Monday, October 13, 2014

Dreams Do Come True

As many of you already know CountryBoy and I have had a dream of owning and retiring on a small farm.  But, for those of you just tuning in, I will share a brief history on how we came upon having this dream.

I will try to keep this short but it started many years ago when we sold our house in the outskirts of a small city and bought five acres out in the country.

We were thrilled to get away from the hustle and bustle and immediately felt 'at home' in the country.

We did some minor improvements on the house, then we got some chickens, we built a barn then we tried our hand at gardening.  We loved every bit of it!

The drawback to that property was the sandy soil for gardening and we would've had to do quite a bit of clearing of trees to make pastures.  Money was also very tight so any changes or improvements we wanted to do took some planning and saving and would've taken forever.

CountryBoy was growing tired (literally) of his job in the Emergency Medical Services field and he wanted to get back into his former field of the industrial construction industry as a Millwright.  There's good money in that industry but the problem with it is it requires traveling from job to job.  The traveling is no problem as we both love to travel but it took us away from our home.  But, we decided that if we ever wanted to fulfill our dream then we had to make some changes.

So, we started down that path.  The Lord provided us with a nice truck and fifth wheel for a very decent price but the timing was not right.  We waited another nine months before a door opened up.  CountryBoy gave his two week notice and off we went to Idaho some two thousand miles away in the dead of winter.  (That's a whole 'nother story, wink!)

After getting him set up I flew back home to tend to the house, animals and the garden.  After he was blessed with another job after that one (these jobs last anywhere from a couple of weeks to years - we just never know) we decided I would join him so the animals were sold, the house closed up and off I went.

Meanwhile, during our travels, we fell in love with the beautiful state of Kentucky.  The rolling hills, mountains, farms, sigh, so we started looking online at farms for sale in Kentucky.  We were just browsing trying to get a feel for the different areas of the state, prices, land available, etc.  You know, just looking.  And dreaming.  All while paying off debt and saving money for the new homestead - our dream farm!

He got another job immediately after that (still out west) so we decided it was time to sell the house.   Long story short, my family (who had been taking care of the place while we were gone), bless their hearts, packed up and stored our belongings and listed the house.  It sold in two days!  Two!

That brings us to today... 

We continued to look online at available properties in Kentucky, still browsing, still dreaming mind you, since we had no intentions of buying yet.  After all, we were still traveling and still saving money.

But, then along comes a property that we both fell in love with just from the photos online and the realtors description of the house and property.  It was a weekend but I called the realtor that day and left a message.  She called me back the following day and the ball started rolling.

There was a lot of interest in the place so I started to worry thinking we would lose out since we were a thousand miles away and couldn't immediately go look at it.

Then I realized that if that was the property the Lord wanted us to have then everything will work out and fall into place.  I just had to trust Him.

That same week, CountryBoy finished setting the fans he was working on and the rep signed off on them leaving him with nothing to do at work.  See, he pinky-promised his boss that he would stay till start-up so even though he finished his job he still has to stay. Which is OK because it's a paycheck every week but makes for long days.  But, with his work being done he asked for the following week off and it was granted.  I called the realtor and made plans to see the house on Monday after our arrival.

The viewing of the house was like no other I've been to.  The seller was present and we were able to ask her all sorts of questions about the house and the property.  She was a sweet lady who loved her house and I knew she would've kept the place if she was in better health.  She patiently answered our questions and stood by listening to our renovation plans of her house that just kept popping into our heads and out our mouths.  We saw so much potential and were already eager beavers even though we tried to contain ourselves from showing so much interest.

The house had been on the market for almost three months and the seller had just dropped the price when we made our plans to check it out.  But, we were told the wrong price and had based our offer on the wrong price.  We offered our original price anyway.  The seller was taken back a bit but did not turn us down.  She wanted some time to think on it.  Come to find out, she had been offered the same price shortly after the house was listed and she turned it down.

Meanwhile, the realtor wanted to take all of us to Snug Hollow, a local B&B for lunch.  (You can check it out by clicking HERE.)  We all sat in front of a fireplace (it was cold while we were there) sipping hot apple cider and just visiting.  We talked more about the possibilities of the property and we talked about our intentions of farming and bringing the house and property back to life and embracing its history.  We also talked about my crafts and they said I would fit in nicely since Berea (a nearby town) was the craft capital of the world.  (Check it out by clicking HERE.)  The property is on the Red Lick Artisan Trail as well as the Quilt Trail.  The realtor mentioned that they didn't have a quilter on the quilt trail and how exciting it would be to have one!  Then we sat down to a delicious gourmet lunch at a 300 acre working farm B&B in the middle of the country.  It was awesome!  See, the realtor wanted to show us the vibe of the community and show us potential opportunities in the area.  We were somewhat excited yet still trying to maintain ourselves since we didn't know yet if our offer was accepted.

Throughout this whole time, even though we were excited and anxious to know if the property would one day be ours we had a peace about it.  We rested in the fact that if we did not get this property, as much as we loved it, we knew that there would be a better one in the future.

Well, long story somewhat short, after lunch CountryBoy asked the seller if she had been able to make up her mind about the offer.  She hesitated only slightly then she stuck out her hand. CountryBoy grabbed it, shook it and asked her if this meant she accepted our offer and she nodded her head.  I cried, gave her a hug and thanked her profusely.  It was all so surreal and unbelievable!

I'm sure by now you're getting anxious for some photos so now that you're up to date let's get on with it shall we?

To give you a feel for the surrounding areas here's a couple of shots from the drive from town to the property...

Did you see the diamond shape on the barn in the photo above?  That's a painted quilt. The property is on the Quilt Trail so guess who's barn will have a painted quilt on it one day?!

