It has long been a dream of mine to build & own a modern home. I remember falling in love with modern design & IKEA so many years ago. Back then NOTHING was modern & affordable except IKEA and Target’s line of dorm room accessories, especially here in the deep south. Nowadays, Atlanta and other big cities in the south have embraced modern design in little bits. There are modern homes in Atlanta, and there’s a even a modern home tour I’ve been to for years. The problem is location location location. The really nice affordable modern homes are always in deep downtown up-and-coming areas that unfortunately are WAY far away from my job and often next door to meth lab homes. The latter part is not great for raising children or having family & friends come over. I remember looking at one BEAUTIFUL home in the most awful of locations… my coworker/real estate agent wouldn’t even get out of the car until we arrived she was so afraid! Now imagine my much older, MUCH more conservative mother coming to visit.. let’s just say not happening. Although if you ask T that might have been a good thing 😛
Now back to building… I’m finally in a good place to do a custom build home. I have a good job with some backup options if necessary. I’m board certified. I make a decent salary. I’m in a place where I can see myself living forever. So I started asking around for prices and talking to Architects. I talked to some banks about financing. I realized I could totally do this… with a budget of course. So I started down a very long journey of trying to get a house going.
Step 1: Find some land. This part was fairly easy, actually. My real estate agent was married to an architect, which came in very handy for evaluation a piece of land for home building purposes.
Step 2: Find an Architect and get some plans. This part took much longer than expected and was the beginning of a bunch of nonsense. I have learned that Architects are just not used to working within budgets, and if you are indeed on a budget, you should lie to your architect to the tune of 50-100K less than what you actually want to pay.
This step was quite difficult for us, mainly because we weren’t getting the advice & assistant we really needed from our architect. He designed us a beautiful, very functional, custom to our needs home. All the prices were coming in 50-100K higher than our budget. We started asking ‘Ok, what can we do to fix this? What can we take away? What can we change?’. It was like talking to a wall. Answers were clearly blowing us off, not helpful, not allowing us to move forward. Here’s where things got really bad, though. After all the high prices, he found us a builder that magically quoted us a price right where we wanted with no changes to the home whatsoever. Great, right? We told him to move forward with the final drawings and we’d use this particular builder. Well, it was good to be true. After we paid the architect for the whole darn thing, we sent back the relatively unchanged plans for final pricing what surprise, surprise… the new quote was 100K higher. I was stuck… I couldn’t change the plans without forking over MORE architect cash and for some reason, builders would not work with me to get the price down. Some builders just flat out stopped calling me back. It was literally like dating these builders! The first meet would go great, even the second went well and I’d leave so happy. They’d promise me a quote in a week. Then that week would pass, then another, then another… no phone calls. And they wouldn’t answer or return any calls I made to them.
FINALLY I found a builder willing to work with me. He came back with a high quote like all the others, but the difference was he was willing to give me specific ideas on how to get the price down and referred me to a different architect that could revise my plans for a very good price. So in my very last hope, I got the plans redone and I got the new plans priced out. It still wasn’t great news, it wasn’t as low as I wanted, but it was do-able. I basically had to decide was I willing to pay a little more than I wanted originally to build my custom dream home or do I give up, buy something pre-built, and live in a normal traditional home like everyone else in Georgia. T and I both agreed, let’s do this. We’ve gone this far and we can make it work.
Step 3: Find a builder. My ridiculous process of finding one is mentioned above.
Step 4: Get a loan. This is the part I’m working on right now. The builder has just a few more documents to fill out and we’ll try to get approved. The process should take about 30 days.
More details of the nonsense of building a home to come as I face them. Still nothing on the baby front… no January miracle. I ordered some specialty supplements for both of us, and I plan to spend next week watching videos from the natural fertility class. It is just so overwhelming all the things they want you to do. You’re supposed to use only natural cleaning & body care products, eat only organic food, go gluten free, stop consuming dairy, drink only reverse osmosis water not in a plastic bottle, add filters to your shower to purify that water, and be within a healthy BMI… all of this for 3 to 12 months. I just did the 24 day Challenge and I couldn’t even make it all the way through that! Like I said… very overwhelming. I just can’t do it all. I’ll have to pick & choose what I think is important and do only those for 3 months and see what happens. Same thing for T, just mentioning ONE change leads to resistant and fighting back. It almost makes you want to go straight for an IUI and call it a day. Anyway, I’m hoping to sort through it next week and have some sort of beginning of a game plan.