Our homestead!!! The barn is peeking out in the right corner
Our homestead!!! The barn is peeking through in the right corner.

In case you thought the only new thing going on in our lives right now is Babywoods, well, I have a small surprise. We kinda sorta bought our homestead. And by “kinda sorta” I mean we 100% bought our homestead.

I’m thrilled to share this news with you and it’s the main reason why I’ve been posting less often lately–Mr. Frugalwoods and I are delightfully busy preparing for our impending move!

We closed on our Vermont homestead earlier this year and will move there in mid-May (we needed to get our affairs in order before divulging to you fine folks). Our Cambridge home is already rented out for June 1st and I’ll discuss the rental property angle of our plan in a future post. In the meantime, we spend most weekends in Vermont and most weekdays frantically packing up our Cambridge place (and, of course, fixing the 1 million things that decided to break… gotta love that everything happens at once!).

The quick employment rundown is that Mr. Frugalwoods will work remotely from Vermont for his current employer and I will work from home as a freelance writer, blogger, and mommy to Babywoods (and Frugal Hound too of course). This is the super short answer to the pressing questions we’ve received about daycare–I’ll explain in greater detail how I made this transition from office job to work-at-home momma in another post because there’s so much to say!

Coming Up On Frugalwoods: Tons Of Homestead Posts!

View of the house in the fall
View of the house in the fall

I imagine you’ll have a million questions (uh, I still do too), so I’ll devote several upcoming posts to all things HOMESTEAD. Since this joyous announcement opens a veritable Pandora’s box of topics, consider this a table of contents… In the hopper right now are posts outlining the following:

Woot! I’ll try to rein in my excitement enough to coherently tell you the full story. But first, let me express how deeply grateful I am to all of you for cheering us on in this journey. Its been incredibly heart-warming to have all of your warm wishes, advice, and encouragement as we embark on this unique adventure. I can’t wait to take all of you with me to Vermont (via the internet of course)! And fear not, this is by no means the end of Frugalwoods. Rather, it’s the beginning of an entirely new and fulfilling chapter in our frugal weirdo lives. Let’s homestead it up, everybody!!

The Backstory (brief version, I promise)

Family photo at the homestead! Babywoods' head featured in floral hat.
Family photo at the homestead! Babywoods’ head featured in floral hat.

I shall get to the juicy bits in short order, but first, allow me to set the stage…

Two years ago (on March 29, 2014 to be precise), Mr. Frugalwoods and I had a joint mid-life crisis at age 30. At the time, we were living the life you’re “supposed” to live. We’d gone to college, secured good jobs, gotten married, purchased our first home, adopted a hound dog, and thought, well, is this it? Is this all we should expect for the next 40 years? We felt eerily out of touch with the things we’re most passionate about–hiking, nature, writing, self-sufficiency, and the ability to tinker, create, and explore. Not liking this outlook and not wanting to turn into bitter people, we made the decision to radically change our trajectory.

In our opinion, the culturally dominant idea of continually upgrading our home, car, possessions–in other words, hopping on the carousel of lifestyle inflation–was an empty, meaningless way to spend our existence. Propelled by the desire to truly live, instead of merely survive, we charted a path to financial independence through extreme frugality. We began saving over 70% of our net income and crystallized a dream of moving to a homestead in the woods of Vermont. Neither of us has a trust fund, our families haven’t given us huge sums of cash, we didn’t win the lottery, and in fact, we’ve both always worked for non-profit organizations. The power of frugality indeed.

Why Not Go House Hunting When You’re 9 Months Pregnant!?!

Viewing the land at 9 month pregnant
Hiking the land at 9 months pregnant

Longtime readers know we’ve been searching for our ideal homestead parcel for three years now and, when we saw this place, we just knew. As fate would have it, I was nine months pregnant when we first laid eyes on what would become our homestead and we debated waiting until after Babywoods was born to put in an offer.

However, we love this place and we’ve seen enough properties to know that it anomalously meets our criteria. And we feared that someone else would swoop in and buy it. We asked each other how we’d feel if it went off the market (answer: tears! terrible!) and that mental exercise made us realize how very much we wanted it.

Thus, we took the plunge and put in an offer the week before Babywoods was born (our realtor kept asking: when exactly is that baby due?).

This timing is precisely what I’m talking about when I discuss strategic and decisive pursuit of your dreams. I’m a firm believer in copiously researching, planning, and plotting for years, and then–when the moment is opportune–striking quickly.

Why We Bought Our Homestead Ahead Of Schedule (and while, you know, having a baby)

This is the view from the house looking out onto our land
This is the view from the house looking out onto our land

Our chief real estate strategy, which served us well both with this property and our Cambridge, MA home, was to gather epic amounts of data for years before making a decision.

Mr. Frugalwoods and I spent these last three years traipsing around various parts of southern and central Vermont viewing dozens of properties that fit our parameters of 20+ acres with a house, outbuilding(s), healthy woods, a vibrant community, and an accessible road.

Throughout the process, we educated ourselves on what to look for in rural acreage (much of which is detailed in our Frugal Homestead Series). Since we’re city slickers, becoming familiar with the nomenclature of rural life, and the nuances of rural properties, was a learning curve all its own.

This parcel popped up in our search results in October and was the catalyst for our final pre-baby homestead hunting trip (yeah, the one where we got seriously lost… uh, we’ve since procured an atlas). It looked too good to be true online and so of course we had to see it in person. Mr. FW and I were certain there was something grievously/bizarrely wrong with it since we were shocked to find so much acreage and such a well-appointed house in our price range. Fully prepared to uncover some horrible truth about this property when we visited, we were instead… absolutely, positively, and completely smitten.

We came back a second time to walk the land and, as we ate apples fresh from the trees in the front yard, I started to cry because this was the one. I felt at home and at peace on this land. No other piece of real estate has ever moved me to tears. I took it as a sign (or perhaps just pregnancy hormones… ).

Beyond Emotions: Vetting Our Homestead

Mr. FW shoveling snow near our barn/shop
Mr. FW shoveling snow near our barn/shop

After coming down from the emotional high of eating apples on the porch, we had a ton of due diligence to perform before: 1) putting in an offer, and 2) giving birth to Babywoods.

Armed with this dual deadline, we got cracking with our research. Although we would, of course, have a home inspection (including well, septic, and radon), we wanted to learn as much about the property ourselves as possible.

This property has a unique set of characteristics that all combined to make us very, very intrigued, which is what instigated our extensive research and what ultimately led to our purchase. I’ll outline our complete vetting process in a forthcoming post.

Frugalwoods Homestead Specs:

  • 66 acres of primarily wooded land in central Vermont, 35 minutes from Hanover, New Hampshire (where Dartmouth College and every attribute of the ‘big city’ are located)
  • A 4 bed, 2.5 bath, 2,300 square foot house, built in 1991, with two woodstoves
  • An 1,800 square foot barn/shop with a woodstove
  • One pond
  • Many streams
  • Countless apple trees, several plum trees, and a forest of sugar maples (syrup, anyone?)
  • Two acres of cleared “yard” with extensive garden beds
  • One very confused Frugal Hound who cannot figure out why there are smells of moose, deer, and turkey in her yard

The Finances

Our pond!
Our pond!

Purchasing this home ahead of our original early retirement schedule is a perfect illustration of the power of frugality. Since we’ve been living way below our means and saving in earnest for years, it was no problem for us to come up with a downpayment.

As had always been our plan for our homestead, we secured a mortgage–more specifically a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4% with 25% down. We could’ve paid cash for this property, but our financial philosophy is that we’d rather keep that cash invested in the market and borrow for the house at a cheap rate. If interest rates weren’t so low, perhaps we’d be telling a different tale, but at 4%, we are happy to have a mortgage. Over the longterm, we expect to make more from our investments than we pay in interest.

