Closing Day: November 22, 2013

It is truly hard to express the depth of joy and thankfulness in my heart right now.  We have waited and prayed for this moment for so long: For the moment to call a piece of land home; for the moment to step into a lifetime of loving and caring for the soil and all that it grows; for the moment to adventure into all of this with my dearest friend and husband, Jonathan.  That moment has come, we signed the papers today, closing on 12 acres on Terry Rd, Hurdle Mills, NC, it is ours to steward.  The story of our journey is below.

The Story: Jonathan and I spent a lot of time traveling individually before we moved back to NC and met and fell in love.  During that time we were each saving every penny we could towards this hope and dream of buying a land to build a farm and homestead.  We were willing to do quite unique jobs.  Jonathan worked as a teacher for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for one. I worked on 18-wheelers at Coldfoot, Alaska, a truck stop on the Haul Road in the Gates of the Arctic National Park. We finally both settled in to very regular jobs of teaching Kindergarten at Orchard Hill Children’s School in Hillsborough, NC and working for the Durham Fire Department as a full time firefighter. We continued to save and even tried out some big money making schemes. I worked on a salmon boat out of Bristol Bay, Alaska in the Bering Sea and Jonathan auditioned for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Nothing panned out, and we went back to saving monthly.

This year, we started looking for land. We looked at a lot of different properties. Some were large, some were small, some were mostly clear, and some were heavily wooded. Each property we visited helped us refine our search and clarify what we were looking for. And while we liked some of the properties we visited, none of them felt right.

In July 2013 we found the Terry Rd property and made our first visit.  We liked it but were not convinced.  We returned for a second visit in September and fell in love with the land. We made a low initial offer in cash, hoping to avoid a land loan, but the sellers didn’t bite. We went back and forth a few times until we reached the highest offer we felt we could make. It was still less than they wanted, so we crossed our fingers and prayed.  They accepted it.

Our Plan: We are spending the winter designing a small, passive solar and environmentally friendly home. We plan on moving out to our farm in mid-March and living in a camper while we build. Over the next 2-3 years we will work the soil and establish the farm as we slowly build our house ourselves paying as we go.  We hope to have no mortgage on our home when we are finished. Also, we plan to install solar panels to on-grid hook up after the house is finished.  Insane?  Absolutely!  We are the adventurous sort and are ready to take on the joys and challenges of the next few years.

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Quick Land Update

The process of buying land is moving along. We got the perc test and appraisal back, both satisfactory. Here are a couple pictures: The fields after the tobacco farmer disced in the remains of his crop, and an 2010 aerial photo from GIS.

The fields, with the tobacco disced in.
The fields, with the tobacco disced in.
2010 GIS aerial photograph.
2010 GIS aerial photograph.