Our New Homestead

Moving into a new home and having a baby are considered to be two of the more stressful life transitions, though luckily they are also among the most positive of “big changes” that a family faces. We were fortunate enough to experience both events this year, and more or less on the same day, at that.

I became pregnant with our third child early this year (2018) which is about the time we started seriously searching for a house. It took several months of looking to find an ideal property. After a couple of delays, it just so happens that we were able to close on our home the same day I was scheduled to induce for medical reasons. After bringing a fresh baby into the world and spending a few nights in the hospital, we headed directly to our new home, initially with little more than the clothes on our backs and a few essentials. 

What we were Looking for…

First of all, we changed our budget at least three times. Houses are expensive enough, but it is really difficult to find a home with acreage that doesn’t cost a fortune. On top of that, we were limited by the requirements to receive the VA loan we needed to buy our home. Several of the houses we looked at needed work to an extent, and some of them we would have considered if there weren’t so many stipulations involved or we had the financial means to pay for repairs.

With two toddlers and a baby on the way, we felt a home with at least three bedrooms would be best. We preferred to have a basement, at the very least for storage purposes, but decided a crawl space was acceptable under the right circumstances. As for the property, we decided that two acres of land was our minimum if the price was right and it met our other requirements. That being said, we primarily looked at homes on five acres or more. In fact, the first house we made an offer on had around 20 acres, but after a couple of inspections, we decided to hold off. While the land would have been wonderful to have and would have offered the best opportunity for our goals to blossom, our number one priority was to have a secure place to live.

Other attributes we were attracted to included running water or a pond on the property, partially wooded land, outbuildings, or anything else that would contribute to our future plans for the homestead.

What we Found…

While the home we ended up with definitely pushed our budget and didn’t meet everything on our “want” list, it is a three- bedroom home on five acres, close to half of which are wooded. It has a walk-out basement with a finished family room, extra bathroom and potential fourth bedroom, which will ultimately serve as our office space. Furthermore, there is a detached three-car garage coming off of an unpaved, half-circle driveway. Wild turkey and deer like to visit our yard on occasion, too! All in all, it is a beautiful home with great space for the kids inside and out, a reasonable chunk of land, and a good place to call our home.

Plans for our Homestead…

Beyond finishing enclosures for the goats, chickens, and rabbits we currently have, we plan to make space for quail, pigs, and ducks. If you think that isn’t dreaming big enough, we will also build two greenhouses. One greenhouse will come off of the basement, which should help supply additional heat to the basement. The second green house will be a walapini, being built partially underground. The greenhouses will be for growing produce we buy on a frequent basis as well as things we should be using more often. Additionally, one will house an aquaponics system where fish and plants have a symbiotic relationship.

Inside the home we will have a rocket stove mass heater, which should help reduce heating costs in addition to the solar and wind energy we plan to install. Our solar panels will not be on the roof but placed next to the home where they will get the best exposure from the sun year-round. We were able to find some inexpensive solar panels and acquired some towers, cheap to free, from people who just wanted to get rid of them. The towers will be used as antennas (e.g., ham, CB radio) and windmills.

This is all, of course, a brief overview of our existing plans which are subject to change and expand. We will be discussing each topic in depth as we move along and document exactly what we do and how functional it ends up being, as well as any alterations necessary. We will put forth our best effort to provide detailed videos and images in addition to written documentation of the happenings on our homestead. Please continue to visit our site for updates on the adventure ahead of us!

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