Additionally, we’ve rented out our Cambridge home with a lease start date of June 1 and the projected net income from that property will cover our Vermont mortgage with some leftover. I’ll address the financial aspects in greater depth in an eponymous post.

The Realization Of A Dream

Homestead!
Homestead!

Mr. FW and I are still in a state of shock and wonder that we were able to make this crazy dream happen. I hope that the feeling of awe we experience each time we walk through our woods will never fade. I aspire to live a life infused with the grace of relishing what I have and of profound gratitude. And I want that gratitude to spill over to our efforts in our community and our broader world.

We are fully aware of how fortunate we are to have earned enough money to save enough money to buy a homestead and to make it a sustainable future for our family. This isn’t a standard, normal, or routine thing to do with one’s life, but we have no desire to follow a routine, normal existence. To take great risks is to realize great rewards. There are so many unknowns and things for us to learn and tasks for us to perform on our land, but for right now, we’re excited, grateful, and thrilled with this materialization of the “woods” part of our destiny.

Thank you for accompanying us on this journey. The reason I share our story here on Frugalwoods is to prompt you to ask yourself the very same questions that spurred our homestead quest:

What would you do if you didn’t need your paycheck? What’s your passion? How can you align your finances in order to facilitate it?

Update: check out the next installments of this story in How We Decided Our Homestead Was The One and The Finances Of Our City Rental and Country Homestead and How We Turned Our City Home Into A Rental Property. You can also follow along with our lives out here in the country in my This Month On The Homestead series.

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415 Comments

  1. Wow!! You did it!! Congrats. The House and the land around it looks amazing.
    I have been following your story for a while now from half way around the Globe and you are a big insparation for us.

  2. I am so happy for you guys! I am super excited to see what you do with the place – what vegetables you grow in your garden, what animals you get, etc…

    I’ve always lived out in the woods up until the past 2 years, where I’ve been stuck in a tiny apartment in the middle of a big city, and I hate it. There’s no forests here, nor gardens, and fellow apartment dwellers generally frown on you honing your archery skills in the courtyard. Sigh. So I guess I’ll be living vicariously through you guys now! 🙂

    BTW, that’s totally awesome that you have a pond. Is it large enough to hold fish, and do you guys fish at all?

    1. Is there any way you can have a little garden on a windowsill or if you have a balcony? I’ve been making the best of my apartment with as much greenery as I can stuff in it and it’s made me a lot happier with my home.

      1. Last summer I actually did find a local community garden, and I registered for a plot and grew some awesome fresh vegetables. It’s tiny, though – 12′ x 12′. When I was a kid, we grew almost all of our own food in two gigantic gardens.

        Looking back, I think we were actually farmers. 🙂

      2. A woman where I live put pots on the stairs leading to her apartment, on her small deck and under her stairs. It was a GREAT little garden of flowers and veggies! Inspired me to do the same 🙂

  3. Wow! Congratulations!! I’m selfishly sad to lose your Cambridge-based perspective but excited to see what’s next on your journey!

  4. Congratulations! That’s exciting! I love your new home. I’m glad you finally reached your goal.

    I’m not sure what I’m passionate about…probably to have the freedom to explore my interests. Right now, my goal is to get out of debt, so I can do that. I read your blog to motivate me.

  5. I don’t often leave comments but just stopped by to say congratulations. I’m looking forward to all the homestead stories.

  6. Congratulations, that is fantastic news. I mentioned you guys on my blog a few weeks ago in the context of “blogs I love” and mentioned your dream of retiring and owning a farm in Vermont. Well you went and did it, well done. I can’t wait to see and read more of your adventures.

  7. Congratulations!! Looking forward to reading all about it. Although, I am selfishly a little sad that we won’t get any super-Frugal tips on affording childcare in MA and aiming for early retirement. 🙂

  8. Aaaaahhhh congratulations!!!! This is so exciting!

    I have to admit that I’m extra excited because I’m from central VT, my parents still live there, and I go back to visit frequently. It’s such a great place to live. If you guys ever decide to host a reader get-together I’m 100% in! 🙂

  9. This is exciting news! Congratulations to you and your family. And this is ahead of schedule, is it not? The personal finance world looks forward to all of the unexpected Vermont adventures ahead! Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together 🙂

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

    1. Thank you so much! Yes indeed, we are joyfully ahead of schedule :). I’ll cover that angle in the upcoming post on the finances!

      1. Wow!!! ????????????????????
        Congratulations!

        I am really curious to hear all about this and your rental angle. All of it.

        I am surprised by the mortgage. I swear I read you say you guys wanted to pay cash, but maybe I am miss remembering.

        Really excited for you too. Can’t wait to hear stories at FinCon this year

  10. Ah I love it. What a wonderful part of Vermont that is too! We love to go skiing up there and our cousin is a state trooper in Clarmont, NH. Congratulations!

  11. So happy for you! Also, totally agree on your mortgage vs. paying in cash approach. Mortgage rates are so low now that they’re just a smidge over the inflation rate, and it’s always better to be liquid than non-liquid. Plus, mortgage interest is deductible (for the time being!).

    Best of luck with the move!

  12. CONGRATULATIONS Frugalwoods family. I did not expect the day to be here so soon. I have been reading since the beginning and cannot wait for the upcoming homestead posts.

  13. Congratulations Frugalwoods Family! Am looking forward to following along on this exciting adventure!!!

    Your homestead looks picture perfect and beautiful.

  14. Congratulations!!! I look forward to vicarious homestead living via many excellent future posts! 😀

  15. Congratulations!!!

    I’m reading this latest entry blog entry and let out a little woo-hoo when I read the title (I’m at work so had to restrain myself).

    I look forward further adventures of the Frugalwoods in and about your gorgeous new homestead.

  16. This is fantastic! I just recently discovered your blog but I gobbled up every post I could find by you. My husband and I moved to a homestead in Central Appalachia just six months ago and I can very much relate to your adventures in striving to move out to a simpler life. How exciting that you have made such a concrete step in that direction. I can’t wait to read some mid May updates about how the process is going for you all. 🙂

  17. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods! This sounds like a fantastic place, and I’m glad that you were able to achieve your dream ahead of schedule!

  18. Wow, congratulations! That is such exciting news as it is obvious how much this means to you and your family. And Vermont is truly a wonderful place to live and raise kids. Best of luck in the upcoming months as you finalize your move to your new home.

  19. Congratulations to you!!! I’ve only been following your blog for about a yr but you have inspired me to keep reaching. Can’t wait for the writings of your new season.

  20. Congratulations!! It is so exciting to see you fulfilling your dream and that homestead is beautiful!

  21. Have been following you for close to an year now . This is exciting news. Congratulations .

  22. Amazing! Congratulations, it looks & sounds absolutely wonderful! Love the blog & look forward to plenty more to come! Greetings from England 🙂

  23. Hello Mrs. and Mr. Frugalwoods! Congratulations on purchasing your homestead! That’s incredible. You mention opting to keep your money invested in the market instead of paying for your home in whole. Would you mind writing about your investment strategies and how you learned about the best ways for frugal investing? Thank you so much! Always love catching up on your blog!

  24. Wow! Your homestead sounds like exactly what we are hoping to find someday! That is so exciting that you are moving forward with your dream. Its amazing how sometimes becoming a parent can make you re-evaluate and speed up your plans. We recently decided to change our plans, since we are about 80% to our FI goal, and I am quitting my high paying job to teach next year (my dream job) – so I’ll have summers off with the kids. After all – its really just about being able to live the life we dream of! Congrats!

    1. Congrats to you on making that decision! It really is all about living the life you dream of.

  25. Amazing!! So excited and happy for you all. What an exciting adventure! Thank you for sharing your lives with us and giving us inspiration to apply to our lives..

  26. Congratulations. Every good rural property should have a name, imho… will you carve the words Frugal Woods into a plank and hang it on the gates!?

