Monday, January 26, 2009

Chapter Two - Signing on the Dotted Line

After finding the property, our next step was to close on the land. After what felt like months of negotiation and research into what all it was going to take to build on the land (e.g. water well, elecric, etc) we finally signed the dotted line on July 25, 2008. We were now proud owner's of 20 acres in Gunter! Immediately, we began making renovations to our current home so that we could prepare it to put on the market for sale. Luckily, within the last year, Casey had made large improvements to the house (all new hardware, light fixtures, etc) so there was not much we had to do besides a good deep clean. On September 1, we put a For Sale By Owner sign in the yard and began the tedious process of trying to sale the house! After a month of hardly any interest and just a few showings (probably because the only advertising was the sign in the yard), we decided to list with a realtor. October 1 marked the first official day on the market. We had 13 showings in October alone, but then November and December came. Nothing. Notta. Zilch. From the week of elections through the week of Christmas, we had no new showings and only one 2nd.

On the land/new home front, in late September, Casey and I sat down with graph paper and drew up the floor plans of our new home. Casey had a lot of great ideas and I had always kept a list of things I wanted in the layout of a house. It didn't take long and we sent the plans away to our architect for official drawing. After a few week process of her sending us sketches and us making redlines, we created our future dream home! It is neat to look back at the original plan on graph paper (and the original sketch I drew of the exterior of the house) and to compare that to our final product. Many things are the same, but we have made a lot of improvements also. Next steps... selections and bids....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chapter One - A Place to Call Home

April 2006 - May 2008
It all started with a hope and a dream the Spring of 2006. We had just had our precious baby girl and we realized that our house that we had moved into just a short year earlier, was soon to be outgrown. We prayed, discussed, prayed, rediscussed and came to the conclusion that, rather than just buying another house in the city where we planned to live just a few short years, we should start looking for land in which to build a permanent home. And so, the journey started.

About once a month we would drive the county roads of Prosper, Celina, Gunter, McKinney, Aubrey, and nearly every town North of Dallas looking for the perfect piece of property. We began talking with our friends, Mark and Kay Pope about our adventure. They decided to join us on our journey and it soon became a car of 5 driving the small country roads. For nearly a year, we searched high and low for property. About this time, the Popes decided to talk with their children, Danny and Amanda about joining in on the purchase. And, it became very clear that Casey and I could not move that far North and still keep Lexi with my sister as a sitter. That relationship was very important to me, so I began to put the bug in my sister, Brandy's, ear about moving with us. At first she was NOT moving to the country (she has lived in Arlington all of her life), but the thought grew with her and her husband, Mike. We talked with other friends about moving and had a grand plan of it being a "little" community of friends and family.

We continued to look for land for another year or so when we decided we needed to bring in the aid of a realtor to make it happen. The four families were on board 100% at this time and we were serious about moving. I found a realtor in Celina, Mary McCauley, that helped with our search of 2-3 acres lots for each of us. Within a month, she found property that was everything we were looking for and more - 20 acres on Wallace Road in Gunter, TX. At first, it was more than what we bargained for - but after praying again, discussing a lot, and praying some more - we realized this was just the place for our future homes.

A Dream Come True...

I decided to start a blog dedicated to our home building process. It will outline the steps we are taking so that, when it is all said and done, we can look back and see what a long road we paved to get there! It has been a dream of Casey and I's since we were in high school to own land and build the home of our dreams. I feel so blessed to be in a situation that God has allowed us the opportunity to do just that. It brings to mind a quote from a friend that passed away from cancer this past year - "I am blessed and highly favored". Yes, even in his dim time, he still remained true to this saying and everyday that I wake up with my wonderful family, I can't help but agree with him. And so, it begins...