Thursday, June 28, 2012


I had a few people ask me why we wanted to build instead of buy an older house and fix it up.  In our house we recently sold, we actually did a ton of remodel work. We added a whole dining nook, we added all new hardwoods and we built a bathroom from scratch.

And it was a lot of work and very stressful. Because we were living around the projects, it was very difficult to do them. J could only hammer when the girls were awake and with Brynn going to bed at 5:30, it was a short construction day. We were also only fixing surface things. In that house, which was built in 1930, we knew things could go badly at any moment. Bad as in a furnace breaking, a foundation or roof issue. Then you are throwing money at problems that don't make your house pretty like new hardwoods do.

When we first sold our house, we found a really charming farmhouse that was a shortsale. We were thisclose to putting an offer. Then we really thought about what that would look like day to day. It would take forever and ever and cost endless money. And that would again only fixing up things to make the house look the way we wanted it to look. The bones of that house were old- from 1913. The chances of something major happening were high.

J and I have always wanted to build. I know that is common dream. I meet a lot of people who say "oh want to build too!" and I know many of them never will. When you get down to the nitty gritty, unless you are building a cookie cutter house by a builder, it is stressful and expensive and scary as hell.

There a million unknowns. There are a million things that could go wrong and there are so many little pieces that have to come together to make this thing work, especially when you are doing a custom build. We are about hmmmmm, 2% in and I am already laying awake at night thinking of tiny little details like utility closet placement.

So again..WHY?

1.  We are picky and we know what we want. Especially J. He is super visual and honestly it would be nice to not have to hear him complaining about our house :)

2. We have the time. J only works 8 days a month and I stay home with the girls, so we have time to manage details, schedules and such. Our lot is 5 minutes from our rental.

3. We are realistic. We are not expecting to build a 5,000 square foot house on a 300,000 budget.

4. We want to live in this house until we retire. We chose this location carefully. We know we will never leave Washington or this immediate area because trying to remove the grandchildren from the grandparents could cause some serious issues. I want my girls to live in one area for school. I want them to have strong community roots. If we buy a house built in 1950, that will be one old house by the time we retire.  This house will be like new for a long time.  And someday, I don't want a mortgage.

5. We know we are taking a risk. And we are scared but excited :)

I promise I will take pictures of the lot and post them soon!


  1. We get asked this all of the time too. We give a lot of the same reasons you are giving, plus with the market how it is, a lot of these custom builders are hurting for work and are being reasonable. We have found that we could build custom and get what we want for our first house or buy used, upgrade it, and by the time we upgrade it we will have spent as much or more on the used house that still isn't completely set up how we want it. I know you posted this a while back, but I just found your blog and am trying to catch up! We should be breaking ground this week...I hope!


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