  27. Congratulations!! Your new homestead looks so wonderful!!! I’ve always wanted a woodstove, so I’m interested in future posts about cooking/warming your home.

    1. O I’m so very excited for you and so happy andyour so young. Can’t tell you how I’m looking forward to each new post.

  28. I have been reading your blog for a while now and this is the first time I’m commenting.

    But there is something about seeing you reach this massive, amazing wonderful goal. I love how you write, I love to be along for the ride you have taken. Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves. You’ve inspired me and I can’t wait to see what this new chapter brings.

  29. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so very, very happy for all of you, including the hound!! WELCOME TO VERMONT! Your home, property, barn, pond, the whole nine yards looks absolutely stunning. Your home looks like it won’t need any work other than maybe cosmetic, if you choose. Steel roof, godsend up here….we have one, well worth the money, nice, nice everything. Oh gosh, I can’t write enough to say how sincerely happy I am for you. So close to Dartmouth, too. Right near the border. Great location. Can’t wait to see the updates. Thousand questions. The fulfillment of a dream….you must feel so proud, and should be. So young still and knowing what you want in life, how to achieve it, and then DOING IT! Put Babywoods down for her nap and keep writing. CONGRATULATIONS!

    1. Hi bev, thank you! I’ve so loved reading your pro-Vermont comments :). We were thrilled about the steel roof for sure!! And, you’re right, cosmetic changes only! Remind me, where in VT do you live?

      1. We live in Jericho, about 12 miles outside of Burlington. I’m not exactly sure where your house/property is, but you said 35 min from Hanover, NH. Anywhere near there is a wonderful area. Right over the state line and so many amenities in NH. Woodstock/Quechee, beautiful places, too. Norwich….nice areas. The steel roofs work like a charm, just don’t be underneath it when it decides to come down. 🙂

  30. This is so exciting!!!!!! Congratulations!

    Ok, so since you are moving out ahead of schedule, what were your plans for childcare? I am asking both of you, for the record. We’re you always planning for one or both of you to work from home? Or just have Frugal Hound nanny?

    1. Thank you!!! Hahah, you are awesome to ask both of us ;). So the original daycare plan was to go the traditional daycare route and both continue working full-time. However, my freelance work picked up significantly and we realized that if I hustled and built up that business for myself at home, I’d be able to do that while staying home with Babywoods (which is what I wanted to do both for financial reasons but also because that’s how we want to raise her). I’m going to do a whole post on it in the near future–promise :)! P.S. I hope your baby is doing well!!!

      1. Thanks- Solly is growing in both cuteness and fatness!

        I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this as the lack of equitable childcare options is often frustrating.

  31. I am so happy that everything has worked out so well for you. It was meant to be! Your property especially the pond area is so beautiful. I look forward to reading future blogs about your life on your homestead. Just curious. Will frugal hound be allowed to roam free? How will you teach him boundaries.

    1. Thank you! Frugal Hound will stay on her leash for the immediate future. We don’t want to risk her bolting off into the woods and getting lost!

  32. Congratulations!!! I must say that I expected this to happen when you showed us your househunting expeditions. And knew you were not going to want to leave that precious baby to go to a job every day. And you were showing definite signs of getting the homemaking bug. You will be so very happy!

  33. Congratulations! You now live in my “neck of the woods” and I’m so looking forward to reading about your new frugal adventures in Vermont. I am so encouraged by your posts in our own frugal journey. Yay for you!

      1. We are almost-empty-nesters living in South Royalton, VT, home of the awesome Vermont Law School (also my place of employ). We are in the midst of doing what you did but in reverse, renting out our house on the top of the mountain and renting ourselves right on the lovely green in down-town South Royalton, with the intention of making it permanent as soon as we can. I’m loving being a “townie”, but still working on making our place in town productive, veggie garden, maybe back-yard chickens, eventually, etc. I find your posts very inspirational!

  34. Wow. Just wow. This has made my day – my week actually. Congratuations! I’m absolutely thrilled for you!

  35. Wow….. Looks like you guys found an amazing place, congrats!

    This is a wonderful post about the benefits of working your butt off for years so that you can do whatever you want without anyone telling you otherwise . Nice!

  36. I am so happy for all of you! I love your blog. I have a hint for the winter – please don’t send Frugalhound out in a bonnet – the moose will make fun of her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your wonderful lives.

  37. It’s so beautiful! Congratulations on reaching this long dreamed about and worked for milestone! And that pond!!! I can’t wait to read all of your upcoming posts and homestead vicariously through you – best wishes on your new home ????????????

  38. Ahhhhhhhhhhhmazing! Super congrats! Thrilled for you, can’t wait for all the posts. Yay big dreams!

  39. Congratulations!!!!!!!! The homestead is beautiful. Look forward to reading future posts as you guys embark on this new journey.

  40. I am over the moon happy for you all. I have been following your blog for quite sometime, enjoying every post and the inspiration you share. I share your dream for a simpler life as I too dwell in the city (s)pace. Your homestead looks AMAZING!!! Here’s to lots of canning, learning new skills and time with family 😉 Congrats!

  41. Congrats Frugalwoods fam! Your journey has been such an inspiration to me and I’m so glad to see all those awesome vibes you put out to others via the Internet universe has been repaid in the form of a karmic finding of THE HOMESTEAD. (Although I’m sure your diligent searching had a lot to do with it too!)

  42. I am so happy for you guys! I can’t wait to start reading the plethora of homestead posts that are forthcoming! This sounds like a gem of a property and home. Congrats on realizing your dreams!

  43. Congratulations!! As a Vermonter, temporarily in Michigan, I want to welcome you to the best state. May you be blessed by this new adventure. I look forward to your perspectives on my state, and how you transition from the urban to the rural.

  44. Looks awesome, and congrats for accomplishing your goal! I gotta ask – that looks like a ton to maintain, though, from an acreage perspective. Who’s job will it be to keep all that land cut and looking pristine? 😉

    1. Haha, so true! Fortunately, only a small percentage of the land is actually cleared (basically just the lawn) and we’ll mow that with a riding lawnmower. The rest is forest, which just does its own thing (with selective cutting periodically to maintain the health of the forest). We also have a tractor with a brush hog to manage larger bits.

  45. Wow!!! Congratulations! Soooo happy for you! Your blog is such an inspiration to me. Seeing the dream come to fruition is truly wonderful. I hope you’ll keep blogging after the move. 🙂

    1. Thank you! And I’ll definitely keep blogging–in many ways this feels like just the beginning of Frugalwoods!

  46. Congratulations! I live in Los Angeles but my parents live in Virginia and own the acre on the left side of their home, the acre on the right side of their home and the acre across from their home so I could buy a nice tiny home outright and put it on free land and retire there easily at age 55 or before (I’m 48 now) but I would die of boredom so I choose to live simply in the city and blog about it and keep saving to get $1 million to retire in Los Angeles but that idea is very tempting at times.

  47. It’s beautiful! congratulations. i have enjoyed following your progress on your dream, and will continue to enjoy your posts.

  48. Soooo, it’s happening for real, huh? 🙂 Congrats!

    The house and land look beautiful. Can’t wait to see all the details of the homestead property. My first impressions: (1) wow that pond looks awesome and (2) that barn looks huge / I would hate to paint it! 🙂

    Congrats again and I look forward to seeing how the next chapter in your life unfolds. Have you thought how your kid won’t really ever know the Boston house and she’ll only remember growing up in the woods? Pretty neat!

    1. Haha, re. #2, the funny thing is that we really want to paint it red! Because a barn should be red, right?!? 🙂

        1. Bahaha—not even joking, we discussed this as an option. Our backup plan is to wait until Babywoods is old enough to paint… or maybe when you visit we can con your kids into it ;)?

