Today I did the most significantly foolish and nervewracking thing I have ever done in my entire short life. Thus far. I signed a contract on a house. A house that is owned by a builder, who actually understands the market, and who actually wants to sell the thing, unlike every other owner we’ve encountered along the way who received an offer from us.
The house is so new that it isn’t even completed yet, but will be within the next couple of weeks: a 4/3, situated on 4.1 acres in an equestrian community, with another 1.4 acres very likely to be added on to the back end of the property. It backs up to a huge nature preserve, so there are no worries about a development suddenly arising from the ground behind us, and the entire development is on a single cul de sac – I believe there are abut 30 lots, total, of which only half a dozen have houses. Given the market conditions, that will likely remain the situation, at least for awhile.
We have our realtors to thank for the rather extraordinary fortune. We’d actually driven by this place on a previous excursion and decided at that time that it was a) too far out and b) too expensive. Part a was really a misconception, and the result of too much damn driving around in a single day. By the time we’d found this underdeveloped development, the butt soreness to coffee to aggravation ratios were way, way off. A trip meter shows that the house is 15 miles from the current house, and adds between 17 and 20 minutes to drive time, even at 4 PM. Not bad.
Part b was a little more interesting. We hadn’t looked at the listing for this one since that driving around time about a month or so ago, and the builder reduced the price by a fairly significant amount in the past week. And, to top it off, there will be a pool thrown in for good measure, which means we won’t have to have one dug. Bonus! And to top all that off, the builders are quite nice guys, and totally upfront about why they’re doing all this: they need to unload the inventory, because they’re now paying interest on the house they’ve almost completed on the lot. One of the builders lives in the development, so we’ll be neighbors when all is said and done. And he’s a huge barbeque fan, so bribery is always an option.
And now begins the game of getting everything together and writing more checks, all of which makes me frantically nervous about the deal. Not that we don’t know that this will be our new home. Far from it, in fact, since the approval was already done for a higher figure than the price of this place, and my paperwork is already in order from the first time we went through this. I’m just worried that a meteorite is going to come crashing out of the sky and turn the lot into a dinosaur-killing sinkhole whose worth is only infishing rights.
There are also all those other things that will need to be done – we’re getting a pad for the garage, for instance, but we’re going to do the driveway in pavers ourselves. There’s no way for them to economically sod the entire lot – at over 2 acres cleared, from my estimation, that would cost a fortune – so they’re going to put down five pallets of sod, and we told them to put it in the back around the pool, since that’s where we and everyone else will be spending most of our time this summer. That means we’ll be seeding the front and sides of the lot ourselves, which isn’t a big deal (grass seed is cheap!), but which also means that eventually an investment will have to be made in a riding mower. There’s also the question of the dogs and the immediate need for a fenced in area for them to run and poop in so they don’t get any bright ideas about running out on the county road and getting squished. And finally, one of the biggest things to me: the garden. Since harvest times on most of the better known and more often eaten veggies (for us) runs anywhere from 50-78 days or so, there’s a need to get some things going and in the ground as quickly as the ground can be made ready. That means tilling and picking up large quantities of compost from the city (free!), then making sure the pH of the soil is appropriate in each zone for each type of veg. Wouldn’t it be something to be harvesting some corn three months from now?
I was avoiding posting anything about this, as some kind of superstitious theory and my generally pessimistic nature about this whole house/land hunting thing we’ve been doing for about eight months. Monday we go back to lay out the exact position of the pool and get a quote for extending the deck area in pavers so that people can gather without being right on top of one another. The electric should also be up, with the a/c coming next week as well so the wood floors can be laid in. I’m hesitant to take any photos and post them, so as not to allow the fates to jinx anything, but I may very well haul the camera along with me on the next visit.