We started looking for land over the past couple weeks. As we mentioned in a previous post we started off with a budget of $5,000 by looking at what we could save over the next 16 weeks. Then, Praise God, Goose started a new position with lots of overtime that would allow us to save $10,000.
With that figure in mind we thought about how we could go about finding land that would meet our needs within that price range. We try to make sure our first step is always prayer. Asking our Father to guide us to the perfect spot He has chosen for us.
We then started asking around. We shared on our facebook page and our blog our plan to build debt free and let everyone know what we were looking for in a piece of land. Our requirements were that it be of course buildable, at least 1.5 acres, zoned rural and no subdivision rules. We wanted a view, partially cleared and southern exposure and we dreamed of apple trees and raspberry bushes.
We thought about any family or friends who may have land that they would be willing to sell and contacted them. We looked online for local lots within our price range. We did find a few options but they were futher away from Gooses work then we wanted to go. So we started looking at lots that we a bit above our price range (~15,000). We took another look at the budget and if we squeezed a bit harder we could get $11,000 for the land. Goose will have to work a few Saturdays anyway so that would bring us to around $11,500 including closing costs.
In that $15,000 price range we found a property that was originally listed for $19,500 and then lowered to $15,900. It was within 6 miles of Gooses work. It was 6.5+ acres with a driveway and well. Partially cleared with an amazing view and plenty of southern exposure in the clearing.
We contacted the realtor and after speaking with her briefly we knew that the Lords hands were in this. The realtor was Christian and encouraged us to pray over the lot and let her know.. Amazing.
That weekend we visited the lot.. We have lots of snow but we really weren't concerned with the landscape so much as we were the lay out of the lot and the set backs which looked to make the lot unbuildable.. There are railroad tracks that cross the back of the property , a right of way to one side and a main road to the front all requiring their own set backs. Then the lot runs through two towns and ends at third town line so there were a few logistics to work out.
After making some phones calls to the railroad, the state and the code enforcement officers for two towns we learned that what many may have thought was an unbuildable lot would in fact be buildable. Our goal is to build the smallest log home that will fit our needs. Where Goose is building it we can adapt the floor plan to fit what the lot allows so for us the lot might just work.
We contacted the realtor and made an offer.. $9,500 to close in 120 days (the end of June) contingent on title insurance, perk test and building approval. We prayed for favor and trusted in the Lords will.
The owner came back with an offer of $12,500. We would have loved to accept it but we knew the highest we could go would be $11,500 including closing costs. So we countered with $10,500 hoping she would either accept or counter with $11,000. She countered with $11,000 and we accepted gratefully!!!
We've learned that the owners themselves are Christians. The husband had been a deacon at a local church prior to going to be with the Lord and that the family had raised 10 children. We love how God works..
This all happened in the course of 24 hours.. Amazing. The realtor is writing up the purchase and sale and it should be signed before the weekend.
Looking back to the budget with the sale price of $11,000 that would leave us ~$500 for closing costs.. Knowing that the closing costs on our homes was so much more than $500 we contacted a local lawyer for an estimate. For the closing costs and title insurance his office estimated the total would be $400-475!!!!!!!! This is how our God works!!!!
We made the decision to build debt free when we thought we'd be looking for land for $5000 but we trusted the Lord would be in it. 2 weeks later we are looking at purchasing a 6.5+ acres with a driveway, well, partially cleared with a view within 6 miles of Gooses work, 2 miles from the interstate, one lot back from the lake for $11,000.
Thank you Jesus!!!
God is so good and always so much more than we deserve!!!
Our next steps...
Within the Next Two Weeks:
As Soon as the Snow is Gone:
In 16 Weeks Lord Willing!!
We still have much to do and there is a lot left to cover in prayer. We have purchased 7 properties in the past 13 years but offered on over 15. We never let the number of times a plan doesn't work prevent us from trying again, especially if its something the Lord put on our hearts.. So we are taking the next steps, enjoying the process and we cant wait to see what the Lord does next!!!!
Bless you all for continuing to cover our family in prayer as we take another step towards building our home debt free!!!!
In His Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The budget is written for the next 16 weeks!! Our goal is to save for, find and close on land by the end of June.