          1. They love to paint, but not always where you want them to. I ask again, if my kids are involved, how would you feel about a red striped FrugalHound? 😉

  49. What an incredibly beautiful setting and the house looks perfect too. Well done! Very happy for you both. Sincere congratulations!

  50. Congrats !! It’s a beautiful property and you surely worked hard to make it happen. Much happiness to all four of you.

  51. Congratulations! What is more amazing than a dream come true!? I am so happy that all your efforts paid off.

  52. Congratulations! That is awesome news. What a lovely home you’ve found. Thanks for sharing and for all the inspiration you provide.

  53. Wonderful news – congratulations on finding your dream homestead! I’ve been following your blog for over a year, and really enjoy the zest the Frugalwoods family bring to the world. So happy for you, and look forward to hearing more of your new adventures in rural Vermont.

  54. I am thrilled for you! This is encouragement to work on a plan for accomplishing what one wants. You certainly did your homework. The work doesn’t stop (just shifts to new things or places), but best wishes for enjoying the fruits of your labors.

  55. I’ve never posted on your blog before but I read some of your articles and this post about your new house was an inspiration to post. Wonderful pictures!! I believe that this place can be indeed a nice rural paradise. And it’s fantastic that your hubby will be able to work remotely and keep his salary with wonderful benefits. This could be anyone’s dream! I’m looking forward to the financial aspects :-). Question as I’m out of touch with the living standards in expensive American cities: Will the rent on your Cambridge house cover your 2 mortgages of both houses? If so, the monthly rent would be easily over $4k, I recon…. Boy, what kind of job does a person (or a couple) must have in Boston in order to cover $4-5k rent plus all other expenses?

    Good luck

    1. Thanks so much! Good question on the rent–yes, it will cover both mortgages with some leftover and yes, the rent is very high. That’s just the cost of living in this part of Cambridge. Many folks in the area work in biotech or software, which both pay quite well and hence, rental (and home prices) are extraordinarily high here. We’ll have a whole post on the rental property angle soon 🙂

      1. I would love to hear about your plans to manage rental property from afar… Frugally. I know the usual plan people follow is to hire a local management company, But I’m sure you guys have come up with a frugally creative route.

  56. What a beautiful place! Congratulations, congratulations. Maine has a tradition of people just you like you, shucking their ordinary lives to come live frugally on a piece of land. They have made Maine a better state, and their chief contribution is the nurturing of young farmers, of which Maine has in very large numbers. Anyway, I’ll stop and say congratulations yet again. Can’t wait to read about your rural adventures.

    1. Haha, I figured people would think we were up to something ;)! Many thanks for the congrats!

  57. How great that you found the one! I know what that feeling is like. And I’m glad it didn’t take hundreds of property viewings like last time 😛 I’m jealous of your trees. Maple! Apples! I’ll reach that day sometime too.. For now, I’ll be over in a few minutes with the champagne and the syrup buckets.

  58. I’m so profoundly happy for you. I found myself ecstatic with joy as I read your news! Congratulations! We already work from home from our homestead here in Spain, and I’m telling you: after six months, the awe we feel in this piece of land hasn’t faded at all 🙂

  59. Well, this is fantastic news and I am totally thrilled that you are realizing your dream. Now – I’ve been going down a rabbit hole all this time thinking that homesteading meant you were heading out to virgin land and would have to clear it, build your house out of logs (Like I did) and carry your own water up from a crystal stream until you could dig your own well. I am more at ease knowing that you already have apple trees (so did I) and a HOUSE (I did not). You’re close to civilization when the woods get to you – trust me, they will. NOT OFTEN but as much as I love my woods…I really need to get to the ballet and art museums. Well, I do have a job and do see people but there are times…but I am always SO glad to go home to the woods…ALWAYS. This is so exciting…so fulfilling. And, there IS MORE to life than always getting MORE STUFF…I’m glad- ecstatic that you discovered that before you were forty!

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, the proximity to culture was very important to us, so we’re thrilled to have world class cities not too far away! Babywoods must grow up going to museums, etc as well as romping in the woods :).

  60. So very happy for all four of you! Congratulations and God bless. Keep posting, I truly enjoy this blog and learn a lot from it. xo

  61. Congratulations Frugalwoods! Wishing you much health, prosperity, happiness, love and laughter in your new abode! It looks like a beautiful place to plant your dream.

  62. Congratulations! I found your blog via Blonde on a Budget and LOVE it. I have been binge reading the whole thing from start to finish. I am currently on May 2015. So happy to hear you found your homestead!

  63. Hello Frugalwoods, I’m so happy to see you’ve found your forever home, it looks fabulous. Make sure you keep on posting I love to hear about your adventures (even those involving pesky home appliance breakdowns) especially when I live in a town in the UK where the garden to our rented house is about 40ft x 40ft! Enjoy the space. Xxx

  64. Congratulations! I can’t wait to hear about your family’s future adventures in Vermont. What a great way for your daughter to grow up. Good luck with everything! One question though, will you need to get more furniture for your new home? 2300 square feet is pretty big.

    1. Thank you! Good question on the furniture–we’ve decided to just take the furniture we have and live with some empty space for the immediate future. I’m in no rush to buy stuff to fill it up–I find that things usually come around when we need them, so we’ll wait and see. And yes, the house is definitely bigger than we anticipated!

  65. Woohoo! Congratulations:) we are super happy for you. My husband and I have been following you for a while now and use you as inspiration for our frugality. We were giddy this morning (at 5:00 am….too early with our little ones too excited to start their day) to see the post that you had finally purchased your homestead. All the best and we look forward to following you on this new adventure.

  66. Congrats! That’s so awesome! I could definitely see myself living there. I was born and raised in a rural part of New England so that would definitely feel like home. Can’t wait to see what plans you have for it.

  67. I don’t usually post comments, however this post moved me to tears of joy for you and your family.

    I have been following your blog for some time now and it is so exciting to me that everything you have set out to accomplish for you and your family is finally happening.

    I have to add that I am completely jealous of your new homestead. It is absolutely beautiful.

    Congratulations!!!!

  68. So very happy to hear the great news about your new homestead. Congrats.
    Although I’m fairly new to the blog I find your post uplifting and informative. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, sharing is truly caring.

    If I didn’t need a pay check I would travel the U.S. prompting sex education, sexual abuse/rape awareness and prevention. I’m passionate about shinning a bright light on negative issues that society can avoid and remedy through education and willingness.
    (which is most things).

    How can I align my finances to facilitate my passion, not any easy question for me. If I had to answer it would be to utilize my skills and knowledge in the field I’m passionate about to also make a profit. I would be doing what I love. Maybe offering my services to non-profits that are aligned with my passion.

  69. Wonderful news! I’m very happy for you all. It looks beautiful and I look forward to reading all about it.

  70. Congratulations on the homestead purchase! That was wonderfully timed with the arrival of Babywoods.
    We are still working on defining what our life plan is. I don’t think my fiance ever knew there was an alternative to life long employment so he is still getting used to the concept.

  71. Congratulations to the Frugalwoods from England, UK! We live in Cumbria, the Lake District and there is nothing better than being in a home surrounded by nature! ENJOY! Love your posts, have only been following for a few months but really enjoying hearing about your journey 🙂 well done guys!

  72. BIG CONGRATULATIONS, Mrs. FW! This is so so so exciting! As a nature-lover living in a big city, I honestly look forward to seeing more “green” photos on your posts and am super intrigued about homesteading. I can’t even fully comprehend what it means to have so_much_nature readily accessible. I would definitely put up bird feeders (and hummingbird feeders) and enjoy what winged visitors may show up if I were you! (can you tell I’m a birder as well?)

