The TTI Homestead

At the end of August 2022, we moved our family of five (soon to be six) out of the city suburbs and out to a 16 acre homestead in the Ozarks. This thread is meant to help follow along with general progress as we build out our homestead, but I’ll create separate threads for things like building cabins and other specific changes we’re making.

A little background:

In 2021, we bought some raw land up in northern Washington state with the intention of getting up there with a trailer, digging a well, and then bootstrapping ourselves up from zero using our savings. But the economy started to take a nosedive, and we realized it wasn’t practical to start with 100% raw land at the time. If we waited too much longer, we’d be working with a deflated dollar and less of it to work with overall due to increasing expenses. That’s played out pretty much like I expected it to since I originally posted this on the old forums this past August.

Then, the clouds parted and the sun shone through to reveal a place for us:

This property sits on sixteen acres of heavily wooded white oak and red pine, with a creek that runs through the middle for part of the year.

We have new electric service, a brand new well, and gigabit internet. A perfect starting point to begin an (eventually) off-grid homestead, this is exactly what we’ve been looking for. We’ll own everything outright before our 8-year-old gets her first car, and we’ll halve our current expenses in the meantime. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re making more money; it just means we don’t have to work so much.

This is something I’ve wanted to do since at least middle school. My heart has always been in the woods, and camping (as little as I’m able to do it) is always where I’ve felt most relaxed. Not because it’s a vacation, but because it’s nature. The lack of pings and alerts, cars going by, man-made noises I’m not a bird watcher or a gardener or anything like that; I just find peace in the outdoors, where I’m able to just… be alive.

I’m sure plenty of people can relate to that.

This is also something the wife and I have talked about since we’ve known each other (known her for 12 years, married for 10). Living a simple life, relying on our neighbors and ourselves, and raising our kids to be strong, competent people who know how to DO things We found the opportunity, and took the leap.

We sold most of our belongings, shipped other things to family in Texas and North Carolina, and loaded up the car, and set out on the morning of August 12th. We arrived on August 15th, and started the long process of settling in.


Took a new walkaround video earlier this afternoon:

Most of the time in between the last update and this one has been just cleaning up the land. Getting rid of log, cutting out stray branches and making things generally walkable so we can get around. Our plans haven’t changed too much since we got here, but we’re being careful about just slapping things together. We want to do it correctly, and make bigger decisions as we gain experience.

In the next week or two, I’ll start putting those garden beds together and I’ll post a new update then :slight_smile:


Awesome video. You’ve really cleaned up a nice area around your home.

The forest doesn’t look that dense where you started filming the video. Is it like this on your whole lot, or does it get more dense further away?

I’d be curious to see the most dense areas.

I’m also surprised there’s no snow at all. You’re lucky. I’d love to live in such an area, where we’re not buried under snow 6 months a year.

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Where I was standing is where I’ve done most of the cleanup, down in the forested area I walked and then up on where all the berries will go. Winter helped kill a bunch of stuff of for me so I can’t take all the credit, LOL. Getting rid of all that wood and little trees that block the way will help keep things clean and manageable when spring comes back around though.

Down past where those ratchet strap swings are is where it gets gnarly to walk through with a bunch of little trees, and then pretty much everywhere north and south of that. I’ll make another short video tomorrow walking the creek and getting into the weird parts though, that’s stuff I haven’t shown yet.

I’ll try to get a walkthrough of the western edge too, I was finally able to find all of those property markers. Still working on that east side :stuck_out_tongue:

We got about 2 inches when the winter storm came through, and we were at -5 for a day and then hovered at 10 degrees for a couple days.

Yesterday it was a low of about 20, then today it warmed up to almost 40. Everything we had melted yesterday and this afternoon, it was still plenty snowy on Monday morning. Nice and muddy in parts now, I had to redo one of the videos because I slipped while talking LOL.


Charging my phone up, then I’ll go out and walk the western boundary!

Okay, made it through the wilderness! A solid fifteen minutes of Cosmos stumbling through the bushes and tripping on limbs for your viewing pleasure.