When we first looked at the budget we figured we would have around 5k for land.. Its not much but up here its not impossible to find land for 5k. Thing is though, anytime we step out in faith the Lord meets us there. This week Goose started a new position at work. They increased his hours and ended up doubling what we would have available for land at the end of the 16 weeks!! God is so very good!!
Our new goal for the land fund at the end of 16 weeks: $10,000!!!
Even just typing that seems crazy but as we have seen so many times anything is possible with God..
We are keeping a tight Ramsey budget.. For us that means we are only buying necessities. Determined to be good stewards and do our part to honor God with His money but even our desire to be good stewards comes from the desires He puts on our hearts so all the Glory goes to Him!
So what can we buy for $10,000? Well we have contacted a couple realtors. Having bought and sold as many properties as we have we honestly didn't expect to hear back from many of them where the commission on 10k isn't a lot.. But we did hear back from one realtor today who had a couple lots that fit our requirements ( buildable lot, 1.5-5 acres, no subdivision rules/regulations and rural zoning). We'd "like" southern exposure, fruit trees and a view ;) .
This weekend we will take a drive to check out the lots the realtor suggested. One fit all our requirements and on the website this was shown as the view from the lot:
As amazing as the picture is we are determined not to get "land fever". The Lord knows what land He has chosen for us and it will be available and waiting when we start making offers.
We plan to enjoy every part of this process. Making a savings thermometer so the family to get involved in tracking our savings. Grabbing a green tea, packing everyone in the van and just going out on the weekends to look at potential house lots. So much of the fun is in the dreaming, looking and planning..
Thankful for all He has done to bring us to where we are today, Praising Jesus for where we will be going in the future and rejoicing in all the Blessings He has given us today..
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian
Thursday, February 20, 2014
We have talked about this for years.. Planned and dreamed.. but each time our plans fell flat. We'd dream about saving up and buying land to build a dream home with cash but then our plans would get put on hold or we'd resign ourselves to taking an easier path each time feeling as though we failed. Thing is those "failures" shouldn't stop us from accomplishing what the Lord has put on our hearts. One thing we have found is that for each success we have had there have been many failures or plans that fell flat as stepping stones to that success.
With getting out of debt we broke the budget and dropped the ball more times than I can count. We hoped and planned to get out of debt in 2 years.. It took 33 months. We kept stepping out in faith, trusting the Lord was walking with us. All those little failures that would get us down were just the stepping stones to getting out of debt.
With adopting.. We started looking into adoption when our Mikey was 3.. He was 10 when our youngest two came home. For years we had called agencies. We looked at the cost and were so deep in debt there was no way we could afford to adopt. We tried to adopt from foster care and with each call for a placement we wondered if they would stay forever. They all went back to families. We inquired on many little ones on Adopt us kids hoping one would be ours but we never heard back. We kept stepping out in faith. Knowing He put adoption on our hearts and trusting that even as all these doors closed He had a plan more amazing than we could imagine. ..(and He did..)
When we started doing GAPS we got it wrong more than we got it right, not eating enough ferments, trying to do some foods we weren't ready for, eating foods we thought were gluten free only to find out the hard way they weren't..
And even in our marriage. We are Blessed with an amazing marriage. But it wasn't always this way. When we first got married we were a mess.. We were each others best friends so we always loved being together but there were areas where we were failing. We did not leave and cleave and we had no boundaries established with extended family. I was determined to not be submissive and expected to have control. Goose had no plans on submitting (thankfully ;) and was just as stubborn and arrogant as I was. We never name called nor touched each other in anger but if we were going to have an argument shut the doors and close the windows because its going to get loud, likely last until 2am and we didn't want to wake the neighborhood .
I can laugh now at how foolish we were but at the time we were a mess. We never considered divorce. Never crossed our minds. We couldn't imagine our lives without each other but we were failing one another. The key was we didn't give up. We pushed forward. Here we are 13 years into our marriage and I can't remember when our last argument was.. Its been a long time. We don't always agree but we can discuss our disagreements without arguing. We have healthy boundaries with everyone we allow in our lives. I have joy in my submission to my husband whom I respect more than I can put into words and he loves like Christ loves the Church. It didn't come easy and its only through Christ that we have the marriage we have today but had we given up, had we let those failures get the best of us wed be missing out on all we have today.
