Our Homesteading Journey
I lived in the city for 30 years of my life. I was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina. When I was 3 we moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. When I got married we moved to Ogden, Utah, where the houses were so close that you could see (and sometimes hear) inside your neighbor’s home. We lived there for 11 years.
Our First Home
Our first home we bought at the young ages of 19 and 20. We thought we would only be there for 2 years, maybe 3, but shortly after we bought in 2007, the market crashed. We had six of our babies in that 1880 sq ft home. We could have stayed there forever and paid it off, but our hearts longed for more.
You see, it wasn’t the best area to raise kids. Even though we have homeschooled our kids from the beginning, the neighborhood was still rough. I couldn’t let my kids go in the backyard and play unless I was out there too. The way our lot sat, we had five backyard neighbors. Most were rentals, one turned out to be a meth house, some had very strange people, others had alcoholics or drug addicts. Even I was scared to stroll around the block without my husband as there would be people wandering the streets, shaking, speaking to themselves, yelling, and tweaking out.
Our Hopes and Dreams
My husband and I knew this wasn’t our forever home. We had bigger dreams and goals. I began searching for homes for sale with acreage just for fun, because at this point we couldn’t even sale our home for the low price we bought it for. Little did we know this was just the beginning of our homesteading journey.
We Finally Found It!
Fast forward to 2017. I found land for sale that met the requirements we were looking for. Mainly, it had to be within an hour commute for my husband’s job and within our budget. So we took a leap of faith and took our tax return plus some money we had saved and put the down payment of $15,000 on a 3 acre plot of land. We had never even been out to that area up until we had found the lot.
Two Weeks Notice
As the home was being built on the new property, my husband’s work gave him two weeks notice that he needed to go to Texas for four months to do some training for a new position he moved in to. It was great because this new position came with a pay increase. But, two weeks notice and leaving for four months? Typically, since we homeschool, we try to travel with him if we can. In this case, we were trying to get our house on the market as our new home would be ready in the Fall. So for two weeks, we hustled. We realized this was the perfect opportunity to put everything in storage and have a clean house to show while we were in Texas, because showing a small home with six kids while still living it seemed overwhelming.
Time to Work Fast
My husband still had to go to work every day for those two weeks. I would pack as much as I could while he was at work. When he came home he would work on repairs. He redid the entire upstairs bathroom. We repainted so many walls. The house looked so pretty after. Do you ever ask yourself, “Why didn’t we do that while we were living here?”
We packed up some bare necessities to take with us to Texas. When we first arrived we stayed in a hotel for a few weeks. It was very hard to keep the kids quiet and cook meals in the hotel. I brought an instapot and did lots of rice and chicken.
We kept shopping around for a place to temporarily live where my husband’s job would pay for the rent. We finally found an apartment complex willing to do a short term lease. We requested a bottom floor unit as we knew we would get complaints if we were on the 2nd or 3rd floor. They only had a 2 bedroom available, which we were more than happy to take, especially after being in hotel for two weeks. There was one problem. The fire code didn’t allow eight people to occupy a two bedroom unit. Thankfully, by the grace of God, the apartment manager told me she would look the other way on that rule.
The process of selling our house and building our new house while being long distance was quite a challenge. The buyers of our old house had a loan that required so much more little things to be done on our 1937 home. If we were there, my husband could have easily fixed them all, but we weren’t. So we had to hire out all these little odd jobs and hope it would all work out.
A friend checked in on the new house build for us and sent us photos. We are so grateful to him as we were able to spot some errors. For instance, we were making a formal living room in to a bedroom and the builder forgot, so they were able to fix it.
Again, I thank God that everything worked so well, because we closed on our old house and had the money we had planned to put down on the new house the same day. They finished our new house in the beginning of October. My husband’s training was finished and we drove home to our new home on October 19, 2018. It was such a blessing and still is to have such a nice home, a big kitchen and pantry, something our old home was lacking.
Plus, three acres, in a quiet beautiful neighborhood full of likeminded people. To be able to go on walks and let the kids play in the backyard, such a wonderful blessing!