Back in January 2016, I shared the below photo on social media and no it wasn’t a baby announcement.
It’s taken a tad bit longer to get where we are, but it’s officially time to share the exciting news, we are building a house! From scratch! For all of those who personally know us you’ve heard bits and pieces of our journey, but for those of you who are new friends here’s the story of how we chose the location of where our future home sweet home will be.
A few years ago when we decided to move back to my husband’s hometown to set some roots, we knew that eventually we wanted to buy our home. At the time we still owned and rented out a house in St. Augustine so we had to sell it before we could even think about buying a new place, so we rented for awhile. Fast forward another year and the timing was a little more right for us and we began the search for our future home.
If you watch any HGTV shows, then you know most people have a wish list of items they are looking for in a property/home. We were no exception and our ideal new home needed:
- To be in a family friendly neighborhood
- Within our desired school district zone
- Have enough property to have a decent size backyard to hang out in
- Ability to have a home office for yours truly
- Preferably a bathroom with a separate tub in the master
- Open layout with lots of light
There were a few homes that we were able to check off most of these wish list items, but they were outside of our budget. So we started looking at short sales and foreclosures. Eric’s dad is a general contractor so we knew that if we bought a fixer-upper he would be able to guide us in the right remodel direction. We contacted a family friend who is a realtor in town and he showed us some fixer-upper homes in a community that I’ve always wanted to live in since we moved back to town.
The only problem with these homes? They needed a lot of work to meet our wish list goals.
I remember the moment we when our grim search perked up. We were inside a cute old Florida cottage home (with sloping floors) discussing the price tag that remodeling a home comes with. Also, we can’t forget to mention the constraints remodeling an existing home has. Now, don’t get me wrong I love remodels, but to mold the homes we were looking at into our vision of a dream home, that was going to come with a price tag we weren’t willing to pay.
My husband and I were talking all this through with the realtor when a light bulb went off. With Eric’s dad being a general contractor we could spearhead the project and do a lot of the labor ourselves, giving us the ability to build our home exactly how we wanted for less than it would cost to buy and remodel any of the fixer-upper houses we looked at. Yes, even the house with sloping floors.
And this is when the magic happened. The realtor looked at us and said, “My family and I actually own a vacant piece of property just down the road from here.” So we hopped in the car and went to take a look at it. It was perfect. I tried to keep my excitement all bottled up while we looked around, but the moment we were alone again I exclaimed, “This is it, this is where we are going to build our house.”
We went home and immediately started putting an offer together. They accepted and we bought a lot!
This was back in January 2016. There have been a few bumps in our way and it’s taken a little bit longer than we had hoped for, but to answer the #1 question we get all the time, “so when do you think you guys will break ground?” The answer is soon my friend, so very soon.
I sincerely hope you join us on this crazy adventure. Over the next year, I’ll be sharing our home building process from layout and design to picking out fixtures, to moving in and decorating. It’s gonna be fun y’all! Until then, I’ll give you a little tour of our lot…
Our property is at the end of a cul-de-sac and is surrounded by conservation land along the back and one side. Which is great because no will ever be able to build a house behind or to the side of us giving us the backyard privacy we wanted.
We’ve already started the prep process by cutting back and removing the overgrown pepper trees. You can now see the natural creek that runs through the back yard.
To give our backyard more definition and to pretty it up a notch we built a rock wall along the creek.
It really transformed the look of our yard!
Having a backyard was a high priority for us and I couldn’t be more excited to enjoy ours. I see many days spent under these oaks in our future.
So this is it! This is where we will be setting down our roots!
This lot is everything we dreamed of and more. Its unique shape presented some challenges in the design phase, but it got our creative wheels turning and we are starting to see our ideas come to life. Most of all I’m looking forward to the memories we will make, raising a family in our new home, hosting family holidays, inviting friends over for dinner, gathering around the firepit, and spending lazy weekend afternoons on the back porch.
So get ready for lots of design and inspiration posts, updates on the house, and to see the whole building process from the ground up. It’s going to be a wild and fun adventure!
Have you ever built or remodeled a home?
I’d love to hear about your experience and learn a thing or two. Leave a tip in the comments!