Monday, March 21, 2011

Time Machine (part 2)

[To avoid one, long, endless post of how we got to where we are today, I've broken the background up into several parts—Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.]

Scoob had suggested Chapel Hill before, but I was adamantly opposed to moving to the East Coast. All my family and friends are here, on the West Coast. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that whether I live here or there, a day ends up being devoted to travel in order to visit anyone. And I was pleasantly surprised that the Chapel Hill area reminded me of parts of Oregon. Minus the mountains.

Scoob and I still hadn't made up our minds about what we were going to do when we visited our friends again in November 2010. On this trip, we decided to look at some houses just to see what was available in our price range. We saw plenty of nice places, but each just had something "off" about it. And as our friend says, if you're spending that kind of money, you'd better be getting what you really want.

Then we found the house. It was a lot more square footage than either of us really wanted, but the property and the house were beautiful and I just about died when I walked into the spacious kitchen. (It's nearly impossible for Scoob and I to be in the kitchen at the same time where we are now.)

But. Of course there's a but. But, the house was $50,000 over the high end of our budget. But we loved it and we could see ourselves living there. And we had decided during our trip that we were serious about moving to North Carolina.

The real estate agent we were working with said if we were serious, it wouldn't hurt to put in an offer. So we did. And after a bit of haggling got the builder to reduce the price by $15,000, but he wouldn't budge beyond that, because that's what he owed the bank. And that's when the real estate agent said, "my husband can build you this house and stay within your budget."

And that's when we started doing some serious thinking. Scoob was excited about the idea of building a  house. I, on the other hand, was not. I did not want the headache of making all those decisions and thought if we kept looking, we would find what we wanted. If you've followed me from my previous blog, you'll know how difficult it is for Scoob and I to make even the simplest decisions sometimes. And these weren't going to be simple decisions! To make a log story short, he's an optimizer (he wants what's perfect), and I'm a satisficer (I want what's good enough).

The next day, the real estate agent showed us a couple of empty lots. And we found one that we liked. An acre with lots of privacy and within our budget. Things kept falling into place and it seemed like the universe (or whatever you want to call it) was sending us a clear message that it was time and this was our course. We discussed it some more, slept on it, and decided to have faith in the universe (and each other).

We purchased the lot by the end of the week and were starting to meet with vendors for appliances, plumbing, lighting, and more to get ideas for what we liked and to start pricing supplies.

Here we are after walking the lot with the builder and his wife,
our real estate agent. Can you tell who is who? Hint: the guy holding the
spray can with the tape measure on his belt, that'd be the builder.

A few pictures of the lot. I probably should have been taking pictures of other aspects of the lot, but it was fall, and the colors were gorgeous.

The view across the cul-de-sac.
This will be the view from the front of the house.

This little sap maple mixed in with the scrubby pine
was the only splash of fall color on our lot.

It sat near where the back side of the house will be,
and will mostly likely be cleared during construction.

So I took several pictures of it.
I'm hopeful there are more deeper in the pines that will now be on
the new treeline and get the sunlight needed to turn colors.

NOT a view from our lot, but from elsewhere in the development.
Gorgeous, no?

Not exactly the vacation we were planning when we left, but we were both excited about the future when we returned.

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