A little over a year ago we sold our home in the hopes of purchasing our dream farmhouse that had been in my family for over a century. Many times I look back on that process and wonder how it all came together as it did. It was a scary time financially, as we were looking to move from a home we had bought as a foreclosure with a low mortgage – but my husband and I were confident that this was the right move for our family. It was that confidence and lots of prayer that gave us the strength and endurance to move forward in moving out of our home, moving into my parent’s home and beginning what became a six month renovation process. It reminds me of the stories you’ll find with the OnUp Movement. The home has given us the confidence to move forward financially.
When we moved in shortly before Christmas of 2016, it felt so good to know that we had moved forward on our dream despite being nervous about the process. Sometimes I’m asked about how we did the renovation financially. It was no small undertaking. And to be honest, I’m not sure I grasped the shear magnitude of the project until we were finished. With a lot of research, a plethora of emotional support from our families and the knowledge that this plan was much bigger than our own – we took our first step one year ago to make this dream a reality.
What’s our next step? Well, the inside of the home is fully remodeled with just the fun decorating part left in many places. However, the work on the property has just begun. This summer we plan to tackle the outside. We were very careful to stay within our budget within the home, so that this summer we could start phase two outside the home. I’m going into this next phase with more confidence because of the success of what was last year.
If you’ve been curious about our property and what our big plans are this summer, I’m excited to share them with you today!
Our farmhouse sits back on a hill. I’ve always felt that it had the most beautiful setting . There was something so peaceful about it. We own 5.5 acres of the original plot. The additional acreage my brother and his wife bought to farm. About 1.5 of our acreage is still farmed – and we’re okay with that. That is 1.5 acres less that
we my husband will mow.
The peonies are starting to grow which means spring is FINALLY here. These peonies were planted by my great-grandfather in the 1940’s. They line our long lane. It’s amazing how they come back every single year after decades of Ohio weather. They remind me that it’s almost time to get to work! So while they look pretty – and our not-mowed-yet yard looks okay in the pictures, not everything is so pretty on our property right now.
After having to tear down three of the smaller old buildings, our large barn remains. I love this barn and the history it holds. However, it needs some serious love. This summer our biggest financial expense was going to be building a garage. However, we also knew that we had to make a decision on the barn. I definitely want to keep it, so we’ve begun to think about fixing it up and using it as the garage .
The barn has two entrances already which can be used for each our cars. We would completely side the barn with metal siding – which is not cheap. The barn also needs some major foundation work to get it a bit more straight – it’s leaning a bit.
We’re probably a little crazy to think about fixing it up when we could build a new shiny garage, but the barn holds such history and it’s just plain awesome. There are so many nooks and crannies and I just don’t think our farmhouse looks right without a big red barn next to it. Not to mention that my brother does use the back area to house some of his farm machinery. He may be a bit biased in talking us into fixing up the barn this summer. 🙂
In addition to the barn, there is a fence line that runs the entire edge of our property. It has seen better days and is completely overgrown. We’ll be taking the fence out completely and removing a lot of the brush while keeping a few of the nicer trees.
Speaking of trees, we have some HUGE ones. They tower over our two story home. Every time we have a wind storm, which seems to be all the time because we’re up on the hill, I worry about one of the branches crashing into our home. So on the list this summer is to have the trees trimmed back for their own health – and ours.
Don’t you sometimes want the trees to tell you the stories of what they have seen? Some of these trees would have been here when the home was just new – amazing how strong they are.
I would like to say I’ll have a garden in this space this summer, but realistically I think that is becoming less of a possibility. There is a some major cleanup to be made in this space as well as prep work, so I’m thinking maybe next year will be my year.
Unlike the inside of the home which we demo’d and rebuilt within the six months, the outside this spring/summer will mostly be cleaned up. I don’t plan to plant or landscape around the home either. Just getting all those little pebbles from around the home removed will be enough of a job.
With all the work that has be done, we have decided that we will not be doing it all ourselves. Like the work we did in the home last year, we’ll be hiring some kids that work for my brother on the farm. They’ll be helping us clear up the trees we cut down along the fence line and other projects like restoring the barn.
If you have a big renovation project like ours in your dreams, here’s a few tips that helped us gain confidence financially to get to where we are today.
- Do your research. Knowing how much you’ll need to tackle a dream project is the first step. Research who can do the work and the costs associated with it. Then… save!
- Shop around when buying supplies and selecting who will do the work. It’s amazing how many different types of cost go into a project like this one – and how different the estimates are.
- Prioritize your project. When we look at the barn this summer, we’re hoping to do it all – but the roof is “okay” at this point, so it’s lowest on our list. That means our budget will go towards straightening the frame and siding it before a roof gets replaced.
- Take your time. Our home renovation took six months. Our barn may take that long – or even longer. We’re okay with that. Our budget and our costs will be more important that finishing it fast.
With any dream project – there are emotions. This barn will be an exciting one for us – but we have the confidence to tackle it financially since we started with the home first. And then there’s the fence line and the trees – and well plenty of projects to keep us busy in the coming months.
But in looking out our backyard – we might just start there this weekend picking up the sticks!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.