This is a fairy tale about two people who had a dream of one day owning property:
Once upon a time, I worked as a barista in a coffee shop. A guy came in and ordered a coffee with his friend who came semi-regularly. About a week later, he was back again. And again, and again.
I met his dog (whom he didn’t want to take a treat for because, being a Great Dane, she slobbered a lot), and remembered taking care of her at my other job at a local veterinary clinic. I loved his car. And when he finally got up the guts to ask me out on a date, I said yes.
He took me to a fancy dinner for our first date. He took me out dirtbiking in the mountains for another date. He took me for hikes, we talked for hours. It didn’t take many dates for me to realize that this was the guy I had been waiting and praying for. But I admit, I was still nervous about actually taking the plunge and getting married. I realized that he was the one I would marry, but it still seemed like a big step.
Apparently, Dan is very good at getting his way, because despite my fears, I married that man 5 months after our first date. Some people thought we were a little crazy (and they probably still think we are!), but when you know, you know; and I haven’t once regretted that decision.
From the get-go, we wished we had property. We rented a tiny house for the first year of our marriage. Our guests had to go into our bedroom to use the bathroom, and the kitchen table was in the living room. And we looked for houses and property.
The area where we live is a bit landlocked. There is Forest Service and BLM, mountains, and a reservation, and it’s farming country. So finding acreage at a decent price is tough. We finally purchased a home on a quarter of an acre (yes, 0.25 acres, you read that right), and felt like the yard was so big.
But after building a shed, and putting in a garden, the yard was getting small fast. And we realized that we really wanted so much more room. Dan just didn’t have enough room to ride my motorcycle around the backyard very well!
We kept looking. We made offers on several houses, but they always fell through for super random reasons (never because of us). It was obvious that God just didn’t want us to have that yet. Through a series of crazy decisions, we ended up buying a second house and moving into it, and then later selling that house and moving back to our first home which had been a rental for several years. At this point, we had given up on the dream, and decided that we’d just bite the bullet and deal with our quarter acre and enjoy it as much as we could.
But then, one day I noticed a listing (by this point, checking the listings was more of a hobby than actually looking). This listing was for a single-wide trailer on 5 acres, and the price was really good. It was basically the same price as bare ground was going for, but it included water rights, a well, septic, power, and the single-wide trailer. It seemed too good to be true. It even had a rickety garage and a train car!
On a whim, we drove out to check it out, both of us thinking that it was going to be totally nasty, or something seriously wrong with it. But there wasn’t. The worst thing wrong with it was that there was a single-wide trailer on it (even though the trailer itself was in great shape and fairly new); as anyone who has ever tried to get a loan on a single-wide trailer in the past 5 year can tell you that there is almost no one who will loan on them, and the interest rates aren’t good.
We were both sold. We had the realtor come, and we wrote up an offer. And our offer was accepted. With our great credit, we were able to make it all happen. So we moved for the second time in a year.
And that’s how our homesteading dream started on our own little 5 acre parcel of paradise!