30 days to close

Just about.  The house is coming along.  May of last year we chose to build a house, setting in motion a year long project.  Most of the time it doesn’t take that long to build a house.  We delayed the builder as long as they could go.  We put our house on the market in September, sold in a few days and moved into an apartment.  We dealt with the Design Center and choices with the builder, very confusing as to who does what with Toll Brothers.  We took advantage of a national sales event which gave us credits to use during the building process .  Most of the credits were used towards the extended kitchen island, exterior covered patio, and master bathroom.   For the most part we stuck to our budget.

The results are that we are happy with the exterior.  Adding corbels was extra for the elevation we chose, once painted dark,  they should pop.  My husband made a good choice with the double door entry.  And I’m happy with the changes we made to extend the kitchen island, move the fire place so that it isn’t centered on the wall, have a large covered patio and what the builder considers a luxury bath which gave us a short hallway to our bedroom off the living room.

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And I like the vanity nook too (we converted the linen closet to a vanity nook for $700 bucks).  This idea solves the problem of a place to put on make up.  The nook idea worked.  All of the linens can be stored in the cabinets.  We are liking the floor plan!

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Not sure we are loving the the cabinet and interior wall paint selection.  The builder grade paint has very little pigment.  Hopefully with neutral you can’t go wrong? My husband thinks it looks like we couldn’t make a decision between warm tones and grey tones.  I wish the builder would have had a little more options in customizing the kitchen cabinets.  They are a little plain.

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The fireplace stone is from Eldorado stone and the color is castaway.  At the last minute, I went for a warmer tone on the stone choice.   We won’t get the exact living room setup as my idea picture I had posted a while back, however it will be close enough.  To get the firebox off the ground and narrow is really expensive for some reason.  And I though it was expensive enough just to make the change we have.  The fireplace is not wood burning , it’s just gas, so there is no need for a hearth which sticks out too much in this space.  For now we are leaving out the mantel as well.

The wood floors are to go in this week.  I still can’t believe we are this close.  For four months we have been living in the apartment.  I can’t see us living in the house, however I am looking forward to it.  It will be a major change in routine. Everything will be different.

So much to do before then.  I submitted all of the paperwork they requested for closing which was a lot.   Who doesn’t have things they don’t want to do?  Who knows how long we will be in the new house.  I remember when we moved into our previous house, I had hopes that my kids would go to school there and that we would stay in the house for their entire school years.  We were really fortunate to achieve that.  I wonder what it would be like to know ahead of time how it will work out?  We still went through hell with my daughter and had to change schools, for the most part it worked out.

Who knows what life will bring in this new location.  The best advise is to not be tethered to anything.  God provides what you need and you need to go with it.  I really wish I would have fully understood this earlier.  Still, so happy we were able to achieve our life in one place for a long period of time.  That is done and can’t be taken away.

 

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30 days to close

The Good with the Bad

I think I’ve been guilty of not accepting what I would consider unpleasant emotions well.  It isn’t realistic for life to go on with only certain emotions.    Happy feels better than sad, anxious or uncertain.   Those unpleasant feelings are motivators to do something about it.   I think it is normal to strive for being content.

A new puppy is great!  She is a great source of companionship.  With that comes some unpleasantness.  She has eaten some strings, while annoying it’s dangerous.  It kept me up worrying about it after I pulled out an 18 inch shoe lace that she was trying to cough up.  (It had made it all the way down to her stomach.)  I feared surgery on a little pup.  And while she is so little, I can’t leave her for too long.  Her spirit is amazing.  She loves to see people and is a big time cuddle bug!  I absolutely love her.

 

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The building process on the house is coming along too!  We have now been in the apartment for 3 months.  This sacrifice will be worth it because we don’t have to worry about selling our house, who knows if it would have sold so quickly when we are ready to close on the new house.  The peace of mind has been good.  There have been so many decisions and more to come.  This week we viewed the progress.   The kitchen cabinets and countertops were in!  The three major areas I had to modify have turned out good.  The kitchen had a bump out above the cooktop that was awkward, so we changed to a vent hood that would look ok with a build out around the weird bump to the ceiling.  This is one of the benefits of viewing the same plan in the build process. You can see things you need to change.

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The plan had the fireplace in the middle of the wall in the living room.  I didn’t like the idea of having the TV over the fireplace and didn’t want the TV on the opposite facing wall.  So we had the builder move the fireplace over so the TV and fireplace can be on the same wall side by side and also bump out the fireplace so it isn’t just flat on the wall.  The fireplace will have stacked stone from the floor to the ceiling.  Can’t wait to see the final result.  So far it looks like it will work.

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I am certainly not like one of those stars on HGTV who can just visualize how things will turn out.  People who can do that have a gift!  I feel as though I’m living the shows a little.  This has been like an episode of Property Brothers, where you have a budget and need to make a change, it cost more than you have budgeted,  so you have to find other areas to cut back.  You really need to spend the money in the areas that matter and cut back on the ones where it doesn’t.  For instance, the plan shows the house with a barrel tile roof which is absolutely gorgeous and comes with a hefty price tag.  A composite roof is easier to care for and allows the money to be spent on other things.  These kinds of decisions are key to a final outcome that fits the bill!

