So...remember how a few weeks ago, I mentioned how we finally found a house we loved, but the timing was all wrong?
As we were communicating with the realtor who was showing that home, we mentioned that even though the timing was wrong for us to buy the house, we really loved the neighborhood and that if any land came up for sale we would love to know about it. Imagine our surprise when the very next day he emailed to say that there actually was a lot available. Apparently the "for sale" sign had been damaged in a rain storm and hadn't yet been replaced, so we didn't see it while driving around.
You guys...this lot is awesome. It's far more affordable than any of the city lots we've looked at in the last few years and it's about three times as large. A full acre - in our price range.
So on Monday we talked to the county zoning guy to make sure the lot was residential and that we could build a house on it. We asked a plumber how much a well and a septic system would cost, and then we pretty much ran to the bank to see if we could afford it. Good news on all fronts.
The realtor (who happens to live in this same neighborhood) very kindly told us to draw up our own contract with the sellers to avoid paying his realtor fees. Nicest realtor ever, no? So I bought a downloadable offer to purchase form for eighteen bucks online and we contacted the sellers to let them know an offer was coming. Coincidentally, Nate knows the sellers (this is a small town) and they seemed excited to be (possibly) selling to someone they knew and asked him about a million questions about what he'd been up to since high school.
Apparently the sellers originally owned both this lot and the one next to it, on which they'd built a home. When they moved, they split the lot into two pieces - the lot with the house sold and the empty lot didn't. Unfortunately, there is a weird clause in place stating that the current owners of the lot with the house get a "first right" to the second lot. Basically they will get a chance to outbid our offer in case they suddenly decide they want to own both lots. We don't think this will be a problem as these owners haven't expressed any interest in purchasing the empty lot, but we're keeping it in the back of our minds and are praying they don't suddenly want to purchase our little chunk of land.
The next step is to submit the offer, and we had every intention of doing it ourselves, but as I read through the contract I realized I was in way over my head. I don't know anything about title insurance, escrow agents or any other real estate gibberish, so we have decided to take the contract to a lawyer to make sure we're filling everything out correctly. We'll hopefully be meeting with him tomorrow.
We fully expect to own this piece of land within a few weeks. Our plan is to buy this lot and then list our condo for sale. While our condo is on the market, we'll be researching homes and builders and hopefully deciding exactly what we want to do. Once our condo sells (hopefully within a year, tops) we'll start building our home, and will likely need to rent for a few months until our house is ready. Renting is not something I'm looking forward to.
Cross your fingers and say some prayers, because we're already *really* excited about this. We're dreaming of a vegetable garden, a two (or three) car garage and a big playground for Jax.
(In the meantime, I'll be on Pinterest trying to decide what my dream home looks like. Feel free to send me suggestions or follow along here!)