Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Farm House Renovations Week 1!

On Monday, our demo day at the farm house began! Well, inside anyway. Last week they did the foundation repairs. Today, we found out there is a leak under the foundation somewhere. To fix it, it will cost $250 for the first hour, $150 each addition hour to find the leak, then $1500 to fix each leak they find! OUCH! Lets hope it's just one leak. I'm so glad they are going to get it fixed, just wish it didn't cost so much. I'm also really thankful we don't have to live there while they are doing this work. There is so much work being done that it would be hard to live there and they would take a lot longer. We're having the ENTIRE house remodeled! The guys working on the house are doing a great job, so far.  

Once the house is done, I think it's going to look really, really great! Honestly, it really wasn't that bad to begin with. It's just over 40 years old and since we want everything to be up to code, and certain things weren't working, we thought the best thing to do was gut it and start anew. We're having the plumbing redone in most of the house, electrical wiring done, adding square footage, and completely changing the layout of the master bathroom and closet area. We're gutting bathrooms, kitchen, adding a half bath, and adding a new laundry room/mudroom area. We're also enclosing the screened in patio and making it part of the house. I'm looking forward to putting a big table in that area and enjoying lots of meals with my family and friends.

I've made a few YouTube videos that I'm sharing with friends who ask. It's unlisted so you'll need the link. Let me know if you want to see the house tour. 

Here are some before and after pictures of some of the renovations! We are only on Day 3!

Kitchen before. We're expanding it and going to have a big island.

This half wall in in the kitchen still needs to be removed.

Master Bathroom before

The wall is gone! Now time to remove the tub!

These shelves were located in the space above. We're relocating them.
They are removing this wall to expand the living area.

2nd Bathroom
Sink and vanity are gone

Another angle of the 2nd bathroom

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

We bought a Farm!

If we talk frequently, you're friends with me on Facebook or got a Christmas card from us, then you already know about our news. We bought a farm! We are so excited about our family's new adventure. The house sits on a little over 8 acres. There's a big shop, storage building, and really nice stables. There is lots of space to run and play and a beautiful pond that is stocked with fish! 

We closed on the house last week. We originally were supposed to close at the end of December. However, 8 days before closing, our bank told us the first contractor didn't meet the bank's qualifications to do the rehab work. So we had to hurry and find someone new that would meet their requirements. Meanwhile, the first contractor threatened a lawsuit and putting an invalid lien on the property for work he never did. We hired an attorney and hopefully everything is going to work out. It's been a roller coaster. We are so glad everything has been finalized. 

The farm house is an older house and we are having it completely remodeled. When we moved back from Germany, we bought a new house so we wouldn't have to deal with any older house issues. So going from a new house to an old house will be difference. We are so blessed to have it renovated, though. The house has 4 bedrooms and a great overall layout. We are making some big changes, though. The master bathroom and closet are going to be completely different. The kids bathroom will be gutted and the kitchen is going to be gutted and remodeled. We're adding some square footage and a half bath as well as new laundry room and mudroom. It's going to look so nice when it's all done. I'll be sure to add some before and after pictures. 

There are questions that people keep asking us over and over. I'm going to go ahead and answer them here.

How are we able to do all of this? 

To be honest, God has given us everything we have. So first, we thank God for allowing us this opportunity. Secondly, we sold our first house we bought early into our marriage. We had rented it for the past 8 years and have done without many things so we could put our extra money in the rental house when needed. When we left for Germany several years after buying it, the market was about to crash and we might have gotten what we paid for minus realtor fees. However, we easily rented it and now that the market is up, we were able to sell it for a much better price than we would have if we had not rented it. In essence, we sold our rental business to help buy a farm. 

We are debt free except for our house. Granted, it took us 10 years to pay off our student loans. But other than that, we have mostly tried to be debt free since early on in our marriage. And if nothing else, not accrue a lot of debt. The first 3 years, almost all of my income went to pay off debt from college. We shared one car, took our lunches to work, ate at home, and lived very frugally. Our dates consisted of going to half off movies at the dollar theater and sharing a meal at restaurants. If you make sacrifices early on in your marriage, they will pay off later on. Many of our friends were buying new cars and eating at nice restaurants. We worked to pay off our student loan debt that was at a higher interest rate that we couldn't consolidate. 

We also looked for a big property for over 2 years! We have really been working on our patience and our realtor has been amazing. Honestly, this was the right time to do this. Even though we've never spent this much on a place, we have made sure it fits within our budget.

So why a farm? Isn't that too much work?

Why is work bad? We're constantly working and doing things. Some of the best memories are made from hard work. Some of the best relationships, take hard work. Working is good for all of us.

Growing up, I had a great aunt and uncle who owned hundreds of acres. When I would visit their farm, it was so peaceful. You could see the stars at night and it was truly lovely. It was fun watching the cows graze and explore their property. From that time on, I have always wanted to have more land and to raise some animals. 

We also like to garden and spend time outdoors. People used to know their local farmers. People used to grow more of their own food. Now we're so tempted to buying cheap stuff from grocery stores that contain many chemicals and very little nutrition. We want our children to know how to grow food, including raising livestock for food, and be aware of the work that goes into it. I think people would waste less if they knew how precious good food is.

So what's our timeline for moving? Have we moved in?

We met with our builder last night. They started foundation work today. The rehab will be done in 8-10 weeks. We plan on staying at our house until it's done so we don't have to live in the dust and are out of the way of the workers. We have a friend who is going to be staying on the property so everything will stay secured. Meanwhile, we need to get our house ready to sell. I think that's going to be the most stressful part of the whole process. 

What animals do you have or want?

We have two llamas and are looking forward to adding a few more animals to our farm. We'd like to get chickens and some pigs to start with. We're also looking into goats, sheep, and cows. For a few months two horses, a donkey, and seven dogs will be staying on our property as well. There are also two cats.

If you have any other questions, please let us know!

Dolly and Llama Llama

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