Where to start? I’ve discovered this is quite the project and want to document as much as I can about the process, so we can look back and so others can get an idea of how things work.
In the summer of 2016 we sold our little starter home and set out to buy a bigger/newer home. We had lived in this small home for about 7 years and were totally cramped… Yes with just the two of us! So we set out to find our new home. I had a few stipulations: East or preferably West facing, basement, 2 car garage, fenced back yard. There were additional things that were preferable, but not total game changers. I LOVE me some crisp white cabinets but they aren’t in style yet here so I knew I couldn’t have that be a MUST HAVE. Our area is about 10 years behind the rest of the nation when it comes to trends and unfortunately it means a few things are harder to find or I will have to do things on my own.
Each home listed in our price range seemed ridiculously overpriced. Some hadn’t had a single update since it was built in the 70’s and 80’s, some just weren’t right, one was gorgeous but priced too high and lots of wasted space, and one was so filled with cigarette smoke it literally took my breath away to be inside of it for more than 3 minutes. The last two homes we looked at were spec homes for sale by the builder. The two were located very close to one another so it was easy to compare the two. We fell in love with the first, but the builder accepted an offer on the home the day of the showing. The second was just too small, we didn’t love the exact location, and the kitchen wasn’t my favorite.We decided the first home was just right, and layout seemed simple but good for us. After talking to the builder, he was open to building the same one for us in another area. Of course, we had to find property to buy first!
Now, to give a little insight, we live in a small city with a few smaller towns surrounding us. We wanted to stay in our city instead of going to another smaller surrounding town, and there were areas we didn’t really want to be. However, there aren’t a ton of available properties in our price range, so of course that limited us a little and forced us to look into the areas we didn’t prefer.
We ventured out and decided to look at lots in Subdivision A. The lots were 1/3 acre, a little out of the way, but a great neighborhood. Some of the lots needed thousands of dollars of fill dirt, and most of them were north or south facing, which is something I did not want so that area was out.
Subdivision B was also a little out of the way, 1/3-1/2 acre lots depending on where in the area, but most were more than we wanted to pay and the lots left were pretty small, or short but long… not really what we were looking for.
Subdivision C was quite a bit away, had HUGE lots starting at 7 acres and we quickly put in an offer on one only to find out the owner had already accepted an offer on that lot and just that day raised the prices another $10,000, so yet another area was eliminated from our list.
At this point we felt a little defeated and looked very quickly at Subdivision D. 1/3 acre lots that seemed more like half of that and all the best lots taken… really just not what we had in mind. I kept praying that the right location for us would be found soon.
After a week or two of trying my hardest not to think about it and focus solely on finding a place to rent, our agent sent me to look at another area. Subdivision E is in a small town closest to our hometown, but an area we didn’t want to be and were quite adamant about previously. But it was $10,000 cheaper than all the other areas, with ½ acre lots. One particular lot was the second to the last on the street, facing West, with a farm to the north and alfalfa fields to the west. There’s a church just a block south, and a tiny market that sells pizza (!!!) across the road.
The property is close enough to the edge of town that we can quickly get into work or shopping, but out of the way enough to not have the noise we had at our first home by the freeway. We put in an offer, did the whole real estate dance for a few weeks, and our offer was accepted!
I was uneasy about the decision at first and prayed each day I’d get a sign if we were where we were meant to be. One lovely evening while looking at the lot, the neighbors to the south of us came to work on his house and introduced themselves. He and his wife were just awesome and we left that day with our spirits lifted.
A few weeks later we met the neighbors to the north east of us, who own the farm just to the north of our property. They were the kindest of couples and were so incredibly welcoming. As we drove away that day I knew my prayers were answered!
Bird’s Eye View of the Property
Currently, there’s no building happening on the lots directly across the street (west) of us, so we get the most delightful sunsets and deer in the hay field just behind those lots. There are two homes under construction in the two lots directly south of us, so the three of us will have our homes completed within just a few months or even weeks of each other.
West View from our Lot
We are super excited to be in the subdivision we are in, and counting down the days till we can actually live there!
Next up, we’ll talk about the plans and all that went into getting them done.