• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Burra Maluca
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
gardeners:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Bill Crim
  • Mike Jay

Wife doesn't want to homestead  RSS feed

 
Posts: 29
Location: The Carolinas
hunting transportation woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
OK so for a long time my dream has been to homestead. I want to harvest wood to build a timber frame, have a market garden, a small vineyard, and a small orchard. My wife doesnt....anymore. She wants to buy a house in town now. She knew this was my dream before we got married and she was OK with all of it. I don't know if this is the right place for this but I would like some advice if someone has some.
 
gardener
Posts: 628
Location: Soutwest Ohio
117
books food preservation homestead cooking rabbit tiny house
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know that we have enough information yet to give a valuable response. What changed? Somewhere between then and now changed. Was she just humoring you all along and never really felt that way or was there something that happened to make her now feel less comfortable with it? Is there something in the city that is drawing her? Also, is it all or nothing or is she willing to compromise if you know what key point the town has that is drawing her?
 
T. Gardner
Posts: 29
Location: The Carolinas
hunting transportation woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well she wants out of our rental, which explains why she would want to take out a mortgage for a house but the plan all along has been to build a house as debt free as possible. I think what is drawing her back to town is her mom. She lives in an apartment in town. The town though is still as bad as its always been. The people are shady and the town govt is still just as corrupt. So either she has been humoring me all along or her mom is guilt tripping her or something.
 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 628
Location: Soutwest Ohio
117
books food preservation homestead cooking rabbit tiny house
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, I'd say you two need to sit down together and talk out exactly what is at the core of her feelings. If it is only that one town specifically, then it almost certainly is family. If it is just any town, then maybe it is something else. Maybe she's worried about her mother needing someone close for example. Would a mother-in-law cabin be an option? Something where you offer a small home on your property where her mother could stay free of rent and where your wife could stop in regularly to ensure she remains safe and healthy? If it was an option, it could offer a means of compromise.
 
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
41
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry to hear about the rough situation.

D. Logan is asking the right questions, but I'll go down a different road of reasoning just to cover some more angles - some commonalities based on what I've seen with homesteaders and couples wanting to start new businesses.

So:

1. she knew, at least you were under the assumption she understood, the plan from the beginning was to homestead in order to gain financial independence.
2. she now wants to buy a house "out of the blue". (at least that's a surprise to you, T)

Has she actually said she doesn't want to homestead at all anymore or just not certain parts? Or did she maybe expected homesteading to be a sort of escape in the summer to get away from town life temporarily? From what you've said I'd guess she knew the entire idea you had, but figured I'd ask for clarity.

---

I can see a few ways to look at it, all of which may be wrong, but you can fill in the blanks:

A. She was more in love with the idea of being debt-free more so than homesteading. Paying off a mortgage can accomplish financial independence also.

B. She just changed her mind. I don't know the amount of time that's lapsed since the agreement early on, but maybe she's thinking that doing a project like that is too much of a risk now and wants the security of a house. Starting all those projects will certainly be a large investment in resources, so it'd be understandable to worry a bit.

C. Maybe she did research on the amount of work it'd take to manage a homestead, vineyard, market garden, orchard etc, or a friend/family told her some horror story, and it seems daunting or unappealing now. Do you have any detailed plans for her which might offer reassurance?

I don't want to validate your assumptions preemptively especially with the foggy story-line so far, but I face people telling me to give up on homesteading/permaculture on a monthly basis or hear some "what is he doing..." through the family gossip circle - it's certainly a possibility. But, it'd be better to just ask your wife "what happened to the plan about homesteading?" or, since the town-house is a surprise for you "What's the reasoning for wanting a new house? I thought the goal was to be debt-free".
 
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
240
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe there is some middle ground to explore - you guys have children , do you both work etc . Maybe once see sees the golden handcuffs she may rethink .

David
 
Posts: 6619
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
629
chicken fiber arts fungi
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

T. Gardner wrote:OK so for a long time my dream has been to homestead. I want to harvest wood to build a timber frame, have a market garden, a small vineyard, and a small orchard. My wife doesnt....anymore. She wants to buy a house in town now. She knew this was my dream before we got married and she was OK with all of it. I don't know if this is the right place for this but I would like some advice if someone has some.



