show up to get down

written by alison

Tomorrow Jeff and I close on our construction loan. I’m not sure it has hit either of us yet since the process has already been fairly drawn out. Once our bank account totals are significantly smaller, I’m sure it will feel real. Like really real.

Location, location, location

We decided to purchase our lot with the construction loan instead of beforehand. That way we aren’t stuck with a piece of land and no money to build a house. My self-employment status has proven to be quite the monkey wrench in this endeavor so the last thing we felt like doing was assuming they would loan us money to build. That being said, a lot has been picked out for months and I couldn’t be more excited to call #35 ours.

Picking one was a bit of an adventure. We started with a list of available lots and a map of the development. From there I highlighted ones that we were interested in, not marking the narrow lots, lots too close to my sister’s house (sorry sissy!) and ones surrounded on all sides by existing homes. We were left with a handful of options that featured a few corner lots and ones with large mature trees. After deciding Wisconsin winters weren’t ideal for corner lots, we eliminated a few more.

From there, as a family, we set out on a walk through the neighborhood to scope out the options. Some that we thought we’d love were a bit awkward in location or at the base of a hill. So, the great lot selection was narrowed down to 2 options within minutes, #35 and #36. They both were lined in the back with trees and no possibility of neighbors behind those trees, so it really came down to which set of trees did we want. That is, until Brutus went to the bathroom right in the middle of lot #35 – yes, that was our deciding factor. Don’t act surprised.

Take our money

Once a lot had been selected, the first round of offers/contracts/papers to sign got started. Contingencies were put in place, but the reality was that we had picked our house location. Each time we are in town, Jeff and I make sure to drive by it, just to say hello. I couldn’t be more excited to sit under our backyard trees, or tell everyone that we are the house “just after the light post”. Unless we find ancient fossils underneath the grass, I couldn’t be happier with our choice.

But now we have to pay for it, because it is really going to happen. I knew this day would come because it’s not my first time owning a house. That doesn’t mean making a down payment gets any easier. Working so hard to save up just to watch it dwindle in one transaction is rough. I really think the credit union should first take the money out in small bills and let future home owners roll around in their cash before applying it as a down payment. Seems like the right thing to do, no?

Instead, they’ll withdraw my half of the payment, and I’ll go back to working on saving it back up. As soon as we pay for our closet systems, curtains, pantry shelving, movers, rent + construction loan while the house is in progress and any furniture that we simply “must have” prior to spending our first night on lot #35. Maybe I’ll start saving next year.