You snooze, you lose

I learned something valuable this week. I have to stop letting fear dictate my decisions.

We looked at a house almost a month ago that we both really liked. It had an excellent floor plan, hardwood floors, beautiful wide trim, a fireplace, and a whirlpool tub, and was in an picturesque neighborhood about 20 minutes away in a larger city. We went back a few days later to see it again, but we just couldn’t make up our minds.

It was almost perfect, but it would have been a big change. And we would have had to worry with listing and selling our current home as quickly as possible. So, feeling both scared of the change and the inevitable chaos our lives would be thrown into for a few months, we felt we should take our time and make sure we didn’t do something we regretted.

Tuesday evening, after a few weeks of back-and-forth, we finally decided to make an offer on the house. I excitedly contacted our realtor, submitted an offer electronically, and crawled into the bathtub to relax.

A few minutes later I received a text saying a contract had been signed on the property a couple of hours earlier.

I was heartbroken. Honey took it fairly well until the next day, and then he got depressed. We both realized that we simply took too long to decide, and that we let fear hold us back from what we both knew was the right decision for us to make.

I have often heard that you don’t typically regret the things you do, but the things you don’t do. While I don’t entirely agree with that sentiment, I certainly understand it a little better than I did a month ago.

Game plan

We closed on our new property loan Tuesday, and I am anxious to begin the next phase of our transition. Our path forward may be building a garage on the new property to live in while we sell our current home, as that will allow us to free up some money before we begin building a new house.

So, basically, we might be kind of “roughing” it for awhile, which I am completely fine with. In fact, there is a part of me that is looking forward to stripping down to the bare essentials by getting rid of things we no longer need. A big garage sale will probably be in our near future.

Our home needs some updates before we list it, so we are shooting for putting it on the market this coming spring. I figure the blooming trees and shrubs will add some excellent curb appeal.

So, for now, we are getting quotes on repairs and new construction projects. I expect this process to take longer than expected, since it seems that’s just the way these things work, but hopefully we will be at the new place before too much time goes by.

I am currently about to die to get started on whipping the new place into shape. There are a few trees that need to come down, limbs to pick up, and mowing/trimming to be done. There are also some plants that I want to move with me, and autumn is the perfect time to transplant things. Unfortunately, the weather isn’t cooperating as it has rained every day for a week.

They say good things come to those who wait, so I am doing my best to be patient.

Out of sight and mind

I don’t like neighbors. At least not the ones I currently have. They are nosy and intrusive and encamped around me like an invading army.

I firmly believe the best kind of neighbor is one who is out of sight and out of mind. That may sound silly to those of you who live in subdivisions and apartment buildings, but when I discovered this place its main appeal was the privacy. I loved that the nearest house was almost out of sight, and I reveled in the fact that I didn’t have to worry about how I looked when I went out to work in the yard or who would see me if I peed off the back porch.

Things have certainly changed.

Over the past year, a new house has sprung up just across the field beside us, and because our house sits at an angle to the road, the front of our house faces the back porch of the new house. And the neighbor seems to spend more time on the porch than she does inside her home. And the chair she sits in conveniently points in our direction.

Last week, another couple started getting things ready to put a home practically in our backyard. Even though they own several acres, they have chosen to place their new house as close to our property line as possible, with a 600 ft. driveway leading from the main road.

Because of where they are placing their home, we are losing pretty much all of our remaining privacy. Our back patio will now be plainly visible from their front windows, and it feels like I am back in the same situation I was in when we lived in a subdivision.

As if adding insult to injury, they had the gall to ask if we would mind cutting down five mature pine trees so they could have their new electric line run across our property instead of on theirs. (We said we minded.)

All of this is why I am so relieved we were able to find a very gorgeous, very private piece of property. The lot is much larger than the one we have now, and it is almost completely surrounded by mature woods. We intend to place our home in the center of the acreage so that we never have to worry about neighbors being anywhere close to us.

And I’ll be able to pee off the back porch as often as I want.

Paradise is here

We placed an offer on the property I mentioned in my last post, and after a bit of back-and-forth with the seller, we settled on a price that we were very comfortable with. We hope to sell our current home and start building here next year, but we want to take things nice and slow to ensure we are making the best decisions.

Here are a few photos I took last week while walking around the 7.5 acres. It is going to require some work to get it whipped into shape, but I can hardly wait to begin!

Little piece of paradise

I discovered the most amazing piece of property today. It has hills and valleys, a gorgeous pond, lots of mature oaks and other native trees, tons of privacy, and is easily accessible to the highway. And at a price I can afford.

I immediately took Honey to see it, all the while hoping he would love it as much as me. After getting his approval, I called an agent to get more details, and we will hear back from her tomorrow or the next day.

I am excited, nervous, and apprehensive about everything, but I know it will work out if it’s meant to be. In the meantime, we are going through house plans to find the perfect Craftsman-style home.

This may go nowhere, but I can’t help but feel hopeful. I’ll post more when I know more…

Photo from realtor showing property in early spring.
Photo from realtor showing property in early spring.

2010 in review

In 2010:

  • We sold our existing home and bought a new one
  • We bought a ZTR mower
  • Honey suffered a concussion and spent a few nights in the CCU
  • I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at his parent’s home for the first time
  • We went to Holiday World again
  • We toured Springfield, IL – hometown of Pres. Abraham Lincoln
  • We began extensively remodeling our new home, which included a new roof, HVAC unit, and tankless water heater
  • I met Honey’s sister, brother-in-law, and niece for the first time
  • I talked to Jim on the telephone (!)
  • I bought my first truck
  • We finally got a storm shelter
  • I got my first smartie-pants phone – the Droid Incredible
  • We had a white Christmas!!
  • I saw David Gray and Ray Lamontagne in concert
  • This blog has its highest number of page views in a single day (11,539)

Plans for 2011:

  • Go somewhere fun for vacation (maybe Washington, DC)
  • Get a lot more done on the house
  • Pay off my car loan
  • Save more $$