It seems like with some compromise you could do a market garden, a small vineyard and a small orchard in town?  Harvesting wood and building a timber frame not as likely. 

Is your wife locked into a house with no yard at all?  Or open to edge of town areas that might fit both of your needs?

I was lucky that my guy and I were just open to living in the woods and homesteading for decades.  A few years ago though I had a serious urge to be around more people...not a city, just a small neighborhood on the edge of a very rural town where our son and family live.  It took a lot of understanding and discussion to get here and both of us are very happy and satisfied with the move.  

I think, for us, we have the perfect compromise...about an acre 'yard', a town that allows livestock! big garden and have started planting fruit and berries,etc.  In a lot of ways I feel like I'm more productive because I've had to scale down my plans from forty acres to a much more manageable space. 

Might be your wife started thinking more realistically recently about what a homestead means and the work involved.
I can certainly understand the urge to be near family.  Perhaps her mother could live with you?  Mine did for ten years while our sons were in high school.  Not easy but doable.

stay flexible...that's what a good relationship is all about

 
pollinator
Posts: 504
Location: 6a
73
dog forest garden hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If your wife is worried about her mom you could include her and her resources into creating a family permaculture compound.   This may not be an option and I understand.  You could go for a small house with a sizeable yard.  You may think you need acres but I have three acres and it's enough land to feed a small town.   This weekend get a good bottle of wine, make here favorite meal and talk about it.      There is a solution just not sure what fits your needs.      
 
T. Gardner
Posts: 29
Location: The Carolinas
hunting transportation woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
OK so we both work and we have one son.

Her mom living with us is a no, we both agree on that.

As far as the outside work goes, I do all of it and plan to do all of it. She still says she wants fruit trees and fresh veggies though.

When I ask her why she wants to buy instead of build she says it would take to long for us to build, which yes it would take a while for us to build a house that is debt free. Although it would take us equally as long to save up the down payment to buy a house in town.

I would be willing to live in town but only in certain ones (definitely not the one that's close to us now) but I would also want at least an acre. Those houses in those town are out of our price range and she knows this.

I refuse to go the 30 year mortgage route. I have seen how hard that was on my parents who had a house built in 05, my dad lost his job shortly after and my mom has struggled and stressed to keep up their house and I don't want that for us.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1362
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
16
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Isn't it about compromises? I would not take the 30 years mortgage route but building a house yourself is not that cheap either. Did you really calculate what it costs? You might realise that it is not so much cheaper than having a builder. You are both getting older and the phase of building a house yourself is very long and since you are working probably several years. Many marriages broke in that process. I saw two people in the neighbourhood building a house for themselves in a reasonable time both were professional builders. Why not buying an old house and renovate that? At least you have something to live and this process is stressful enough. You possibly cannot start a market garden and work and build even starting a market garden and build is an illusion. I think you really should revise your plans and put realistic timeframes and money to it. Starting a market garden cost money as well.
You might buy a piece of land and start a market garden while staying in your rental. Once the garden is profitable you think on the house. If you go step by step you even can employ a builder and pay cash. They are simply far faster and better equipped.
 
pioneer
master steward
Posts: 5619
Location: Pacific Northwest
1701
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids cooking wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You might also be able to find a manufactured home on acrage, or some land and put a manufactured home on it. In our area, when we were buying, the cost of half-way decent land was just as much--if not more--than property with a manufactured home on it. The property with the manufactured home also already had a driveway, well, hook up to electricity and phone, and a septic system. The cost to put those in would have been in the 10s of thousands of dollars.

It's great to be debt free, but if you can buy the land outright and put 50% down on a manufactured or tiny home, you'll have home right away (and your wife might be less stressed), and your monthly payments will likely a whole lot less than you are paying for rent and much less a burden if someone loses a job. That's something indeed! And, once you have the property, all your "rent" money goes to paying your house of--which is much better than renting in town.

We put down just over 20% on our manufactured home on 5 acres. We pay $728/month for it. Real estate in the pacific northwest has SKYROCKETED in the 5 years since we bought it, so that 1 bedroom apartments out here are about $1,000/month, and even more the closer one goes to the city. I am so glad we bought when we did, because we can't afford rent around here, especially with a family of four!
 