Hay bales in a field surrounded by mountains. sigh.

(Oh, and just so ya know, some of the photos here will be from the listing.  When we were looking inside the house I was busy listening to the seller talk about the house and my mind was going a mile a minute with renovation and decorating ideas involuntarily popping in that I forgot to take photos, ha!  Seriously!)

The property is 18 acres of part pasture and part wooded with a house, barn, garden, stream, and several outbuildings.

The house looks like it's nestled in amongst the trees but it's actually clear all around the house.

The front of the house.


Following is the back of the house.  Eventually we will cover the entire roof with tin.

A closeup of the arbor.  At one time the seller had fish in the bathtub!

The barn.

The barn needs cleaned up but has seven stalls, a tack and a feed room.  Eventually, we will put a loft in over the beams jutting out on the right.

The gate leads out to a fenced paddock.  Perfect for a dairy cow & a coupla dairy goats, smile!

Photo Credit - Joyce Marcum Realty

We don't know what we'll do with this little structure yet, if anything.  But, there is an existing clothesline which makes me very happy.  Those of you who know me know how much I enjoy hanging clothes out to dry!

This is the garden complete with raised beds and a fence on three sides.  With a bit of clearing and replacing the fence on the fourth side this area will be wonderful for our vegetable garden.  Oh, and there are several cherry trees planted in here as well as a few down by the barn.

We were told that this structure was the chicken coop at one time.  We are tentatively thinking about turning it into an outdoor kitchen for canning.  (Canning produces a lot of heat and to can in the summer months in a house with no central air is not something we want to do.)

Behind this gate is supposed to be the chicken coop that was most recently used by the seller.  I did not attempt to go in to check it out even though I had my boots on, ha!

Here's a shot from the listing that shows perspective of the coop, the shelter and the clothesline.

Photo Credit - Joyce Marcum Realty

There's even an outhouse!


That will be cleaned up and lots of mint planted around it to ward off spiders and hopefully snakes just in case we ever have to use it, wink!

There are a couple of other outbuildings that I did not get photos of; one is an insulated shed that we will convert to a living space while we renovate the house and then will eventually be made into a guest house and the other is a shed also.

I did not get a photo of the stream but it's a small stream that runs across the front of the house.  We have plans to clean it up and add a pond.

Are you ready to go inside?

The house was built in the 20's probably in 1924 according to some paperwork that was found inside the walls when it was gutted many years ago.

One of two front entrances and the dining room.  Plans here are to simply remove the ceiling fan and replace with a coupla barn style lights.  Isn't is gorgeous?  I can see our white tiled farmhouse table sitting in here.

Photo Credit - Joyce Marcum Realty
This is the living room showing the other front entrance, stairs and straight back through the door is the kitchen.  To the left is a double-sided non-functional fireplace.  The other side heats the dining room.  Our plans are to have the chimney put back and the two sides combined into one large fireplace.  The mantel you see on the right is decorative and is just leaning against the wall.

Photo Credit - Joyce Marcum Realty

The kitchen looks bigger in this photo but is actually quite small.  In fact, the seller moved the fridge to the mud room for more counter space.  (It used to be where the microwave is.)

Photo Credit - Joyce Marcum Realty

Love the stove though!

Our plans are to completely gut the kitchen, remove a wall and add a pantry.  In time.

Shall we head upstairs?

Here is a shot of the landing.  Our plans are to add a SolarTube for natural light so that I can use this space as a sewing area.

Photo Credit - Joyce Marcum Realty
We also want to get this fireplace back in working order.  Especially since there is no central heat or air.

I can't wait to do some sewing while listening to the crackling of the fire and feeling its warmth.  So cozy!  I might even put a comfy chair up there so I can read a book!

In the master bedroom (as well as the second bedroom) we plan on using the attic space to raise the ceiling.  We will also raise a few of the windows.  All the ceilings in the house are very low but at least we can raise the bedroom ceilings (note the top of the dresser in reference to the ceiling). 

Photo Credit - Joyce Marcum Realty
There is no bathroom upstairs but there is space for one so we intend to put a full bath upstairs and convert the downstairs bath into a half bath and probably a nice size walk-in pantry.  (You know, to store all those canned goods from our garden, wink!)  Here's the space for the full bath upstairs.  There's a toilet and sink in a closet to the right but they're not hooked up.  We will demo the closet on the left as well as the closet with the toilet and sink then we'll come up with a floor plan for a rustic full bath.

Photo Credit - Joyce Marcum Realty
Our goal for all the renovations and the additions is to make them seamless with the original charm of the 1920's farmhouse.

Looking back I can see how the Lord had His hand in this whole thing and literally paved the way for us to find this particular property and the seller to feel led to accept our offer even though she'd had a previous offer of the same price.  We feel truly blessed to have found this property in what seems to be the perfect location and community for us and our future desires!

Dreams do come true and one day I will be able to change my industrial blog banner back to a country life banner.  Yay!  We have BIG dreams and plans for this homestead and are excited to see how it all plays out!

Thank you for your interest in our desire to own a small farm and for taking the time to read this long post.  I do hope that you will stay tuned as we bring this 'ol Kentucky farm and farmhouse back to life as well as this blog!


Debbie said...

I'm so excited for you!! I love it already. Can't wait to see how the Lord blesses all of your plans <3

Unknown said...

That is WONDERFUL news! Dreams do come true!

Ronda Walker said...

God is SO good. Love sharing your journey .

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

This is very exciting news. I love the countryside - so beautiful! The farmhouse will seem like heaven after so long living in such confined quarters. So much potential! I'm guessing the seller is pleased to have you buy her place too.

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