Our fifth wheel is here! Picture post

On Thursday this week we took possession of our trailer!  

  

We put it in an RV park halfway between our current apartment and the land we are in a contract on. Here is our first look at the big guy!

  

I think we got one of the best spots in the park. This is the view out the front door. There’s a wooden patio, a spot for a grill, and a grassy area shaded by six huge crepe myrtles. 

  

Our king sized bed!

  

The sink has these awesome sink covers so that when you’re not using the sink, it becomes one large counter. I discovered the genius of this the first day. Love it. 

  

We were very glad to get a freestanding table and chairs. They’re cute too! Our couch is right next to the table. 

  

This was a surprise. We thought this area would be a bench with a bookshelf and small cupboard above. Instead we got a 50″ TV, an electric fireplace and four large cabinets. I think it’s really nice! We will probably pull out the fireplace (hello? It’s summer in Texas. A fireplace is 110% useless). 

  

Two adorable little helpers on the couch. 

  

This was another surprise! This is the girls’ room. We thought this area was a bunk on top and a sleeper sofa under. Instead there is a third bed below, which is totally perfect. Emily, who is two, can sleep here instead of us having to move her rather large toddler bed into the space and figure out what to do with an extra sofa. 

 

Plus, we took the extra mattress off the third bunk and put it on the bunk on the other side, which made it thick enough to attach the bed safety device. Now Ellie can sleep there safely! She LOVES her bunk, too. The child loves caves and tents so this enclosed area is making her little heart so happy. 

We were going to spend a night or two there and then go back to the apartment and pack some more. But once we were out there we decided to just start living there and not go back and forth. 

I love it. I love it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s well designed, but somewhat poorly/cheaply built, so Andrew is already fixing things and improving stuff. I can see us living there for a few years, no problem. 

It’s definitely hard to pare down our belongings, but I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and it’s absolutely living up to its title. Her premise is that everything in your home should make you happy, or spark joy. So, category by category, you go through every one of your belongings and discard everything that does not spark joy. I’ve done clothing, books, and most of the paper. And also the girls’ toys. That was IMMENSELY helpful! Our clothes fit in the tiny closet and tiny drawers. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to my kitchen stuff, so I’m trying to go through it as I move, which is kinda stressful. But I’ll get it! 

Third time’s the charm?

Update to the last entry: The owner did choose our offer! When he returned the contract it left the mineral royalties in his family’s possession. We tried to negotiate that when he and his wife have passed away that the royalties would revert to us, but he was insistent that they remain in the family. Ok. That’s not a deal-breaker; I mean, it would have been nice, and it didn’t really hurt to ask. So our closing date is 6/22 and I’m praying so hard that this goes through!

In the meantime, our trailer is ready! I just spent an hour and a half on the phone insuring it. I hate the phone, btw! But it’s done! We are going to have it delivered next week to an RV park halfway between our current apartment and the property. Because the property is so very raw, it may take more than the two weeks we have between closing and the end of our apartment lease to get the septic installed and the well dug. So we might as well have the trailer delivered, get settled in it, and work on the land in a little less of a hurry.

Contract executed!!!

Wow! Words are hard to come by on this fabulous day.

We have an executed contract on 46 acres of land in Paradise, Texas! I am SO excited! All the crap we have been through since October of 2013 has composted into some beautiful fertilizer. Our dreams are not dead; they are alive and well!

It just so happened that Andrew got word about the contract from our Realtor when I was at our church’s women’s conference. Even though I was attending with my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and grandmother-in-law, I’d chosen to have lunch alone because I’m an introvert and needed some recharge time. Thus, when Andrew told me, I didn’t have anyone around to immediately share the news with. Even though I’m an introvert, I still have to tell SOMEONE when something momentous happens! Anyway, I was just walking around the church with this huge grin on my face, tearing up a little, soaking in the news.

Then I went back to my seat and found a bright pink envelope on it. Our church does this really cool thing for the women’s conference; they have a team of women who pray and read the Bible and write down short notes of encouragement. I believe they are all unique, and we had 4,000 women attending this conference. They seal them and put them on the chairs, asking the Lord to get the right note to the right person. They can be pretty generic, but sometimes they’re oddly specific. When I got to my chair and found mine, I wondered if I should open it right away, and I heard the Holy Spirit say “open it! open it!” I did. Here’s what I read.

