When we first moved down here to the "big city" Shawn and I were adamant that we would one day return to the North East Kingdom. Its where our hearts are and where we belong. The plans were far off, distant, and something we weren't really attempting to fulfill at this moment until, by accident, we discovered a piece of land that fit us perfectly.
The first thing people say when I mention that we are looking into buying land is that we must have a heck of a lot of money. "You guys must be rich!" "It must be nice!" people exclaim. In all honesty we aren't rich. We work very hard and, frankly, it is nice to be able to see the rewards of that. But, we definitely aren't wealthy.
Our financial plan is a little different than most, which is why we are buying land. Thanks to Emily's birth we are getting a hefty tax return. That, combined with a little bit of savings we had squirreled away, we had a good chunk of change. Shawn and I tossed over many ideas of what to do with the money. Should we redo the kitchen? Should we pay off student loans? Should we save it for a rainy day?
Then, when we thought about savings, a couple of things came to mind. First of all, the interest rate for savings accounts is appalling. Inflation is ten times greater, so overtime our money would actually be worth less. Stumbling across the land around the same time we were discussing uses for the tax return money was a fluke that created a huge idea.
What can you invest in that will only increase in value over time? Land. Real estate prices, especially up here in Vermont where the housing collapse was never experienced, land has been unaffected by the fluctuating market. I can't think of a better way to use a lump of money than on something that would one day be absolutely ours? Its the one investment we can make that will not only cost us money (except interest) and give us something in return. A place to retire.
It seems odd thinking about retirement when I've just begun my career, but if I wait until I'm getting ready for it then its too late. Shawn and I always talked of returning to the North to retire and live out our later years enjoying the best of what the Kingdom has to offer. Now its so much more tangible. In a weird way I am actually excited about the idea of retiring. Granted its two decades at least away, but we have a plan and its a good plan.
So, that's why we are buying land.
Not because we are rich. Not because we are moving back (this decade anyway). Not because we are going to be loggers and enter the timber industry. Really, we just want a little piece of Earth to call our own back in the town we love where we can live out the last of our years. Yup, that's it.