The mortgage free journey

To reflect on the journey is quite the task as it began in 2013. We wanted to move closer to our adult children and grandchildren.  Dad quit his management job of 15 years; mom packed the house and children and off we went jobless and homeless into the wild west called Texas.  Within the first year, we purchased a large home (2200 sq ft) on one acre, and dad started a new career. We began homeschooling and the days rolled by nicely.

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Our family the day we moved to Texas in 2014

The closer we approached milestone birthdays: 50 &40; the more restless our spirits became. We wanted more – but what was more?  According to the world, we had it.  A nice home on a big beautiful lot, lots of wonderful children, great jobs, all should have been well. As we began to share our vision for our future to each other, we realized that we both wanted to be home full time with the children. We also wanted to be out from under our $1000 a month mortgage.

So the process began: we contacted a realtor, and within the year started remodeling. Because of very particular issues with our home, we found out it would be nearly impossible for a buyer to get financing. Due to the valuation of our property, the dollar amount we needed to sell to make a reasonable profit would be nothing short of a miracle.  Don’t you know that in the middle of our remodel, we received a call that someone wanted to purchase our home as a cash purchase “as is” for top dollar. In fact our home would be the highest selling home in the neighborhood as of our closing date.  We never actually put it on the market!!!!

After securing the contract, we then began sharing our vision with our realtor. We needed over 6 acres for an agricultural exemption (with bee hives). We could spend $3000- $4000 an acre, mostly wooded, at a minimum 5 miles from major hwy, no major issues, a natural water source and within a 40 minute drive to our grandchildren.  His response was that finding land at that price would be “…somewhere between parting the Red Sea and climbing Mt. Everest.”  Boy, were we a little disheartened when in fact everything we looked at in our budget had major issues and did not fit our wish list.  We looked at this 9 acre tract several times thinking that if the surface control was there we would jump on it – we weren’t knowledgeable enough about oil leases to know that it wasn’t as big of a deal as we were making it.

Our realtor kept asking what our plan B was if we didn’t find anything.  The problem was we didn’t have a plan B and really didn’t want to make one.  We wanted to be debt free land owners!  There was one property we couldn’t get off our mind that we absolutely fell in LOVE with. Sadly, we discovered that we looked at the wrong property, it wasn’t in our budget, and it was already under contract.  We never would have thought that buying raw land would be such a huge deal but as we learned (the hard way), it is.

Our realtor asked us to look at the 9 acres again as time was running out. He referred us to an attorney who specialized in oil and gas and we found out that the surface control is a not so big a deal.  The next day we put a contract on the land.  The deal ended meeting our budget and all our criteria except for a natural water source – so we are gonna have a water well dug.

 

Anyway, after being in contract with our buy since mid August we finally closed on our large home after 114 days. Two days later we became “mortgage free” owners of 9 acres.

 

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Our annual family photo 2019.

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