Last year, I lost my mind. At least that’s kind of what I feel like looking back now. Around this time last year, I turned on an episode of HGTV’s “Lakefront Bargain Hunt.” And then I binge watched and watched some more. The more I watched, the more I thought, “Yeah, why can’t we do this?” Famous.last.words.
By the end of my third or fourth episode, I began dreaming of having our own little slice of land by the lake. I didn’t need a house, just a tent. Surely I could find something for only $20,000 that someone was trying to offload at a bargain price. Surely. So, I looked online. I fell in love with a lake about an hour from where I live when we visited my husband’s uncle for a family reunion a few years ago. It was so peaceful and beautiful.
Then reality set in.
There were no $20,000 lake lots to be found. I shook my fist in the air in disdain at HGTV’s show full of lies. I even contacted a realtor and got to see what was really available. Not much was available, and not much was in our price range. We soldiered on. We took the kids down to the lake to go fishing and drove around looking at properties. It was fairly uneventful, but we enjoyed the time fishing with the family.
As it began to get dark and we packed up our things, my husband mentioned that he remembered from several months ago that some friends were fixing up their mother’s house to sell. He called them, and we got the address. It was pitch black as we pulled up to the tiny 900 sq ft home that showed it had been a neglected in the three years it sat empty. The kids and I got out and started walking towards the lake in the dark. Not far from the property line, the grass turned into sand. The moon shone just brightly enough, and I heard waves rolling into shore. As we got closer and closer, I knew we had found a little slice of paradise on Earth. We couldn’t even see it properly, and we knew. It’s even more incredible in the daytime.
We closed on the property at the end of last summer, and started working on it immediately. It had so much termite damage, that we considered tearing it down and starting over. However, the rafters and roof decking were in good shape, so we replaced all of the wood walls with metal. Eat that, termites. Yesterday, my husband and I did the layout for the interior, and he cut the new plumbing lines. It started to actually feel real. We could be in this by summer!
In my mind, it’s the perfect little minimalist escape. Everything has a purpose, and there is no room for extra. I designed the layout so the house can sleep about 14 people with two bathrooms. I mentioned it was 900 sq ft, didn’t I? There’s definitely not much room for excess. That’s okay because my mindset has totally done a 180 flip. Our playground is the beach, and the outdoors is our refuge. That’s the way it should be, and I’m so grateful that it’s mine.
Follow our renovation on Instagram @littlelakelot