Well, we have some big news at the Woodwards.
No – not the baby. You already know about him.
No – not that I ate an entire row of Oreos on my own in one sitting. (Don’t you dare judge me.)
Ryan and I are officially landowners. We bought 17 acres of property and signed all the papers yesterday.
Eek! So excited.
Every time we turn down the road to the land, I start singing “Home on the Range.” And Ryan reminds me that there are no antelope in Illinois. But there are deer, in case you were wondering.
But there are hills! And there’s a creek. WE HAVE A CREEK!
After closing, we went out to the land and walked around, checking everything out. There were two snapping turtles in the creek. WE HAVE TURTLES IN OUR CREEK!
I just kept saying, “Can you believe this is OURS?”
We weren’t actively looking for something new since we just moved last September, and we definitely were not planning to buy land with no house, but you may remember that we were trying to get back to the country before we bought our current fixer-upper. We knew we wouldn’t be in our current home forever, but this is a happy detour. We hoped to find an old farmhouse someday and fix it up.
There are a few challenges to this plan – the existing house had to be a style we liked, in a location we liked, with land we liked, in a good school district, within a reasonable driving distances to both our workplaces (on opposite ends of the metro area) … can you see the pickle? Nothing was quite right.
Well, fast forward to February and Ryan stumbled across a listing on a local website for 17 acres near our hometown. Ryan called and we drove by the property with my dad the next day.
We hadn’t even got back to the car and I was smitten. Not only was the property in our hometown, it was also quite picturesque, with rolling hills and water and trees, in the school district we both graduated from, within a half hour for both of us to get to work and within 15 minutes to both our parents.
A few days later, we met the owner at the land and we walked much of it. Due to a divorce, they were selling. We were the first to see it in person, which made me feel like we had an edge. But the owner’s phone was literally ringing the entire time we were there and before we left, another guy and another couple came to see it, too.
We hadn’t even driven a mile away when I told Ryan, “If we don’t put an offer on this land, I think I’ll regret it.” Now, we’ve had several houses since we married, but I’ve never felt this emotionally attached to any of them. (It could be because the houses we have purchased have been disasters.)
Blame it on the hormones, but in my mind, we had already built a house, started a garden and our children were playing in the creek.
While Ryan questioned if I was letting my emotions get the best of me, I also knew that practically speaking, this would truly meet all of our needs and help us reach some of our dreams. I was ready to jump.
Ryan liked it, too, but he was also concerned about practical considerations like how we were going to pay for it. (Small concern.) After talking through that, I wanted to immediately call and put an offer in on the land. Like. Now. (It was 9 p.m. on a Tuesday.)
Ryan made me wait overnight. I didn’t sleep a wink. I tossed and turned and worried and stressed. At 6:30 a.m. the next morning, I called Ryan at work to ask if he called the owner. (He hadn’t.) I called again at 8 a.m. And 9 a.m. He finally talked to the owner soon after and we met up with him to talk about the offer. We walked out of the meeting with a verbal acceptance.
(As an aside, Ryan made me promise not to say anything about the price when we met with the owner and let him take the lead on that. This is so NOT Ryan, as he usually defers to me to lead the conversation. But I was so all-in that he was sure I would ruin any potential for dealing. In the end, I know he was probably right.)
There were a few hiccups in the past month, but mostly just communication issues. We felt pretty happy to be signing the papers yesterday.
Right now, the plan is to spend some time cleaning up brush, getting rid of the old scrap that’s everywhere and maybe planting some additional trees. Ryan’s talking about building a barn or garage this summer. (Because we aren’t busy having a baby or anything. )
And he’s looking to buy a tractor, which he’s so stinkin’ excited about. I guess we need a tractor since we’re practically farmers now. I did make him wait until we actually closed before buying a large tractor. Putting my foot down.
Long term plan? We’ll build a house. (We’re thinking we’ll wait at least a year or more to begin building. Ideally, Ryan would like to do most of it himself, with the help of our handy family and friends. So, save the date folks – I’m thinking we should have a blog-readers barn raising.)
I think I can handle this view. Sure beats the heck out of traffic and close neighbors and street lights.
So, that’s the latest scoop in our lives! To say we’re excited is an understatement. It’s cheesy, but it really is like all the plans we’ve been making are coming together.
Any questions or tips for the new landowners?