We are currently looking for a house. Actually, property would be a better term. You see, Bret and I have always recycled homes. We look for the beat up and abandoned gems, shower them with love and hard work, live in them for a couple of years, and move on to the next one. After over a decade of doing that together, though, we are approaching this one a little bit differently. We really hope to park and stay this time, which complicates our decision-making process. Picking up and moving is harder with the kids getting older and more emotionally involved with the process. Our criteria list is much longer than when we have house-hunted in the past. We love that homestead life, so we want property. We will build up a mini-farm of sorts, so we don’t want to undertake huge amounts of renovation. There are several other necessities along with wish list items that we are looking out for. These criteria themselves are enough to complicate the hunt, but a widespread pandemic has made the process even more of a challenge.
First, I have read multiple places that we can expect a huge housing market crash paired with a flood of properties available. So far, this has not proven true in our real world experience. At least not in the areas that we have house-hunted, which have been quite varied. Some properties are dropping their prices for sure, but it is largely by the sellers that probably didn’t heed their realtor’s recommendation on an asking price in their initial listing.
Next, there is the complication of touring a home. We are not the sort that will buy any property without thorough inspections, analysis, number crunching, and any other way we can evaluate the specifics. We view a home as a liability unless it evolves into a money-making spot, so taking on such a huge liability should only happen after one has fully analyzed the pros and cons of the venture.
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” Luke 14:28 NLT *Just throwing that in there, as one of the many scriptures that teaches sound financial habits as – in my personal tenets of faith – an essential Christian discipline and all-around good lifestyle practice.*
Rabbit trail aside, the idea of touring a home during such a time gets a little odd. We have managed so far to eliminate dozens of potentials without setting foot near them or bothering our realtor because we obsessively research each spot. Thank you, Google Maps, for your immense assistance with our research! The one we have toured so far had been vacant for two years, so a lot of the current dilemma was largely irrelevant. Having been in the recycling of homes “business,” the idea of touring a home with someone else’s stuff in it is a little weird to me anyway, even without an environment of widespread fear about pretty much everything right now.
A whole new level of complication arises when you venture outside the community you know well. How does one go about deciding how they like an area when the whole nation is largely shut down? Even here in Alabama, things are just opening back up and, while I haven’t ventured out with my crew into any semblance of normal yet, I’m sure from the guidelines published that it looks nothing like normal. We are a family that loves parks, farmers markets, & locally owned businesses above large chains. That being said, many things that we would prefer to do still aren’t opening for now. If that’s how it looks for a state opening back up already, how much more of a challenge would it be when you don’t know the area AND you can’t hang out to get the feel of the community around your potential home.
We will hold out for the right thing, and I just believe we will find it soon. We want to get to why we even started this blog – living the style of life we love, and sharing the process of creating the systems to make it possible. Extra time gets spent refreshing our knowledge on all things chicken, rabbit, garden, permaculture, etc., these days, as well as looking into breeds best suited for our needs of dogs, goats, and sheep.
Hopefully there will be plenty of posts to follow because we finally found our forever place.