Posted to Keener-Road by Jennifer in Elizabethtown, PA
As of this very moment -- Harry and I are one month from settlement on 26 acres in the middle of what he terms, "white-tail paradise." It is happening way too fast! We were simply in the middle of "looking" when Harry spotted this property FSBO. That was three weeks ago, and three days ago we rec'd the agreement of sale back... signed. We were supposed to stay here in our townhouse; the same one we've lived in for 9 years, as we built equity into the land and eventually built; BUT the appraisal came in so nicely that we are building right away.
Instead of having 50% budget for land and 50% budget for the house, we just spent 90% on the land and only have 10% left for the house. I went from a 3,000+ sf dream house to a starter rancher that will be 1,493 sf. That's OK, because the land is what we're truly ecstatic over. And that little rancher is going to be to die for!! Now, how to build this house in budget and on time?
In our favor: the property has an OLD trailer on it that we will haul away, but, the seller had added an addition less than 10 years ago that consisted of a kitchen, laundry, bath and what will be our daughters' bedrooms... we are gutting that and adding less than 1,000 sq. ft. Our framing costs and plumbing will be lower than we were initially expecting.
I am so thankful (and so is Harry) that I've been researching this for over a year now. Unfortunately, I don't have 1,000 hours of planning in. I think I am only 1/5 of the way to those hours. If I had never read that one piece of advice I may have went for it. But I honestly don't have enough time into the planning. Just enough to be dangerous! We have decided to hire a GC for excavating/footers/framing. He's a long-time friend and we feel we can trust him. We will sub out the rest and that will fall to me. I am waiting on his bid, and even though he is a friend, I will double check, particularly his "block-guy's" bid. I don't know him, and I am sure the GC isn't going to get more than one estimate if this is "his guy."
I can't sleep. I can't work. I haven't cleaned our house since this started. I CAN still eat... unfortunately! :) I'm fairly certain I have exhausted friend and family on this subject matter. Cool thing: due to this process, the GC that will start this off for us said that he had never seen plans as complete as mine. The floor plans and individual room detail (plus 3D pics that I'll post when I can.) That was awesome.
The well/septic/utilities are already there on site due to the trailer. Harry has already started the process with the township to be sure septic will be OK (we feel good that it will be, as it was built "oversized" and sometime in the early 90's - also Harry called local septic guy who knew the place and the system and he felt strongly it will be okay. We have to wait until Tuesday for the main septic guy to be talked to.)
Well, I'm not a very exciting writer at this late hour. I was just reviewing The Owner-Builder Book and wanted to journal this process somewhere... Also, encouragement and/or advice is more than appreciated if anyone feels the urge...
I'll be baaacckk... JEN