Sometimes our decision plays in my mind like a bad horror movie. You know the scene: the couple innocently walks through the woods - you, the viewer, know that being there is a terrible idea - but they are smiling and naively stroll hand in hand into the quiet forest.
"This looks like a really nice place," he says with a grin and a nod. She smiles up at him.
She squeezes his hand in hers, "Yes, we could be really happy here".
Then the zombies (that you the viewer knew where there) come staggering out of the forest. Frightened the couple turns and runs. They sprint straight into the old, rusted trailer on the other side of the river. The zombies are unrelenting. They advance. As an arm falls off a couple of them, they moan in unison, "Moneeeey. Moneeeey."
The couple runs into the trailer. As they lean against the now closed door they pant with relief. They escaped. They're safe.
Or are they?
As the zombies scrape against the flimsy door and push their rotted faces up against the broken windows - the couple looks at each other - they smile and say in unison, "This place is great. Let's buy it!" They turn and open the door wide.
They let the zombies - debt zombies - right back in!
At my worst moments, this is how I see our decision to buy our property in the country. After running from debt for years and finally getting away from it - we were debt free damnit! - we went and invited debt right back into our lives!
At my best moments, though, I smile as I watch the kids and their friends tear around the woods climbing trees and building forts. I see them scooping unsuspecting fish into nets. I see them dragging shovels to dig holes in the back meadow to make a mini-golf course.
Then I know the debt zombies can be tamed. They can be dealt with. This is a place where our kids can be wild.
Besides, you know how Ed and I like a good DIY makeover! Ready for some BEFORE pictures?
This vacation property is an investment in family. It's also an investment by family. We are not the primary investors. This property was purchased with my mother. We help to take care of her and she wanted to help to take care of us. When we found the property - she wanted to buy it for us - we didn't even ask her. Very generous, but a bit too grand a gesture for our comfort. So we bought it together. She made the big payment and we are paying for all the many repairs and ongoing costs.
Our river place is an hours drive from home. This was important to us so that we could bring my mom up to enjoy the place with us. With such a short drive she can visit for an afternoon and if she needs to go home - we can easily run her back. Traditional cottages in our part of the province are usually 3 hours or more away. An afternoons' visit would be ridiculous.
This property is off the grid. That is one of the best parts. We learned years ago, when we took a short Family Time Reboot, that a break from the online world is important to us. Now we have a regular internet oasis.
What follows are the realtors photos of the 2-acre property. The property is about 35 times more lovely in real life. The mobile home is 35 times more lackluster.
|The 2 acres are divided by a river. This steel bridge crosses it.|
|We love the log cabin bunkie. We now own many things we never expected to: lawn tractor and moose antlers among them.|
|This archway leads to the cedar grove in the middle of the property. |
As soon as we arrive the kids scramble across the bridge and disappear in here.
|The dock, a perfect place for coffee in the morning, wine at happy hour and catching fish in between.|
|One of two firepits.|
|The river fountain. This is actually pretty ingenious - we will have to post how simply made this is.|
This is the point where you begin to question our sanity for buying this place...
Brace yourself. This is the mobile home. It's all kinds of tragic.
|The 1980s won't even call us to ask for their mobile home back.|
|As I write this, we are painting these cupboards.|
If you the home you're looking to buy has brand new carpeting - be very suspicious - you could have THIS lurking underneath:
Oh yeah - we've got stories to come...