We Bought Property!

Our most frequently asked question since we started building our tiny house has been, “where are you going to park it?” Our response has always been that we’re looking for land, but hopefully we’ll find a backyard that we could put it or if all else fails we could park it at the local RV park. I am extremely happy to report that as of last Thursday, which happened to be our 5 year anniversary, we can now call ourselves land owners!

Pete and I have been looking for land the moment we left college and headed out west. We would be driving down the road in Garden Valley, Idaho and I would say, “look at that land, we should buy that.” Pete’s response was always the same, “is it for sale?”. No, it wasn’t for sale but it didn’t matter because we weren’t in a position to buy anything anyway! We didn’t have permanent jobs and we knew we would be living in a new town in 6 months, but it was still fun to daydream about our future land and the farm that we would start.

To make a long and probably boring story short, the land we purchased (40 acres) had been for sale since we first moved to Marquette and probably for a year or so before that.  We had checked it out when we first moved here but the timing was never quite right for us.  At the beginning of the summer we finally decided to look at it for real and make an offer but it was no longer listed.  At this same time we found another piece of property that we liked but the seller was not yet ready to accept our offer, she was holding out for something better.  Because of her unwillingness to negotiate with us, I started checking the listings again and this time checked Craigslist (which I rarely look at for property).  Low and behold the original property was now being listed on Craigslist, not with the realtor.

Pete was in Montana fighting wildfires and when I told him the land was still for sale he told me to go check it out and make an offer. I thought I should wait for him to come back before looking at the property, but at his insistence my mom and I went and walked the property. I made an offer and waited to hear back from the seller. Then we found out that the seller who was not ready to accept our offer on the other piece of property was now ready to accept. There were pros and cons to both places, but ultimately we liked the 40 acres the best and we were able to settle on a price and proceed with the purchase.

Our goal is to start a small farm. The property is about 20 acres of pasture and 20 acres of woods, with the woods being mostly sugar maple. We hope to make maple syrup, raise laying hens and meat chickens, have a dairy cow and pigs, as well as a large garden. The property comes with its challenges; mainly it is off grid and it would be rather expensive to have power brought in. We also have to have a well drilled.

We are now under more pressure to finish the tiny house so we can move it out to the property when our lease is up on our apartment next spring. We’ll be roughing it for a little while. We’ll have to haul in water until we get the well drilled and we’ll have to rely on solar panels and/or a generator; we’ve been doing a lot of research on off grid living. We’re no strangers to backpacking and roughing it though, so this will just be one more adventure to have fun with.

Categories: Farm Tours, Tiny House Living | Tags: , , | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “We Bought Property!

  1. WOW! It’s gorgeous! Congrats! So what state is it in?? You say Garden Valley and I get all excited that you’re so close!

    • Sorry Macy, the property is in Michigan where we’ve been living for the past three years. We really miss Idaho though and if we had to move out west again that’s where we’d choose.

  2. There is no more perfect gift for your anniversary! Happy 5th!

  3. Tribal Resource Group


    I talked with Bob today and he reminded me you need to contact the utilities before you move the tiny house and get a permit from each municipality you will travel through.

    What is the height of the house?


    • Tell Bob not to worry (and mind his own business)! 🙂 Just kidding! The tiny house is considered a camper for travel purposes and falls under the same rules as towing an RV. The height is 13′ 5″; one inch shorter than a semi-truck.

  4. Karen Hahn

    Looks beautiful! I can see a screened pergola with a fire place and outdoor kitchen as a gathering place near the tiny house. So happy for you! XXOO Karen

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Kirk & Tami

    How exciting!! It feels good to own land doesn’t it! And happy anniversary! And I agree with you Erin, who the hell is Bob?!? Tami

    • Thanks Tami! Bob is a family friend who works for the road commision. He just wants to make sure we’re following the rules. 🙂 It’s the UP…anything goes right?!