    Thank you so much for sharing with us your family’s spirited, frugal, fun, down-to-earth, contentment-driven, fulfilling adventures. I am reminded yet again to beware of any creeping lifestyle inflation that I might have let slip. Hearing and “seeing” stories from fellow, like-minded frugal folks recharges my batteries in striving boldly forward in my family’s non-conformist lifestyle.

    You guys look positively glowing in the 3rd photo! 😀

    1. Thank you! Bird feeders are a great idea–I love bird watching as well, so we’ll have to rig some up. We’ve already seen flocks of wild turkeys run through the yard!!

      1. You may want to hold off on bird feeders. During this time of year Fish and Game usually advise against them. You may find bears eating out of them rather than birds. With that much land you have a good chance of seeing loads of wild life.

  73. I’m so excited for your family! I feel like I know you guys personally and I’m so glad you found your dream homestead! Congratulations on the home and land AND on staying home with Babywoods. My husband and I have been revamping our financial lifestyle for the past nine months or so (better late than never) and I recently was able to resign from my teaching job. I’ll be a SAHM to our two boys starting this summer! Thank you for all the motivation you provide through this blog. You and so many other personal finance bloggers have been instrumental in helping my family change our default of the “normal” lifestyle.

  74. Congrats Fugalwoods Family! You remain an inspiration to us all to never stop working to pursue your dreams, whatever they may be! All the best!

  75. Hurrah you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO happy for you and I absolutely cannot wait to follow you on your next chapter! I have been a long time reader and it fills my heart to see your dream come true. I hope to one day, be in a similar situation. Right now, we are staying close to our boys’ top notch (public!) school that we all adore. After that, who knows what’s next? Anyway, happy for you again!

  76. Sweet!! It looks gorgeous and I can’t wait to read the posts about all things homestead. It kind of reminds me a lot of my stepdad’s place in western PA, though he has closer neighbors. (He has almost 40 acres, but they are in a strange layout compared to the house).

  77. This post made my morning!! I’m so excited for your family and can’t wait to keep reading along as you live out your dreams. Best of luck!!

  78. Congratulations! What an exciting time in your lives, I’m so excited to see it become a reality for you 3. Look forward to following your new adventures in homesteading.

  79. Congratulations! What fantastic news. I’m really looking forward to hearing all about it. Is it odd that a little tear came to my eye when reading about how you fell in love with your new home and cried tears of joy?? Well….then I’m odd!!

    Good luck with the organising and the move.

    1. Awww, you’re sweet–thank you! And thank you for the luck with the move–that is definitely looming on my to do list right now 😉

  80. Bravo from Paris (The french Paris ;)) !
    You guys are so aspirational, you changed my life too.
    Can’t wait to read more 🙂

  81. Wow! This is amazing! Congratulations on achieving this massive part of your dream. And many thanks for sharing your journey. I enjoy the blog immensely. Good luck with the move!

  82. Congratulations Frugalwoods! What a fantastic ride this has been for you! Your dreams are at hand after all of that sacrifice! A great inspiration to me…I am also sacrificing to follow my retirement dreams, hopefully to be realized in 3 short years! Many blessings on your new abode! Time to write a book! 🙂

  83. Huge congrats to you three. So awesome that you’re realizing your life’s dream with so much time ahead of you to enjoy it. I know you’ll always be glad you made the leap. We haven’t regretted leaving the big city for the mountains — not for one second. Looking forward to all the juicy details! 🙂

  84. I’m so happy for you guys! What exciting news! I was just thinking, “Isn’t her maternity leave up? Is she going back to work?” How great that Mr. FW can work remotely. He can play with Babywoods on his lunch break :-).

    What a wonderful place for Babywoods to grow up.

    What would I do if I didn’t need my paycheck? My job. I would still be a librarian if I didn’t need the money. But I would never, ever work on Sundays.

    1. Thank you! Yeah, the timing with buying this place ended up syncing almost uncannily with Babywoods’ birth and my maternity leave. Meant to be I suppose! And, I love that you love being a librarian because I love librarians.

  85. Been following you for a while now and enjoy your blog. First time I have commented and congratulations from Melbourne Australia.

  86. Couldn’t be happier for you three! My father’s side of the family is from Vermont, and I went to college there. It is a magical place. I wish you all the best of luck, and a stress-free move!

  87. AND THERE IT IS! What you (and we) have been waiting to see on this blog. Set aside plenty of time to get to know the neighbors — they’re a godsend and saving grace of rural life.

    Just holler onto the blog if you want leads to further homesteading resources. There’s Mother Earth News, Home Power, and books printed through places like Chelsea Press, that can help buff your knowledge and speed debugging problems and aggravations. Permaculture might be an interesting addition to your mix, for instance. Plus insights from Amy Dacyczyn (the Frugal Zealot, of “Tightwad Gazette” fame, though she’s up in Maine last I heard).

    Congrats, and may Babywoods really enjoy being a woods baby!

    PS My reaction to the photos: I want that too, except for the snow. Guess I’ll be browsing real estate in Hawaii and the Caribbean when it comes time to decamp from our current place ….

    1. Thank you! Yes, we’ve been devouring homesteading books and resources–we still have SO much to learn, but it’s thrilling to know we’ll be learning for a lifetime! Let me know if there are any books you recommend!

  88. YAYAYAY!! So happy for yall! Would you keep posting from the homestead? Id like that so much! Congrats-now it’s time for another greyhound! Two greys are like having one regular dog…:))))

    1. Thank you! I will definitely keep posting–I love writing too much to give it up!! In many ways, it feels like this is the beginning of Frugalwoods! Hahah, no to a second greyhound ;). One greyhound and one baby are all I can handle right now 😉

  89. I couldn’t even finish the post before posting a comment! So many congrats! I can’t believe you waited so long to post about it! Well, well, well done!

  90. The house looks wonderful! I love the land and the pond. How does one actually mow the lawn though? Serious question! Will you be revealing how much one of these babies costs? I’d love to know for I might want to do the same thing! Thanks, Sam

    1. Thank you! And, great question on the lawn–answer: riding lawnmower! We also have a tractor with various different tilling and brush-hogging implements to help keep land clear. But, the cleared land is actually a very small percentage (like 1.5 acres) of the 66 acres–the rest is forest. We will endeavor to go through all the financials in the upcoming finances post (but feel free to email me directly if you have specific questions that I don’t address).

  91. Views like those, I always struggled to understand why many choose the city over rural areas. I have a nice piece of land nestled in farm country and enjoy it very much and my neighbors are awesome. Enjoy the next year that is the roller coaster ride of change. Congratulations!

  92. Congratulations! Such a beautiful place – and your dream come true!

    I will offer one piece of packing advice (although I’m sure you’re experts). This is something I learned in our 2nd to last move – to Paris. Our movers set up three “open me first” boxes. One was small (about 14″ cube) and was for chargers, remotes, keys, passports etc. The second was a medium-sized box for “first night” kitchen stuff and toiletries (e.g., coffee maker, two sets of cutlery and dishes, the cat’s food bowl, and a pot, plus basic toiletries), and the third was a somewhat larger box for the first night’s bedding and a change of clothes. They marked those boxes with colored tape and loaded them last / unloaded them first. Having those essentials on our first night made life so much easier.

    As for what I’d do if I didn’t need my paycheck? Well, I would turn my my hobby into my nearly full-time occupation – working with animal rescue and rehab groups as a photographer and caregiver. I’d get some training so I could participate in emergency, large-scale animal rescue operations (including forensic photography for criminal investigations). And I would photograph all my friends’ pets for free 🙂

    1. I love your hobby/passion–that’s wonderful!! And, great call on the “open first” boxes!!! We’re lucky that we’ve been up there on weekends, so we have the house outfitted with necessities (camping style!), but I am trying to get the rest of it all packed up in an organized fashion…. hah!

  93. Wow congrats Frugalwoods, the place looks amazing. So happy for you guys that you purchased the homestead way ahead of schedule. Looking forward to all the future posts on homestead.