T. Gardner
Posts: 29
Location: The Carolinas
hunting transportation woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes I have been planing and looking at the cost to build ourselves for years now. The whole point of the timber frame is that we can process a lot of materials ourselves at minimal costs plus there are no builders here that do timber frame. Which brings me to the next point is that we both decided that we would rather go with that over stick built for the structure.

We can't afford to pay rent, mortgage and reno costs on a fixer upper, even though a farmhouse like that would satisfy both of us. Still it's not within our budget.

Lots with a manufactured home (mobile or modular) still sell in the 100k+ range which is out of our budget.

My wife also refuses to live in a mobile or anything smaller than our rental.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 6619
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
629
chicken fiber arts fungi
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wonder if the next step has to be the 'final' plan.  Maybe there is some interim scenario that would satisfy you both?  Something that wouldn't rule out your dream or hers?  something that would give you each a taste of what you are wanting?

I know that 'dragging' a partner along into a lifestyle they are not into rarely works.

For us, once we had children my mindset changed dramatically.
I wanted a floor in the cabin, a full pantry, a vehicle...eventually I wanted a phone

 
Posts: 170
Location: Denmark 57N
8
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Talk about it, and I mean talk, no shouting no accusing no but you said whining. Why doesn't she like the plan? Be very honest with yourself You don't need to type anything here but think, do you ALWAYS do what you say you will and on time? Or do your projects drag on, do you have a lot of leftover projects lying around? It is possible she's worried that this house build will just drag or never get finished. (really talking about my husband here :p)
Remember also that building a house will almost certainly cost you 2X what you think it will, things will go wrong, it is also much more expensive to homestead than people think it isn't generally a cheap option (there are exceptions here)
Just how remote were you thinking? There's a huge difference convincing someone to move a couple of miles or 10 out and getting someone an hours drive out. Don't try to railroad her into anything (or let her do it to you) you'll just be storing up bigger trouble for later.
 
Posts: 45
Location: N. Idaho
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You might want to have a new evaluation of your partners priorities, I.E. she might have been willing to agree while it was safe Pie in the Sky, that was an unlikely far in the future dream, (mostly just a team building placebo), but not willing abandon other options and make this THE priority.
Most people will comfortably abandon every dream for security, and many will abandon security for comfort, and the least fortunate will abandon dreams, security, and comfort, for convenience.
FWIW living independent is hard and and if your partner is pulling for it to fail so they can get back to fast food and Netflix and a social safety net, you may as well save your toilet paper budget and just use the money you'd spend on the homestead directly.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1223
Location: northern northern california
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
well i think always the first duty is to be true to yourself, even if you have a partner.

not to say be self serving, but more to say do it without her. to the best of your ability, start small and keeping building up. maybe a cheap piece of raw land, close by the town.

she can get a place in town and you will have to develop your thing on your own. who knows, maybe she will come around once you make it really awesome.

well i am really independent, a self starter, so idk if anyone can relate. you might want to throw my advice out the window, being that i am perpetually single it seems these days anyway!

but i think people should give each other a lot of room even in a close relationship.
actually i have even wondered why more married people dont have their own places, at the very least -their own room.

in the long term partnerships i have been in i always want my own place. even if i dont always hang out there, i really like having my own little place.
 
Posts: 59
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Have you actually asked her why she has changed her mind?  I don't know your marital situation and don't want to know, but sometimes a complete about face of plans, there may be a reason other than she just wants to buy a house in town.  It is hard when couples do not agree, believe me, I know.  I would press for complete reasoning for her change of heart, especially since it was a mutual goal before getting married.  I am suspicious, but that is my nature.

Good luck to you.  I hope you can find a compromise (or really hope she will change her mind back to what was mutually agreed upon).  We live off grid on 4.6 acres and love it.  We are 28 miles from the closest town and 50 miles to the closest city, but we like it that way.

