Some aerial views of where I live at the moment.
We moved here sight unseen. We didn’t go for a property viewing, hire surveyors, realtors or anything like that. We just jumped on it. The offer was $60,000 for 25 acres with a small 2-bedroom house on it. A friend of ours found it listed on Facebook and passed it on to us to consider THE DAY AFTER we had made an offer on a 5-acre property + 3-bedroom house in Texas worth $235,000. After much deliberation, we cancelled that offer and went for this mystery home in Kentucky. In the end, we got this place for $50,000. Private sale. Simple and sweet. Shortly after, we were able to pay off the big mortgage from our previous home. I’ll never forget the feeling. We all ran around outside shouting “Freedom!!!!” across the valley. Couple or so months later, we paid off our remaining credit card debts.
When we arrived here, we discovered that the house wasn’t exactly “habitable” by our standards. There were people renting it, and they made it work, but wow.. There was no heating or cooling of any kind (except for space heaters), the windows and doors were old, broken and decaying, the plumbing was shot, nobody knew where the septic tank was buried, the basement was a horror story, the roof had several leaks, the gutters for rain were rusted and falling apart, there was mold in many places, the kitchen was dark and dingy, the bottom kitchen cupboards were… Umm.. I just closed them back up and tried to forget they were there, lol. It’s a really good, solid house with a great layout – it just wasn’t looked after well. But. It was a roof over our heads and we were surrounded by all this natural beauty. We had electricity. Water? We lived here with no running water for about 6 weeks until we could get all the plumbing ripped out and replaced with brand-new everything. Toilet? We went in the woods until we were able to set up a simple bucket-system compost toilet. We used that for a whole year and it produced some really great humanure black gold for our flower garden. We washed our dishes outside in the yard with water we collected from the creek, and later from our neighbor’s (because he insisted :)). We had the bathroom completely ripped out too. It was fugly and unusable – you couldn’t turn the shower off without shutting the water off at the mains, and the pipe from the toilet to the elusive septic tank was… Broken. Yes, gross! The waste was simply going onto the basement floor. Oh and don’t forget the trash. There was SO MUCH trash. But I’ll tell you about that another time 😉
Now the house is so beautiful, we will miss it dearly. Slowly over time, we made improvements as we could afford it. It’s got a brand new metal roof, new gutters plus rainwater catchment, a gorgeous wood burning cookstove, new windows and doors throughout, carpet and ceiling fans in the bedrooms, a bright and open kitchen and large pantry, a lovely new bathroom (now with a flush toilet), new septic tank, newly painted walls, the works.
I remember when we first walked in here, we didn’t mope over all the problems. Perhaps we were in a very good mood that day, lol! Because what we saw instead was the potential – what it could be like in here when we make it a home. After we gave it some love. Lots of love 😉 And as I stand here in the living room writing this, my eyes well up with tears of gratitude and wonder from all that we’ve accomplished together. All the memories we’ve made. How we remained positive, hopeful and joyful through all the challenges, and how we rode it as the adventure that it was. The smiles. The laughter. The stories! The journey, rather than the destination, truly is where the gold is.