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Posted by Dana in Wilmington, NC on 7/24/2008 8:05:25 AM

I'm moving my blog from another site, so I'll just recap my first few entries.

The basic scoop is my husband and I were offered a generous loan from my stepmother, who has some money to invest. Since she has invested with us in the past, she is comfortable lending us the money to build a house, and we will repay the loan in a year when the house is finished (!) and refinanced with a conventional mortgage company. So we have the building funds, but haven't actually closed on the property yet. The lot we chose is wooded, on a private dirt road, and the rear is mostly a depression through which a creek tributary runs. Cattails. When we first saw the land, the depression was full of water. That's why they call it a pond. Most of the time its empty.

Once we found the lot we wanted to buy, we started searching the web for house plans. I have looked at thousands of plans. Thousands. We chose one, started to modify it, and changed our minds. We were looking for a plan that offered front and rear views, three bedrooms, two baths, privacy for the master bedroom (mostly by having the door away from the door to our boy's room), and under 1,400 sq. ft. The plan we chose (pictured) is a 1,364 sf split ranch, and as you can see has a very regular rectangular shape, the idea being it would be less expensive to build. I love the large second bedroom (twin 6 year-old boys!), the breakfast nook, and the front and rear views. I hate the front elevation like it is. The plans come with a drive under basement. We'll have a local designer change that to a crawlspace foundation, and have him make some changes to the laundry room and master bath.

We are going to do this for approximately $100,000, not including the cost of the land ($54,000 for 4.5 acres). I will be the acting supervisor - pulling permits, soliciting bids, hiring some subs, spending time everyday on the job site, running supplies. My husband has a full time job, and will do some of the HVAC, help with the flooring, build, finish, and hang the kitchen cabinets, hang siding, paint inside and out, help install windows and doors, and whatever else. We plan to get most of our windows and doors from the local Habitat for Humanity Homestore, flooring from Lumber Liquidators, and whatever we can from Craigslist.

I'm a big fan of Sarah Susanka, and hope to have a quality home that is livable despite its small size. I'm nervous as can be, but can see ahead to a time when we are living there.


This is sort of how it will look...
Our backyard.

Posted by RogerC in Phoenix, AZ on 7/28/2008

RogerC's Forum Posts: 53
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That's going to be a very sweet home in a wonderful setting.  I love your view.  Give us more photos when you can.   :)


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