MA Carey
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1223
Location: northern northern california
88
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
on a more practical note - you might consider getting a kit house, i have seen some really neat small kit houses go for a very affordable price.
well affordable relatively of course...for a house. especially if you are thinking small.
...
and since you are interested in post and beam and building with wood. some of these kits can be very bare bones, and so very cheap.
you can get frame only kits.

or get someone to just build parts of it, like just the roof, or get pre cut kits that you put together.

there are many companies across the united states that do these, and even deliver a completed basic tiny house/cabin to your location if you are close enough....

here's the best one i have found, they make some very cool kit sheds and small houses, pre made barns....

http://jamaicacottageshop.com/product-category/storage/garages-barns

and plans -->

http://jamaicacottageshop.com/product-category/plans/barn-plans/page/2/

http://jamaicacottageshop.com/shop/20x40-vermont-cabin/

^^that one has a bare bones frame only.^^

you should maybe look around your area to see if theres one close enough to you to deliver you some of the pieces pre fabricated and mostly assembled.

just having someone cut all the angles and do all the measuringt, and get the basic frame, i think makes the idea of building your own house mostly yourself a lot easier.
 
gardener
Posts: 7562
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
471
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I built a house, with a partner that was not keen on helping in any significant way. Once it was done, she was happy to live there and very complimentary about all the wonderful things that I had done. Eventually, we were divorced and she lived in that nice house for 14 years.

I bought my current piece of land, with nothing on it except for logging slash and plenty of trees that were not harmed. This looked like a lot of work. A few years later, my ex-wife commented, that if we could get along, it would be nice to live up there, in the cabin that I built, but just until I could build a much bigger and nicer house.

I will be moving to my property,  with a woman, but not that one. I was expected to be Captain, first mate, deckhand and financier. She was only comfortable as a passenger.
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1223
Location: northern northern california
88
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yeah mountain girls rock!

well not just mountain girls, but i mean something specific, even if you dont live in the mountains.
women who want to do all this stuff and live in extreme rural areas are rarer than men. and who pull their weight and have good complementary skill sets to really get sh!t done.

if you have a girl like this, feel blessed =)
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1362
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
16
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dale's post says it all, either get divorced and build your dream or stay together and compromise. Dreams often turn out to be nightmares.
On a more practiacal side the frame/ construction of the house is HALF the cost. The second half is all what's inside, electricity, plumbing etc. While you work on your house you can't work either in your job or in your market garden.
What is your more important dream building a house or a market garden? You have as well a kid to care for, what role does the kid play? Kids are pretty resiliant when it comes to mess or lack of electricity, but your wife is not because she has to work in her job, keep the house clean cook... it is a lot of stress. And a stressed mum is not good for kids.
If you would do an honest calculation of all the costs including the hours you work less for money the rent you pay while building I am pretty sure that building yourself is more expensive and not less.
I would have a discussion with your wife and trying to create a lot of different scenarios. Then you pick two or three you both like and  go into the figures.
You could stay in your rental buy a weekender were you build or garden.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
93
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I haven't learned everything there is to know about relationships in my 50+ years certainly, but I have learned this.  You know how people say relationships are hard work?  I think that's nonsense.  I think they are only hard work if you are with the wrong person.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 7562
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
471
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Todd Parr wrote:I haven't learned everything there is to know about relationships in my 50+ years certainly, but I have learned this.  You know how people say relationships are hard work?  I think that's nonsense.  I think they are only hard work if you are with the wrong person.



I've been saying that for years. I don't remember if it was was Oprah or some other TV personality, but I remember that being said over and over again, that relationships were extremely hard work and that you  always have to be on your toes, always struggling to keep it from falling apart.

I know people who fight constantly, and I know people who seldom have any disagreement in their relationship.
 
Posts: 117
13
forest garden greening the desert tiny house purity trees urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Skandi Rogers wrote:Talk about it, and I mean talk, no shouting no accusing no but you said whining. Why doesn't she like the plan? Be very honest with yourself You don't need to type anything here but think, do you ALWAYS do what you say you will and on time? Or do your projects drag on, do you have a lot of leftover projects lying around? It is possible she's worried that this house build will just drag or never get finished. (really talking about my husband here :p)
Remember also that building a house will almost certainly cost you 2X what you think it will, things will go wrong, it is also much more expensive to homestead than people think it isn't generally a cheap option (there are exceptions here)
Just how remote were you thinking? There's a huge difference convincing someone to move a couple of miles or 10 out and getting someone an hours drive out. Don't try to railroad her into anything (or let her do it to you) you'll just be storing up bigger trouble for later.



I personally think yours is the best reply here.  Reality needs to be part of this.  If it's more expensive, both people in the couple are working, AND there's a child in the family...it's starting to sound like two or three extra jobs required just to buy, build, and plant (not to mention planning permissions and marketing of garden produce, etc).

