In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine


The Thrill of the Hunt

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ha ha. I don't remember when I started this blog post but I find the title especially hilarious. I remember that I had intended it to describe our experience of house-hunting and it has been thrilling, but not necessarily in a good way.

We started our house hunt back in, sheesh, I guess it was around March of 2008. The first house we ever looked into was a decent looking place over in Cambridge, VT. The downside? It needed a new septic system. At this point we had little to no money in the bank after living in an expensive, dump of an apartment in Hyde Park. So, once we got a few numbers and realized we would be worse than poor if we bought the house we moved on.

All summer we casually looked at houses and when the housing market started to go down the tubes we figured we'd be in luck! I know, kind of terrible to say, but true. So in September we found a sweet little house in Wolcott sitting on a 7 acre plot right next to a river. (Yes, the land was wet, something I didn't want to admit to at the time.) We didn't talk them down much in the price but we were excited. To have a home of our own, what a great idea.

So, we had the building inspection and the appraisal and everything sounded OK (not great, but ok). And we moved on to getting the approval for the PMI (heck no we didn't have 20% to put down!!!) which is when we ran into our first "speed bump". Bummer, we had to get a second appraisal ($$) and a structural engineer ($$$$) to check the house again. A month, a few migranes, a new underwriter for the mortgage insurance, and extreme frustration with our "realtor" later we had a laundry list of items that would need to be fixed in order for us to get the PMI (haha, nope we didn't even make it past that stage!) So, the sellers got sick of it all and decided they wanted nothing less than to give us a break. So we decided to walk away, and give our useless realtor his walking papers in the process.

At this point I didn't even want to THINK about the money we spent trying to get a mortgage for this little house. But, we continued forward. It took us two months to fail to get financing (despite our almost-perfect credit and $$ in the bank) and only about another month before we found our house.

I say "our house" not because we've closed but because it just fits us. Its a beautiful old farmhouse in Johnson in need of alot of time. The house itself is in GREAT shape but jeez I've never seen so much linoleum (ahem, I mean CONGOLEUM). And don't get me started on the wallpaper (anyone who knows me knows how I feel about wallpaper- ugh). Its about twice as big as we need but plenty of room for us to grow. Located right across from the Lamoille River, on a dead-end road on 3.4 acres of land. GREAT neighbors and just down the street from the Long Trail (both the hiking trail and the tavern...which is now shut down, not sure if I'm happy or sad about that one).

Ok- so update- wow I'm bad about posting things I start working on- WE CLOSED ON OUR HOUSE!!! Yep, we closed on the exact LAST day of February (kind of was a pain in the @** but we fought for it). I OFFICIALLY hate VHFA, by the way. But we moved right in and have been working hard to make it our own. I'll start posting pics of our projects along with some before and after shots.

Whew- hellooooo bloggers. I'm BAAAAAAck.


  1. You are doing a great thing by re-doing this house and it's amazing, isn't it, how things work out the way they are supposed to work out. You thought you wanted the first place only to have it blow up in your face and look what you got as a reward - the perfect piece of land with the perfect farmhouse on it! Fabulous.

  2. Melissa Says:
  3. Hi MEY! Thanks for the compliment, and yes, it is amazing how things work out. Definitely makes those tough times a little brighter. :)

    Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon!