Our patch of earth

Reice

Lovin' The Homestead
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Thought I'd start a journal to show how far we've come to calm my anxiousness to be out there already. :)

The hubby and I have been together over 2 years, married just over a year. Both of us have each a grown child between us, so it's just us now. Not long after we were together I mentioned to him my dream of some day owning our own land, owning the house outright, and being more self sufficient. Wouldn't you know it, hubby mentioned he is inheriting 5 acres from his late mother that is near his grandmother's place. Wait, what?! You mean you've got LAND? This is what started us on our current path and what we have been working on about 2 years now.

Five acres, raw, at the backend of grandma's land. Grandma was very excited when we asked if we could start getting a place there now, she's getting up there in age and this helps all of us. Yay! What the land had going for it was it had well water already piped to the place our house would sit. But that is about it.

I should pre-face this by saying we are doing this in cash on a single income, so it is slow going. We are doing this on the cheap, pretty much.

The place is about 5 miles from where we are currently living, so we get out there often. Too often sometimes, haha, cause every time I'm out there I don't want to leave. We've had to rent equipment for dirt work about 5 weekends thus far to get roads done and clear a path for a home.

A home. Yeah, it didn't have one. For a year we considered all of our options: build it ourselves, RV, pole barn, storage sheds, even threatened to tent it. Literally, a home fell into our lap. Hubby works at a hardware store (yeah, I know.. HANDY!! and discounts, woot!!), and mentioned to a guy he knew that we had some land and was trying to figure out a home to put there when the guy said he had 2 mobile homes he needed off hit lot he'd give us, for free!!, if we moved it. We looked both over and chose the smaller one, it had the greatest potential. 14x60, zero leaks, great layout. It took us a while to get the pad prepped, the home prepped, and the funds to get it moved, but move it we did. The move was hairy on a single laned dirt road with some sand, but an ulcer later it was in our spot. We got it moved last September and have been slowly working on it since. Yeah, it needed some work and beautification, but it was there. The move from town the 6 miles cost $800, not bad, but hubby did all of the prep work himself to cut expenses.

The roads have been giving us some pain with all the rain that's been going on here the last few months, but it will be sorted out eventually. As of now, it's still accessible. :)

More to come.
 

Reice

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As it is now...

We have our space carved out and a 840sqft home sitting there. Right now we have a garden hose hooked up to a water well until we get the plumbing redone (hubby wants to rework the plumbing with pex I believe it's called). We have a generator for some electrical needs and will have if power goes out. Finally got the funds together to give our hunk to the rural electric people to set some poles for us, now we have to get the funds together to trench and lay the remaining 100ft of electrical wire to hook up to our house. There used to be a septic there many years ago but we were unable to find it after many attempts, so for now there is a composting toilet. Hoping to keep the composting toilet (if hubby will let me) and do a much easier grey water septic system.

I've took all of my camping gear out there, so truth be told we have a solar shower, a single burner butane stove, solar lanterns, and a folding solar panel to charge small usb needs. And don't forget the fire pit, haha. Throw in an ice chest and we're all set, right? haha

We've also carved out a small area and got about 7 veggies started out there. Hubby's grandfather had great success growing things on the soil out there years ago, so hoping to see something similar.

Like I said, the house needed some work. There was one area in the back bigger bedroom that had a bit of sag, so we refloored it. The kitchen had partial hardwood boards that we ripped out and need to finish it, as well. A few of the windows broke with the move, so that's on the list. And we ripped out the sagging kitchen bottom cabinets, sink and all. We did get some free nice wood cabinets to replace them, but will need to cut a hole for a sink. Bought a used stainless steel deep sink for $10. Luckily, the hubby had a stove and fridge in storage from when he was single that we will use.

So far in the house we've ripped up flooring, ripped out carpets, and painted all of the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. This was a 70's model single wide home, so of course there's lots of wood paneling that will eventually get some paint, but just painted over some horrid colors in those places so far. The flooring will be bare with some area rugs in rooms for now. (on the cheap, remember)

The area this place sits is 6 miles from town. It's amongst some tall trees and past a hill so you can't even see our place til you drive up to it. Feels like a hidey-hole back there, haha. We placed the home intentionally to take advantage of passive/solar heating and cooling. The long sides are facing north and south, with the short sides east/west. The front door faces south to block the northside sun in summer. The kitchen is at the end of the east side, so it will get the morning sun and be shielded from the heat on the west side in the evening. The small yard is on the south side with plenty of shade trees. The cool thing is with this Oklahoma wind, the hills block most of the gusts, we just get the gentle cooled breeze.

We've already seen some days in the 90's and am so excited about how it feels there already. Without power, the shade and the breeze is enough. We will be putting in a couple window AC units, running ceiling fans. But already I know we'll be using way less power than in the house we are currently in. The home has only a central heat unit, but we are choosing not to use it, blocking the vents, and heating with propane heaters. Oh yeah, we got a free big propane tank, just haven't been able to move it yet, it's also on the list.

More later, must get coffee...
 

Reice

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Guess I should add in here the why's of doing this. Basically, financial reasons. I'm not sure why headlines say what they do, but I don't think this economy is good. Feels like things are bad and only getting worse. Prices are going up. Wages are stagnate. Cost of living is ridiculous. Then there's climate change which will affect costs even more. Jobs are no longer steady. I feel like collapse is just around the bend. My thoughts are to get expenses down as low as possible and to be less dependent on this uncertain economy.

