2 and a quarter acres. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself when we’re looking at the land. I’ve been dreaming of having land of my own for a very long time. I would read through my homesteading books, draw plan after plan about where I would put everything. Now it’s finally here and I’m a bit overwhelmed! This is how we bought land without a loan.
I’m hoping to continue this line of posts as we progress through the build. A sort of Homestead Build Series. I know that there are plenty of people out there that, like me, spend a lot of time dreaming. I want you to know that it doesn’t just have to be a dream. You can totally make that dream into a reality.
If you haven’t already, take a peek at my post about How My Family Got Debt Free. It was a huge contributing factor to how we have the lifestyle we have now. It will also be a huge part of the one we will have in a few years.
Again, this isn’t a post about Dave Ramsey and his budgeting advice (I’ll write about that at a later date), but the baby steps that DR writes about in his book “Total Money Makeover” was also a huge part of how we got where we are today.
Right. Enough rambling. How did we do it?
We looked within our means.
There was a certain amount of money that we had and we needed to decide whether we wanted a lot of land and a mortgage, or a smaller amount of land debt free.
It had been such a journey and so much effort getting debt free. It seemed like a bit of a waste of time going back a step and getting a mortgage.
This meant that we knew we wouldn’t be ending up with 50 acres.
We got to know our area.
We learned which areas had reasonably priced land and which areas were just not going to happen for us. One of the big things we learned was that the further away from the main city you get, the cheaper the land got. We had a few requirements when looking at land in relation to how far away from civilisation it was. It needed to be:
- Within an hour of a hospital. Accidents happen every day. We also live in Australia where 99% of the wildlife (ok, maybe not that much but it feels like it some times…) is poisonous and/or trying to kill you.
- Within an hour of working prospects. This usually means being within an hour of a major city. Despite the fact that our aim is to be working from home eventually, in the mean time, we didn’t want to make life harder for ourselves by making the closest place to work half a days drive away.
- Within phone reception. This was one that surprised us how often it popped up as an issue. We found several places that were lovely blocks of land but there was no cell phone reception and we would of had to have satellite internet (read: super expensive). With working from home and needing to be easily contactable, these weren’t practical options for us.
We learned the price difference between bush and pasture.
We weren’t opposed to putting in the hard work. If it meant saving us money, we would of been happy to do it. Unfortunately, a lot of the bush blocks that we looked at needed extensive work before they would of been usable, and this also meant extensive extra costs, which led to them being more expensive in the long run.
We didn’t let ourselves be bullied.
I had never experienced such complete disregard for my opinion until I started looking at real estate. It was unbelievable how many real estate agents that wouldn’t listen to me and would try to talk to Mr Zed instead, despite the fact it was me asking the questions. At first, I thought maybe my pregnant hormones had me a little more sensitive than usual. Mr Zed pointed it out after one particular meeting and confirmed my suspicions.
Not only would the real estate agents blatantly brush my questions off or give me vague answers, when it actually came to putting an offer down, they could actually get rather hostile when I stated why we wouldn’t be placing the offer they wanted us to. At the end of the day, it was our money. They had to do their jobs, but we were the one’s footing the bill. Quite a few were told not to worry about it and that we weren’t interested anymore.
We wrote a list of what we wanted.
Sure, we already had a list of where we wanted it to be, but what did we want to do on our homestead? Once we started brainstorming, we realised that we could be very happy with 2 acres. There would always be a part of us that would think maybe we should of bought more, but being debt free was at the top of our priority list so in this circumstance, less was more.
There were a few properties that we were interested in and after all of these points came the offering process! We offered below their asking price. The worst thing that could happen was that they would say no or someone else would get the property. We decided to take the risk.
We had actually meet the owner in passing when looking at the property, a lovely elderly gentleman who didn’t have the strength to manage so much land anymore and was selling. I asked him about his home country, told him about our plans, and waved him goodbye in good spirits. After this meeting (much to the real estate agent’s displeasure) our lower price was accepted. The vendor had apparently said that for anyone else, he would of chucked it out but for a “lovely young family” like us, he would take the offer.
We were over the moon.
To say thank you, we have a few bottles of Vino (thank you Mr Zed’s Nonno!) to take over to him to say thank you, as he apparently doesn’t eat cakes and preserves. It’s wonderful that we will not only have our land, but also a neighbour that has said that if we ever need anything, just to stop in and ask.
The whole process has been exhausting. Heart breaking. Emotional. Difficult. But it has also been eye opening. Rewarding. Inspiring. A dream come true.
For those of you who have always dreamed of living debt free. It is completely achievable. You just need to make the decision to commit to it and take the steps forward to making it happen.
Over and out,