The Transition to Moving to Our Land in Idaho

I thought I’d blog today about our transition from our life in Oregon to living off of our land in Idaho. The problem I see with a lot of these living off the grid blogs, yurt-living blogs, homesteading blogs, etc. is that they frequently don’t talk about the transition from their old lifestyle to the new lifestyle. The transition is very real, stressful, yet necessary so I thought I’d share our experiences.

As things stand right now, it seems conceivable that we can have our property wrapped up and be living on our land in one month’s time, so that’s what we are aiming for. There are a lot of details to wrap up in Oregon in order for that to happen so although we don’t have our land secured, we are keeping the ball rolling as if the land goes through. If the land doesn’t, then at least we will be many steps closer to being free from Oregon!

Here are the things we are working on at the moment to be closer to moving to Idaho and starting our homestead.

Selling almost everything we own on Craigslist

We have been trying to live a minimalist lifestyle for a few years now so we already have few belongings. We currently just have Craigslist furniture so we are sticking all of our furniture back up on Craigslist. We are selling extra things we no longer need such as extra computers we have laying around, our TV that never gets watched, and even our refrigerator.

Selling everything that won't be coming with us to Idaho.
Selling everything that won’t be coming with us to Idaho.
The key to getting rid of stuff on Craigslist is giving yourself enough time to sell it. When I moved from Colorado I didn’t give myself enough time and had to sell my brand new $1,000 mattress for $100. OUCH! Still bitter about that one. Basically, if it can’t fit in a travel trailer or one of our cars and we aren’t heavily invested in the object then it needs to go.

We are keeping our entire minimalist office as we put a lot of work into it and it can be set up almost anywhere. It will also travel well and store easily. This was all intentional.

Our minimalist, easy-to-transport office.
Our minimalist, easy-to-transport office.

Selling our brick and mortar business

Jesse has had his brick and mortar business for many years and it is doing extremely well but because it is location-dependent in Oregon, it doesn’t really fit our long-term goals of being location-independent. Our online business fits our long-term goals much better so we’d rather invest our time and energy into that. We’ve been trying to sell the brick and mortar business for a year now. We can’t justify staying for the business but it’s too valuable to just let go so we are hoping to get it sold soon or else we will try to manage it from afar.

Trying to close on our land

We see no reason that the land won’t work out but until the land is ours, nothing is guaranteed! We are waiting for the seller to take care of a minor title issue. We are hoping to close on the property within a couple weeks.

Property we are waiting to close on. Fingers crossed.
Property we are waiting to close on. Fingers crossed.

Put a deposit down on a camping trailer

We had given up on the idea of living in a trailer on our property because any decent-looking trailer seemed to be $6,000+. We found a few in the $3,000 range but the layouts were terrible and many of them had a large “ick-factor”. We thought we’d just rent a small apartment in Idaho.

We decided to check Craigslist one more time and found a gem for $2,500. The trailer we found was beautiful and modern on the inside (I try get over the idea of needing something nice during this transition but if it’s nice AND affordable then that’s awesome!).

fun-finder

fun-finder2

fun-finder4

It is a 2006 trailer which means that it’s still relatively new. Everything seems to work and it seems the trailer was treated well and had minimal use. The reason the price point is so low is because there is some dry rot on the front of the trailer but we plan on building a barn to put the trailer in so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. We don’t want to buy the trailer until we close on the land but we’ve put down a $100 deposit to have it held for a bit. We are okay losing the deposit if things fall through- it’s a small risk to take.

The reason we want a trailer is because it’s the equivalent of about 6-months rent, only we own the thing and likely can sell it close to what we bought it for which means we may not be out any money at all. We then don’t have to deal with the headaches that come with being a tenant and can live on our property. We will have all of our basic needs taken care of while we develop our property. After the break-even point compared to renting, 100% of our financial resources can be spent on developing our land so that we can upgrade our living standards as soon as possible to something that will work better while we build out house (like a yurt).

Trying to wrap up our house rehabbing project

We still don’t know how long we will have to work on this house rehabbing project but we are putting in our monthly work early. We know that things are about to get REAL chaotic around here so if we can have the housework wrapped up for the month that will be one less thing to worry about.

houserehab2

houserehab3

Trying to sell my brand new car

I bought this Subaru Legacy back in 2013 and we can’t justify keeping it. It seems foolish to pay $350/month (payment + insurance) for a car that I drive once a week max, when we have a second car, and there is a lot of equity in the car at the moment that we can use for drilling our well, hooking up to the power grid, internet installation, and septic installation. All of those things would be a far better use for that money than to let it depreciate quickly in a new car that I have no use for.