In your original post, there was a lot of "I."  I want to do this, and that, and the other thing...and my wife used to be OK with it.  It doesn't really sound like it was a mutual goal.  It sounds more to me like she thought that would be great if it worked out, and it's great that you have an interest and passionate about it.  But let's be real here...if following your dream is going to take intense amounts of work, money (which you already said you don't have tons of), as well as time away from your family (her and the kid), it's not going to be a great selling point.  Will she effectively be a single parent because you're spending all the time on the projects?

Please think things through before you decide to end a marriage because she "broke the deal" in some way.  You two have a child.  You both work.  Building is an intense, time-consuming, and expensive process (even with no snafus).  It's complicated territory--and it's NOT all about her changing her mind, or whatever you're telling yourself.  It takes two to make a marriage work.  It takes effort and time to raise a kid.  And it's a challenge to make a homesteading dream work.  And yes, it takes some money and time! 

I hope whatever happens you won't neglect the kid.  If you end up doing any big projects, I hope you'll include the kid.  (Children really love to be part of things, at least before a certain age...)  And I hope the two of you will find the balance of how to have a healthy life and relationship (and childrearing) while pursuing dreams of homes, homesteading, and many productive projects in the years to come. 

But whatever happens, you will ALWAYS be a dad, and I hope that's high on your priority list.
 
pollinator
Posts: 459
Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
44
bike books dog urban
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Todd Parr wrote:I haven't learned everything there is to know about relationships in my 50+ years certainly, but I have learned this.  You know how people say relationships are hard work?  I think that's nonsense.  I think they are only hard work if you are with the wrong person.



There is some truth to that. But I have yet to encounter anyone with whom I always agree, or who always seems reasonable, or who always understands me, or whom I always understand, or who always thinks I’m reasonable. (That includes my own self, too.) To understand someone else takes effort, as does being understandable to someone else, be the other a spouse or not.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1362
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree that relationships are not hard work once you are with the right person however, it cannot always be about "I". The other person has dreams too and you need to allow for this. There is not one way you can be happy (having this homestead) but several.
And the options have to be weighed in a rational manner: can we afford the dream? Which advantages and disadvantages has living the dream? Is the estimation of hours needed right? If you love playing music, and start building you will probably find out that there is no time for music. What weighs more the building or the music?
 
pioneer
gardener
Posts: 1236
Location: Middle Tennessee
211
books cat chicken food preservation homestead cooking purity trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Todd Parr wrote:I haven't learned everything there is to know about relationships in my 50+ years certainly, but I have learned this.  You know how people say relationships are hard work?  I think that's nonsense.  I think they are only hard work if you are with the wrong person.



Well said my friend. I've had my share of relationships with girls that never worked out, in fact all of them except my current one , even when "trying hard". I'm not implying it was their fault, it was half on me too. Looking back, the reason, I believe, all my past relationships failed has a lot to do with being just young, and we both had a lack of experience. Now that I'm a little older, thinking back I am able to recognize how selfish a few were and did not treat me with dignity and respect. Now that I have a good woman who does treat me kindly and fairly, it's easy to recognize.

I feel very fortunate to have met my wife, as I cannot imaging where I would be in life without her as my companion. We we're together nearly ten years before getting married, and we were happily unmarried, but decided to get married for some benefits like tax breaks and such.

Here's two things I've learned: 1. People change. Both my wife and I are not the same people we were ten years ago. We've managed to grow together instead of grow apart. 2. I learned the only way, for me, to make a relationship work is to completely accept the other person for who they are. I can't change her, for example, to try to get her to like all the same things I like. We do our own things and happen to share some commonalities.
 
Posts: 228
Location: New Hampshire
19
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you and your partner can figure out what the most important lifestyle considerations that you both agree on, use that for a basis for figuring out what you need to have a functional happy home. Then build on that for some of the wants that add value to your lifestyle with minimal stress and cost.  Never undervalue convenience particularly if something that needs to be done everyday.  Find out what is important to your wife and why it is important to her.  Once you both have a clear understanding of the needs it will be easier to fill them when you have the resources.  You may find once you have clear set of goals that you both agree on that it will be much easier for you to take advantage of an opportunity when they present themselves. 

