When Aaron and I were searching for properties before buying our place in Waconia, we had very different search criteria. Our styles were a nice complement to each other because if we had gone based solely on his criteria, we might have ended up living in a tent on a gorgeous piece of land, and if we had gone solely on my criteria, we might have ended up living in a gorgeous home on a piece of land with poor soil for growing grapes. The balance was nice. As we went and looked at properties, Aaron would walk the land, survey the property and do soil samples, while I would cruise the house for interior quality and decorating potential. We were able to identify some key characteristics that were important to both of us: A minimum of 10 acres, good elevation, hardy soil, southern facing land, on the west side of the twin cities (by my request since I grew up on this side), and a house with good bones...aka, comfortable liveable. Taking on a complete fixer upper at the same time we were going to start growing a vineyard could have been trouble. And the big kicker-this all had to fit in our price range.
When we came to our place in Waconia...we knew we were home:
A cute little house sat at the top of 12.42 acres of southern facing sloped land overlooking a little lake. Hills on the other side were filled with trees giving it a beautiful skyline. And to top it off, the soil was great. We had heard it was a former horse pasture and the manure supplied great nutrients imbedded in the soil. Mmmmm...
The raw land. This was before we started anything!