Surprise (for us)!

We weren’t house shopping. We actually sold our house a year ago exactly. We planned on renting for several years in hopes of saving money. We want to buy several hundred acres one day, but that is out of our price range, so for now, our plan is to save up for it! We’ve been renting for the past year which has been okay, but both my husband and I realized how much we enjoyed owning our own land. We have a good friend who is a realtor, and he had been occasionally sending us listings. I’d occasionally glance at them, but I wasn’t proactively shopping for a house.

One morning I woke up to an email from him about a listing that looked like it could work perfect for us. It was a great price and in a great area of town. It was smaller acreage than we are used to, but it would still work for all of our animals. I looked at it the day it was listed, but by the end of the day, they already had several offers on the house. I actually had to put an offer in on it without my husband seeing it, because he was out of town. Long story short… we got it! Inspections and everything went crazy smooth, and we moved in three weeks ago!

Homesteading

What I love about this place is that it is a great “in-between” place for us for a few years. We can still save money by living here, but we can also have a small homestead. It’s almost 3 acres with horse pasture and barn as well as an area for the chickens. It’s got a huge garden spot, and this area of town is the best soil around. I’m so excited to get a garden going!

I think I’m also excited to build a 3 acre homestead so I can show others how it can be done. Yes, I want several hundred acres one day, but I also realize most people who are interested in what I do just have or want 1-5 acres. It will be fun to see how self-sustaining we can become on 3 acres. I plan on keeping 2 horses, 16+ chickens, and possibly some pigs or sheep. With careful land management, I should be able to have all those animals and still keep the land healthy.

Work To Do

We have a bit of work to do on the place but not too much. The chicken coop needs a little fixing up, the garden needs to be fenced in, and we are going to haul in some wood chips so we can do the ‘back to eden’ garden method. Overall, though, the place is ready to go, and we are excited to start homesteading our own little piece of property again!

1 | My favorite feature of the house. There are two of these gigantic windows which I absolutely love.

2 | And so excited to have a wood burning stove again! Seth and I used the one we had installed in our old house almost 100% of the time. There is nothing more cozy than wood heat. We are in process of pulling out all the shelving on either side of the fireplace. We got one side done, and it opened the room up so much. We will probably paint the fireplace too, but that will have to wait a few months until we get other stuff done. And yes, that’s Luke, my 15 year old lab who snuck into the photo!

3 | The front yard has apple, peach, apricot, pear, orange, lemon, pomegranate, almond, and grapes! Most of them are younger, but everything is putting off some fruit which is so wonderful! The apple and almond trees are older so we should get a decent harvest. Also, ALL the landscaping is edible. It’s ugly right now and definitely needs some TLC, but it’s fun to have blueberries, artichokes, mint, and much more for landscaping!

4 | The garden spot obviously needs some work, but the soil is amazing. The lady before us did organic gardening as well so it’s nice to know it hasn’t been fertilized or sprayed with chemicals.

5 | This is our guest house unit which we’ve been putting the most effort into finishing out the past few weeks. There’s an amazing old oak tree covering the whole thing. That’s also the well house right beside it. We are on well water which has been so nice!

6 | Our back 2 acres. This is where the horse and chickens live. The front barn is in good shape so we use it as a garage for tools, tack and feed room for the horse, and a chicken coop. The back barn has 2 horse stalls which are newer, but the whole right side of the barn probably needs to be demolished at some point. It’s 60+ years old and has some major irreversible damage.

Changes and Updates

Well, that’s a short “tour” of the new place! I’ll try to blog again soon in more detail on the work we want to do and show some more pictures. It’s definitely a 1950’s California house which isn’t my first choice of style, but functionally is it perfect for where we are at as a family. We’ve lived in 4 homes the past year, and both Seth and I feel like this is our favorite. It feels like home, and everything about it is perfect for where we are at in life.

Most surprising of all is the neighborhood. We are on a dead end street where everyone has 2-5 acres. Every single person that has driven by our house or seen us out walking our dogs, has stopped, introduced themselves, and told us if we need anything, they’d love to help. Everyone has been so kind. It feels like we hit the jackpot as far as friendly neighborhoods go. As much as our kids loved our rental house on 120 acres, they are very excited that there are now kids within walking distance to play with.

Yes, there’s work to do. Yes, there’s aspects and features we will change or enhance to fit our style. But we are so happy and so excited with our new (surprise) home!

6 Responses to “Our New House!”

  1. Kirsten

    What a great place! Sounds like a perfect transition homestead for you! I love that it was organically gardened, and that there are lots of fruit trees and edible landscaping…how neat! (Maybe if we ever move to Redding I’ll buy it from you, hehe.) I love your blog! Thanks for sharing your life. :)

  2. Monica

    Congrats for your new home! I hope this time you guys spend more time there before moving again haha! What a great place! It seems calm and prfect for the new baby! God bless your family Lauren!

  3. Nellie

    Hey Lauren! Your place looks great! I’m just curious what will you be planting in June? I just moved as well, and I took your last gardening class I’m just afraid I’m late in the game?

    • Hi Nellie, I’m probably not putting anything in this summer just because I’ve got quite a bit of prep work to do on my garden spot first. But you could go to the farmer’s market and pick up some starter plants and get them in. You could also probably put in things like dark leafy greens… collards, kale, etc.

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