It sounds like she has the desire to be a home owner.  Why is this important to her.  Why does she want to be in town?
What are her concern about homesteading?   Is it work load, commuting time, fear of isolation being out in the middle of nowhere? Is she worried that if you insist on building it may never happen because it is difficult to build a house since both of you work and raising a family.   Once you know why she doesn't want to homestead then you can begin to find a solution that will work for both of you.  Make the things she does want of the homesteading life style very important needs. It will show that her input is valued and those things you both agree on are good place to start. 

When my husband and I were saving up to buy our current house we went back and forth over what we wanted and the reality it was way more than we could afford.   We took an Applied PDC course as an anniversary vacation right before we started shopping for our house. One of the biggest things we learned is how to figure out what we needed.   This saved us a lot of money and time shopping for a house. We bought a ranch house on a couple of acres, 15 minutes outside of town.  It is zoned agricultural, has south east solar aspect, and we could afford it.  We are very happy with our choice because it meets both of our needs and is not a huge drain on our resources including time. 

At first we wanted 10 plus acres in a very rural area, a big barn, a custom built home  within commuting distance of my husbands work.  That runs $400,000 and up where we live and way out of price range.  While we were saving up a down payment we started researching the lifestyle. We attended classes and workshops on homesteading skills. We also had frank conversations with friends who built or renovated homes in our area.   We also helped friends who homesteaded with various projects that we were interested in and then took Whole System Designs  PDC before we went shopping.  Not everyone can take a 10 day PDC as a couple everything else we did was very inexpensive.

What we learned is we don't want to harvest our own meat, or have large animals.  If we kept the property to a small scale we could use hand tools and not need a tractor which meant we didn't need a barn or even a garage.   We also determined that being close to the highway, grocery stores, medical care and our social network was an important quality of life factor.   We also wanted a house that we could age in place or have my in laws move in with us if they need too.  While we are in our 40's now we want to have the option to retire here.

We made lists of the foods we wanted to grow, big projects we want to add later(greenhouse), estimated how much time we wanted to put into on a daily basis, and realized that a couple of acres is more than we need.  

The other big thing is the work load.  I have physical limitations due to a chronic illness and my functionality will continue to decline as I get older.  My husband works outside the home and isn't around during the day. We sat down and figured out which farm chores I couldn't do and designed the farm based on what I could do.  This way either one of us could do the day to day chores and not have a crisis if one of us got sick or injured. 


 
T. Gardner
Posts: 29
Location: The Carolinas
hunting transportation woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
She doesn't know what she does want, all she knows is that she doesn't want to live in the house we are in now.

She's mostly pushing for a house in town because that's what is available now. However I'm not going to buy a house we can't afford and that I know I will be unhappy in. Most likely we would run into the same problem there too, she would eventually dislike it as well.

The closest thing we can agree on is a modular home. I like the structural integrity of them, she likes the time line it would take to get one. They are also customizable to fit our needs. We also wouldn't need a construction loan to get one either, which is the problem with getting a builder to build a house. If we are to spend 70-80k on a house why not buy a new one rather than buying an older one that needs at least 20k in Reno costs.

The next big question is the where.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1362
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That sounds quite reasonable. I am always for an older house even counted the reno costs. First it is something to move in right away, second the building quality is much higher and you have less costs later.
If you have kids the further out you move the more difficult it gets. Kids have to be able to move around on their own visitng friends doing sports playing music. Driving them around is expensive and time consuming.
 
pollinator
Posts: 519
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
65
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

She doesn't know what she does want, all she knows is that she doesn't want to live in the house we are in now. 



I have NEVER met anyone that doesn't know what they want, deep down. We all have priorities, and we act on them. Our priorities show in what we actually do.

The way I read this, she is not telling you her priorities, you aren't actively listening and missing them, or she is unable to verbalize them.

If it is the first, she is scared or doesn't want to disappoint you. Answer is couples counselling.

If it is the second, counselling would help.

If it is the third, then possibly just counselling for her or a close friend to draw that out?

There is a reason that we use the term "opposite sex". Women have different ways of processing and verbalizing, and I know my wife tries to engage me the way I do those things. However, you need to develop skills to process and verbalize her way- this is a team, not management/labor.  I think counselling is really helpful and a much wiser investment than some of the other priorities. I know I am being harsh but as guys we tend to think in terms of available assets and how to best work in that environment, and you need to realize your partner is your most important asset. Full stop. This is no different from a survival situation, one person will not survive where two or a group have a chance. Gender doesn't matter, numbers and motivation does. People are not meant to be islands. 

