Family together, overlooking mountains

You want us to live where?!

Our story begins in the throughs of Covid. At the time Mark and I were living in a rental in a very nice suburban Southern California neighborhood. It was one of those cookie cutter neighborhoods you see at every turn here, 100 SQ feet of yard, front facing driveway, and a neighborhood playground. But let me tell you I never realized how introverted I was until I lived in such a neighborhood. You cannot so much as walk down the street without discussing the mail delivery service with Hank next door and hearing a lecture from Sally at the playground about how she saw my kids riding with their scooter with no helmet (IM SORRY SALLY I’M TRYING OK!). Seriously though, nothing against those neighborhoods but Mark and I just didn’t fit.

So begin the journey. Have you been in the market for a home lately? No? Welcome to the gauntlet. Put on your battle armor and bring a big old bag of cash money.

I grew up thinking all through my 20s ‘oh yeah a house, that’ll come! I just want to have fun’. Omg please go back and slap that 25 year old. If I could trade in all the dollars I spent on hair extensions and acrylic nails in the 2010s on actual property I would be living in Beverly Hills (well maybe not exactly, see paragraph one on my antisocial skill set). However, here we were with four kids and we were going to make it happen.

Here were our criteria:

  1. 4 or 5 bedrooms
  2. 3+ bathrooms
  3. A large yard preferably with a tree (Mark started with an acre minimum). Please search for San Diego homes with an acre, you will find like two.
  4. Good school district

Brief overview of initial common home issues:

  1. Too small, our children will murder each other and come for us. No.
  2. Too expensive, who does this realtor think we are the Trumps?! No.
  3. Schools are terrible, $1M and the school is rated a 2/10, what is this place? No.
  4. We cannot even have internet! (This was literally a common one surprisingly) No.

1 year into home tour our attitudes had shifted to this:

  1. A 1bedroom? We can DEFINITLEY make that work, we will build like a lean to outside for the boys and bunks in the closet for the girls!
  2. $2M?! Ok ok, we can just not eat and like go down to one car… ok maybe not I guess we HAVE to feed the children, gosh.
  3. School is a 2/10 that is actually not the WORST thing I mean MY kid is going to excel then.
  4. Who needs internet? I can hotspot in my car!!

I am going to tell you about the time I realized we had actually lost it. Mark found a 150+ acre property next to a Zoo. Literally a Zoo. Ok ok, we have kids this could be interesting I guess?! On the market for 90 days no bites, unheard of back then. I should have literally just stopped there and been like ANIA WHY IS THIS STILL LISTED. But no please see attitude after one year above. So we go, our poor realtor on her who knows what number strange far flung home tour with us. We drive up a very long dirt road, no problem there this is so cool! We get there, and OMG the views were AMAZING please see photos below. I was sold on that alone.

Then I enter the house. Could this be a house? Let’s be real it was an adobe structure from the 70s with the electrical wiring literally WRAPPING AROUND THE OUTSIDE. Kitchen had no fridge and an oven older than my mom (ok that was actually cool, I would have kept that oven). Also just to note this house ran entirely off solar power and got water from a well. There was no electrical or water to the house, and to bring it up from the road would be $1M. Let me repeat, 4 kids, middle of nowhere, dirt floors, totally off grid, definitely no internet, electric wiring OUTSIDE. So of course, we made an offer! I told you, we had lost it. Thankfully, they rejected it LOL. I could be crying to you all now from my adobe hut hoping no one runs into the electrical cords this morning.

Seriously though we did see some really cool houses. There were some that were move in ready, and possibly we could have gotten them (still paying WAY too much) but none of them had that “it”. I wanted a HOME. A place where I could see kids running with bare feet through grass and snuggling with dogs by fires. Also, something that was DIFFERENT. Enter The Old Oak Ranch. Read through my next blog post for the first time I saw the farm! Get excited, there’s video.

Have you been looking for your first, next, or forever home? Did you find it? Tell me your stories!!! I need a good laugh too

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