Friday, February 20, 2009

How to Eat an Elephant

Well, Michelle and I have placed our house up for sale. It's the first bite of our elephant. You've possibly heard that old proverb. "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." In other words, if your goal is too big, cut it into smaller pieces that you can manage one at a time. Michelle and I have a huge goal. We want to build our house on the hill. About a year and a half ago we bought a piece of property that pretty much fell out of the sky and was perfect. It's a little two acre plot overlooking the peaceful village of Chesapeake Ohio. You have a beautiful view of the valley, the river, and the Huntington bridge. The land is covered in trees and boulders with a flat, house sized spot amongst them all, and there's an honest to goodness rock face back there as well. It's very Middle-Earth. Close to town, with the illusion of seclusion. That's where Michelle and I both want to end up. So, we bought it. Now here we are, anxious to build and excited to be in our new place, but living in our tiny little house in Ironton and still trying to be responsible financially. What do we do? Well, here's the plan. 1. We sell our house. Could be a tricky step in this whole plan, owing to the market doing what it's doing. BUT! I have done a little looking around and the market here does not seem to be as bad as in some places. Perhaps the cost of living and the economy here was already dodgy to begin with and we haven't seen as much of a slowdown as a result. For whatever reason, home values do not seem to have slipped as drastically, and the market is still moving pretty well in our part of town. Now, when, not if, the house sells.... 2. We bank the profit on the home, and find a place to rent. I've done a little looking at rental properties and the costs thereof. We can live about the way we are now without jumping too high on a payment. We'll probably also have to rent a little storage space to hold the stuff we don't liquidate. And we plan on cleaning this place out! 3. While we are renting, we are still saving. We start to shop builders and excavators. From them we acquire estimates to put us under roof and so forth. Then we head to step... 4. When we have the contractors and pricing we need, we go to the banks and start to shop loans. Hopefully, and also according to our realtor, we should be able to land a pretty good interest rate. At this point we'll know exactly how much we'll need up front for a down payment and all that. 5. We start the build. (Still saving) 6. As soon as the house is live-inable we're out of the rental and we start moving stuff in. At this point, we're pretty much there, with the exception of the finishing inside and so forth. I do plan on calling upon the cosmic power of "The Dads" as Michelle and I like to call them. They're excellent for saving costs on labor and such. Are you reading this dad? :) So there's an outline of our plan. No strict time frame as that is largely contingent on selling the house and shopping before the building starts. Anyway, if anyone would like to donate to "Project: Cook Manor" feel free to send checks, cash or change! Should I put up a Paypal button? Here, by the way, is the house plan we have picked out. We haven't been able to think of a thing we don't like about it, which is fairly amazing! You guys can start picking out your rooms and all that. :) -J

1 comment:

Gina said...

That house plan is fantastic! I love the stone front. Good luck selling your house!