Thursday, July 30, 2015

Where to Build a New Home

At the same time we were designing our home, we were thinking of where to build it.  We already owned a piece of land beside our current rental home.  My parents gave us the opportunity to purchase the rental home and property.  This would give us the required one acre of land necessary to build a home.  Due to zoning a minimum of one acre is required.  We are allowed to keep the current house while the new one is being built.  We just have to remove the old house when we move into the new one.

Something new to us is a Quitclaim Deed.  This allows property to be transferred between individuals.  It can be done for much less than going through a lawyer.  The downside is that there is no warranty so it should be done between family members that you trust completely.  You can get more information by going to the courthouse in your area and talking to someone in the clerk's office. We were able to get a sample with the necessary paperwork to attach.  I just had to type it up with the information on the property and give it to my parents to be signed and notarized.  We returned the paperwork to the courthouse and paid a $12 fee.

We like the area we live in now.  We already have an established yard (for the most part) with my raised beds and our chicken/rabbit/duck areas.  We are fortunate since land in our area is very expensive.  We did make a trade off in that we will have a bigger front yard than back yard.  Most of the back yard living space is taken up with our animals and garden.  These are things that we love so we do not mind looking at them as we sit on the (eventual) back deck.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Designing a New Home

Rather than purchase pre-designed home plans, we wanted to design our own home.  We wanted something simple yet functional.  To make it easier we purchased software.  This software is the current version of what we purchased.  W has been the chief designer and found the software to be mostly user friendly.  It was certainly easier than trying to draw it out.  He was able to easily move things (walls, cabinets, etc) around to achieve the desired look.

We chose a single story house, because I plan to get too old to climb stairs one day.  We wanted a large open living room and kitchen area.  We also have a large pantry and a laundry room big enough for a freezer in addition to the washer/dryer.  The house will have one bedroom with a second room that could be a bedroom.  This second room will be my craft room instead.  We will have 1 3/4 baths, a small walk-in closet, and a foyer.  I wanted a buffer between opening the front door and the rest of the house.  We will be adding a small front porch at the time the house is build.  Future planned additions include a back deck and a garage.

Our current home is 960 square feet.  The new house will be 1650 square feet.  It is not huge compared to the size of most homes.  We chose this size due to the fact that there are only two of us.  We never have house guests.  The house will have a good layout.  The poor layout is my main complaint about our current house.  We also wanted a house that was affordable to build and maintain.  Large houses are nice and are fine for some families.  We downsized twice from our original design.  I need to see things so we looked at a house that was very similar in size to what we chose.

Writing it out makes it sound like a very simple process, but it was tough.  We went back and forth for months.  Just when we thought we had the final design, we made another change.  Pinterest is good to a certain extent.  I quickly learned that trying to design the "perfect dream" house was impossible.  I am sure no one loves absolutely every single thing about their home.  We included all of our top wish list items and finally called it done!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Join Me on a Home Building Adventure

Welcome to my new blog that will follow the adventures of building a brand new home.  Let me give you a little background on how we got here and what you can expect from this blog.

W and I started our married life in a 20 year old single wide mobile home.  It was nothing fancy but suited us fine.  A few years later my parents began renting their old home to us.  Our current house is around 125 years old.  I wish I could say it was a grand old home, but it is not.  The house started off as a general store and was even a "club" about 50 years ago.  Sections were added over time.  The house is not even close to square and has no insulation.  I can be well assured that I will never get carbon monoxide poisoning as the house is full of cracks.  Still with all of its downfalls, a part of me will miss this old house.

Knowing all of our current home's problems and the costs of fixing those problems, we opted to build a new house.  We are taking an alternative route.  For several years we having been saving money as our goal is to avoid a mortgage.  We also plan to do much of the construction ourselves.  W has done construction work, and I was my dad's construction assistant so we are not going into this blind.  We do have a contractor to help with some parts and will sub-contract other portions of the build.  (More on that as we progress)

My plan is take each of you along with me on this journey.  I will begin by explaining the pre-building steps.  Also plan to see many polls and questions.  I know many of you already have homes.  If not you have ideas of what you would like in a dream home.  I would love your input.

These first few weeks will be a bit boring as the actual construction has not started yet.  Hopefully by this time next month I will be sharing pictures.  Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you will follow me through the ups and downs of building a home!