I bet you did because I've been talking about it for years and years now!
After a few requests on the gram for more information/documentation/me to actually get my butt in gear and share some of this process, I'm finally ready to start. We're gonna start with a post, which will hopefully evolve into a series, which might even involve into a video series because I'm feeling a little crazy lately.
I thought the easiest way to do this might be to guess what information you REALLY want to know and share. If you have more questions, shoot 'em over, and I can answer in a future post.
Let's just get this one out of the way...
How on earth are we able to afford building a house on Bainbridge Island, WA at 30/31 years old?
My parents generously gifted us a beautiful 1 acre piece of land when they purchased their house here. They knew the market was going to grow here (like it did in the Bay Area) and they thought it was a good investment and a good step up for us. I am grateful every day for this opportunity, made possible because of my very giving family, and yes, I do feel a little bit guilty about it, but wiser people than me have told me over and over to let go of that guilt. :)
Next, the construction loan. Construction loans are hard to qualify for, even when you own the land outright as we do. You need a lot of savings and assets just in case things go wrong as they often do when building a house. Once again, we're blown away by the generosity of the people in our lives. Our mortgage lender (and neighbor) and our construction company (the company Damir works for) joined forces to help us realize this goal. What I'm saying is that without the amazing people in our lives who somehow are lifting us up and helping us take this step, none of this would be even remotely possible.
We've been extremely humbled by this entire process so far. We are so thankful for the opportunity, but perhaps more importantly, we're thankful that we get to see and learn from this kind and generous side to the people in our lives. I will never stop thanking them for this gift.
What kind of house are we building?
We've got a fairly tight budget for this neck of the woods, but we feel strongly about investing in the quality of our home. Damir is going to know every detail of this house and he's a mega-perfectionist. We decided to purchase a design from Peter Brachvogel's Perfect Little House collection. We bought the Kingfisher plan and we're so excited about the open plan. Our family is pretty much always in the same little area at all times when we're at home, animals included. So a big open living space is something we care about a lot.
I describe this house as a small modern farmhouse. That's the vibe we're going for. We're hoping we can swing the metal roof, but budget comes first and we'll see!
No garage for now. That will come with time! Luckily I have a builder in the family now.
When will we be in?
As soon as possible! I'd like to shoot for Christmas, but realistically if we can get in before our birthdays in February, I'll be ok. Right now the foundation has been poured, our septic system is in, the dirt work is done, our road is graveled, and framing will start any day now. Damir will be doing a lot of the work himself but we're keeping things simple. We're doing minimal detail work inside until after we move in because 1) we want to keep construction costs down and 2) we want to see how we USE the space and what we need as a result. We're going about this in as thoughtful a manner as possible!
Are we planning a big vegetable garden?
Duh. That's one of the first things that will go in! For now the plan is 8 beds terraced down our steep hill. The property gets good sun and we're excited for a lot of yummy garden-to-table dinners! One of our neighbors actually has a mini farm on their property. Chickens, mini-orchard, grapes - its unreal. We're surrounded by woods so we'll need to find a way to keep the deer out but that, my friends, is what we call a good problem to have! Pictured: Inspiration from my Pinterest board
What about the Slovenian house?
We've still got it, of course! Never getting rid of that baby! *heart eye emoji*
Are we so excited?
YES. We are. Personally, I have been working towards this goal for over 3 years. I've always wanted to build a house and I truly can't believe it's happening. The land is so beautiful and peaceful. The house is going to be so sweet. Some of our closest friends (we love you Jensen family) live right next door to us. There's a park with a pickleball court and a beach and a boathouse for our kayaks and paddle boards right down the street. And most importantly, we'll be with each other in a home. Our home!!!!