Monday, April 27, 2015

And So It Begins ...

We've attempted home-ownership three times in our married life. None of them seemed to end well. Inexplicably, we are trying again! Perhaps the fourth time is a charm? We hope so!
It's a little place, a true-downsizing, a share-cropper style house in the county here. We've been renting/leasing for the past three years and feel ready to settle in.
The house has a shadow of some former charm, but it needs a lot of work. Especially the inside -- oh, the scary things I could show you! But today, we were only outside, so you will see the pretty side :)
There's a yellow rose bush! Yay! It smells so lovely.
The back of the house has a porch laundry room and a deck. The house itself is 1111 square feet.
There's a carport behind the house.
Across the yard is a one-room cement block building. We'll use it initially for storage, but eventually it could be cleaned up for additional sleeping quarters for kids who are home, or even company. It has electricity there, and two windows.
A garage stands behind the house with a shop area inside and a little garden shed affair on the back.
But what's truly fabulous about this property is the land. Let me show you ~~
From the corner of the house, looking back -- there are about 3.75 acres.
That's a little horse barn in the back, and 5 or 6 large pecan trees spread their branches overhead.
The pasture around the horse barn is fenced and has two big gates.
If you turn your head to the right, you see this lovely field stretching across. The property reaches that far tree line of pines.
I could look at this all day. It's so pretty. I can hardly believe that we may own this.
There are still a few things to work out before the closing, but it does look quite promising.
The elderly man who lived here was originally from Brittany on the French coast, and his home is full of French things. This boat graces the front door:
Today we visited the house because the roof leaks, the rain pours in, and the living room ceiling is falling in. Truly. I told you it was a bit scary inside. So Adam and our friend John went to put a tarp on the roof. I mean ... how hard could that be?
They proceeded up the ladder to the front porch roof and soon realized that the pitch of the house roof was steeper than they'd thought. Hmm. No stomping around on that roof was gonna happen!
But they wrangled with that tarp and plotted and planned. They crammed it overhead until it was perched on the front edge of the roof.
At one point Adam removed his too-slippery shoes and slithered on his tummy onto the roof. He was going to conquer this thing! But soon he was back on the porch roof, defeated in that attempt.
Perseverance is a wonderful thing. Equally wonderful are gifted friends. John is one of those. He had a plan for how to work that tarp from the front of the house to the back. We tied ropes to the two back corners and pulled with all our might while John was on the ladder guiding the tarp.
This is the bad spot where the most rain has been getting in and destroying the living room ceiling. Later they slit the tarp and wrapped it around this electrical connection for better roof coverage.
Adam pulls on one back corner. They nailed the tarp down all around its edges.
In the end, the tarp lay smoothly over the roof line. Long enough to cover the house from front to back, it was not wide enough -- but it covers the entire other side, the leaking side, and that's what matters. It was a 30x50 ft. tarp.
This tarp-wrestling was the first real thing we've done at the house, part of the agreement with the sellers to curtail the damage happening so it doesn't get worse before the closing.
Adam has big plans for the property. The deceased owner had a small orchard of sorts, raspberries, cherry trees, and grape vines. The pasture housed small horses and maybe goats. We'll put the bees there, and Adam wants to grow some crops for selling in future years, along with selling bees and queens. I'd like chickens and ducks, and perhaps a couple of little milking goats.

Why such a small house in a rural place? Well, it's a huge money-saver. We need a mortgage we can afford, and one we can pay off quickly on a modest income. Home sizes have exploded in the U.S. in recent generations, but we really don't need houses of 2500 or 3000 square feet, do we? For two people? Our kids are nearly grown, and soon we won't need large rooms. We'll have space for them to come stay if they like. More than that, we'll have a very beautiful place to live, and for them to enjoy. If all goes well, we should close in a little over a month. I'll keep you posted!


  1. It really is gorgeous! I'm hopeful that things will settle nicely!

  2. So wonderful!!! I agree with you that the land makes this well worth the investment. Especially since your husband and friends are so hard-working and resourceful. In your climate you can bear a small house because you can be outdoors so much, even in the winter. May God smooth the way for escrow to close without a hitch.

  3. Oh, M.K., what a gorgeous property! I love it! And while it will be a lot of work, it's such a satisfying work in the long run. Many blessings to you and Adam:)

  4. What a LOVELY place! I'm so excited for you! The barn is so cute and lots of useful outbuildings. It will be a fun project. I'm into small houses, as you know. God bless you in this new endeavor. It will be a beautiful place to wake up to each morning. Fun!!!

  5. I'm crossing everything for you! Buying and moving house is one of the most stressful experiences. But you are doing it at the perfect time of year. I'll be following this with great interest.

  6. Oh I love your new/possible home . You're so right about not needing so much house, but the land, wow ! I am very excited for you and know even thought there is a lot of work to be done, it will be so well worth it for you.

  7. WOWEE!!!!!! I am so excited for you. What a little gem in the rough! With Adam's carpentry/building skills, you'll get this little house in liveable condition once again. 1100 sq. ft. is almost twice the size of our little cottage, which is roughly 665 sq ft. :-)

    I can hardly wait to see more pictures, before and after, once the place is definitely yours.

    What a job getting that tarp on the roof was! Glad it all went well after all.

    Have a great week and do keep us posted. This is exciting ~ FlowerLady

  8. Houses can be 're-done. Not the setting. Looks like a happy place. We started tearing off a fake wall the other day. We get into old house and if left in it long enough we start looking for treasure!

  9. So, so exciting! I'm very glad you have this blog, so that we can join you on this entire, possible house journey!

  10. What kind of roof is it? It looks like metal? I was just looking closer at the pics this morning. (Didn't I leave a comment yesterday?) I LOVE this place. I'm so excited for you. I just noticed the sweet little tire swing hanging from one of the beautiful old trees. Yes, that cute little barn needs some goats and your bees hives will be a picturesque addition. Keep us posted! :)

  11. It's adorable! I got goose bumps when I started reading! Let's both downsize together.(Ours is a huge 1700 square ft.) Maybe I'll resurrect my blog for the renovation...

  12. M.K., y'all have found a TREASURE!!! How very exciting! More pictures when you can post them, please. Anxious to follow the progress here.

    Look what the Lord has done!

  13. I truly adore that house and land. God is definitely in the details. I'll pray for a smooth closing. How truly wonderful. :)

  14. Yes, I agree with Flower Lady, a wonderful home and the property is gorgeous! So many possibilities for beekeeping and goats and berries . . . And even a "guest cottage!" How cool is that?! It looks just wonderful M.K. Great job getting that tarp up.
    I'm looking forward to future posts!

  15. How exciting! It certainly looks a sweet little cottage from the outside, and such a huge block of land. It should suit the two of you sown to the ground. I'm sure you will get it looking very smart in a short while. Sending lots of love and prayers for a smooth transition to home ownership. xx

  16. This is so exciting, so beautiful, so good. Every blessing in the process from here to the key xx And then in the work!

  17. This is very exciting!!! I DO hope 4th time lucky works out for you dear lady x

  18. How exciting. What a lovely home and the yard is fantastic. Sure hope all goes well and you get to move there. : ) I love it all.


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