As you can see, there’s a lot to clean up. I imagine I’ll be working on just clearing walkable terrain for a good while yet :carpentry_saw:. The nice thing is that we’ve barely made a dent into what we’re able to use. Out front of the house is a given, but there’s plenty of clearings and things to do other projects in.

It would be nice to see how far I can get my wifi to extend, and then get one of those chest mounted phone holders and livestream some stuff while I talk to whoever’s watching. Not sure how to make that work just yet but something I’m thinking about.

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@Cosmo it really is a super beautiful house, not to mention the view. I’m glad you fulfilled your dream.

I plan to do something similar in a few years, so you’re not the only one.

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This bad boy was built in 1994, and I think some old lady lived in it before they moved it to this property. There’s handrails in a few places that we’ve been getting rid of. For a 30 year old house though its in great shape.

There are some things to fix here and there like you’d expect, but nothing scary. Biggest thing is the wood inside a couple window frames are weather beaten and need replaced. Bathtubs and ink could be replaced. Cosmetic stuff.

When you do your move, where do you think you’ll want to go? What prompted that dream?

I hope that in a few years, nothing has been decided yet. I’m still young.

This desire started from the moment I moved from the block to the house.

As for the area, I have always liked to go to the forest or the mountains and I have always been a bit more lonely.

I spent the day clearing some of the land down on the southwest corner and finally got things clear enough to see from one boundary marker to the other. Lots of pruning and cutting, dragging old dead stuff out.

If you watched the last couple videos, there was a giant pile of brush by the forest entrance. That’s all been burned down to ashes today too.

I’m planning on staging the wood for the raised beds this week, but it’s been a bit more fun to get visibility between property markers so I might focus on that.
Made sure to represent the site by wearing my TTI hat to do my work :wink:


For the past few days, we’ve been scoping out an empty plot next to us deciding whether to expand what we have from 16 acres to 30. It was an easy choice, now I’m a land baron:


Our house is near the middle of the western edge on the plot on the right. Adding the 13 acres next to us puts us pretty much in the center of everything with a lot of buffer between us and the rest of the world. It also means we won’t get any neighbors who decide to build something visible from my living room window :wink:

The other 13 acres has a beautiful home site already cleared, and some outstanding BIG oak trees. We’ll use this area to build the four cabins I mentioned before, but have them in a semi-circle around a big fire pit (but probably the 14 foot trampoline the kids got for Christmas to start).

I’ll get some pictures and a video tomorrow or the weekend (whenever it’s nice out) and put it up here. We got a cheap little drone with a camera, I might try to figure that out and see if I can get some footage without crashing it into a tree (or my head).

It was chilly today, but I did a big walkaround of our existing plot with fresh eyes. I’m going to move a few things around and feel ready to start getting things built. It’s gonna be beautiful.


First thing I did on the new bit is get a few swings up. There’s room on the right to attach other accessories and stuff, I’ll get to that later.

I have some more stuff like this to set up too; ninja line thing and a zipline. Perfect trees for this kind of thing.


Well, we had an interesting time with the neighbor’s dogs last weekend…

Our house is on the first 16 acres, and then we have the additional 13 acres between us and the neighbors. These neighbors don’t live there full time yet, but it looks like they’re building a “bug out” place and keeping their dogs there in the meantime. Last week, they forgot to lock them up (or they escaped), so they’d been roaming around to all the other properties, barking and causing mayhem.

Across several days, the dogs would keep getting bolder and bolder, eventually coming onto our property and scaring the wife and kids. I managed to scare them off, and it seemed like someone put them away, so we decided to introduce ourselves and let them know the dogs kept coming over.

The wife was on her way to the store to grab a few things, so she was going to stop by and take care of that first. She parked at the end of our driveway to walk over there (to avoid some random car pulling up onto their property and getting off on the wrong foot), but the dogs were RIGHT THERE and became aggressive, chasing her back into the car. She had to boot one in the face for biting her leg, which scared the crap out of her.

