Almost four years ago, after the untimely demise of our start-up business, we came to a place of rebirth. Previously, we had moved closer to Mama’s family in Florida in order to get married and start our family. After purchasing and old wood framed two-bedroom home in a blue-collar town, we embarked on an odyssey of home renovation and family building.
Through our efforts at reconstructing the house, we attained fantastic equity in the burgeoning real estate market. Costs were kept down by my scavenging the construction sites I worked on and my willingness to do all the work myself.
Before the real estate bubble burst, we transferred the equity in our home into the creation of our dream; a restaurant, where our years of experience in the industry could be put on display and we would become financially independent, at least that was the plan. We worked hard for 1 1/2 years to achieve success in the eyes of the community and critics alike, but financial success never came. Unbeknownst to us, we were riding the economic collapse of 2008. Friends and family came in to help with cash and volunteer hours (a million thanks). We threw in my inheritance from my Latvian grandmother. We gave it our all.
The short story is: we lost the home and business in the black hole of economic reality. We took what jobs we could find and started saving as much as possible. Thoughts of moving to a more rural setting filled our heads and we started to make plans. Through purchasing Mortgage Free!: Innovative Strategies for Debt-Free Home Ownership, we came across the basic idea of finding the best land we could afford to buy with cash, and then live in a temporary shelter while we built our larger home. Temporary or not, we knew that we wanted a decent quality of life from the structure. We were challenged. How could we do this quickly and with cash?