Our Project Property
We have a good 30 year plan for this property and are in no hurry to get anything done BUT James and I both seem to need projects – so things are kicking off.
Our first steps are to bring power, water and septic to the site. Additionally, we’d like to build a barn so we can lock everything up securely if we are off and traveling or back in Boise. That is the plan for this summer. Depending on that – we will either be living in Moscow over the winter, or, if that all doesn’t go as planned we may winter in Boise again. OR, option three has us setting back off on the road to who knows where (but probably south). We will decide on all those details later but we have options.
Meeting the Neighbor
Within days of purchasing our property an adjacent 7 acres was sold as well. The person who purchased that property had some significant work to do because they had to bring a new road all the way up to their parcel (their access crosses our property). We honestly didn’t think that parcel would sell for a while and considered buying it too. Down the road a year or two. The new owners own a construction business though and saw the good deal in the price. Before we even closed they had cut in their new driveway.
Since he is doing all the labor himself it really was a great deal on 7 acres! Aside from being handy, we got to meet with him briefly after we closed and he seems like a very nice guy! My first impressions are that he is thoughtful, considerate and very generous! In winter he runs a snow removal company and told us we won’t ever have to worry about clearing the road, he will need to do it bright and early to start his job. We’ve only actually chatted for like 15 minutes but I feel like we got really lucky with a great neighbor so we’re going to do everything we can to pick up the slack however we can!
My overriding goal with the tiny house has been to never have to finance anything again. This is all being done with the cash we’ve saved via living tiny. Right now I have my money mostly tied up in CD’s and Stocks. I’d like it to stay in until the end of August so I won’t have to pay capitol gains taxes or deal with any fees for pulling the funds out sooner. Right now I have enough to do one of the things (septic, power or water – OR buy a tractor… :))
Our original first step was going to be digging a well and getting water. Having a neighbor changes that and he’s ready to put in power. That works for us so we’re trying to collaborate on bringing power up the hill. We’ll be sharing the costs on that so the savings will surely make up for the blip in our timeline. Besides, it will be nice to be able to plug in our A/C while we’re up there :).
I have contacted him to see about cutting in our main driveway up to the top of the hill which I MAY be able to fit in the budget before August. We’ll talk about all that next week and hopefully kick that off. We don’t have any plans to build up there for a couple of years BUT we will need to get the tiny house in and turned around to be able to park with the right orientation, so it will be nice to have a way to do that. We are also thinking we can park Lil Beastie up on top, set up a Ring Camera and keep an eye on things while we’re a way.
We’d love to be able to put in some landscaping elements right off so they can grow big and strong BUT we risk them getting in the way of future building projects so we will have to hold off. EXCEPT with a Weeping Willow. I have always wanted a Weeping Willow to build a tree house in, and take shelter under. We will need some willow branches to build a fence for our hobbit house. SO, we will be trying to plant one on our next trip up. I couldn’t be more excited to check that one off the ole bucket list!
Long Term Plans
We have longer term plans with this property as a workshop of sorts. It’s already named ‘What If Workshop’. We want to learn, teach, share and experience alternative construction, together. Before we purchased the property we spoke with the county to make sure our plans fit in with their intents and codes. They seemed to think it was an interesting idea and were very encouraging. The overall feel was, without any drawn out plans, they were confident we can find a way to make our goals happen within their guidelines. Fully legal. I walked away feeling more stoked than I thought we could!
So, The Projects
This property truly does have it all!
- There is a rocky hill with a beautiful view. This is where we plan to build our net-zero and/or off grid house in several years.
- Just down the driveway is the perfect location for our tiny house under a pretty flowering tree (that needs some major trimming and TLC). That location also has a lovely view of the Palouse.
- Across from the tiny house location, on a gentle slope, is the perfect spot for some berm buildings. I have two in my minds eye, one very rustic and one more modern.
- A little further down the hill, when the property levels out there is a nice little grove of young trees. This is the perfect spot for a little hidden treehouse.
- At the bottom of the property is a 3/4 acre pond which has a small stream feeding it. We are planning on using this pond for irrigation and livestock water but also modifying the inward edge to become a small sandy ‘beach’. The pond itself will also be the perfect spot for a houseboat concept we’ve been working up.
- Right on the southern edge of the pond we were thinking a shipping container ‘fishing shack’ would fit right in.
- I would love to work with seasonal opportunities too, like having a functional igloo located approximately where snow would gather from the plow.
- I’d love to build interconnecting paths with found objects from the site, al the trees and shrubs we would add would xeriscaping (with the exception of our garden).
The Fun Is In The Experience
As with everything we do, James and I plan to do all the work ourselves. The appeal for us is in the experience of ‘doing’ and learning along the way. This isn’t something we will hurry up and get done. It is something we will patiently build over time as we have funds and means to dedicate to it. With that, we also hope to be able to monetize it so it should keep a steady pace I think.
The tiny house will be in place ASAP. So will the barn/workshop. The rest will come as we feel inspired. One at a time, in an order we aren’t real sure of yet. We’d like the kids to be old enough to help us design the main home, and their rooms. The trees need to grow a little before the treehouse is feasible. I do really want to dig in the ground for the berm buildings but I’ll need to find a good deal on a tractor first… I hear patience is a virtue though. Hopefully that will work on our favor.
If You Want To Follow Along
I will of course be updating here as I can but I have started yet another Instagram to chronicle this endeavor at WhatIfWorkshop where I will do smaller updates as well.
We are very excited to have kicked off this chapter!! Here are some pictures of the views at each location: