Since we've been in waiting mode, and with our builder's suggestions, we have tweaked things a bit. The elevation of our house has been changed, A LOT! Our builder suggested a little more "country" look. He added timber accents and a bit of siding. Honestly, I love this. I liked it before, but now there is more personality. The whole family agrees and we are SO excited! Jordan and I went to look at some model homes to get ideas for different finishes for fixtures, appliances, and color schemes. That was our homework from the builder for this week. Models are always so beautiful, so we have to keep our expectations realistic. Oh well....
Because they have not had a lot of access to a yard for the past few months, we have been taking the dogs out to the lot on the weekend to run around. We have come across some of the weirdest looking bugs and spiders. I wish I would remember to bring my camera! My dad and I were walking it earlier this week and spotted the most gorgeous owl. It was up in the trees by the creek along with about a million mosquitoes. It looked huge from the ground, so I am sure it was much larger. Cotton surprised some turtles, and although Jordan thought she saw a little snake slither away, I personally have not seen any ...yet! I do not like snakes. Duke does NOT like snakes, and Elizabeth will scream when she sees one, no matter how big. Jordie doesn't seem to mind them, but she hates pretty much all spiders and insects. We all get to face those things we are not too crazy about on a more regular basis when we finally do get into our new home.
Although we have had some other distractions since moving toward this new goal, and I will probably bring some of them up from time to time, this little summary is pretty much up to date. Hopefully, even though we are a couple of months behind our original schedule, and about a week behind our new one, the outcome will still be in the near future. At this point, we are waiting on soil test results and a finished preliminary detailed budget to complete the process of obtaining our construction loan. We have been at this point for about two weeks so you can imagine that we are starting to become impatient. But "it's going to be okay." After all we have waited this long already... I can't wait until tomorrow's meeting!
We moved out of the house a week before closing. It was the LONGEST day. Everyone worked so hard and we were fortunate to have some help from Will and Gordo. The girls stayed with my parents that evening, along with Sydney and Cotton. Duke and I finished cleaning out the house around one or two in the a.m. and barely remembered to leave room in the car for Cheyenne. She whined all the way to the apartment. The following Monday after closing, Duke went straight to our builder and gave down payment to get started on our new home. And of course you can only imagine how excited we became when when drove by the lot and saw a survey crew out the following weekend. Since we had a lot of rain in June, we didn't think too much of the fact that we hadn't seen much progress as we continued to drive by and check out the lot. By the first or second week of July, we began to wonder why we hadn't seen more. Duke attempted to contact the builder to see what was holding up the progress. Before he heard back from the builder, he was contacted by the architect, who was wondering if we had spoken with him recently. Anyway, to make a long story shorter, after many voice messages, e-mails, and such, we could not get any communication. After much persistence, we had found out that he had recently passed away. Over the next couple of weeks, we began to look for a new builder and try to get our money back. We decided on a new builder more quickly than we were able to get our down payment. Fast forward about two months, and thanks to my husband's tenacious nature, we did get the money back, less the cost of the survey. In the meantime, we did happen along a string of unfortunate events. Cheyenne had a vestibular attack, (those with older dogs know what this is and she is okay now,) the Mazda was vandalized, and my Durango was stolen. We repaired the Mazda's side mirror, the Durango was recovered, and found that is was going to be a total loss. But we are all still healthy, even with Elizabeth's back issue, and our new mantra is "it's going to be all right!"
Duke has always wanted to have more space. To be honest, who doesn't? He wants a garden, a workshop/ tool garage, a big yard to take care of , and room for his dogs to run and play. So in our last backyard, he attempted to have a garden, put in a storage shed, and sometimes drove a riding mower to cut the grass around the pool. Even though we had a good size backyard, it didn't seem to be large enough. We began to look into buying acreage. So began the search. Many of the lots we found were either very costly or far away. Duke just happened on a lot in an established subdivision that was just right up the road. It was in the same school district so our girls wouldn't have to change schools, was something we could afford, and was a little over four acres! After a bit of the customary haggling that goes on when people are buying and selling, we began to pay for our new "land."
After a couple of years of payments, Duke started getting antsy. Anyone who knows my husband is well aware that when he gets something in his head, it's going to happen. Unfortunately, his mother was soon to be diagnosed with oral cancer. Grammie started aggressive treatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy in the beginning of 2008. Although her prognosis was initially good, subsequent scans proved otherwise. We lost our Grammie in March of 2009. The process to sell Grammie's house and close out her estate took priority. After about six weeks of home repair, the house was on the market, and after one failed contract, the house was sold in January of 2010!
Soon after, we began to make the preparations to put our own home on the market. Now, to anyone who puts their home for sale, getting the house ready is well worth the effort. Mind you, even though you are still living there, the people looking need to see themselves there. Extra pieces of furniture went into storage, every family picture was taken away and put in storage, taste specific wall colors were painted neutral, (except for secondary bedrooms,) windows, tubs and showers were caulked, paint and trim was touched up, carpets cleaned and stretched, closets weeded out, and we tried to keep it clean, clean, clean! Totally worth every bit of work! Too bad it didn't look that nice while we lived there. Our realtor, Carol, came by, had us sign our paperwork, and put the sign in the lawn. Now, I sat on my front step, and looked at the sign for a while. We had lived here over eight years, and to be honest, I was sad to be selling our home, especially since it now looked so nice. Everybody is aware that the housing market is in a bit of a slump, so we really lucked out when we had a family that wanted to buy our house! VERY lucky, considering there was hardly any traffic. Again after a little countering, we closed on our house in June.
Coincidentally, the kids really liked the secondary bedrooms...so glad we didn't paint them!