  94. So excited to read your news, looking forward to the posts and thank you so very much for reminding me dreams are achievable. With much love from and unusually sunny England

  95. Congratulations! I live in Los Angeles but my parents live in Virginia and own the acre on the left side of their home, the acre on the right side of their home and the acre across from their home so I could buy a nice tiny home outright and put it on free land and retire there easily at age 55 or before (I’m 48 now) but I would die of boredom so I choose to live simply in the city and keep saving to get $1 million to retire in Los Angeles but that idea is very tempting at times.

  96. Congratulations and welcome to the area! My wife and I just recently moved up to Hanover NH for her to attend grad school and we love it. So many mountains to hike and rivers/lakes to paddle.

      1. Absolutely! Once we get a passport for our little one, anyway – it’s on the list of Things We Haven’t Gotten Around To Doing. (Disclaimer: we homestead, and we built a house. It’s a long list.)

  97. Wow. Just Wow. From all the way down in the Sunshine state, as I attempt to pay off the final 24 months (so the bank says 😉 of my mortgage and retire within 10 years, no later th a 60 yrs old. You continue to inspire me to further extremes of frugality! Wow. Well done FrugalwoodsFam, well done indeed.

    1. Congrats on being so close to paying off your mortgage and retiring–that’s fabulous!!!

  98. This is so awesome! Get ready to enjoy totally different sounds on your homestead! I’m so happy for you! Please keep sharing about the things you want to do–your 1st year & in the future, on this property…do you want to have an herb garden!? 🙂

    1. Thank you! I can’t wait to share all about our first year–I’m sure it’ll be full of mishaps and hilarity ;). And yes, an herb garden is high on the priority list!

  99. Congrats!! I smiled so much while reading this post this morning. I can’t wait to read more about your homestead! 🙂

  100. Wow! Wonderful news! Truly happy for you guys!
    It is such a rewarding feeling, when your dreams come true!
    I know you worked hard for it! I wish you all the best, may it be even more amazing than you ever dreamed!

  101. That’s so incredible you guys! I’ve always loved your posts, but now this changes everything! Let the homestead posts begin. I can’t wait to see how you start to build this place up with a vibrant garden, food forests, and of course lots of fun. We wish you both the best of luck with wonderful times to come!

  102. Having a kid can really affect your plans! I purchased a property for a flip, then we found out my wife was pregnant, so we moved into it instead!

    I love your rental property idea. I think real estate is the best way to financial independence.

  103. This post made us so excited ! Wonderful to hear of people achieving their dreams ! Can’t wait to hear about all the new adventures ! Good luck and thanks for a great blog !

  104. Thanks to the Frugalwoods for sharing your journey. This is just the beginning I hope. I’m looking forward to reading all about frugal homesteading, as we plan to perhaps do something similar one day in another part of the country. You guys are a huge inspiration. Congrats!

  105. Congratulations!!! My husband and I have also been researching and saving for a rural property and you two have been such an inspiration for us. Yesterday my hubby and I were talking about how far away the end feels sometimes and this post helped me a lot by proving that we can achieve our goal if we stick with it. Thank you again for sharing your journey you’ve been such an inspiration for so many people and you truly are helping others.

    1. Thank you!! Yes, you can make it happen!! Trust me, it felt impossible and so distant when we first started talking about it. But having a steadfast goal–and just chugging along towards it–is a magical thing.

    1. Thank you!!! Yes, come visit soon!!! (P.S. tell Bill we have running water and toilets 😉 )

  106. How fantastic! I am quite jealous! It’s great to see what can be done when you really put your mind to it. I hope to one day have a mini homestead of my own!

  107. Congratulations on your homestead. I’ve been following your blog for a while and really enjoy it. In a future post, would you please explain the math behind your conclusion that taking a 30 year mortgage at 4% and investing in the market is smarter than paying cash outright. my wife and I have only invest our retirement income in the market, but a few years ago when I was looking to put our non-retirement savings to work, a financial advisor suggested that we pay off our mortgage because it was a guaranteed 5% ruturn (our mortgage rate) investment which would be hard to beat in the market after figuring in taxes. And of course the market is not guaranteed. So I’m interested in your thinking on this. Thanks.

  108. So happy for your dear family! You did it! I’m really excited to follow along on your journey.
    What a beautiful homestead! Hiking and snowshoeing will be so simple now. Just head out your door. Our son-in-law was given the chance to work remotely at the same time our daughter finished grad school and was not yet employed, so they sat down and discussed where they would like to live and how they would do it. They decided to head to the top of a mountain in WV where they had honeymooned a few years before. They’ve been there for three and a half years now and in that time have had our sweet granddaughter and bought a nice log home on 4 and a half acres next to a wild-life refuge. There is lots of hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and mountain biking to enjoy. There is also a very nice community feel…neighbors helping neighbor’s and working together. They’ve made lots of close friends. My daughter worked Americorps for two years, which helped pay on her college loans, and was hired part-time by one of the non-profits she worked with, which is exactly what she wanted since she didn’t want to leave her little girl to work full-time. The retired people across the road from them watch our granddaughter. Our son-in-law continues to work remotely and is developing a plan to work for himself when the time is right. They love their life, and I’m jealous that my husband and I didn’t do something similar when we were younger.
    Enjoy your new life!

    1. Oh that’s so wonderful about your daughter and son-in-law! Sounds like they’re doing much what we’re doing! I too worked for Americorps and then non-profit orgs :). Many congrats to them–and to you on having such a lovely family :)!

  109. Congratulations! This is so exciting for you Frugalwoods! I went to college in Vermont (go Catamounts!) and fell in love with the lifestyle and appreciation for the outdoors there. Maybe one day we’ll be retired homesteading neighbors one day.

  110. I don’t really post here much (at all?), but I just wanted to say I’m deeply happy for you guys. Doing something like you have done (specifically, a homestead in a progressive, rural locale like Vermont) is something that I’d like to do in the near-ish future. Congrats on the reward that your hard work and commitment has delivered to you. Wish you all the best.

  111. Congrats on pulling the trigger on your new homestead! As a former country dweller, those pictures take me back. I can’t wait to hear all about your home-buying process and what your new life is going to look like!

  112. My passion is my work as a nurse. There is nothing more that I like than going to the hospital and making people well. That being said, I would like more time to write and read and I would like not to work for a corporation. But healthcare being what it is, the only hospital systems near me are corporations. Which is sad.

    And more time to read and write? Will have to wait until I am done with graduate school and/or the last three infants out of our six pregnant women baby boom we have going on in our small department are born and their moms are back at work.

    1. You have a very noble passion! Both my mom and Mr. FW’s mom were nurses and it’s such a wonderful calling. Thank you for being a nurse! I hope you’re able to get the work/life balance you seek though, that is extremely important!

  113. Wow! How exciting and I didn’t see it coming. I had been wondering about the lack of “back to work” (or not) posts. You say the Cambridge rent will pay the Vermont mortgage…what about the Cambridge mortgage? I cannot wait for all the follow-up posts. Congrats! That place looks and sounds amazing.

    1. Thank you! Yes, the Cambridge rent will pay both the Cambridge and the Vermont mortgages with some leftover. More detail in the finances post 🙂

  114. Woohooo!! Congratulations! I’m so excited for you that you found the homestead you were looking for. Good things come to those who wait! When I read the title of the email it just put a smile on my face, knowing what it meant 🙂 I grew up in a rural area, not on a property as large as yours, but lots of woods to run around in and explore. I just love the beauty of the country, seeing your pictures makes me miss living there. I look forward to your continued updates on the details of how it all went down and how you find living up there. I remember my mother working very hard to keep the property maintained but it all being worth it. Good luck with your move!

