Journey to the Country Life
Our Journey started in 2010 when we decided to get control of finances and get out of debt. It took us 3 years to become completely debt free including our house. Afterwards we asked ourselves "where do we want to be in 10 years". We knew that we didn't want to live in town anymore. We wanted a place that had more freedom and more privacy. A place where we could grow our food, raise livestock, hunt and fish. So we began to save money to purchase property in the country.
The Search for Property
As we continued to save money we searched for property. We used Landwatch.com to search for properties greater than 10 acres. We searched in Illinois and Indiana near where we currently worked. It took over a year of searching before the right property came on the market. It was an old abandoned farm with 41 acres of land. No one had lived there in 5 years. This place was overgrown and most of it's buildings were falling down. But this property had everything we wanted. It had pastures, wooded areas, and a 3.5 acre pond. The property had junk and trash everywhere that needed to be cleaned up and had several buildings that needed torn down, but it had potential to be a great property.
We almost gave up on this property
We ended up making an offer on the property and after some negotiation we came to a purchase agreement. Then came all of the delays. We had to have surveys and appraisals. In the end the improvements on the property weren't worth anything, so the bank would only give a loan of 80% of the raw land value. That was okay as long as we got loan to purchase the property. The next problem was the deed. It turned out other family members had rights to use the property. So now real estate lawyers had to get involved. There had to be quick claim deeds, affidavits, etc. All family members had to be tracked down and relinquish their rights to the property, or the owner would not be able to sell it. At this point we were now about 5 months into purchasing this property. We were so close to giving up and walking away. It took almost 7 months to finally purchase this property.
Great Great Grandad's Farm
The day before we closed, we heard that the property may have been owned by my great great grandfather. And my grandmother remembered staying there as a child. So the first thing we did after we closed on the property was look at the property abstract to review it's history. And then we found it, documented in the abstract, my great great grandfather bought this property in 1924 and he owned it for 18 years. In 1942 he must of had money problems, because the property was taken from him by the bank.
So now 73 years later, the property was back in the family. It felt like fate, like it was meant to be.
Building our Dream Home
Rebekah had always dreamed of living in a log cabin. So we did our research, went to log home shows, and finally decided on a floor plan and design. Almost 2 years after we bought the property, we were able to sell our house in town and moved to the property in our camper. We lived in that camper for one year while we built our log home. We hired an Amish builder that lived down the road to build the cabin and put on the roof. After the cabin was dried in, then we went to work doing the plumbing, electrical, flooring and trim. It took us about 6 months to finish the inside of the log home. We were so happy to finally move out of the camper and into our dream home.
Creating our Homestead
Now that our home is built, we have focused on building our homestead and becoming more self sufficient. We have built a fenced in garden that produces plenty of food for us and extra to share with others. We have fenced in pastures for livestock. We grow and bale our own hay to feed our livestock. We harvest firewood to heat our log home. We raise chickens, ducks, goats, & pigs. We plan on raising cattle soon. Everyday is an adventure and is exactly the life we wanted to live.
Written by - Evan