I haven't learned everything there is to know about relationships in my 50+ years certainly, but I have learned this.  You know how people say relationships are hard work?  I think that's nonsense.  I think they are only hard work if you are with the wrong person.



Todd, respectfully I don't agree at all. I have been at times the wrong person myself, in my current relationship. People can change, otherwise life pretty much sucks. But not everyone will change, and I think that is where you are coming from.  I am very hesitant to give up on relationships, but there is a time/place when ennabling bad behaviour is the driver. Bad dynamics can be self-perpetuating. But if it is just bad dynamics and people want to change who they are, not just what they are doing, there is a chance.
 
T. Gardner
Posts: 29
Location: The Carolinas
hunting transportation woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our kid is still a toddler so a live in reno is not a good idea right now. On top of that every house that we look at that is around 30 minutes away from where we work is around 100k if you include reno costs in with the purchase price. At that price point it's do able if we could live in the house while fixin it up.

With that in mind I think the modular is our best bet, we just need the land to put it on and that's the bottleneck right now. Raw land is going 5-10k an acre right now...when it does come up for sale.
 
Posts: 62
Location: Eastern Ontario
5
goat pig trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Man this brings up memories.  Went trough same thing myself years ago. Did nt end well for me. Divorce, heart break, and 13 straight years of financial hardship.  I try not to think about past anymore, focus on future is healthier.

That is to say avoid divorce like the plague.  If  you divorce DO NOT leave your home until everything is settled otherwise you will be seen as abandoning your son and that will be used against you.  As sole bread winner you would pay not only child support but spousal too.

I would drop the matter for a while but  begin by subtly  reminding her that NO works both ways. Does she want more kids?? Sorry, no more until you are both happy about your future plans together.  Its not fair to any future offspring to bring them into this world with uncertainty hanging over your heads. Always wear a codom. Dont leave family planning to her.

When she points to nice house she would like you to buy for her with your income. Say No. Its not what you want.
Put your family on an austerity budget and save as much as you can for as long as you can.  Best way to cut down a 30 year mortgage is to put down as big of a downpayment is possible.
In the meantime volunteer at Habitat for Humanity builds. Great way to gain skills.

Can Grandma babysit? If so why cant princess get a job and start making contributions to YOUR future.  Put all of her take home towards downpayment.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1362
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think you are on the right track, either of you can't have it all. I would as well look at buying a piece of land, start the garden and build later. Of course you pay rent but you would pay less mortgage. Todders need  a garden. And the most important time were kids should play outside is from 2-13. Later there are too many other things and homework. Yes driving adds up to time and money.
 
Posts: 587
Location: Bendigo , Australia
21
dog homestead
  • Likes 2 Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been around long enough to have seen that there is nothing wrong with "good debt".
Many people blame all the woes of the work on debt.
But there is good debt and bad debt.
Bad debt is borrowing money for a holiday, or anew car when your older one is ok.
Good debt is something that enables you to get a small home that works and is affordable.
If the debt to get something can be close to the rent now being paid, it may work for you.

From what I can see, your partner does not want to wait 5 years for a house to be built.
A compromise as suggested, may be to borrow enough to get something on the land.
It may need completing, but if its useable you could live init.
In Australia, we call it " lock up" stage. Windproof and water tight.

My idea may work for you, otherwise reality would be to separate and get on with your dreams.
 
pioneer
gardener
Posts: 204
Location: Morongo Valley
75
bee chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi greening the desert cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have read most of the posts in this thread, but I was reading fast.  So forgive me if this was already asked...

Could it be that she is not confident in your and her abilities to get the house built?  Like that it may never be finished, and then you won't have a place to live, or to live comfortably?

I sold real estate a long time.  This issue came up a lot, but was often unspoken.  Sometime one partner had more confidence in their abilities than the other partner feels.  In those cases, one person often wanted to build or get a fixer upper, while another wanted a finished, all-together house.

These couples would often have two different lists of properties to see.  House in the city, then raw land in the country, then some suburban fixer, back to a finished house somewhere.  If they never got honest with one another about their real concerns, this could go on a really long time!

