We’ve had some pretty interesting “progress” this week! I’m pretty deliriously happy to even get to type “progress” in a sentence involving our future house and its been so fun to go by every evening and check things out. This weeks “progress” has involved ginormous holes in the ground and the adjacent giant pile of dirt that comes with the giant holes. These holes were mysteriously in different spots on the lot each evening. It’s pretty much a mystery to Sean and I as to whats actually going on although were told that all of this work is done to evenly compact the dirt. We were told it would take a week to adequately grade/compact the dirt/make random giant holes and then fill them in and it actually came in almost right on schedule plus one day. So we are officially finished grading! Today, the mason comes in and will start preparing the forms for the foundation walls and within a week or so, we should have the makings of a foundation.
Please excuse the sub-par iPhone pictures, the lighting was weird and I couldn’t get good pictures to save my life.
I’ve never been so excited to see a porta potty in my life and probably will never be again for the rest of it! This porta potty in particular is ripe with promise though, it’s presence means were breaking ground tomorrow!!!
If i have learned one thing from my 20s, and the 20s associated rat race, it is that timing is EVERYTHING. That and that God is great, beer (and wine) is good, and people are crazy! This makes it seem as though everything you need to learn in your 20s can be learned by listening to country music…
Anyhow, back to timing… Timing has saved our butts so so many times. Protected us from ourselves. Kept us from making huge mistakes. Caused us to make some mistakes that turned out to not be mistakes at all. If we had gotten everything that we thought we wanted when we wanted it, I don’t even know where we’d be right now. We probably would have lost a house or worse. My husband would probably still be trapped in a sales job he hated. I might’ve not gotten the experience I needed in a bigger city and would have had a really hard time getting my first break in my small town. I had this revelation yesterday that this opportunity to build a house is way more than I ever even hoped for. Six months ago I wanted to so desperately to buy a 2 bedroom house built in 1889 that was basically falling down for 75k more than they were asking for it! Thank God timing had my back on that one.
The take home here is that I am so thankful that things worked out the way they did and that the timing all came together for us to build this house. My mom and Brian and Sean and I were just talking about how the market has already changed so much in just 6 months that we didn’t think we’d have been able to do this if we were starting to look for lots today. Weird right?
Did I mention my mom & step-dad (to be referred to as Brian from here on out) started building?!? They did. I am going to post about their lot and progress ASAP.
Were getting so close guys! So close. I am hopeful that by the end of the month there will have been some work done on the lot. At the very least, hopefully the forest of weeds will be gone. We close on our loan in a couple days & the city is working on our final plan check revisions. Eeeeeeeee!!!!
Now that the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end is near, I am getting excited all over again about the things that made us fall in love with our little lot in the first place:
The opportunity to have a nice back deck with a little view of the downtown area where we can entertain and watch the sun go down with a glass of wine in the evenings!
The proximity to the farmers market one block away and the cute market basket possibilities that go along with said proximity:)
Having a safe place for our kitties to roam a little outside and bask in the sunlight of the big windows we have planned inside. I could spend an hour just daydreaming about our kitties sitting on the ledge of the dutch doors staring outside….its gonna be so presh!
Pretty darn excited to have a couple cozy rooms to offer to our friends and family who come to visit in place of the couch and/or motorhome accommodations we currently have to offer. Pretty sure said friends/family are with me on this one!
The biggest and best thing about the lot is how close it is to my family. We are basically down the street from my mom and stepdad (who are also building a house!!!) and even closer to my dad’s house. My best friend is about a mile away…walk to met in the middle for coffee distance perfection. For those of you who aren’t friends and family and are reading this, two years ago my husband and I moved from a couple hours away back to my hometown. We love it here and we’ve always known we wanted to end up in this little pocket of the world. It’s so magical, I cant even explain it. Sadly, we are now a couple hours away from the other half of the people that we love. This grates on my heart but this is also where the guestrooms come in.
Tonight we had our very first dinner at our lot! We’re currently sitting where our deck would be and taking in the sights and sounds and dreaming of what it will be like with a house taking up a good portion of the lot in place of all these crazy weeds.
Sean and I decided that we needed a visual reminder that we are indeed building a house, so last night we made some margaritas and put a big ‘ol inspiration board together. We look right at it when we lay in bed and it was so nice to wake up this morning and see it all there in front of me what we are waiting patiently(ish) for. I think this is just what we needed to get through the last push before we break ground….which might actually be in the next couple of weeks. Hallelujah!
Before I get to the nitty gritty of the setbacks we’ve experienced in another blog post…I first wanted to admit/get it out there that the reality of building a house and the “idea” of building a house are two different things. I realize we are two lucky mo’ fo’s. I really do. I also realize that its such a huge blessing to be able to pick everything out ourselves. Huge! Who gets these opportunities? We do? We do. Crazy! But you kinda metaphorically sell your soul to the devil for those things at the same time in the following pretty major ways:
1) T.I.M.E. precious time. For most people who build and live in a rental or their previous home during the process, this may not so much apply. But for us, who are living with relatives in a teeny tiny (and getting increasingly smaller each day) room, time is a big issue. Waiting for a house to be built requires patience that I was lacking previous to this process. I can’t stop imagining our lives in the house and I just want to get there to that end goal so badly. There are days where I probably say to Sean 5 times in 5 minutes, “I cant wait for our house to be built.”
2) For every “high” of building (seeing your plans & renderings, getting your permits approved, closing on your loan), there have typically been several associated “setbacks” (plans need to be redrawn over and over, city doesn’t approve your plans, loan after loan wasn’t what it seemed).
3) Picking out all of the aforementioned little details isn’t as fun when you have a dark cloud of budget overruns looming over you. I was under the impression that if we ran over our budget it would be because of getting caught up on having to have something. I was hopeful that we would avoid this and stick to the budget but whats an $1,000 splurge on a farm sink in the grand scheme of things. I thought maybe we would fudge our budget a couple grand in the end on a couple fun splurges. Maybe end up with some money for furniture (which was originally in the budget. many, many budgets ago.) This is simply not the case. We have basically blown our budget up. And not on farm sinks or expensive tile or landscaping like I had hoped. But on sewage & power lines, soils reports, crazy seemingly unnecessary retaining walls, and permit fees. BTW, this is the house building equivalent of having to use your birthday money to buy new tires. Blows!
With all that off my chest, I am so grateful to have this opportunity. And I know that once we break ground and get this road on the show, its going to get fun again. But right now, there have been more lows than highs. Silver lining? That it kinda doesn’t even matter. Were not saving lives here, were building a house. A house that we could easily just sell if things get too out of hand (I SO HOPE TO NOT THOUGH!). I am also, thankfully, very able to worry for about 10 minutes and then set it aside and go on living my life.
Pretty darn excited about this house purchase. We had been wanting a cowhide and I’m a closet magpie and love anything metallic. This rug is the perfect marriage of the two. Plus, it was 50% off.
Without even realizing it, Sean and I made a pretty symbolic first house purchase…the doorbell!
I wonder what this says about us?
“Come in, stay awhile!”
“Ring first…we might be in our pajamas.”
We thought this doorbell was pretty cheeky. If you do too, you can find it here.