Moving to the other side of town will have some good and bad also.  Hopefully we will accept both and find contentment…and that definition is ….

A mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind

This knowing there will be a spectrum of emotions that go with it.  To be O.K. with the chaos around you.

The Good with the Bad

Want to test your marriage? Build a house together.

Continuing on this journey of moving on, we are moving through the process of building our new house.  The choices of neighborhood and house plan design seemed like easy choices at this point.  And it was not!   The harder part is when you come to choices and budget.  I used to love watching TV shows on this.  It is not as fun when it’s your money.

We selected a one story mediterranean style house and a builder (Toll Brothers).  Some of the simplier choices were how many rooms and a bathroom upgrade.   Even a kitchen upgrade to include a massive island counter.  The more difficult parts have included how to design the living room with furniture and a fire place.   In this plan we have a 12 foot 4 inch wall with the fireplace in the middle on one side of the room.  A wall of windows on the back side, a blank wall opposite facing the fireplace and the kitchen looking into this room.  I am not a fan of placing the TV above the fireplace because of the height.  And I don’t want opposite walls with competing focal points.  (you can’t set your couch in front of one or the other and I don’t want to turn my head).  I found a really cool design on the internet that I hope works.  The builder is going to let us know if they can move the fireplace so that it is not center, if so, I can place my TV next to it like this…(here is the design and here is an example of what you get in the house).  The extended stacked stone is an upgrade, I love it!

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Another issue will be the fact that we are going to have maybe 9 inches of depth.  We are going to have 5.1 surround sound so we need to figure out a small form factor subwoofer.

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I am not doing the extended fireplace hearth into the room.  The fireplace will just go to the floor (it’s gas).

Next is the vanity in the master bath.  So here is a picture of the bathroom as it comes. There is no vanity for doing make up.  Who came up with this plan?  Obviously not a female!  So I am adding a vanity niche (like the photo beneath it).  We are removing the linen closet and putting in the vanity niche.  I have no idea how this is going to turn out aesthetic wise, but functionally it will be better.  Usually people that try to do their own thing fail miserably, especially when they don’t have the education on design, porportion, etc.  However the two things I mentioned, how to set the furniture in the living room and a place to get ready for me are super important.

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niche bath

Another challenge will be how to re-purpose a room that is currently considered the breakfast room.  With a massive island that will have bar stools and a separate dining room, I don’t need a third area for eating.  Yet there is one.  This room, called the breakfast room opens up to a small patio outside.  I am going to try and use the room as some kind of lounge.  Whether it be for coffee or a small sitting area, I’m not sure.  I’m hoping to get a designer involved to help make this space purposeful.  With the two of us, there is no need for a breakfast room, dining room and the sit in bar area.

This has been super stressful, yet you would think it would be fun. Building will start in late September and completion will be in April.  To add to the stress, we are selling our current house.  I hope to have it on the market by end of August.  The plan here is to move into a short term lease…somewhere until our new house is ready and my son graduates high school.

Want to test your marriage? Build a house together.

Moving on

After raising two kids, life has impeccable timing of changing things up.  My husband’s workplace is moving far enough to make the commute too long.  Plenty of people make an hour commute and think nothing of it.  We have talked a while about moving into a home with a more efficient use of space, just couldn’t decide where.  The job narrowed the decision for us.   To me it’s stressful uprooting from one place to another.  The logistics of selling and buying makes it almost impossible to time both perfectly.  We have looked at homes for sale and decided it works better to build.  Maybe if we could get Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer upper or the Property Brothers to transform a home for us, that would work.  However, that is unlikely.

We sold our first house to move into our current one and found success in selling then moving into an apartment during the build of the new house.  So this is the plan once again.  Searching for communities was the first step.  Where would you start?  We have plenty experience with what we like and don’t like about living in a community.  My first thought is space!  We have 4 cars now with two adult kids and parking is painful right now.  To top that off our neighbor across from us has 8 cars in their single narrow driveway.  In Texas you can really stretch out.  Maybe too much.  We found some home sites that are away from it all and on septic tank systems for waste.  We’ve experienced that and any problem with a septic tank to me is too much!  We’ve never had a problem being on a sewer system.  Next, an affordable master planned community.  Living in one has it’s pros and cons.  For one if you have deed restrictions, your property values should stay up. Sure it’s annoying to get a letter about your weeds in your flower beds.  However you won’t have to live next to someone who let’s it go too far.   Lastly, surroundings,  we narrowed the search to a few communities and the real deciding factor came down to the surroundings of the community.  One was a community that was buried in other communities.  It felt like an endless drive through communities to get to it.  And the other had a long road to it, you know sometimes you just like it or don’t and we just didn’t like it.  Maybe because there was no real business amenities that you need to get things done (grocery stores, restaurants, medical facilities, mechanics, do – it – yourself places, nurseries, etc.).  We found a nice community.  I’m concerned about it being close to a freeway, however it will make it convenient to get to all of the places we need to get things done.  Once in the community, you wouldn’t know there is a freeway close by.

We have picked a plan and a lot.  It’s hard to get exactly what you want, hence the compromise.  We will make it into something great!   To new beginnings!

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Moving on