Why build? Why now? What to build? Where to build? Can’t we just buy something? Are we nuts? Will our marriage survive this?
All valid questions. (And some with answers that remain to be seen….) We’ve got some catching up to do here, since we pretty much have plans and are ‘this close’ to breaking ground. So stay tuned for some daily posts – or perhaps a couple times a day to get current.
After 15 years in our current home – we decided that, although it’s a great house in a great neighborhood, it would be nice to:
- have more space (acreage)
- have true ‘one floor living’ to help with aging in place (we’re not old, but we’re not getting any younger – and besides – when you live with a couple of blind dogs, you find out pretty quickly how daunting stairs can be…)
- be able to build a real cutting edge, energy efficient home, and
- be able to build a true modernist home.
Our style has evolved and matured, and while this house is in no way traditional, it was as far as we could push the envelope at the time, and within the bounds of the neighborhood covenants. We also know that, from staying current with trends and homeshows, it’s way easier to find modern fixtures and styles now, than it was when we built (1997). It’s either the Mad Men effect, or the HGTV influence. Either way – we’re thankful. Also, the entire “green” initiative has grown by leaps and bounds. When we built, getting a 14 SEER heat pump was “crazy” and our builder commented that he had seen units that large outside the Sears Tower…. Never mind the “low e – squared” windows, and recycled blue jean insulation batting. Now – there is LEED, and PassivHaus, and Energy Star (oh my!) and a host of technological advances.
Dear Husband has stated that he’s not “green” to be “green”, he’s green because he’s cheap. He’s not cheap, but he’s practical. Energy costs have nowhere to go but up. In the US, we’ve enjoyed artificially low energy costs for years – and you saw what happened when we had crazy price increases (and they never really came back down). So – focusing on operating costs of a house is just smart business and hedges your expenses in the long run. If you can lock into a 30 year mortgage, and focus on energy costs, maybe our retirement savings will last as long as we do… ha ha….
(driving our neighbor / Realtor crazy) – we decided that if we’re going to do it – let’s do it once, do it right, and do it for us.
So next – we pick an architect.