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August 03, 2006

Homestead Dreams

Getting out of town on our holidays has (as it usually does) reignited our desire to move out of the city. We had only ever planned on staying for 2 years when we came here just before our daughter was born. We'd just finished university, backpacked around Europe for a few months, and decided that it would be nice to be closer to family while starting our own (my mom and brother, and C's brother are here). Ten years later, C's job is hard to leave, as is our wonderful homeschool group and community.
Long story short, we found an amazing property on one of the islands that I'd almost be willing to kill for. It's on 5 acres with a barn, orchard, garden, guest house, workshop, and a gorgeous house that is heated with a heat pump. We could probably almost buy it with what we'd get for our house, but C's salary anywhere else would probably be a fraction of what he gets paid here, so it would be a bit tight.
I've also gotten it into my head that I want to raise alpacas, so there would be the added cost of setting up a small herd. I already know that I couldn't raise animals for meat, and I love the idea of producing our own wool. There are numerous other reasons why they'd be a great option for us, not the least of which is the fact that they are pretty much the cutest creatures I've ever laid eyes on (hardcore rancher that I am)! Just look at this face and tell me you wouldn't love at least one of them wandering around your property. So this is where we're at. How quickly can we get our house sellable? Can C find a comparable job somewhere else? Or should we just go for it and forget the job and launch ourselves in a completely different direction? Our family would flip if they knew we were even considering this. My mom was raised on a remote homestead up north, so it's not exactly her idea of a desirable lifelong goal - but that's another story.

6 comments:

Phelan said...

Good luck with all of that! I do hope you are able to get your dream place. And remember, you can always barter with others.

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Phelan!
And yes, I can't wait to be in a place where bartering is an acceptable form of commerce.

Oh, and if you've got lots of frozen strawberries, you should definitely try the ricotta!

Nio said...

I would put the house on the market and take it from there.

Cheryl said...

You're a braver person than I am, Nio!

Nio said...

Ah, well, not really. I just talk big.

Wolf and I came to a point a couple years back where we had to admit we couldn't afford our house. It was so painful to put it up for sale. But we did, moved further way than before, and are happier than we've ever been. It was a total leap of faith we took and I'm wicked glad we did.

At the same time as selling and buying a new place to live (which, btw, where we live now is 1/2 the size of the house we were in) he found a new job. It meant him taking an almost $10/hr pay cut but he's more content at this job and a lot easier to live with.

So all in all we're pleased with the decisions we made. But it wasn't easy to make them. There were a lot of tears and feelings of shame (because we couldn't afford what we were living in). We felt like failures. Now we don't.

Cheryl said...

Yes, it would definitely be worth having less money to be happy and fulfilled, although I'm not sure we could go too much smaller in the house department (we're already only in 770 sq.ft.)!
I'm glad everything worked out so well for the two of you. I think if it's the right thing, everything will kind of fall in place.
Thanks for the reassurance - it's good to hear from other people who have done it successfully!

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