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Monday, July 25, 2011

Searching for Home


I am searching for home.

Ever since we moved from our 120-year old home in Duluth, MN to the Minneapolis area in 2005, I have been wondering and dreaming about where our next home would be.

I have rented some amazing places - the townhouse in Burnsville with the deck I filled with potted gardens; the gargantuan, glass-windowed-country-house in Lindstrom where I was surrounded by oak trees and only 5 miles from the farm where my alpaca lived; and lastly, to our tiny, 2-acre rented farmette in Mayer where I am finally experiencing "real" country life - complete with 3 crazy cats, 3 of my five (almost 6!) alpacas and 15 16 chickens.

My friends at the Big Farm have been putting me up (or rather, putting up with me) in their bunk house for almost two months as I traipse all over Monroe and Vernon counties following one property lead after another. That's a lot of traipsing. And that doesn't even include the years we spent "window-shopping" on our travels to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Colorado.

I'm quite sure my friends here think I have lost my mind. How difficult is it, anyway, to find one property amid a market filled with recession-priced-homes?

Well, it's complicated. Or maybe I'm just too picky. You decide.

I don't feel like I am asking for a lot. Just 5-10 acres (well, 40 if I could swing it...), some nice pasture grass, some trees, a southwesterly-southerly exposure and a view of the sunset.

Park it on a ridge top and sign me up.

Oh, and I want to pay cash for the land.

Most of the properties I have found that offer the right exposure are large enough to be out of our price range. The rest have been on the wrong side of the hill, been ugly, or just haven't "felt right." (Is that a valid criteria to use when searching for a home?)

So. I'm not sure when, or where, I will find our next home.

I'm starting to think it's like being adopted by a stray cat. When we moved to Lindstrom, we had 1 cat. When we moved away from Lindstrom, we had 3. And we didn't go looking for the other two. They found us.

I have a feeling our next home is just going to find us. And when it does, it will be obvious. And easy.

I may, however, need to rent a room somewhere for awhile, lest my friends here think I am never going to leave their bunkhouse.

As I've heard somewhere before, house guests, like laundry, both stink after two weeks.  And I've been here a whole lot longer than that!


jenlarson said...

I don't think you're being too picky - I agree that it just has to feel right! Plus, after you've looked at tons of places, and you finally find the right one - you'll know it.
We're also throwing around the idea of finding some land...sometime in the not-too-near future, and I get a little overwhelmed with all of the options out there when I look at what's available!
best of luck!

Victoria Strauser said...

Thanks for the encouragment! It is overwhelming, all the options, I agree. Good luck with your search as well!

crosshaven said...

I understand from Justin that you found your place. We are in the process of looking...6 alpacas being agisted is enough... but like you, it must be right and we are currently in WA state. That said, Justin mentioned Amish farms - and since we would like to eventually go off-grid it sounds workable, but not sure where to start for
"amish farm" shopping.... any ideas? Would love to have a part in publishing your photographs...ever consider it?
Thanks for your video on Kinney is soooo inspiring. Every time I see the smog moving in the Puget Sound I load that video and watch.

Victoria Strauser said...

Crosshaven - yes there are many Amish farms around here. I don't really have any specific advice in regards to buying an Amish property - I would imagine they are listed with all the conventional realty companies. Just find the placed that feels "right," and don't be afraid to keep looking until you do! Happy farm hunting!!!

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