  115. Congratulations on having a dream become reality! Babywoods will have a blast exploring and climbing trees as she gets older.
    A word of caution on renting out your old home. Just be careful who you rent to. I have heard of too many horror stories of peoples rental place getting trashed.

  116. Inspiring and so wonderful. I got butterflies in my stomach just looking at the title of this post. Congratulations! I couldn’t be happier for you and know that you inspire me in so many ways.

  117. When you do something like this you never know if the time is right, if the decision is right or if everything will work out. But, if you don’t take the flying leap (after preparing as well as you can- which you DID!) you’ll never know if the time would have been right, if the decision would have been right or if everything would have worked out. We have always chosen to plan as well as possible and then charge ahead. Never regretted any of our decisions. Enjoy this new phase of your life! Congratulations.

  118. I’m just tickled for your little family!
    Many happy, healthy, wonderful years on the Frugalwoods homestead!!

  119. Congratulations, that is a beautiful property & it is very evident in you & the Mister’s eyes how incredibly thrilled you are with your purchase. Good luck with the move!

  120. So happy for you! It’s been really fun reading about your journey to the homestead. Can’t believe how fast you made this happen! Looking forward to the next chapter. Massive congratulations to you!

  121. YAY! Congratulations, I am full of excitement for you! I read so many blogs, and your is my favorite (don’t tell the others!). I look forward to all of your posts and will even more so now! Happy New Homestead Day Frugalwoods Family!

  122. oh the POND! my heart swelled at the sight of that pond in the previous post and I thought, “I wish they could have THAT POND on their homestead!”

    and you DO! So excited for you! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I about fainted when I saw the pond for the first time. Love at first sight for sure 🙂

  123. Wednesday, April 6th – I opened our email this morning, saw and read the beginning of your post, let out a sound of joyous surprise and ran out into the kitchen: “Honey! The Frugalwoods have purchased their home in VT early!” We are so happy for you; it’s all we’ve been talking about all day.

  124. This is amazing!!! congratulations both, woo hoo!
    I had a big grin on my face all the way through reading this 🙂 and I chuckled at the ‘view property when 9 months pregnant’. Sometimes, you’ve just go to seize the opportunity, as you two have done. Well done and congratulations again!

  125. Woohoo! What a year for you!
    My friend must live mighty close to your homestead, in NH 🙂
    I can’t wait to hear more about it, the property sounds absolutely lovely.

  126. Although somewhat new to your blog I can’t say enough about how happy I am for you all! My husband and I found ourselves doing what you did in our late 20’s. We have never looked back! You won’t either!! The fun is really about to begin and I can’t wait to read the future homestead posts!

  127. Congratulations! I’m really excited to hear all about your new adventures. And I thought that the lack of posting was due to Babywoods! Was I ever wrong.

  128. Congratulations!!! I’m so so happy for you guys, the property and house look BEAUTIFUL. Also, I love that it already has a metal roof, I’m a firm believer in metal over shingles. Omgosh… slightly jealous (actually very jealous). I can’t wait to land the homestead of my dreams as well, you guys are a huge inspiration. Can’t wait to see what you guys have in store for the future!

  129. Congrats on the new homestead! That house looks gorgeous (standing seam metal roof, heck yeah!) and the grounds look absolutely divine. I’m sure Babywoods will have a lovely time raised out in that pretty wilderness. Looking forward to hearing about the “woods” part of your journey!

  130. Congratulations for buying your homestead! I hope you will have many happy memories in it when your family finally moves into it! That is one of my dreams one day. To buy my own home with cash! But I also have exciting news! I am almost at the point in my savings where I will have my first $1000 socked away! 8D Yup! You heard that right! My first $1000! Of course, it’s all savings and most of it will be spent eventually, but I have hit a milestone that I never thought possible would happen soon in my current situation! Of course, I can’t have over $2000 and I am watching things carefully, but I’m so happy about my accomplishment! :’D

    As for your question, if I didn’t need a paycheck, I would own my home and take driving lessons to get my drivers’s license at a driving school since I don’t have anyone to drive with me. Long story there. I would also organize people’s things for free instead of starting a business for it someday as a professional organizer. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and I hope it will all work out someday. If it doesn’t, I don’t know what I will do. But I do relate to both of you when you say you don’t want to live a mundane existence for the next 40 years. Working a terrible full time job you don’t even want to do just because you need a paycheck or a terrible part time job that doesn’t even offer a living wage seems like no way to do things with your life. : ( I’ve lived the part time part and the two jobs I worked part time for were not for me. ^^; So I’m hoping someday I will live a life that is truly beautiful. I think I am doing so now despite my disadvantages in life for me at the moment, but I’m taking one day one step at a time. I think that is what counts. ^^

    I hope your family has a beautiful week! C:

      1. Thank you! :’D But since I am on Social Security Disability, I cannot save anymore because I will go over the $2000 amount next month. So boo. :C But I plan on using some of these savings for an airline ticket to go see my half sister on the East Coast once the weather gets better! ^^ So after that money is spent, I’ll just save my money up to a thousand again, lol. That is the plan. :3

  131. Congratulations!! On your beautiful baby girl, your amazing homestead and all of the adventures you have before you. And many thanks for all you’ve added to our lives (mine, my husband) with your blog. And a happy tailwag from my beagle to your Frugal Hound!

  132. Your story is inspirational. My wife & I are currently building our house in our spare time in the country. We are borrowing some money to do it, but should be debt-free within 10 years at the most. Glad you could find something already built with that type of acreage & location.

  133. Just looking at the picture brings a huge smile. You guys have a piece of heaven.

    I’m from CA and when my wife, dog and I visit cousin in NH, my dog’s happiest times are swimming in cousin’s pond.

  134. Wow wow wow I was like super exited when I read the post! I told everybody at the company hahahaha! Is like sharing good news from close friends! Felicidades!! 🙂

  135. Vermont is a beautiful place to live! We live in a Vermont town that is also about 35 minutes from Hanover, so maybe we will be neighbors! 🙂

    1. Thank you! We too were shocked by the plum trees, yet there they are–we’ll have to see how the fruit is.

  136. Congratulations to all of you! I used to have a similar dream after reading Helen and Scott Nearing’s book, The Good Life. They once had 65 acres in Vermont, too! I would assume you’ve read it already, but if you haven’t, you must. That’s not my dream anymore, as I’ve had 1.5 acres and been taking care of it by myself the past ten years. I’m ready to decrease my workload and travel about as a nomad. Just a few more years till I hope to set that dream into motion.

    1. We’re huge fans of The Good Life! It’s such a great story and philosophy! Enjoy your nomadic travels–sounds like a perfect post-homestead occupation 🙂

  137. So, so exciting! Looking forward to hearing more. I hope all continues to go well. I am especially eager to learn more about canning. It is something I have always wanted to do but never made the leap to do. One of these days, I always say, I will find someone to teach me. I’m so nervous to just read about it and do it on my own.

    Also, have a back pocket of some local childcare. It is okay to take a break from your kid too 🙂 I can’t imagine trying to do work and parent a toddler at the same time.

    For my part . . . my passion is teaching, and I get to teach as a job, so I love that! But some parts of my job do leave me feeling burned out from time to time. My summer goal this year is to take 3 weeks to plan at least one of my classes really well for next year to make my school-year life easier. I’ll be planning curriculum but also writing activities/labs, lectures, and some quizzes/tests. I already have this done for one of the three classes I teach (with help from an amazing co-teacher who teaches other sections), and I hope I can have the focus to do this all on my own for the second class. Planning and grading during the school year makes for some long evenings and weekends of work. I ultimately hope to reach a good work/life balance so I can do my passion but also have room to be a fabulous, engaged mom instead of sometimes being a tired, stressed mom.

    1. You are so wise to plan ahead like that–definitely makes sense to do that work in advance! I too would love to learn more about canning, so I’m sure that’ll be a topic we broach at some point. I’m hoping to get some hands-on instruction from a neighbor or friend in VT–I have much to learn!