I’m not someone who’s prone to cry a lot, but this sent me right from smiling and some tears to full-out laughing/crying so hard the lady a few seats over asked if I needed a hug. If I needed confirmation that we were doing the right thing, I GOT IT. This note is gonna be framed and hung in the trailer. God is SO GOOD.

(And we are scheduled to close on or around May 22!)

Full time trailer living

Welllll….remember how I said I didn’t want to live in a travel trailer?

We are going to live in a fifth wheel travel trailer. (and build the steel building too)

And now the Reasons! So, right now we live in an apartment. We moved here in September 2014 knowing it was temporary, so we signed a 10 month lease, figuring we would know better what our financial situation was by July 2015, and when we could buy land. Here we are in March and we know that we can afford payments on the kind of property we’d like to have, and we’re also reallllly close to having 20% down. However, we knew we couldn’t afford both the monthly payments on our new land and our current apartment. We needed a place to live while building the house, a place that wasn’t in an expensive area, was close to the land so Andrew could build the house, etc. Lots of requirements. Andrew brought up the idea of the travel trailer again, and this time I wasn’t so resistant to the idea. Mainly because we would be building the house during our trailer stay, and the trailer would not be permanent.

Where will the trailer live? Excellent question. Don’t know exactly. If we have our land by July, and if the land has electric and water, and if we can get a septic system installed quickly, we will put the trailer on the land. If the land isn’t ready when the trailer is done, we will probably live in a nearby RV park.

I’m glad we decided this now, because we are buying the trailer new and ordering it custom built, which takes 8-12 weeks. Not everything in the trailer will be customized, but we have some options. We are getting double pane windows, for instance, and a bigger refrigerator rather than an extra cupboard. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Want to see some pictures?

Above is the floor plan. Starting on the left, there is a full second bathroom with a tiny tub to wash small people. It has a door to the outside, which I think will be great for messy little girls who need to run in to use the toilet in the midst of their outdoor adventures. Then there is the girls’ room. It’s a bunkhouse. Ellie will have the bunk above the outdoor kitchen. On the opposite side, we will put a bed for Emily where the optional sofabed is pictured. Above that there is an additional bunk which we will turn into toy and clothing storage.

Then you have the kitchen/dining room/living area. We’ll get a table with four chairs and a love seat with storage underneath.

The master bath has a nice size shower, and we will get the king bed in the master bedroom. There are laundry hookups in the master closet. We already have a full size washer and dryer, so we will probably not be buying a smaller washer to fit the space; we have a couple different options we would like to pursue before buying an appliance we already have.

The kitchen, with the optional bigger refrigerator, which we will get. It’s tiny! But it’s awfully nice for a trailer! We won’t have a TV in the trailer at all; that space above the cupboards would be much better used as pantry space than for a TV. And we have plenty of mobile devices for whatever TV watching we will want to do out in the country. Which will probably not be much!

Living area. Our sofa will have the storage under as pictured here. There’s also that little bench for sitting and reading. We’ll get the same swirly design in the upholstery, but lighter leather.

Master bedroom! My favorite part, besides the king bed, is the little windows on either side of the bed.

Ellie’s side of the bunk room. We won’t have a TV there. You can see the wardrobe to the left; that’ll be nice to have for their clothing.

Here’s the full bunk room; Emily’s bed will be where the sofabed currently is, and above will be storage of toys. The door leads to the bathroom.

Lots of light! And it looks huge with the wide-angle lens!

Regarding paying for it: We will be financing this for 15 years, and paying a very small monthly payment on it. If we get to the end of our lease and need to live in an RV park, the cost of the loan plus the cost of the RV park is far less what we pay for the apartment. This option is really the best one all around. It’s going to be weird living in about 600 square feet, but it will be SO worth it to take the next step toward our dream!

Now I have four months to purge a whole LOT of our belongings!!!