Second Biggest Homesteading Mistake

Recently I gave you my advice on the biggest homesteading mistake that we’ve made so far, which was that you must be prepared in every way before getting any livestock.

Are you ready for our next biggest regret?

Our home. Well, more specifically our mortgage.

Actually, this really ought to be The Number One Biggest Mistake!

You see, when we bought our home as a foreclosure, we had not yet even thought about homesteading. I’d dreamed of beginning a garden one day, but raising livestock had never even crossed my mind!

But once we’d been in the home for a couple of months we began thinking about the possibility of learning to become more self sufficient. And then my husband’s parents gave us a bunch of chickens, and that sorta got the ball rolling!

If only we could have planned ahead! If only we had had this notion of self reliance before we parked a house here, and committed to monthly enslavement.

I get a TON of emails and comments from readers who tell me that they dream of homesteading, and that they are working towards being able to get some land and raise their own food one day too. If you are one of these people, please me hear when I say,


Our mortgage is the source of all of our troubles! If only we didn’t have it, we would be free to do so many other things! But until we get this home paid for we are prisoners of the system. Jerry has to work and work and work just to keep this roof over our heads. And I am left to carry the burden of managing the homestead by myself. We are very limited in what we can do here on our land because of our financial situation.

If we could do it all over again, if we had known where our hearts were going to lead us, we would have moved our paid-for single wide trailer out here and lived in that until we had saved enough money to pay cash to build a home.

Unfortunately, we cannot turn the hands of the clock back. We cannot undo this mortgage. Believe me, if we could sell this home off of our land, and be debt free right now, we would in a heartbeat. The best I can do is simply warn you not to make the same mistake. If you want to be self sufficient, don’t put on the chains of debt. You’ll never be free as long as you owe somebody something.

About Kendra 1035 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. Amen to that! Until I got so far over my head in debt, I’d never given a mortgage a 2nd thought. Right now I’m rebuilding from my mortgage disaster by renting and saving. My next home may be a 40 year old single-wide trailer, but it’s going to be paid for FAST!

  2. Kendra – I know you are very frustrated right now, but a while ago I clicked on your post as to how you acquired this house and spent so much time fixing it up. It is highly desirable to be debt free, but you have a really nice little place that you paid minimal money for, put in a lot of sweat equity and it is very very nice. Enjoy it and your accomplishments.

  3. Thank you SO much for posting this. No matter how much I (we?) know that debt is slavery, the things we can get through it appear so enticing that it’s blinding. It is such a humbling and ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY reminder what the cost truly is to go into debt. My husband and I bought a fixer-upper for $162,000 when we first got married (absolutely not what we truly wanted), and I still remember the horror of seeing the actual amount we will have paid at the end of our 30 year loan: over $350,000… for a piece of crap.

    Debt is NOT necessary, and I only hope we can be strong enough to stand firm in that belief. Thank you so much again! I’ll be praying for relief of your enslavement both financially and emotionally.

  4. Kendra, Have you thought of “renting” out parts of your property for others to Garden or keep a couple of hogs – you get to reap some of what they sow and the burden to take care of the property is somewhat lifted. Just a thought.

  5. You are learning very fast. Mortgages are one of the ways this country has gotten itself into trouble. The banks allowed people to pay increasing more for houses that were not worth the cost. Why? The reason is that as the a houses went from $80K to $100K to $140K etc the banks would get increasing amount of interest revenue. Why did the government allow this to happen? The government then could collect higher taxes on the higher paid prices. People then had to make more money to pay on these debts, and thus more taxes. This is all collapsing now.

    You are quite wise to not go into any more debt than you have to.

  6. Kendra, your words are inspiring. We live in an older (1976) mobile home on my in-laws property. The good news is that the home is paid off and for that I feel truly blessed. On the other hand, we do not own the land, the in-laws do, and I do not always get along with them – especially FIL. There are problems with the house, mold, leaks, weak flooring, odd wiring, that leads me to believe that this home will not be safe for too much longer but I waiver on whether I want to move and buy another piece of property or stick it out in a difficult situation for as long as possible to make the largest payment possible on property – things to think about, points to ponder. But, thanks for your input! It is nice to get the perspectives of others who have been there.


  7. Hi Kendra,

    I just wanted to share with you that I pay $580 per month to live in a crappy two bedroom apartment with only a tiny balcony. I would love to have the beautiful home and land you and your family have. I dream of having my own homestead but know it will likely be years and years before this is possible… I love living vicariously through your adventures and hope to get out of my apartment, wasting rent is worse than paying a mortgage! Best of luck!

  8. Hopefully the mortgage is your only debt and thru some small extra payments you can pay it off quicker… Do you read Dave Ramsey? he has very good financial advice on such things. Someone told us when we first bought our home if we would divide the cost of our payment a month into 12 an make that much extra per month on our loan it goes you get the interest paid down quicker so you can start on the principle! Don’t know if this helps or not but it’s what we do when we can and at the end of the year you’ve made an extra payment. I haven’t technically checked into how much this will shave off our loan yet but doing the math alone could be quite inspiring!

  9. I think for most people (at least that I know!) a mortgage is just a fact of life. Now, having a smallish mortgage and big plans to have a fabulous mortgage burning party by the time you turn 40yo? Not as common, and was just what we were aiming for with this little suburban place (granted, the job loss and subsequent new job in a different state with double the cost of housing put a crimp in that plan, so we’ll see). I am *so* looking forward to that party.

  10. Kendra, this is very courageous post you have written. It’s easy to write and say “Do like me – do this…”, but to teach by our mistakes is humbling. What a blessing though to be able to share this with others and warn them! Only a true friend does such things.

    We have now been debt free for several years with the exception of our home. Fortunately, it has not been a struggle to make the payment, but with the recent economy and growing cost of living, we have had to make some adjustments. It has caused us to feel the need to sell our home and use the profits to purchase a smaller home – hopefully to pay full price with cash! There just isn’t a lot available where we live that is good for homesteading, but the land will be of the highest priority for us. It’s going to mean we make some compromises in terms of the house, but I keep reminding myself of what a blessing it will be to not have a mortgage (or at least a much smaller one that we can hopefully pay off aggressively)!

    I pray God opens a door of opportunity for your family. He is often very gracious to give us second chances. I know He has done so for us!

  11. Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve always wanted to have a little homestead and I dream of the day we make it a reality. For the time being we are “stuck” in the city limits paying on a mortgage. You give me hope. Blessings to you =)

  12. I have thought the same thing myself….I love my home but the monthly mortgage is really preventing us from our dream “homesteading”. Thank You so much for doing this blog cause it helps me to feel normal in the direction that my family life is going…You are an inspiration …. God Bless, Holly

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