  138. Also sending my sincere congratulations!
    Thanks to your foresight and frugal ways, you were able to purchase the home(stead) of your dreams when it came along.
    And with your years of data collecting, you were able to know for sure that it was ‘the one’.
    What an inspiration 🙂

  139. Hello Frugalwoods. I’ve been reading your blog here in New Zealand for months and absolutely love your writing. Babywoods and the hound are adorable and you are both such generous open-hearted people. I am so, so happy for you as you embark on such an exciting venture and I’m looking forward to future posts. I spent time at Dartmouth, and New Hampshire and Vermont are sublimely beautiful. What an inspirational place to live! Your best tip ever that changed my approach to my finances and my life was to aim for zero spending instead of allocating a certain amount of dollars each week. That, combined with ruthless tracking of the dollars has resulted in my savings percentage go sky high. Congratulations and savour every moment of your dream come true.

  140. Congratulations, Frugalwoods! Very excited and happy for you!! I have been reading your blog for the past 6 months and it has greatly influenced me and my husband. Thank you very much for your great posts!! Always looking forward reading your new posts:)

  141. Yeah!! So many congratulations! I’m really happy/excited for you guys.
    My husband and I have been on a parallel journey to buy a farm, which we just did last month! For the past couple years, we’ve been farming a couple acres of his parent’s land here in Michigan, while searching high and low for a place of our own. We even looked in Vermont – we’d LOVE to live there, but we ultimately decided to stay here and close to his aging parents. Anyway, we finally found our forty acres with a small house and pole barn. 15 acres in hardwoods, 25 open, only 5 miles from Lake Michigan; it’s perfect for us! The only thing is that I really wanted some privacy and to be tucked back in the woods; however, our woods are all in the back, and the house is right on the road, and the fields we will be farming are right next to the neighbor’s house. So – we have plans to plant some trees! And a lovely pollinator hedgerow along the property line. 🙂
    Congrats again! I’m looking forward to reading your homestead posts.

  142. Oh my goodness! Congratulations! I am so excited for you! I was blown away when I saw your post in my reader. I’m so amazed and inspired you guys were able to do this ahead of schedule.

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey so honestly with us. It’s a treat to hear about your dreams and watch them come alive. Your writing has always given me the boost I need to keep going after what I want. I would be honored to reach my goals as earnestly, positively, and gracefully as you and your family.

    So excited to read posts about the homestead! I’m sure you’ll only continue to do amazing things. So cool to think we’re right in each other’s backyards! (I lie in Seacoast area NH).

    Keep it up! Love you all!

  143. WOW! What an exciting post!! Congratulations! 2016 sure is a big year for the Frugalwoods 🙂 Thanks for sharing and showing those of us who are dreaming and saving for similar things that patience and being a frugal weirdo really does pay off! You guys rock!

  144. Congratulations, I’m so happy and excited for you!!! It looks so beautiful in the photos! Can’t wait to follow you through your new journey!

  145. Congrats for having the courage to pursue a life out of the norm, at least for our current culture. Its gorgeous, the house and the landscape, great find!

  146. Congratulations! I’ve read Vermont leads the nation in solar and geothermal energy programs; hopefully you can make the switch, exposing yourselves to fewer toxins from wood smoke. And Babywoods too!

    1. Thank you so much! Fortunately, we have modern woodstoves that don’t release smoke into the house at all, so we’re protected from those toxins. But we definitely plan to explore the possibility of getting solar!

  147. Congratulations! You are the very example of the power of a plan. I am happy for you.
    Years ago I lived in the Midwest with more more land than I have now on the east coast. I have purposed in my heart that I will get my “space” back one of these days with some room for a couple of horses, a duck pond, a mega garden and room to breathe. You and my “future fund” are my inspiration for the day.

  148. Awesome! Congrats! That’s such a great story of having a dream and vision, then doing the hard work it takes to get there! How fulfilling! (long-time reader, first-time commenter)

      1. Convert the barn?

        I grew up in Vermont, in a fairly rural area but closer to Burlington. It’s a lovely place – congratulations!

  149. This. All of this. I love all of this.

    Q: Will you be holding in person workshops at your new place where others can come, learn, and meet other like-minded fugal folks?

    I would buy a ticket!

    -Derek

    1. Thank you! We’ve definitely considered doing something along those lines–our friend Mr. 1500 from !500 Days to Freedom is our unofficial planning committee for such an event, so stay tuned ;)!

  150. Wow, the house, barn and land look gorgeous! Nice! Very happy for you all.

    Let us know if you guys need anything during the transition… I’m pretty good at lifting things 🙂

    1. Thank you! You guys have already done so much for us–I think 90% of Babywoods’ clothes are from your girls ;)! Can’t wait to have you all come visit!!!!

  151. AHHHHH!!!! This is huge and soooo exciting!!! Peach and I have a trip planned to Vermont in September (wedding, of course) so perhaps we can swing by to see it in real life!

    1. Thank you!!! Yes, do come visit!! Email me your dates and I’ll book you in the guest room :)!

  152. First, that homestead is absolutely STUNNING!! I am shocked that anyone would sell it. A huge congratulations on your lovely new home. Thanks ahead of time for hosting all of FinCon for a weekend in Vermont #roadtrip! Keep the pictures coming and I can’t wait to read more about it.

  153. Your place is so perfect I am crying and I don’t even know you lol. Although I feel like I do from following your blog for so long. You guys are an inspiration to me, this is wonderful news, congrats from up north in Canada! I look forward to following your homesteading adventures.

  154. Congratulations, I’m so happy for you guys, you have been an inspiration to me, I’m a social worker and thought I would always have to work, but now I see it’s possible to retire early and live my dreams

  155. Congrats and God Bless!!! Thank you for sharing your journey with us, I can’t wait to hear about all the incredible things in store! This isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of an amazing new chapter!!

  156. It’s happening!!! Congratulations! And a 1991 house is pretty new to me! Looks stunning. I am very excited to read the future posts about all of this. We will be going through your neck of the weeks this October when we pick up our camping trailer in Quebec. Taking 2 weeks to get home so we’ll have time to explore ME, VT, NH, NY.

    1. Thank you! I know, 1991 is super new to us considering our Cambridge house is circa 1890!!!! Let me know if you’ll be in our area–perhaps you can swing by and say hi!

  157. I’m reading this on my lunch break and work, and couldn’t be more excited! Way to live the dream!

  158. Yeah! Have been reading your blog for over a year and thing vicariously ;). Congratulations on your baby as well as the incredible homestead. A friend of mine had parents who lived in Hanover and we would go visit, really nice town and it is always great to live near a good school. Congratulations again on finding something so wonderful.

  159. If you feel comfortable, I would love to see pictures of the house. I also have wood stoves and Love Them! I have a pond too. Its a wonderful life. Congratulations!

  160. All I can say is wow 365 comments !!! Feel the love flow for you guys 🙂
    I have been away from Frugalwoods for awhile lately as I build my own website and content as well as go on some big adventures but when I saw you got your HOMESTEAD I had to rush over here and say congrats!

    I will be back following with excitement to hear the dirty financial details.

  161. Oh congratulations!!! This is amazing, I’m so happy for you guys. Even though you’re in a totally different country (we’re in Aus) you are an inspiration 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures with the Frugal homestead!!

  162. Congratulations. Anxiously awaiting for more updates and adventures on your Frugal homestead, along with Frugalwoods Hound and Frugalwoods Baby.

  163. Congratulations! I looks wonderful. I look forward to following your adventures in the next phase of your lives. Hopefully our rural dream isn’t too many years away, your story certainly inspires me to keep at it.

  164. So exciting! Your new property looks lovely. I’m very much looking forward to future posts on the joys (and learning experiences) of homesteading in Vermont.