Are Adventures Fun or Scary?
So I am a bit of a planner… possibly even an over planner. I can remember times in my life have I planned myself right out of doing. Can anyone relate? About two years ago I met a client at the bank that was living his best life. He and his wife had bought a foreclosure out in the country and their adventure began. Five years later when I met him, they were living in their dream home with their children. One of his sons’s maintained chickens and sold eggs to neighbors. Growing their own food and playing outside was a norm for those children and I admired everything they had built. The question is was I ready for a adventure like that?
During that conversation I told him how my husband and I hope to live that life someday, and buying our forever home would hopefully look the same. His response was “Why wait?” He shared with me how he and his wife kept doing what we were doing and finally they just decided to make it a reality. This conversation was the beginning of a plan my husband and I began to put together to better ourselves and our lives.
As I sit back and look there were three main pieces to the puzzle.
Step One: Budget, Budget, Budget
Just in case you didn’t hear me… BUDGET! At this point in our life, we had already been married for five years and we never argued about money. We never argued about money because we never talked about money. We don’t disagree often in this marriage (I’m married to a saint) I have seen way too many marriages die due to financial disagreements. Earlier in my life I bought a home I couldn’t afford. I was also accustomed to buying what I wanted when I wanted whether I could afford it or not. This lead to very little savings and a lot of unneeded credit card debt. Not the best first steps on a new adventure but things were starting to look up!
Our church was advertising for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It was the best $99 we ever spent. It was the absolute best thing that ever happened to us. There are many budgeting tools out there, but we would definitely recommend finding a location and going through this program. Here is a link to learn more: https://www.daveramsey.com/
Step Two: The Trial Property
As adults, neither of us had maintained a large property. Although we knew in our heads what we wanted we didn’t know if we had it in us to handle that type of responsibility. Enter our rental property. I searched high and low and found a woman who was renting her family’s property out in the Apopka area. I reached out to her and learned the home had been maintained over the years by many different family members and she now used the rental income as part of her retirement.
I came out to see it on my own at first and I won’t lie, it was in rough shape. However, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to try our hand at country living. We are currently a year and a half into renting this home which sits on five acres backing up to a ranch. Needless to say, it’s going well because we know we can now handle five acres without a problem… in fact, we have decided we may actually want more.
Step Three: Be Patient
This step applies to many things, first be patient with the friends and family that will think you’re crazy! As we shared our plan with others we either had people beyond excited or people thinking we lost our marbles. In reality, my husband grew up in Texas and I grew up in Upstate New York, we haven’t always lived in Metro Orlando. Over the years we learned the hustle and bustle wasn’t for us. The traffic and inability to park at the grocery store was causing more aggravation then it’s worth.
The second thing to be patient with is finding that dream property. We are lucky that at the end of our one year lease our landlord has allowed us to go month to month. She knows we are looking for the perfect home and it has to take a long time. We have been looking on and off for over a year now, we had to start by narrowing down what side of town we wanted to live on. Once we decided that we have found a few homes that seemed perfect but offers didn’t work out, and we are waiting again. I have faith that perfect listing to pop back up but waiting isn’t one of my strengths. It’s hard and at times we were wondering if we should just settle for something else. Patience is winning out currently and I’m hoping it will continue.
So there it is; our first three steps in preparing for our forever home. I don’t think one is more important than another, they have all worked and helped make right decisions along the way. This has been one crazy adventure and I hope to share it with all of you along the way!