She came back and told me what happened, so we called the guy we bought land from and asked what we should do. His response was basically, “you have the right to shoot them in the face if they come back” but he also put us in touch with the sheriff to make a report. He also got in touch with the guy who sold them their land to let them know, and they immediately drove out from wherever they were to take care of it.

We were each given a Mossberg 500 until we could get our licenses changed to allow us to purchase our own firearms. We probably should have done that right away, but life gets in the way, and it’s hard to get to the DMV when you’re starting a homestead with kids and working from home.

The Mossberg is fantastic. It’s just a little shotgun that takes .410 ammo, not a weapon of war but enough to stop a trespasser.

We finally got our licenses changed the other day, though, and we’re on our way to pick up a Beretta M9:

This one is an old favorite, I had a lot of fun with it in the army and was able to rank as an expert marksman with it pretty easily. It’s easy to use and a good size that both she and I can hold comfortably.We’ll be grabbing quite a few more over the next couple months, though. For now, a 410 shotgun and 9mm handgun will do great.

This isn’t so we can shoot someone else’s dogs. I wouldn’t do that except as a last resort, but between a dog and my family it’s a pretty clear choice. This story just highlighted why we should have moved on getting this stuff in order when we got here sooner rather than later. Every homestead needs a good few firearms to scare away wandering animals or protect themselves from whatever comes your way.

The sporting goods store didn’t carry the Beretta in their back room, that’s something they have to have delivered from the warehouse or something so it wasn’t there when we went. Instead, we got a Glock 17:

Still a 9mm, still a great gun. Gonna go outside shortly and try it out.

This shoots great. I was worried I wouldn’t like it as much as I remember liking the M9… It’s been 22 years since I’ve shot anything like this but it came back pretty natural. It’s not that complicated.

Gotta work on my stance and grip some more, but very happy with the G17. I’ll see if I can find a way to record some target practice in the next week or two and put it up.

Google Earth updated and shows our house now:

The pink box on the left is the other plot we bought; was walking the western and northern boundaries to find all the surveyor’s markers.

We’re going to have to get maybe 4K worth of barb wire and T posts to run a perimeter. Titor help me.

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We had a winter storm roll through our area last week, and it knocked our power out for 36 hours. That was fun, but I’d rather not do it again very soon. Thankfully we still had water and gas, but the fireplace got a nice heavy workout. So did I, realizing I should have been stocking up on firewood a little too late. I was out there pretending to be Paul Bunyan for a good while.

Everything went back to normal Thursday afternoon, but boy was that a reminder of how reliant we are on the grid. I’ve been looking into solar a bit and that’s something I think we’ll have to implement once our first round of improvements is done.

Our neighbors were super cool and checked in on us during all of that. They’re already off grid so know what they’re doing much more than we do, LOL.

In fact, we’re the only property in the area that has electricity at all.

Here’s a better overview of our two plots. There’s a scale at the bottom left (if you open the full image) to give you an idea of the actual length/width:

The swingset is where the other homesite has been cleared out. There’s a nice level patch of clean land and that’s where we’ll put the four cabins once we get that far. We were going to scatter those throughout the original 16 acres but this is a better place for them, and means we can have guests a bit easier.

The rest of our original plot will be used for gardening and some livestock (chickens coming at some point soon).


It’s been a bit since the last update. It’s been raining quite a lot the last month or so, and that’s stopped progress outside but lots of other stuff has happened.

  1. Child #4 due in late July or early August
  2. Got a chocolate lab pupp named Doc Brown
  3. A stray blue heeler adopted us, her name is Leia (we’re her only hope)
  4. Got the house re-leveled
  5. Plumber came and redid the hookup for the dishwasher; new dishwasher coming Friday
  6. My folks bought 20 acres across from us to build a retirement home

With a new kid on the way, there’s some stuff around the house we’re prioritizing over some of the outside projects. We’re gonna redo the windows, the floors and the doors so everything is tight and new. I’ll continue working outside too, but that’s going to become more of a cleanup/beautification endeavour while we refocus on the house.

I’ll post pictures soon!

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Here’s Doc. Just over eight weeks old this weekend. He’s a good boy.