Many of my memories of this past year are wrapped up in the pictures within this post. I regret that I was not able to write my thoughts down right away! A new year is almost here – how timely, as thinking and writing are much-needed resolutions.
We made it a habit to visit our land nearly every weekend. Sometimes, if the weather wasn’t conducive to going outdoors, we’d stay in the car looking at the mountain, drawing floor plans, and talking about our future home.
In October we planted seeds from the giant sunflower that had grown in our garden at the little rock house. Later that month we drove down Highway 180 a bit past Kendrick Park and hiked at Red Mountain.
In November 2014 we hosted a local gathering of “Forest Church” at our property.
In December we enjoyed our own private sledding hill while Highway 180 filled with Phoenicians who wanted to play in the snow.
All through the winter, we enjoyed the fresh snow on our prairie.
We drove up Saddle Mountain, northeast of our property, and soaked in the beautiful surroundings.
In the summer, my husband’s family came to visit and we enjoyed star-gazing and glow-stick fun under the dark skies.
West of Highway 180, toward Kendrick Mountain, sits an old Babbitt cabin, inhabited only by birds.
We also camped in the forest east of Kendrick Park. We were fond of a particular spot with a spectacular view….
And then, in July, we found our trailer.
I wasn’t sure when it would happen. I crunched numbers and poured over spreadsheets to determine our different options for paying off the land and getting into a home as quickly as possible. In the end, if we were brave enough, it made the most sense to purchase a trailer, live in it while saving all the money we would have put toward rent, and instead put that money toward the down payment on a construction loan and/or paying off the land. The trailer could be lived in while building the house, and later sold to help further pay down debt. I knew that the sooner this could happen, the better – financially speaking.
In June I began spending roughly 4 hours per day looking at used trailers on Craigslist. Our price range was $3,000 – $10,000. We quickly determined that the options became much more livable as the price went up (naturally). We toured a few different trailers/motor homes in town, leaving each somewhat discouraged, usually because of the age of the units. We didn’t want to take any chances with our little boy’s health and safety, so we were perhaps pickier than other buyers would have been.
A trailer parked at Mormon Lake intrigued me. There was a simple description on Craigslist, with only exterior photos. It included two solar panels, which scored lots of points with me. I arranged for a tour, which was given to us by the owner’s neighbor parked next door. Immediately upon entry, we knew it was “home.” I called the owner and offered $9,500, which he accepted. We were over-the-moon excited!
We paid the owners to haul it to our land, about 60 miles from Mormon Lake. We were thankful for their help in making it level and showing us how the various systems worked, as well as being willing to part with it for less than blue book value. Very kind people.
Now it was time to prepare for our move.