As you know we had to move off our old place in the boonies a few months ago because the owner’s daughter wanted it. That was sad for us after living there and growing a homestead for seven years.
We sold some animals, keeping one milk goat, a few young goats, chickens, our old Arabian mare, and our two dogs and cats. We’re temporarily living in a fully furnished rental on one acre near town with our belongings in the garage and a tiny pen for the animals.
After months of searching for property, we took time out to ask the Lord what HE wanted us to have (a little slow?). It was crazy, but it felt like He wanted us to ask for this little list of (big) things:
1) 20 acres (that seemed like a really far-out request!) with little or no wetlands
2) Remote location (but able to get internet and cell phone service)
3) Woods AND open areas
4) Pond or creek
5) At least partially fenced
It was a given that we would only pay cash, and so far the cash available was far less than prices of any properties we had seen. We didn’t know how God would answer this one.
By “accident” we found a foreclosed property not even listed in MLS and priced way below average. It was actually 20 acres, but we knew there must be something very wrong because of the low price. We didn’t even check into it for several weeks (duh!). When we did finally learn it was high and dry, quite remote (at the end of a two-mile dirt lane), had lots of woods and some open areas, had a pond, and was partially fenced, we couldn’t believe it (what faith)!
When we looked at it, it felt like “home.”
The low price was still way above what we had available (early inheritance money). So we made an even lower offer. After a few weeks the bank (owner) made a counter offer which was too high for us, so we in turn made our last and highest possible offer. A week or so later the bank actually accepted! Amazing! We were reminded that nothing is too hard for God.
We had several weeks to close and more hurdles to cross. The land is considered Florida Scrub Habitat which means various endangered species could reside there, halting future building efforts. We hired an environmental consultant to do an analysis. There are gopher tortoises living there, but the final report said if we give their burrows a 25 foot clearance we will be fine.
We had been informed that endangered blue-tailed skinks had been seen on the property, which would have put an end to any building hopes. The environmental consultant said the skinks present are different but also have blue tails. That was a huge answer to prayer.
The next door neighbors have had a difficult time with us purchasing the property because they’ve long dreamed of owning it. Just before we closed a few weeks ago they finally got approval for a loan to purchase it. They feel like they just missed their chance. We are praying God will show us and them His will in the matter. They’ve offered to buy it for considerably more than we paid. We agreed that if something else becomes available by mid-September which fits our needs, we are open to it. So far nothing has shown up.
Sooooo, unless God brings something at the last minute we are planning to go ahead and break ground on this property very soon. We do not have funds to build yet, but hope to start planting fruit trees, put up our hoop barn and turn it into a greenhouse, set up an aquaponics system, and make a storm shelter which we can “camp” in for now. We can’t wait to get started!
Thank you for reading this long discourse. I will soon share more about how we are starting over with 20 acres and almost nothing else. If you have any words of wisdom for us, we would love to have your comments.
PS. (Added later) You may also be interested in the following posts of preparing to move to our new homestead: Ground Breaking on the New Homestead, Preparing to Live Without the Power Grid, Laboring to Build Our Homestead, A Homestead From Scratch, Preparing to Live on the New Homestead, Preparing to Live on the Homestead – Part Two, Moving to Our New Homestead