We're building a house. Can't be that hard, right?

We're embarking on a home building expedition, and here's what we have to say about it!

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome to our blog!

This is my first blog post. Exciting, isn't it?

Here's a little background.

John and I got married on May 19, 2006. We lived in a 2 BR apartment in Watertown for 2 years (one pre-marriage and one post-marriage). After one too many drafty winters, scraping ice off the shampoo bottles in the shower, trying to block the drafts from all the window with curtains and towels, we started house hunting. This, of course, was in the height of home prices and there was very little to chose from in our price range. They were either too small but nice (and by too small I mean literally too small, in some cases all of John's 6 ft 2 inches couldn't walk through doorways!) or they were big, but needed a TON of work. We knew we wouldn't stay in this first place much more than 3-5 years so we settled on a condo. Big rooms, high ceilings, decent area and it was still being built so we got to chose the carpets, floorings, counter tops etc.

On Saturday, May 19, 2007, we moved into our new condo. Not many people can top that first anniversary! Nothing like a nice dinner of pizza on paper plates and boxes everywhere!

Skip ahead 18 months, and on November 9, 2008, Kyle Parker Brinegar was born:
And, our guest bedroom was lost. We had very quickly used up all of our space! This little guy has a lot of crap!

We slowly started thinking about moving. We saw a few houses in the spring of 2009, and just didn't like anything. We needed to pay off more of our condo since the market came crashing down and we were afraid we wouldn't make any money. (Good thinking on waiting!) After some discouragement, we put off looking for about 6-8 months.

In spring 2010 we picked back up. We saw a few houses that were much more in line with what we wanted, and apparently, everyone else, too. We saw two homes that were snatched up within days of us looking at them. Yikes! We didn't want to rush with a purchase of that much weight, but the good places were getting scooped up fast!

We started talking about our house 'finding us'. I was very confident that a perfect house was going to just drop right into our laps. John was a little more skeptical. He tends to be a little more grounded and realistic, where I truly believe that anything that is meant to be, will be. Those two homes that someone else bought? No problem. They were not our house. John was a little more disappointed than I was, but after some good karma preaching by me, John was swayed into believing that our house just hadn't found us yet.

And then, it did.

Sort of. A little baby of a house found us. It was such a baby, it was only a drawing. :)

Want to see it? Here it is:

Haha, OK, not the best construction or landscaping, but we'll work on that.

Here are the pictures of what we hope it will look like someday:

We haven't decided on a color yet, and probably won't for awhile. We do know our lot is almost 16,000 square feet, it's lot #36 (not sure what street number that will be yet), it's almost 2,300 square feet inside and it sits on a great little road called Ridgewood Street. I think we'll be either 15 or 17 Ridgewood. Not bad!

And now, the incredibly confusing process of actually buying and building it has to start.

We've done a lot already, met with the real estate agent, John, (who happens to go to our church; that's got to be a sign from the Big Guy that this is our house!), got a commitment letter for the mortgage from the bank (good for about 6 months), met with the builder to talk about some minor changes to the house and to reserve the lot and put down a deposit on #36.

We've also met with an agent (John's wife, Margot) who is now in the process of listing our condo for sale.

Steve, the builder, can't start digging a hole until the condo has a signed purchase and sale agreement from the future buyers. We assume that might take about a month or so, maybe a little more. Once that happens, the backhoe (right? I have no idea about construction vehicles) starts digging.

Then what? Um, we become homeless. Yup, we're either back in an apartment, or shacking up with Mom and Dad. Eeek. That would be 5 adults and a baby in one house. Like my Dad says, it would be a great reality show.  I'm just not sure getting ready for work in the mornings is even possible with that many people. (tiny voice in my head...but think of all the MONEY you'll save!)

We'll see. It kind of all depends on the future condo buyers. If they want a 90 day closing, we might luck out. This house will be built in 6 months, and I can definitely handle staying with the 'rents for 3 months. No problem! No rent and babysitters? Definitely. But...if future owners want us out in 30 days...we have to go to an apartment. Then, we're really homeless for 6 months and I think our entire family would be very grateful if we lived in our own space for half a year.

A wrench to throw in there? Say the real estate gods are smiling on us and we are sold and a foundation is being dug by July 1. Count 6 months ahead. Go on, do it! I'm starting to hear sleigh bells and bad singing... That's right, it's Christmas. Who wants to move at Christmas time??! With a 2 year old???

Not us. We told Steve that and he totally agreed. It would just be too much. So, our tentative finish date is February 2011. Assuming our condo sells in the next 6-8 weeks. Which I think it will. It's a cute little place!

If we get really lucky, we might get an early January move-in date. That wouldn't be so bad, cold, but we'd have made it through the holidays.

We'll see. There's so much up in the air right now. I keep calling it 'a racket' because let's be honest. It is a little bit of a racket. First meeting, then reserving, then planning, then selling, then apartment hunting, then moving, then storing everything, then moving AGAIN...it's a racket.

But, the racket should result in an awesome new house that we will love forever.

Here's another picture of our dirt pile surrounded by two very cute homes. Sorry neighbors, we're working on prettying up the location!

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