
We were living in the city, just a mile and half from downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan. We were living in a nice 75- year-old Cape Cod house, in a nice family neighborhood where I had raised my two sons and lived for 24 years. There was only one problem, I had always wanted to live in the country and I wanted to garden in the sunshine.
Our vegetable garden and pole barn in the rear and garden bench in the foreground.
As I began to dream Gene and I both wrote out a list of what we were looking for in a home and property. We wanted a one-story home to grow old in and I wanted an open floor plan. I wanted lots of land to garden on and Gene wanted a big pole barn and a pond. I wanted chickens and he wanted large Labrador retrievers with green spaces to run them. And we had to be able to buy it with the profits from the sales of our city home.
Our snow covered raspberry patch near the pool shack.
Disclaimer. Be careful of what you wish for as it will come true….
How We Got from the City to Our Homestead-Written In Thanksgiving…
When Gene and I made the decision to move to the county to grow our own food and have a more earth centered, hands in the earth lifestyle, we made a plan to get here. This was a long term plan that took a lot of hard work and some time to make it real. Homesteading does not happen overnight and neither do major lifestyle changes.
Our homesteads pole barn through the apple tree.
Our plan was this;
- We would make our city home ready to put on the market while we looked for a country home. We would not spend more on the new home than we could get from our old one. We would only move if we sold our home and found another at the same time – no expensive bridge loans for us.
- Gene would keep his IT job in the city for our income and I would quit my job to prepare for the sale, pack up the house, make the move and begin again in our new home. I would paint and prepare the new home and get things up and running on our garden and so on.
- Gene would continue working until his retirement age, approx. 9 years away. We would scale back our lifestyle so that we could live on one income.
- I would continue writing feature articles from home for a few years and then I would start a small county business using my skills as an artist, marketing specialist and advertising pro.
- We wanted a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, one-story home with a first floor bedrooms and laundry that we could age in with out-buildings for storage and animals.
- We were hoping for a brick or fieldstone sided home because we love that low and for low maintenance. (After years of dealing with old two-story windows) we wanted newish windows that could be easily cleaned from the inside.
- We were looking for about 5-acres of land with lots of sun and space to put in a large garden so we could grow our own vegetables with the goal of keeping chickens at some later, manageable date.
- We wanted to be close to lakes, rivers, forests and open green space where we could hike, kayak, run a dog and generally enjoy the beautiful of a our beautiful state once retired.
- I was very serious about not being too near agricultural fields where fertilizers would effect our organic food garden.
In the end we manifested a one-story but older 1950’s Ranch-style home in the largest agricultural county in the state of Michigan that was part of a family estate. The five adult children who had inherited this home were willing to dicker with us which made the purchase possible for us. Our city home had to sell first of course and it sold to the first couple that walked through the door and made an offer. They paid our asking price, not even asking us to take less although BUT we had to be out of the house in just three weeks or pay a penalty.
The Small House up close.
The country home sellers took $20,000 less than the original asking price to meet our goal of buying for the exact amount for selling city home sale. Success! That was certainly a challenge but we made it. Three weeks later we were in a new house in a new city!!
Michigan Holly and juniper branches in an old copper boiler.
It happened so fast it made my head spin. Sometimes abundance is like that!
May you have abundance this Thanksgiving as well!
Small House Homesteader, Donna