We are intentionally single income for a few reasons: I save money doing things around the home I otherwise wouldn't be able to working full time. Old wrist injury prevents me doing many jobs. Hubby likes being the provider and being taken care of. And the biggy: I want to know if anything should happen (injury and illnesses happen) that one of us could work a minimum wage job wherever and we'd be okay. And being more self sufficient ties in with that beautifully.

So we got a smallish garden started and will add to that eventually. Gardening is new to me and I have a lot to learn. How exciting! There's also wild game out there that we could hunt: deer, turkey, quail. Hubby's threatening to put in a fish pond out there, as well. I intend to start with small animals, like chickens, to get my feet wet with animals. Maybe goats later on after we get settled in and get a feel for the area.

There's lots of trees out there so there's plenty of firewood. I have looked in to wood burning stoves, but the stuff I read is iffy on them in a mobile home. It would be nice, free fuel, but for now we'll go with propane.

I did quite a bit of research on solar and would love to include that, but alas, cost prohibited it, for now. Getting electricity out there was cheaper at this point. But maybe some day. Might need to spend a few seasons out there to see how temperate our placement is concerning weather and power needs. We do intend to set up solar for the water well in the near future, though, as the well is tied to grandma's power, we don't want to add to her bill.

Being in Oklahoma we do have tornado concerns. Would like to some day add a root cellar that will double as a tornado shelter. For now, grandma's house is an underground house and not far away, so can run there. Here's what's wild: About a month ago we had some bad storms, tornado watch, high wind gusts. Our current home is also a mobile home, and the house was kinda rocking in the high wind. It sits in a mobile home park without any kind of wind break around it, so yeah, gotta expect it. I decided to see what it was like at the place in the country, so hopped in the car and took off out there. Not only was there no shaking, at all (it's not even tied down yet), but couldn't even hear the wind, just see the trees moving in the distance. Current house had a picture knocked off the wall with a wind gust, future house was quiet as can be. Very, very happy about this.

Back to financials. Anyone else get excited seeing just how low you can get your expenses? I do. I make a game of it. You better believe I've got pads and pens out there and my fun times are seeing what I can work on to reduce expense, see just how low we can go. Housing eats up a huge amount for most people. It's one of the major expenses and one of the biggest ways to save. I know a mobile home isn't for everybody, but.. no mortgage, no rent. We also drive older paid cars that hubby works on with liability ins only. Cut the cable years ago. I do a ton of money saving strategies, too many to list, and always looking for more. I read constantly trying to learn ways of doing things that might save a buck or two. The hubby is realizing just what kind of weirdo he married, haha. This stuff is fun for me. Would love to some day not be dependent on wage-slave income. We are trying to come up with side job ideas that would provide enough, get it going so it could someday be a real job instead of punching a clock. Lots of ideas on that.

I am 48 and have seen many up's and down's. Had the big new fancy house with big income years ago and then the late husband was diagnosed with cancer. You never know what the future holds. And it seems scarier every day. Current hubby is 37 (I know, cradle robber!) and has already had both hips replaced. Working like a slave for someone else just to have a place to sleep at night hoping your job is there tomorrow just so you can buy the next new thing is no way to live. We want our freedom back. We want choice. And from where I sit living more self sufficiently with minimal expenses gives you way more choices.
 

sumi

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Your place sounds amazing! What a blessing that house was for you guys :) Feel free to pick our brains for ideas on how to save money, keep animals, gardening, etc, etc... We all love helping and sharing.

Looking forward to reading more and seeing pics of your place. (Hint: We LOVE pics!)
 

Reice

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What pictures I have so far, mostly befores:

view from road.jpg
The road we carved out. Can't even see our house from here but it's amongst those trees in the middle. Where the road looks like it ends it actually a hill, and those trees that look like bushes in the middle are actually really tall trees that surround our place.

the spot before.jpg
Place we picked out for our home.

almost sliding off road.jpg
The scary move. House almost didn't make it around the curve wanting to slide off. But it's there. :)

Other pics I have are before of inside the house, not sure you wanna see just how much work is needed, haha. Might be better to wait til I have the afters pictures and post them together.

Man oh man!! Totally looks different than this now. Maybe I needed to see these again just to see how far we've come. Will try to get some outside pictures, because that middle picture doesn't show how much clearing we've done to open up the place. :)
 
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frustratedearthmother

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Welcome! Really enjoyed reading about your journey. You've come a long way! Glad you're here and look forward to following your progress. :)
 

Mini Horses

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It is a lot of work but, will be so worth it. I agree, we don't need so much "stuff" and yet, it is today's way for most, with few options. Free land is certainly a HUGE start. Add a free mobile home and you are good...really good. Your progress will greatly increase when you can move FROM your current home, using that expense $$ at the new place. It's summer...camp out.

Sounds like there will be plenty to keep you busy for a while :) We all love hearing about people's "journeys". And we appreciate what it takes!!!!! Read through the past posts as there are a lot of threads about "doing & saving". Good group here.

Welcome from VA.

Oh, add your general location into your set-up, we forget. And sometimes your questions, our suggestions, differ with location issues. Continue the good work.
 
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