Ditto on trees and pictures. We bought 80 acres of bare farm land 10 years ago and have built:
40 x 60 equipment shed
50 x 50 horse barn
fenced 3 acres of pasture
2 chicken coops
We also bought a perfect house for $10 and had it moved, then hired someone to take the roof off and make it into a cape cod. It's a nice size house that we never could've afforded to build.
We just began planting trees two years ago and should've started 10 years ago.
When I look back at the progress, i'm pleased, but to look around now, I see a long list of "to-do's"
Yep, photos. Tons and tons of before, during and after photos.
Not only are they fantastic to share...but looking at them keeps you motivated because you can see the improvements.
Don't go broke. But don't go too cheap on stuff either. Buying twice to replace junk is expensive as hell.
Pick your "No Way" category and have someone else do that. For us it was fencing. We did it ourselves at first 8 years ago. 2 years ago I broke down and paid a pro to fence the second paddock and rip out the first paddock and put it back up in straight lines without the leaning posts, LOL! Not only did we suck at fencing...we damned near shot each other over it. Just not worth it for us.
At some point, pick a "for you" spot and make that over instead. A garden spot made over into an oasis for yourself, redecorate a room in the house, whatever will work as a little "reward" to keep you happy. I redid the deck year 4. This year (year 8) I ignored the outside and redid 3 rooms in the house instead.
I REFUSE to buy things twice. I will do without something until I can afford to do it right. The only exception is if its something I really need, and then ill find the best deal possible. For instance, I want vinyl fence, but we all know its not cheap, and seeing as the land isn't all clear yet, i found a great deal on ebay for 8 rolls of polytape, moves tposts that were already on our property, and found more for $1 each. Some spray paint and they don't look half bad, the fence serves its purpose, and will always come in handy, or i can sell it down the line and get almost all my money back.