Sunday, January 22, 2017

Trailersteading

The homestead dreamer should really think long and hard before choosing between buying
raw land and an established place with electricity, water, living structures, fencing and outbuildings.
I bought this property before I met and married my husband Tommy, and had developed a huge emotional connection to the dream of living here, when he told me he was willing to  relocate from Florida to New Mexico and help me make my dream come true, I was over the moon.

However, hindsight being 20/20, if I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know now, I must admit that I might reconsider buying a completely undeveloped piece of land and opt for an older already established homestead. Don't get me wrong, I am in love with this place and the challenges have been quite the adventure but  this journey can certainly test the bond between husband and wife. I don't think it is fair to paint a picture of roses and sunshine when the reality is that its not an easy life, I have seen too many homesteaders that I have admired not withstand the stress of the day in and day out workload and the heartbreaks associated with the inevitable failures that occur on homesteads, farms and ranches every day.

The challenges you face building from the ground up are many. Number one, it takes money, even when you think you have estimated every penny you will need, prepare for emergencies. Equipment breakdowns, vet bills, and the costs associated with keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer will always be more than you can anticipate.

Working off of the homestead is another challenge, if my husband were not retired and able to be here full time it would be twice as hard for us to keep things running smoothly. If you do need to work off of the homestead traveling distance and weather can present another big challenge. I drive an hour to work daily. Because our property is off of a dirt road, snow and rain make it necessary to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and even with a jeep there are days when I am not sure I will make it out, and on that note forget about ever having a clean vehicle again.

Having a way to get water is another huge challenge that cannot be underestimated and is a topic I will address more completely in a separate post.

What to live in is probably one of the biggest considerations, one that we have not quite figured out yet. If you have some construction/building savvy you will be way ahead of the game. Unfortunately, that is not a talent the either my husband or myself possess so we will have to decide to pay a builder to build a home or go with a mobile home, a choice that we can't seem to be able make, not to mention one that we feel financially prepared for. So, for now we are trailersteading, term I first heard in the book by Anna Hess "Trailersteading", which was a pretty inspiring read.

Living in a travel trailer poses its own set of challenges that I will talk about in another post but with used travel trailers available in all cost ranges they do provide a way to get to the business of living on the land,a choice that I would definitely make again.
 This is the Keytone Everest that my husband and I are currently living in.
This is the Holiday Rambler that my 25 year old son is living in.

The straw bales are our attempt at winterizing, we had the pipes freeze on both trailers right around New Years day and they stayed frozen for about 2 days. The straw bales seem to be keeping that from happening again. I will share more about this form of tiny home living in another post.