Wednesday, September 26, 2018

the house of black | a timeline so far

before we started the process of building a house, we had no idea all of the things that went into it up front! we have already done a lot of work to get this process started, and we haven't even broken ground yet! I want to remember all the little details that have gone into this process because there are a lot!

I'm calling our house The House of Black because I can't resist a Harry Potter reference! I'm planning on doing batch update posts on our progress as we build our house, because it will be fun to look back on all the steps along the way once we are settled into our house down the road! 

our timeline thus far:
June 7-ish: started talking about the possibly of buying land/building a home
June 8-20: did a lot of research about building a house, buying land, setting up an address, water/sewer/electric hookup, and loans/mortgages
June 20: met w/ bank to find out about construction loans
June 21: met w/ a building company to find out about their homes
June 22: walked through a home being built by this company
June 24: walked through another home being built by this company
June 27: met w/ an independent builder
June 28: had surveyor come out to survey land
July 12: walked through a house being built by the independent builder
August 2: got our land plat from surveyor and it was officially filed w/ the county
August 13: met w/ builder again to firm up details and discuss costs
August 15: papers for land signed w/ the lawyer
August 18: officially received the title to our land and became land owners!
September 12: met w/ bank to start application for a construction loan
September 14: called the county to start the process of getting an address set up
September 18: got an official address & met w/ builder to decide on final plans
September 19: got our official blueprints for our house!

it has been hard to schedule some of these meetings because my work schedule has been all over the place, so it has taken us a little bit longer to get started... but we needed to allow time for me to get some paychecks from my new job to establish work history before we started an application with the bank. so it is all coming together now, and we are waiting on just a few final documents to submit to the bank to complete our application! once our application is complete, it will take about 45 days to receive final approval for our loan and we will close on it! then the tangible work can begin!

next steps:
o1: get DHEC to do a perc test
o2: get final pricing for house (2-3 weeks)
o3: submit all final documents to bank to complete application
o2: have appraisal done
o3: meet w/ lawyer for closing (45 days from submitting the application to closing)
o4: meet w/ builder to start the building process! (including building permit, grading, clearing, water hookup, framing etc)

and now we are in a time of waiting. it will be another few months until we can officially start clearing the land since we have to wait a few weeks on each of these last few steps for approval. since we have been nomadic during my grad school journey, it feels like we've been waiting to have our own house again for years already. it is hard to wait because we are anxious to have our own home again. but we also want to enjoy all of the steps that come with building our home! 

I think once we have final approval from the bank and we actually start clearing trees and grading, it will feel a lot more real! once we actually start the foundation and framing, the waiting will be more fun, because we will be able to see tangible progress on our land and house! plus, it will be fun to see the house every step along the way to being completed!

I honestly didn't think I would be 30 and not be living in our own home. but I also didn't think I would go to grad school at 28 either. sometimes things don't turn out the way we originally picture it, but it often turns out better. (mainly because God's plans and timing are better than mine!) like for instance, I never dreamed we would be able to build our own home, yet here we are! 

but for now, we wait! for the bank to officially say we can financially do this, for the grading and building to start, for our dreams to get a little closer to fruition. all the waiting will just make our first night in a house that is 100% our space all the more sweet! ;)

Monday, September 24, 2018

the first date | year eight

September 22, 2011 was the first date that my (now) husband and i went on. there is some debate on whether it was a date or a "friend thing", but the point is, it was the first time we spent time together without other people around. our relationship started by a conversation over a cup of coffee, and so many important "starts" have also been over coffee for us! mainly because i think we are both slightly addicted to coffee, haha! (or addicted to warm drinks, because it's not really a caffeine thing since he drinks decaf and i alternate between caffeine or decaf) we both drink it black, but we also love the sugary lattes and frappachinos! (fun fact: my first time ever trying a PSL was on our first date because Thomas convinced me to try it!)

so we recreate our first date every year, and this past saturday was our 8th time on our "first date"! during the year, i know the time is passing but it's not until our anniversary or our first date recreation comes up that i really stop to think about how long we've been together. i like that we celebrate our first date anniversary also, because it helps me count all the time we've been together prior to our wedding! so we've been married for 5 and 1/2 years, but we've been together for 7 years! when we celebrated our anniversary this past year it was crazy to think we had been married for 5 years, but now it's crazy to think we've been in a relationship for 7 years!

each new year that passes always amazes us because it's always the longest relationship either of us have ever been in, haha! I mean, it's crazy to think one day we may be celebrating 50 years of marriage! (if we don't die before the year 2063) (also, that may sound morbid but I work in a hospital and see people die pretty often, so to me it's just reality that it could be a possibility we don't make it to 2063). but of course, it's always a possibility that we do make it to 2063 and celebrate 50 years of marriage! which is just astounding to think about!

September 22 is the first day of fall, which I've always found ironic because I love fall and I loved our first date, so of course they would be the same day! September 22 isn't always the first day of fall (because the autumn equinox has some weird thing where it shifts certain hours on certain years... I don't know I'm not a science person), but more than not it has fallen on the 22nd and I always think it's so fun! I've loved fall my entire life... there is just something about the weather changing and getting cooler that makes everything feel right in the world. maybe that's just me, but I've always felt a peace and a shift when fall comes around.

this year the 22nd fell on a Saturday on my weekend off, so we were able to celebrate at our leisure. our first date recreation is super casual... we just make it a point to go to a Starbucks at some point in the day. we usually end up talking about the past year or the past few years. this year we had a lot to reflect on... including finishing grad school, starting a new career, becoming land owners, and looking forward to building our own home! these past few years have been busy with lots of changes, and the changes keep coming! but thankfully they are mostly good changes! :)

what is your favorite tradition or anniversary you celebrate each year?