So what is “Reify Life”?
After many years of feeling stuck and living in apartments, I began to think about how to obtain our own home and how to do it without incurring any debt. I researched inexpensive construction methods and all sorts of other options, ways that don’t require getting a loan. As my wife and I discussed it, we began envisioning a way to achieve it and by thinking outside of the box, it can be financially obtainable even on a very limited income.
So when it came time to think of a title for this whole experience, the concept of “envisioning and conceptualizing your own life, custom tailored for you, then making it into reality and living it out” was what I wanted to encapsulate. After searching for words that encapsulated this, I came across the word Reify. It seemed to summarize it perfectly, few people know what it means (making them think and research), and it sounded neat. Since I hope to inspire others to pursue life in such a way, I wanted a title that they could make their own as well. Thus, “Reify Life” was born.
A Little Bit About Us
This is our journey together as a family of 5. It’s us doing life together as a family. It’s our willingness to think outside the box and attempt to accomplish what most never will on a very limited income. It’s about facing challenges and finding solutions. It’s about dreaming big and making a life that suits us. Not according to other people’s ideas nor according to how they’ve chosen to live their lives, but according to what we can imagine and then turn into reality.
For the first 12 years of our marriage, we’ve lived in apartments. The idea of a house was very appealing, but not wanting to take on a massive amount of debt to buy one, it just never was something we saw ourselves owning. Then we began thinking outside the box and exploring inexpensive building options. “How could we build a house as cheap as possible”? As we explored the options, we realized that building a smaller house, something more like a cabin, and doing the work ourselves would allow us to build our own home and do so debt free.
Destination East Texas
So the first problem we had to solve was how to build our home in East Texas when we currently live in East Mississippi. I figured I’d buy a 40 ft metal shipping container for storage, which can be purchased for approximately $2,000. This was cheaper than building a shed, especially for the amount of space, and would be very secure. Obviously we are going to have to move, but move where? Do we rent an apartment while we build our house? Do we buy a camper? Should we go with a mobile home?
I realized that we really needed to live onsite where we’re building our house, otherwise there would be a commute and that would add an additional expense as well as cost valuable time. Renting an apartment isn’t really practical either, because we don’t want to move twice and it’s a waste of money. I came across the YouTube Channel East Texas Homestead and they decided to remodel a mobile home. The problems I saw with going with this method were 1) the initial cost, even for a run down trailer, 2) the cost to move said trailer, 3) it’s a trailer/mobile home. I grew up living in one of these for much of my childhood and I can’t say I have real fond affection for them. I didn’t see where it would save time or money over starting from scratch either.
And remodeling a trailer didn’t solve the dilemma of where to live while we built our home. That’s where our RV came into the picture…
Why East Texas?
Every since my wife and I met, she has wanted to move to Texas to live closer to her family. It just hasn’t been practical for us to do so before now. Her oldest sister lives in Grapevine Texas and in October 2017, her parents sold their house in Bryant Arkansas and moved to the Tyler Texas area. My wife has a very close family and wants to live close to them, so we’re putting together a plan to do just that. I lived most of my life in Arkansas until March 2011, when my wife’s job brought us to Columbus Mississippi. I personally enjoy living in Mississippi and prefer to stay, but it’s not where my wife’s family is at and therefore we’re going to give Texas a go.
Since this whole process is such a massive undertaking and will be full of challenges and adventure, I decided that this is where we’ll start what we’re referring to as “The Miles Journey”. It’s not that the last 12 years of marriage have been anything short of challenging, awesome, and full of adventure, but this is a major undertaking that we haven’t done before. And we’re hoping to inspire others to pursue a debt-free journey to home ownership and living. With a very limited income (under $70k/year combined), we’re going to accomplish what most would see as impossible to accomplish with such limited funds to show it’s completely possible. My regret is that I didn’t figure this out about 10 years ago or sooner.