I like you, Subaru, but at this point you are nothing more than a poor investment.
I like you, Subaru, but at this point you are nothing more than a poor investment.
I’ve listed this on Craigslist at market rate for this year/make/model of car. No calls on it yet after a week but hopefully someone will take it off my hands. There isn’t really a rush to sell it so it can come to Idaho with us if necessary. I think I still have a year to sell it before banks won’t be interested in handing out a loan on it.

So that’s where things are at right now! We haven’t gotten much work done in our online business the past month because too many parts are moving all at once. Luckily, our online business makes money whether we work or not for the most part which is intentional. Regardless, we want to be focusing our energy on that business but need to reach a point of greater stability to have creative energy.

If you would like to follow our journey to starting our homestead, becoming debt-free, and building our own sustainable home, then be sure to subscribe to our blog! We will share the good, bad and the ugly of our experiences in hopes that it can help others out who are going through similar transitions.

 

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I am an aspiring homesteader on a journey to become self-sustainable and free. In my past, I've worked corporate jobs to make ends meet and get ahead a little; it didn't make me happy or confident in my future. Since taking the leap to self-employment and living a more simple life, my happiness levels have increased greatly and I've never felt more alive. I finally understand what I want in life and how to get there, and that is what this blog is all about.

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Comments

  1. Florence Skiadas says

    Wow! Lovely spot, so excited for you! Also keeping my fingers crossed! I don’t know what a yurt is, but I am going to google it.

    • says

      Thanks Florence! Check out Pacific Yurts. They are located near Eugene, OR. Yurts are round tent-like structures that are easy to put up, take down and are transportable. The yurt is built on a platform so once the platform is built you can put whatever you want on the inside to make it a home. Walls, kitchen, a loft, plumbing, wood stove, etc. Basically you can get as simple as complex as you want. We wouldn’t go too over the top as ideally we want a house but a yurt would be a great investment and once we have our home built, we would love to rent out a yurt on Airbnb. Fun stuff! Pacific Yurts has some drool-worthy pictures on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pacificyurts?fref=ts

      • Florence says

        Yummy! Yurts are cool! Thanks for the link. I want one!

        I am impressed with your creative/big picture/long term vision.

        Are there grizzlies in Idaho?

  2. Carolyn says

    Love that you are going for it. If you havent looked already there are a bunch of companies that make prefab modular homes that can be delivered and assembled quickly on your site. Many have enery efficient features and green simple living in mind. My husband and I have thought about getting a small one to start that we can add onto later without having a huge debt up front. Good luck!

    • says

      I’m sure that could be a great option for people to look into! There are many ways to accomplish similar goals based on money, time and energy levels. Either way, avoiding the debt is always a good rule of thumb :-) We really want to get a yurt but not before having water, septic and power. So many options!

  3. Hannah says

    Hi Alyssa! So cool to read about your journey, and I’m dying to undertake a similar one myself. What you’re doing sounds like a dream to me and I’m eagerly reading in hopes of learning more! I’m interested to hear about your online business – what is it and how does it work? Also, where did you find your land? Any resources or books you’d recommend to someone wanting to do something similar to you?

    • says

      Hey Hannah, glad you stopped by! I hope that as we proceed along this journey that the blog will be a great resource from those looking to achieve similar things. Resources and books depends on what part of the journey you’re wanting more info on. I have stalked multiple blogs (search for off-grid blogs, yurt blogs, home building blogs, etc.), spent a lot of time determining our goals and a location that would support our goals (check out this post for that info: http://purelivingforlife.com/how-we-picked-a-place-to-settle-down/) and as far as where to find land, I’d recommend the book Strategic Relocation by Joel Skousen. I haven’t purchased the book but I watched multiple YouTube interviews with the author and would love to pick up a copy one of these days. We found our land on Craigslist I believe it was… we also used a realtor that would send us MLS listings that fit our criteria as land became available. We have a few online businesses… one is a marketing consulting agency (we do minimal non-consulting design work as well), we’ve created digital products that we sell, and then we also do a large amount of affiliate marketing. If you are web-savy or interested in becoming web-savy, there are TONS of options that I would be happy to elaborate and provide guidance on in a different blog post. As with everything, there is no “overnight success” but we’ve been practicing our business skills and web skills for years and are finally combining them and putting them to good use! There are lots of ways to accomplish similar goals… it’s all about being creative!

