How Did We End Up Here?
Way back in March of last year, I was casually browsing the real estate listings in our area, as one does (when they are a design and real estate obsessed weirdo), when lo and behold, I came across a new listing for a parcel of vacant land around the (country) corner from where we were living.
The land was on an unmaintained road that I frequently biked with the kids. It's a stunning stretch of single-lane completely tree canopied dirt road, running parallel to the gorgeous Niagara Escarpment. The lot was between said road and said escarpment, and I knew for a fact there'd be a view of Georgian Bay in the winter, even though the realtor had ostensibly taken a photo from their car and all you could see was brush. Buying great things with crappy pictures in their ads is my specialty, so Luke and I booked it around the concession to take a look.
Here's what we found...
In that moment, I lost all capability of rational thought. It was love at first hike.
Four acres of open meadow, surrounded by hardwood bush and a view of bay... I needed to live here.
Luke took a more sensible approach to the project. He talked to the Township, they informed us we'd need to sign a limited service agreement with them, essentially vowing we'd never ask them to plow the road, pick up our garbage, tell us we look great for our age etc. .
He also talked to a hydro installer. The nearest home with hydro was a good 300 meters down the road at a neighbour's. The cost of clearing trees, drilling through bedrock and getting hydro to our site was going to be roughly $80,000.
Luke said, "Yikes."
I said, "Perfect! I've wanted to go live off-grid in the middle of nowhere since Trump got into office!"
And because I'm very persuasive and because Luke loves alternative energy projects, we decided to proceed despite the obvious, massive obstacles.
We bought the lot and took possession in May.
Now we had a lot, and a schoolhouse that had to be renovated and sold. Our plan was to slowly fix up and sell the schoolhouse in the early spring of 2018, but Grey-Bruce had an uncharacteristic real estate bubble in the early summer of 2017 so we pulled the trigger and said, we have to sell and we have to sell fast! Luke and I pulled a month of very late nights finishing up renovations we'd been putting off for three years. By the end, the house was gorgeous, the market was hot, and we sold it ourselves in two days. We were thrilled!
See? Very excited.
Since then we've been living in cottages and houses belonging to incredible people in our community. We'll make one more move to a rental, in April, and that's where we'll stay throughout the build. So what kind of house are we going to build? How are we going to get power? Are we completely out of our minds? Find out in our next post!