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Woody Allen, while funny, was also spot on with this quote. “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Because inevitably, things change. The minute we think we’ve got it all figured out, we get turned on our heads. Not that that’s always a bad thing.
This property…this property has tested my perseverance. It’s tested my patience. It’s tested my dream. But in the end, I know it’ll be worth it. I can see Jack’s bare feet slapping the hardwood floor in the kitchen. I can see our chickens grazing in the yard. I can hear the peepers singing while we relax on a back porch that doesn’t exist yet.
But let me back up a bit. Last week a very good friend of ours (aka, the best man in our wedding) came out to take aerial drone photographs of our land. We wanted to get a good visual for how the land looked now as opposed to the 4 year old Google Earth images. We wanted a to-scale representation of the land to figure out where we wanted to put the house, the garage, the barns, the crops, etc.
While Geoff was in the Marine Corps, he worked on helicopters. When he got out, he took that decade-plus years of experience and started his own business, VSI Aerial. Now he gets to be the pilot on what is, essentially, a mini helicopter.
I only got video of the take off because in no time it was gone. He had some program that he could map out our land and it would automatically create a grid to fly down and take hundreds of pictures. Afterwards, it will combine all of those pictures into one interact map. Too cool!
I asked him if he could use his drone to mow the lawn too…he politely ignored me. Good man.
This was one of the photos he got from it:
This is from behind the house (bottom-center-left) looking towards the church and highway. I had no idea the area was so incredibly FLAT.
We had a guy scheduled the next day to bring out a backhoe to perk the house-site. This is where it gets interesting.
I remembered on one of the emails from the lender, they asked if the farm was in agricultural use. I told her no. But sent her the online property tax record because some of it is zoned agricultural, and I was worried that would be an issue. Turns out it was, but not for the reason I thought.
The tax assessed value of the land was way higher than what we’re offering for it, and higher than what we wanted to spend on building a new house. Our lender would only back us if the house was 60% or greater of the total value of the property. The numbers didn’t work. Damn.
So our plans got completely turned on their ear. With one email we were set in motion. We had to cancel the guy coming out to perk it the next morning, get back in touch with Wells Fargo about a renovation loan as opposed to a land+construction loan. Find builders.
This week we met with three contractors to get bids. While walking them through we came up with different solutions for various problems, like the upstairs bathroom. How it is right now, there’s barely 12 inches from the edge of the toilet and the wall. Definitely not to code, and definitely not comfortable. So we found a place we can relocate it to, and will close it in and it will become semi-walk-in-closets for two of the bedrooms.
All in all, we’re excited. We’ve got lots of work to do, and not enough time to do it in, but that’s part of the process. Nothing worth having is easy to come by.