  4. Lisa Craft says

    progress is failing us in the outside world- overdevelopment, pollution, being a slave to corporations, no decent jobs for college graduates! we are no longer close to nature and we can’t see the stars at night!

    I am very pleased that you are truly pursuing happiness! And I appreciate that you want to help others by showing them your way.

    Keep in touch and I’ll come and visit for sure!

  5. says

    As an Idahoan, I would like to suggest one very important thing: If you are living in the Idaho mountains, and your camper is NOT a 4 season trailer, you might consider getting some hay bales to insulate the underside of your trailer. If your plumbing and water pipes are exposed, they could crack. I say this, because it has happened to me. :) I am following this adventure of yours because we are heading in that direction ourselves as empty-nesters. Good luck!

    • says

      Thanks for the advice Beth, although I’m sorry you had to learn it first-hand! We are definitely going to do some winterizing of our trailer… just not sure what yet, exactly. Ideally we would build a couple false walls so that we can use a wood stove to heat the enclosure, but we may go the hay bale route too. Either way, hopefully we don’t have to learn any lessons the hard way!

  6. AccidentalFarmer says

    Oh my! You two are living my dream life. I am tethered to the horrible state of FL for a few more years due to legal issues but Idaho looks beautiful!

    It’s too hard to homestead here, as the humidity and heat make working outside impossible, and most crops and animals hate excessive heat (Trust me, I’ve tried!)

    Definitely going to follow your progress and daydream about the day we can do the same as you. We already have a 31′ class C RV we could live in, so that’s half the battle!

    Best wishes in your beautiful new adventure!

  7. says

    Found you guys this morning through Homestead Notes! Just subscribed to your list. I’m thrilled to see someone else financing their homestead through niche and affiliate marketing, since that’s the same game plan I’m working on. (But you’re actually making it work!)

    Also, I don’t know if you’re interested or not, but we’re running a giveaway of The Weekend Homesteader by Anna Hess on our blog right now. I know you guys are full time homesteaders, but it’s got a lot of great insights if you’re new to the homesteading game. Maybe you’d find it useful, and your odds of winning the giveaway would be pretty good right now. :-)

    I’m excited to follow your progress here, and best of luck on your land!

  8. Fred says

    So I’ve been following you for a few months and I’m curious to how you chose Idaho as your homestead location. What was your decision in that?

  9. Thomas says

    Hello Jesse and Alyssa,

    I’ve gone through your blog site with great interest. My wife and I currently live in Las Vegas but will be moving to the Boise area once the house sells (it’s currently on the market).

    The last several years have been life changing for us; in a good and bad way (although the results have been mostly good for me). I have come to see my life (what is left of it as we are in our mid to late 60’s) in a perspective that has shifted 180 degrees over the last several years. I now have been seriously considering an off-grid lifestyle and the independence that comes along with it. While my wife has not necessarily morphed to the degree that occurred with me, she has at least agreed to consider looking for land and letting me build a log cabin structure.

    We’ve already made some “due diligence” trips up to Boise and I was very impressed with the people and lifestyle of the area. I have owned businesses in the past that were related to renewable energy so I plan to incorporate both wind, water and solar energy into any structure I build.

    We are currently going through the “lightening up” mode. Both of our cars are older models that are paid for, we have no debt (except for the house which is for sale), and we have already had discussions about the appropriate size of any structure I build.

    I am blessed in that I have a business that only requires good internet available. So I can still work out of wherever we decide to call home. We are both looking forward to building a sustainable food source such as gardening even raising livestock. Sandy is a real animal lover, especially cats.

    We are admittedly new at this and certainly not experts, so I really admire you both for your tenacity & efforts to the live the kind of life you both want. I look forward to monitoring your progress. Even more, once we move to Idaho, I would love to come visit and see how you both are doing if you were open to that idea. One of the real positives about our move is to develop some genuine friendships with other souls.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kindest regards,
    Thomas

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