I'd also recommend you look at Path to Freedom and read a lot, find out what you can do where you live. See what your municipality allows and just begin. Fence areas away from the pup to prevent trouble. If you think the basil was a mess, imagine what she could do with a chicken or 5. But reading and planning can help you avoid those troubles, and you'll want to acquire as many skills as you can in the meantime.
I was 33 when we moved to our place. I don't know whether it's a good idea to plan for bankruptcy. I guess I'd be concerned about how that could impact your ability to qualify for financing for that dream place when you do find it. It might be better to look for ways to increase your income while you live more frugally, and see how fast you can chip away at the debt. There is the possibility of consolidation in the future, which is something to consider.
No matter where you end up, or when you get there, knowing how to grow stuff and raise things is a great feeling. Flower beds are great places to add peppers, tomatoes and herbs.
I'd say, start digging--literally and figuratively. Open yourselves to opportunities as they present themselves, learn everything you can that's related to the lifestyle you want to live, and eventually, you'll get there, whether it's evolutionary or revolutionary.