  6. Patt

    I really did love the property and can really see you two there! You know I’m already designing the buildings. Just tell me to back off if you need to – I won’t mind. I do find it kind of funny that your deck will probably be bigger than your house.


  7. How great to start off with property, what a great anniversary present! I’m happy for you, sounds like you have a good plan …. I’ve spent time in the Yooper, no better place to live for a month or two 😉 in the summer ( just kidding)

  8. Cindy

    Congrats you guys! We should have a celebration party for your purchase of land. You will do great things with it. Maybe a potluck dinner.

  9. Mollie Herambourg


  10. Stephen and Mandy Konstenius

    Great planning Erin and Pete, hope it all turns out well.

  11. Shane Brion

    Good for you guys!!!! It feels so good knowing its yours. Good luck and best wishes to you guys.

  12. Kim S.

    Gorgeous!… And congrats squared – that is, both on happily arriving at your fifth anniversary and setting some roots on a beautiful piece of property. We haven’t chatted in a while but I love keeping up with your progress through your posts. Hugs to both. K-

  13. Wonderful news! The land is beautiful. Y’all are going to be amazing. Happy anniversary!

  14. Wow! Thanks for all the positive comments everyone. It’s really nice knowing so many people are rooting for us! 🙂

  15. Happy happy joy joy! I look forward to swapping fuzz for chicken and pork some day!

  16. Mind if I ask what county/township the property is located in? I’m about to start construction on a tiny house this Spring, and much to my chagrin, I’m having problems finding land in northern Michigan that’ll allow a tiny house to be parked on it!

    What do your local codes say about the matter? I know it’s virtually impossible to live in a tiny house “legally,” but the less codes you break, the easier you fly under the radar, y’know?

  17. Our property is in Alger County/Rock River Township. Our zoning ordinance doesn’t say we can do it and doesn’t say we can’t. We spoke briefly with our zoning person prior to buying the land and explained that we wanted to build a barn first and live in a camper while building. He said it was generally excepted that folks will live on site while building. In the next couple of months we will arrange a formal meeting with the zoning folks and explain what we’re trying to do. The minimum size house that can be built in this township is 600 s.f. Prior to buying the property we said worse case scenario we’ll build something that makes us legal, but we’re hoping the township will work with us. It’s a very small town and you would think they would be excited about young professionals wanting to move to the area. We’ll keep you posted!

  18. Aaron Peterson

    Hi guys, we live just down the road from your new property. Welcome to the neighborhood.

    • Thanks Aaron! I believe we have mutual friends; Matt and Hannah. Stop by to say hello sometime; we’ll be living out there by the end of May!

  19. Katie Lunafish

    Hi Pete and Erin! I just stumbled across your blog while searching for more info on tiny homes in Michigan and I’m so excited to hear that you both have one here!!!! My husband and I also live in Michigan but in the lower part near Lansing. We’ve been married now for a little over 3 years and we bought our first home when we got married. It’s under 1000 sq ft so we’re pretty used to living in a somewhat small home but we really would like to go even smaller to make our lives more simple and less cluttered. Ever since we first heard about tiny houses we’ve dreamed of building one together and moving up to Manistique, MI which is a couple hours south of you. I was hoping that maybe you could give us some insight on the process of owning a tiny home in the UP. Like what kind of legal things did you have to go through, if any and if you have to worry about zoning laws, etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Also do you have any pets living in the house with you and if so how do they like it? We have 5 cats and a dog in our home right now and they seem to get along fine in the space but I’m worried that a tiny house would be way too small for all of them. Oh and I’m not sure if you’d be able to give any advice on how to sell our home we have now but if you have any experience with that it’d be great to get some insight. We have a 30 year mortgage on it and have only paid off 3 years so far :(. I hope to hear back from you both! It’ll be one step closer to accomplishing our dream 🙂

  20. Pingback: A Long Overdue Update | BIG LAKE ~ tiny house

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