All that to say that when the Lord puts something on our hearts and we step out in faith, as we plan, we cant let the number of times our plans failed get us down. We can't let the number of times it didn't work prevent us from trying again. He never promised us it would be easy. We have to keep moving forward. Keep trying.
So after years of planning, hoping and dreaming we are stepping out in faith again trusting the Lord with walk with us every step of the way. Knowing that our plans have fallen through before but not letting that stop us realizing the dream the Lord has put as a desire on our hearts. Lord willing we will build a home debt free.
We have our budget written out for the next 18 weeks. That will bring us to the end of June. The amount in our savings at that time will be the amount we use to make offers to buy land with cash. Once we have our land we will cash flow the building of our log home.
Here is the style we have in mind...
Photo from: http://christinaslittlecabin.com/
We are already thanking our Heavenly Father from whom all Blessings flow for providing us the wisdom, means, knowledge and strength to realize and receive the dream of building our home debt free.
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian
Monday, February 17, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Now that the kids are home and we are getting settled into our a new routine (Everyone is doing amazing!! Bless you all for your prayers!!) we are looking at where we are going to be focusing our money going forward.
Since the kids arrived home and in the future we will have some additional adoption expenses. Post placement visits for two non-(biologically)related children are $400 and due at one month, six months and one year. We will also have the re-adoption process at the six month mark and we are hearing it could be as much as $1000 (praying its much lower but either way it is just so worth it all to be at this point and have them home!!!)
Aside from these final adoption expenses we need to know what our focus is going to be with our money. Wanting to honor God with our how we handle our money we try to make sure we are good stewards. For us that means, among other things, having a plan and working towards becoming completely debt free.
The Ramsey plan that we have been following since 2008 is based off from Biblical principles. Each of the seven "baby steps" brings us one step closer to becoming completely debt free.
For us we added a few steps in along the way. First adding a 3 bedroom and dining room 24 x 24 addition over a daylight basement onto our home debt free and then with our debt free adoptions. Now that those are complete for the most part we are moving onto Baby Step 6: Paying off the mortgage!!
We have debated over this Baby Step more times than I can count.. We have thought about how to best get rid of our mortgage. We could throw every extra cent on the mortgage and pay it off as soon as possible or we could sell the house and either buy a home outright with the proceeds or build.
In our home Goose is the leader. I can't tell you have amazing it to rest in knowing that the weight of the family is not on my shoulders. Early in our marriage I would fight to control decisions which would lead to emasculating my husband and making me in turn resent the fact that I was having to "do it all" (when in actuality I was just getting what I asked for). What a mess I can make when I try to do things without the Lord.
Now that we have given our marriage to the Lord we follow Biblical principles for our roles as husband and wife. I share my counsel with Goose, let him know my opinion, concerns, thoughts, insights and then I pray and trust that my husband will make the best decision for our family. He loves me in a God honoring way and therefore takes my counsel and makes decisions that line up with scripture and that's always in his families best interests.
We are usually on the same page but when he has made a decision I have not initially agreed with I can always look back later and see how following my husbands lead was always whats best for our family.
With Baby Step 6 though Goose and I have been on the same page.. When he wanted to just stay and pay off the house so did I and when I wanted to sell so did he. ;) We have found that the times were we just wanted to stay and pay it off were also times when we were tired. The adoption processes, although amazingly wonderful was also very tiring and sometimes looking over the last 6 years of being on Daves plan we can just be tired of working on this ultimate goal of becoming debt free for so long. Even the first week the babies were home we brought it back up thinking moving would be a lot of work. The idea of putting the house on the market and moving can just seem daunting.
So we prayed for direction. We ask God for wisdom. We look for counsel in the form of other Christian families blogging about how they have/are getting rid of their mortgages by either paying them off or selling.
Today Goose made the final decision and I am in 100% agreement.
We are going to sell our home and either buy or build with cash!!!!
The exciting part of it all is that when we step out in faith the Lord meets us there and the outcome is always better than we expect (even if the road there is a bit of a detour ;)
We have no idea how long it will take the house to sell.. We are giving it all to the Lord and trusting in His perfect timing. The beauty is when it does sell.. When we close on this house.. We will no longer be slaves to a lender. We will finally be debt free!!! Praising Him, our Lord Jesus for this amazing journey and the good plans God has for our family. Thankful and Blessed~
In Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian