This place has been a dream. A way of life we thought we couldn’t live because of our inexperience. Throwing ourselves into a sea of unknown and uncomfortable taught us indescribable lessons. We have been shaped by this farmhouse and thoroughly refined. Identify what excites you and scares you, then jump in. For us, it was living in and renovating a farmhouse.
How we got here
Jake and I had laughingly talked about living in the country. I am not sure either of us thought about it very seriously. We were comfortable in our suburban home and safe neighborhood. Then the word comfortable settled in and began to itch. It was a good path but one that left us slightly unfulfilled. All the sudden we weren’t sure. Jake decided he wanted to live on some land, a long dream that had recently been revived. I wasn’t sure about moving from such a safe spot but was open to adventure. We decided why not now?
That was it. We talked, we planned, we moved on the idea. We decided this was something we wanted to make happen. We put our house up for sale. That is the short and sweet version of a process that took a full year of remodeling, polishing, and listing twice through a real estate agent. This process was definitely not smooth but it was successful. Dreams can take a long time to come to fruition.
Next, we began looking for a home. You know the ideal farmhouse set on a meadow with some 100 year old trees scattered about. We had a fairytale setting cottage complete with a smiling chimney in mind. At least that is what I compared every listed property in the region to. Nothing impressed us. In fact nothing even met our standard in one category. The search was more than difficult.
We decided to table our dream of a beloved farmhouse and settled somewhere responsible. We bought a home in a neighboring town, more rural than our town was before. I knew many of the neighbors from church already. It wasn’t the new adventure we had embarked on but we were happy. I unpacked all of our boxes and hung all of our frames. My senior year in college was beginning and I was going to be working with maximum college credits to fill my days.
Then, out of nowhere, this house came on the market. The house was listed on about 6 acres of land with a three bedroom three bath vintage home, built in the 1950’s. Jake and I immediately decided to tour this property. We were in no way ready to move. We had just remodeled the master bathroom in our home and bought a sectional to fit the family room.
We toured the farmhouse that was painted a grey with consistent rough edges. Once we toured the first quarter of the home I knew. This was the place we had been searching for. I knew this is where I wanted to live. I saw my kids running the backyard. We saw the house and some small house projects that needed to be taken care of. Then I saw the tire swing. I was sold. I told Jake we needed to make this happen.
After 1,000 papers and some ink, we were now homeowners. We were able to figure out the insanity of the process to move in by November 8th of 2015. It was a wild season in our lives, filled with change and seemingly endless flexibility.
This home and how it came to be ours is one of my favorite pieces of our story. Jake and I talk to one another, and always have an open mind about where life will take us next. I respect Jake for being enthusiastic and a free thinker. I think it is because of Jake that we came to this unfinished farmhouse. We took a risk that paid off ten-fold.
We renovated, and then fixed everything that broke along the way. Our budget got blown out of the water when the air conditioning broke and the water heater needed to be replaced within the first year. A vintage home is not for the faint of heart, or those needing to pinch pennies. I can honestly say that Jake and I know each other better than ever before. We work pretty well together in construction too.
What a wonderful adventure we have had here. The lessons I have learned in this special place will always be cherished. This home is where I hung my college degree, where I learned patience through infertility, and where our daughter spent her first night at home. These are the most precious memories I hold. Home truly is where the heart is.
Thank you for reading our story. For more farmhouse inspiration follow me on Pinterest for endless goodies.
Photography by Shelley Foster