Back at square one, no new house, still wanting to move and a year of new experiences behind us, we looked at our options. Thankfully, despite being a mistake, the house that wasn’t turned out to be a profitable mistake. We had spent a year remodeling a house. Every time we got to a project, it started with us saying “What were they thinking???” Nothing in the house was as we would have chosen it. Despite all of the work we’d done, we would have had to sink another $100k into it to truly make it the house that we wanted.
We talked that the only way to truly get the house we wanted was going to be to build it ourselves. Why not? Sean has tons of construction experience, I have vision and design ability, really why not? We started looking at vacant lots with a general idea of permit costs and building costs. Honestly, the lot we ended up with is the 2nd lot we looked at, but there were many more after that.
We looked at cheap lots, under $100k, high end lots up to $350k with views of the lake. Our priorities were as flat as possible, not too rural, land but with a neighborhood feel, utilities reasonably close, in a great location. The first lot we loved we made an offer on while we were still selling the house that wasn’t and they accepted contingent on our sale. They ended up getting another offer before we closed, and we were bumped out of contract. In hindsight, that was a good thing because we like our lot much better. Our lot was just around the corner, in the same neighborhood, but is flatter and better laid out.
The problem is that they were asking $265k and the one around the corner had gone for $200k. We offered $200k and they rejected. After a few months of reminding them that we were interested, they came down to $225k and we accepted. Fortunately we were able to use the profit and down payment from the house that wasn’t and pay cash for the lot with the old owner carrying a small $25k loan until we start construction.
The lot is in a gated community with a small hoa of $500/year that maintains the private road and the gates. Most of the homes were built in the 1990’s so the neighborhood is mostly built out. The owners of our lot had planned to build on it, but when the crash happened they bought elsewhere and got stuck holding he lot for 10+ years. It has two wells already drilled and came with house plans for the house they had planned to build, but unfortunately was not the house we wanted to build.
So now we had a vacant plot of land, big dreams, and no clue!
I’m so proud to have this opportunity to tell my Dixie Belle brand ambassador story, because like so many others, it has changed my life.