Thursday, August 29, 2013


I know, I know, I know. It's been months since my last post - please forgive me, but there wasn't much to write about. The land was hosed up, but now, we are back on track! Hooray!

It finally happened – we closed on a piece of land. No, it wasn’t the piece of land we originally picked out – the status of that land is still in limbo – but it seems it’s really true what they say about things happening for a reason because we got a better piece of land.
I haven't written much about the struggle with the original piece on here, mostly because I was so unsure of what was really going on, but for the past four months, we have been stuck in no man's land with that land. Lots of waiting, lots of unknowns, lots of worrying - the usual.
But last week, we finally closed on a piece of land, and we can start the official home building process! 
Chris and my father-in-law (FIL) walk the land where our house will sit (eventually).
When Chris told me, I continued to verify what he had said for an hour or so afterward because it just doesn’t feel real. Because of the lengthy waiting process we had with the original piece of land.
It was February when we agreed to build instead of buy, and we found a piece of land a couple of days later. We thought we would have a house built by the end of August, but then, things got tangled up. For the past six months, we’ve been up and down and all around with the original piece of land in the Grafton area of York County.
When we put a bid on the land in early March, the sellers quickly accepted – we thought we’d be digging the footer any day, but soon, the problems began.
Problems finding the original title… then problems finding heirs to the land and getting them to sign off. Days went by, and we wouldn’t hear anything. Then before we knew it, it was July.
We were told not to worry, but that wasn’t easy. Our lease was marked to end August 31, and it was fast approaching. 
Fortunately, we are blessed to have family in the area, and my parents, who live in Newport News, offered their home to us until ours is built. But still, I was always nervous we would leave on condo in Suffolk and move into my parents’ house without the promise of land.
My father-in-law (as you remember is building our house) wasn't worried for most of the waiting period, but in the middle of July, he told us we needed to find a new piece of land.
We looked all over the Peninsula and even up in Williamsburg, but we did not fall in love with anything. And to tell the truth, one of those pieces was the one on which we closed and will build our home.
Originally, we looked at a different piece on the same road (there are a few lots for sale... all different sizes), and I remember saying I didn't love it - giving it a 6 out of 10. Chris on the other hand liked it quite a bit, but being the wonderful man he is, he told me we wouldn't bid on it if I didn't love it.
But a few days after the original visit, I drove to the lot with my mother, and it was like I was looking at it with different eyes.
Maybe the first time I was hungry or nauseated... or just grumpy. Whatever it was, it passed because I fell hard for the lot. (It helped that I figured out the neighborhood backs up to a usable service entrance to Newport News Park, where I can run and walk Ariel).
So, I returned home, and admitted my oversight and fickleness to Chris, and we decided to go for it. Unfortunately, that process also wasn't easy. 
The original piece we wanted was too high in price, so we looked at a second one. 
That one was too oddly shaped, so onto a third.
This one was just right - right size (1 acre), right price (the same as the other piece we were looking to buy), right location (the northern part of York County - great schools, close proximity to Yorktown Beach, Newport News, the Route 17 shopping corridor, and the highway). Very Goldilocks, I know!
So, we put a bid in and waited some more. 
As we waited, we packed up our condo in Suffolk, and we planned our move to Newport News - still uncertain about where we would build. Still uncertain about how long our stuff would need to be stored. (God bless my parents for taking us in without a firm end date)

This is Ariel's idea of "helping" us move.
But then, to paraphrase Jiminy Cricket, like a bolt out of the blue, fate stepped in to see us through. I suppose the Blue Fairy was on our side because the day before we moved out of our condo, we received word the land was ours.
We are thrilled with the plot! The drive from this lot is is a little farther to work for me (and a little closer for Chris) than the other piece, but it’s a nicer location – quieter, friendlier, more private. It’s on a small road that dead-ends about a half mile from where our house will be built, and the neighborhood around it is very private and removed from traffic.
So, now, we are moving forward with as much steam as we can. This week, the trees will start coming down (the incredible abundance of trees on this land is a small downfall, but we think it’s worth it), and in just a few weeks, we should be starting the footer.

Chris and my FIL measuring the land.
We couldn't be more thrilled to be starting the house finally. I’ve already starting taking pictures (which aren’t very eventful so far), and I will be sure to update as much as possible on the progress.