Lauren and I have been looking at houses, and finally we found one that we are serious enough to pause preparing our current house for sale to take a second look. As we work through the property, we ask the question, “Is this the one?”
This is the property we have talked to our community about before, calling it “The Ault House”. It’s actually a bit outside of Ault, perhaps a 5 to 7 minute drive from town. This makes it about a half hour outside of Greeley, and maybe about the same from the east side of Fort Collins, in northern Colorado.
By far the biggest thing we are looking for is the land to do what we want to do – build a chicken coop, establish some garden, maybe start raising a couple goats or cows for milk. We also know we would like some fruit trees.
With sixteen acres, there is plenty of future development opportunity, but the cost is pretty steep as well! We are going to have to make a bet: is this the one? Are we so confident that we are willing to say that 5 years from now, this was worth the kind of money that they are asking?
The barn is spectacular, it’s actually larger than the house, and has electricity, water, and part of it is even heated!
The house is not as great a fit for our family and together with the longer drive to church and friends is probably the greatest compromise. We know we want enough to live. That living space is here, and probably more besides, yet it will still be a “downgrade” from our current house. This was probably the biggest thing we have wrestled with – the price they are asking is high – is this house worth it?
We know we have to make chances to enable a homestead. This house has what we need for homeschool space, office, bedrooms. The living space and the kitchen are a little smaller. We will need to figure out storage – probably the most significant mismatch versus our current needs.
Compromise to find a Homestead
Getting our homestead started is going to require us to make some hard choices. Give up some house and finishes here, get some land there. Give up drive time here, get proximity to an orchard. Pay a little more, get land in a better agricultural area.
There is a lot we would need to do in the coming years with this property, but so far, there has not yet been a property we can afford that we would not say that about.
At the end of the day, as we figure out whether to make an offer, we have to ask: Is this the one?