If you’ve read my About Me page, you probably know that my husband and his parents own a company that is a manufacturer, wholesale distributor, and retailer of masonry products. One of the perks of his job is getting to be around beautiful houses a lot! Our products end up on/in Parade of Homes and Street of Dreams tours each year, as well as countless other custom, spec, and show homes. We have so much fun walking through those gorgeous dream houses and encountering all the amazing design ideas, from trendy to timeless.
Over the years, I have soaked up all the home inspiration like a wet-vac. I’d say ‘like a sponge’, but my wet-vac has much better suction and it can hold a whole lot more.
After we renovated our own home, we caught the home-building bug, and we’ve been infected ever since. For my husband, the appeal is definitely in the finished product. He loves the big reveal. I love that, too, but more than that, I love the process. I love the transformation. Building something from nothing.
To me, there is something magical about a blank piece of paper, waiting to be covered in ideas, designs, lists, and floorplans. As much as we enjoyed our renovation, there were so many things we wanted to change in our house that we just couldn’t.
We started to look forward to the day when we could start from scratch and build ourselves a home that suited our family perfectly. A house we could grow old in.
When we realized we were quickly outgrowing our little starter home, pictured above, we began to think about moving. Checking Realtor, Trulia, and Zillow for all the new listings in our area became part of our daily routine.
We visited many houses. Many. A lot of them were fixer uppers. Some of them were brand new and gorgeous. But there was always something just a little too ‘wrong’ for us to get excited about living there. Things that just couldn’t be changed with a renovation or remodel.
The lot was too small.
The house was too close to the neighbors.
The house was done beautifully, but not to our tastes.
The location made our commute too long.
On and on, we came up with reasons that the houses just wouldn’t work. We kept telling ourselves that eventually, the perfect thing would come along. We prayed about it and felt like we would just know when we found the right place. But a year passed and then another, and that’s when we started to think about building our own home sooner rather than later.
After that, we needed to decide if we wanted to build an “in-between” house, where we would stay for the next ten to fifteen years, or if we wanted to make some compromises and go for building our forever home now. This was a really important and hard decision for us because we already had the lot picked out for our forever home. Once we build a house on it, that’s it. That’s the spot where we’re growing old.
But were we really ready to build our forever home now?? Maybe you’re wondering if your family is ready for a big change like this, too.
Chad’s parents own a beautiful farm, part of which they have generously offered to sell to us when we were ready to build. The building lot portion of this plot is pictured at the top of the post. It’s a lovely tree-lined field with gently rolling hills, and it would be the perfect spot to raise our family.
The first big factor we took into consideration was our finances. We hadn’t given ourselves as much time as we intended to save up money, and therefore, the budget we hoped we would have needed to decrease a bit. We’d have to make some compromises with both our house plan and the finishes we choose. I’m blessed with a husband who understands and thrives on managing finances. He tracks and manages everything so well, that we were quickly able to work out the numbers and decide on a new budget. What we realized is that we could afford everything we need, and the things we want, we can add or eliminate as necessary.
Family-planning was also a huge part of our decision. We had our daughter in 2015, and now she’s almost two years old. More children is a definite possibility for us and we simply would like more space.
One thing that is really important to me is that my kids have a lot of safe outdoor space to use. We’ve had trouble finding affordable properties with a lot of land. Or even more than half an acre. But our twenty-acre little “farmette” is just sitting there. Being beautiful. Asking for those kiddos to run around and explore!
The last of the “big” factors, was the idea of building once and being done vs. building twice and gaining more experience with the home building process and (potentially) more money to eventually build our perfect, spectacular, pristine dream home.
And then I realized it. My dream home NOW does not look like my dream home IN FIFTEEN YEARS.
In fifteen years, my children will be teenagers, planning to leave for college soon. In fifteen years, I probably won’t need or want the same amount of space I need and want now. In fifteen years, the way we use our house and live in our house and entertain in our house will probably look totally different.
And I realized that I didn’t want to wait fifteen years for that perfect, spectacular, pristine dream home. Perfect is boring anyway. Spectacular sounds too showy. Pristine isn’t liveable.
I realized that what I wanted wasn’t my dream home. I don’t think I’ll ever have my dream home, and that’s okay. I’m okay with that. What I want is my forever home.
I wanted to build something we can be comfortable in, compromises and all. I want to build that house and fill it with memories of my children growing up there. Running through those rooms. Drawing with crayons on those walls.
Memories of my husband and I stealing kisses in that kitchen. Fixing whatever the kids just broke in that garage. Holding hands during family movie night in that basement.
Memories that will keep me warm in fifteen years when my babies are almost completely grown up and talking about leaving. Memories that will brighten my day when my hair is starting to turn dull and I can’t remember why I came into the kitchen, anyway. Memories that will be scratched into those floors, smudged on those walls, and soaked into the very soil the house sits on.
I want those memories to be made on our little farmette. In our forever home.
One more influence:
That sunset. Yeah, I want to see that every day.