We’ve moved 6 times in the last year and a half. We sold our house in January 2021 to set ourselves up to find a house with land….and then the housing market exploded. Long story short, it took us 1.5 years and six moves to find our house with land.

The story of finding this house is a post in itself. But we finally had our offer accepted!! It was move-in ready, a first for us by far…..And it was an old farmhouse with land. We planned to stay here for 2-5 years, whenever we were ready to build our forever house. We were going to build a second story addition with a primary bedroom, a primary bath, and add a fifth bedroom and extra living room downstairs. We were going to garden, build a playground, a zip line, a treehouse…..

And then Reed got a call two weeks before closing: the local utility company wanted to buy our house.

I started crying in a coffee shop. I knew what that meant….our house would be torn down, we would be lurched back into however many more years before we found another house we even remotely liked and wanted to commit a mortgage to, be lurched into how many more moves after I finally thought we would have stability.

I said no, I wouldn’t sell.

We called one of our best friends who used to work for the company, and he told us it would be in our best interest to sell. He said that we would have a substation immediately next to our house (our house with NINE acres), they would drape huge transmission lines over our house, gain easements to put up transmission posts, and I worried about a potential eminent domain fight.

The company suggested we could sell in two years, so we started to consider, as we wanted to build then anyway. We thought about it as closing came closer. Instead of excitement for our house we had been looking for for literally over two years, I just felt dread and sadness.


An hour after moving in, they called. They wanted us out in two months.

Instead of standing in our doorway overlooking our beautiful new property with happiness, I stood in the doorway and cried, knowing it would all be destroyed and we would move again.

Instead of unpacking, boxes sat unopened. 90% of our things stayed in storage. It was pointless to clean out that cabinet, vacuum the cobwebs in the corner. Depression set in. Six moves and two years of instability had already taken a deep toll, and I couldn’t imagine what the certain moves and uncertainty would do.

I fought against reason and planted the dahlias I had forced in pots. They, like me, were begging to be rooted, to have the chance to grow and flourish.

We had one gorgeous evening party with close friends, surrounded by the tire swing, willow tree, and swaying late summer fields in the sunset.

Then we made the very difficult decision to sell.

Moving Our House

Fleeting Hope

We are in the business of restoring houses. Why can I save other houses but not even my own?

A house with land came on the market close by.

“Maybe we can move the house, Reed. Let’s go drive by the land.”

“I highly doubt that will work, but alright.”

A sliver of hope and excitement, but dashed after driving by. The land was not good.

We were majorly constricted by 3 sets of giant transmission lines and one train bridge. We had approximately 1-2 square miles to find land within. And two months for something to come on the market.

I knew our chances were basically gone.

moving our house


Lutsen, Minnesota

Every October we take a family trip to Lutsen. We ride the gondola, take in the incredible fall colors, and sit in the hot tub overlooking Minnesota’s version of a red, yellow, and orange mountain.

Lutsen, Minnesota

I mentioned to Reed about a 10 acre parcel a half a mile away from our house that came on the market that day, but that we could look into it more when we got back.

Reed texted the seller when we were eating breakfast at Lockport (please go there, there are 5 tables total and it’s beyond adorable). She was accepting an offer at 2PM. It was 10:45.

Lockport, Lutsen, Minnesota

Cue panic. We hadn’t even talked to our banker. We hadn’t even looked at the land.

I knew this was our last chance to move our house. It wasn’t constricted by transmission lines or a train bridge, it was only .6 miles away, and there was a clearing pretty close to the road for easy access to a house.

“We don’t need to look at it, let’s just write an offer.”

Reed whipped together an offer and got it in by 1:30. We offered $12,000 over asking with an escalation clause up to $30,000 over the initial asking price.

The realtor texted us later that afternoon: she accepted the other offer.

Giving Up

“That was our last chance.” Thankfully all three kids slept on the way home from our trip, as I cried in the car. Two months until closing and we had no place to live, and no hope of being able to move our house.

Reed told me not to give up. I told him basically, yeah right.

He texted the realtor (also the seller) and asked, “can I buy your property next door?”

She said, “maybe.”

I was very skeptical, but we asked to look at it that evening.

A Second Chance

The property next door had a half-finished little house, a two-car garage, and ten acres. Maybe we could split the land and put the house on five acres?

We asked what she’d gotten for the land. 10k over our escalation, 20k?

She said what are you talking about, I got 2k over your initial offer?

We all stared at each other, not understanding.

She did not see that we had written an escalation clause. She accepted the other offer considerably lower than what we had offered. The contracts had all already been signed.

The frustration mounted later, thinking to myself, my house is going to be torn down because of a technicality???

A Way

The seller said she would sell us the house and land. We asked our banker, county people, all of the people if it would be possible. They all said, it will be a bit complicated, but you can do it. The seller signed our offer.

After so many failed hopes, I was cautiously optimistic. I don’t know why it was so important to me to move the house, but it was. Since Reed is so busy finishing our other 3 houses, I took on most of the work to get this done. I checked all of my boxes, asked every question I could think of that could possibly cause a hang-up. Everything seemed good to go.

Our sub-contractors are ready to go: we have a house mover, a foundation sub-contractor, an electrician, a plumber, a septic/dirt prep guy, a well guy, the rules for splitting the land, a wetland delineator (yup, good question idk either).


We can move the house. AND we can live there when it’s done, saving ourselves from the dread of trying to find another house we like.

We sat around the fire on a nice fall day and made plans. Reed showed me the survey. Something the county land guy said tripped a memory….”each parcel has to be 300 feet wide,” he said. But the 10 acres were only 300 feet wide total. It’s a Sunday, so my anxiety will have to ruminate, like it does best.

I call the next day, and my anxieties were correct. He heard me wrong. We had an offer accepted, our wetland delineator coming the next morning, and a plan VERY QUICKLY gaining momentum. And now I don’t see any way we can split the land according to county rules without a horribly, terribly awkward land split, that realistically wouldn’t work at all.

Again, our last chance at moving it is ruined due to a county rule. I give up. Reed, of course, does not. He asks our dirt prep guy to go walk the land and see if there’s any way we can move it to the back half of the land. Which is part swampy with a steep drop off.

After a very long three hours, he says yes, there is a way. But it would cost probably an extra 40k between the driveway, leveling out the massive hill, and running electric ~1000 feet back.

But to us, that is a YES. We can move the house! After so many ups and downs, the emotional toll of thinking-we-can then thinking-we-can’t, I think we can finally confidently say….

We are moving our house!!

And winter is coming. We are hurriedly making plans, coordinating permits, contractors, and subcontractors. We have everyone in line, ready to go, cautiously optimistic that we are moving our house and living in our house before the new year.

There are still a lot of things that could go wrong, like the appraisal (our banker said appraisals with two structures are more difficult usually), splitting the parcel successfully….and finishing this huge project in hopefully 6 weeks from its start date! It’s our biggest project yet, just after our Haines project.

Be checking back here and on our Instagram account for updates as we MOVE THIS HOUSE!

House Move, Renovations

October 20, 2022

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