The Little House in the UP

So our big news is, we bought a house,  it has all the things we have both dreamed of – porch, wood burning stove, maple floors, pocket doors, a claw tub bath and a room for each of the children to have their own space when they are with us.

Throw in a big yard (that’s garden to the Brits) for me and a double garage for JT and we are both very excited.

It needs a little TLC as it has been empty for a while and the garage needs siding before winter, so there is work to be done, but we got a good price and even a good exchange rate on the purchase, as we beat the Brexit drop.

Buying a house in the USA seems a lot more simple than the UK , and you don’t use lawyers. (So simple in fact that I did my own property searches for taxes and liens with the local city records, which did reveal some extra information the realtor hadn’t included in the pack, if not any new issues, so I would highly recommend the few dollars it cost.)

After viewing a few properties, we decided to make an offer , which was accepted (and became the contract of sale), we then put down $1000 “earnest” money and agreed a date to complete the sale.  Although we had to push the date a couple of times while we waited for my property in the UK to complete, the day finally arrived when we took our bank check to the escrow company and in turn received the deeds and keys.

In terms of big projects, the kitchen is small and old, so  we do want to redo it, and I will want to grow my own fruit and veg eventually, but this summer we are just focussing on getting some of the rooms repainted and the floors cleaned and polished in time for my furniture and possessions to arrive from England which are due in a week.

Our purchase led to a truly wonderful, small-town American experience:  Shortly after moving in we received a letter from the city Postmaster asking if he could come see me about the lack of a mail box outside our house.

So we arranged a meeting and a very nice chap turned up and we stood at the bottom of the driveway, gravely discussing the height our mailbox needed to be so that the mail person could open it from their vehicle, and how far back it needed to be to avoid being hit by snow ploughs in the winter. We lined it up with the path to the front door, marked an X and that weekend JT and I purchased a box and put it up.

A personal visit from the Postmaster himself is pretty small-town romantic, but it got better. It turns out the flag on your mail box means you can leave mail to be sent out in there and your mail man takes it away!! I found this so exciting that I immediately sent my sister a postcard and then sent her a photograph of the postcard in the mail box with the flag up. (We know how to live).


According to Wikipedia “Little House on the Prairie is an American western drama television series, starring Michael LandonMelissa Gilbert, and Karen Grassle, about a family living on a farm in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, in the 1870s and 1880s. The show is an adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s best-selling series of Little House books. ”

Now I would personally say READ THE BOOKS!


5 thoughts on “The Little House in the UP

  1. That’s awesome! Congratulations! I tend to only use the flag if we get the wrong person’s mail in our box, I feel bad for the postman making him empty it, I alway walk down to the post box outside the post office! Old habits die hard I guess!

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