One of the worst things is when one partner humors the other.  I think that usually happens because the partner doing the humoring:

1. Doesn't fully trust the other person, i.e. feels they will make the family miserable if the truth comes out, like act out emotionally,  and/or

2. Feels they have less power in the relationship and can't speak up for some reason, and/or

3. Doesn't feel they can be honest about their fear that is specific to the situation.  Like "I don't believe you can build us a house [that will be liveable, or to my taste, or finished, or affordable in the end, etc... whatever the specific fear]. The categories are usually a lack of confidence in building skills, planning, implementation, or budget.

I'm not saying I believe you fall under any of these categories, and I don't mean to cause offense with any of them.  I'm simply stating what I've observed in years of dealing with couples choosing houses and lifestyles.

Good luck, and I'm sorry this is such a bone of contention in your life.  But there may be some way to get to the bottom of it and find a solution.  If her reason falls under #3, then figuring out the specific, unspoken fear might lead to a solution.  If she lacks confidence in your building, budgeting, or planning skills - or hers for that matter - there are certainly ways to gain more skills in those areas.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1126
Location: Green County, Kentucky
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

T. Gardner wrote:Our kid is still a toddler so a live in reno is not a good idea right now. On top of that every house that we look at that is around 30 minutes away from where we work is around 100k if you include reno costs in with the purchase price. At that price point it's do able if we could live in the house while fixin it up.

With that in mind I think the modular is our best bet, we just need the land to put it on and that's the bottleneck right now. Raw land is going 5-10k an acre right now...when it does come up for sale.



A modular may very well be your best bet at the moment, but keep in mind that in addition to the cost of the land, you will have probably at least another thirty thousand dollars of expenses in getting the land ready for the house.  (If you live where wells are really deep, it could be even more than that.)  That includes the well and septic system, a pump house, foundation for the home, driveway, and getting the electricity in to the property.  (You can see I've been through this before!)  So be sure you have all of that in your budget when you go asking for a loan.

Kathleen
 
Posts: 82
Location: San Diego, California
10
chicken forest garden woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's a possibility, if you can afford it:

Buy the house in town and live in it for a few years, without doing a total renovation - the wife will start to see that her problems didn't go away with going from renter to owner, that the problems run deeper, in the community and atmosphere of the town. the son gets a little older and stronger.

She's now convinced town living is not what she thought it would be; you've been saving up a nest egg and convince her to go with the original plan, you buy property and start the homestead, with your son (maybe) old enough to start helping. You still live in town.

Homestead is done - move in, and RENT the house in town to a worthy renter. you may get enough income here to eventually offset the cost of BOTH properties.
 
John C Daley
Posts: 587
Location: Bendigo , Australia
21
dog homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No need to create your own road blocks.
Renovation with small children is do able.
I have done it, you do either each room separately and block it off, or you clean up every night.
I promise if you did one hour of work a day after work, you will be amazed at how it moves along.

I keep an A4 note book, and every day or so I list what the needs are.
- find tools
- have board y leaning xxx
- undercoat corner panel
- find rollers for door

And it helps clear you mind.
I don't do a list for the whole job, just the next few days maybe a week worth if I need to purchase anything.
I also set up the painting so I am doing 10-15 minute paint stints, just undercoating some new timber, top coat in a corner etc
 
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just want to say the internet is not a place I would normally post a question like this, however after reading all the posts to your question I am amazed at the genuine concern for both sides, the good, carefully well thought out advice given, and only want to add be sure to keep thinking outside the box for a home too. Our home is an older double wide. Not anybody's here first choice, but it turned up through friends of friends. It had been moved off so that they could build. We purchased it at a price even the bank was amazed at and moved it to land and was able to put a full basement under it on our own land. It has issues, but has been a home to our family of six. We slowly have been able to change many things about it. I have even had a person who visited us after dark go tell others that we lived in a cabin in the woods. lol Because the inside feels that way.


I guess my advice is go look at all options then go home and talk about what would work and not work about what you just saw. We looked at a ton of places before finding our solution and being satisfied with it. This will do a couple of things for you. One - Keeps you open and actually looking so you can find your solution. Two- Feels like progress and helps you better understand both the needs and wants of each other. Three- It keeps you humble as you see what you can affort so you are more willing to look at alternatives .

Good luck to you.
 
Crusading Chameleon likes the size of this ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!