Building a New House – Buying Land
This summer I walked past a for sale sign on a piece of land near our house when I was out walking the dogs. It was a beautiful piece of land I had never noticed before.
I love where we live. And I love our house. But since we got married, it is just not big enough for two people both running home businesses. For the first years we were married, we moved back and forth from his house to my log cabin. His house was over twice the size of the cabin, but I had made extensive improvements to the cabin and I just love it.
When we lived in the house, we rented the cabin out through VRBO and made a nice profit over the mortgage and utilities. And we still owned the cabin to use for parties and barbecues when it wasn’t rented.
But finally, we moved back into the cabin and rented out the house. The rent covered that mortgage, but being a landlord is more work and trouble than we expected. And it was not really making much profit over the mortgage, insurance and maintenance. It was just not worth it to us.
Finally, we decided to sell the house. We listed it for more than the real estate agents suggested, because we figured we only had one house. And it still had tenants, so we weren’t really losing money. The first few people told us how overpriced we were, but we had offers in no time and ended up, even after some repairs and compromises, selling it for nearly our asking price.
So…. Point being we had money in the bank. We talked about it and decided to pay down the mortgage on the cabin.
BUT! I was out walking the dogs and saw a For Sale sign. We (me and the dogs) were walking around on the field and the owner came up to see what I was doing. I asked how much the piece was and a couple more questions… WOW!!! SO within our means! It was part of an estate. I started calling my husband to drive down to meet me while I literally ran back to the cabin. Cliff was on the phone, but got off when I stood in the door of the office gesticulating.
We drove down to the land, he agreed and I called Lesley Rohe, the real estate agent that had just helped us sell the house. She was on her way to show a house, but called and rescheduled them to turn around and put in an offer for us. She asked if we wanted to make a lower offer and negotiate, but I was completely in love with the land and felt the price was beyond fair.
She wrote the offer and we submitted it with our check in less than an hour from first seeing the sign.
When they got back with us, they said they had 3 offers, but signed ours because it was first. I am SO glad we did not put in a lower price! Coincidentally, one of the other offers was from our across-the-street neighbors. They bought the other lot instead.
We had a due diligence date of June 29th. They sent us a copy of the lot survey and I took it down to zoning to make sure we would be allowed to put a house there. They looked up the zoning for the area and told us we could put six houses there. Then we talked to insurance, no problem there either. Although part of the land is in flood plain, there is plenty that isn’t.
The new land is just outside the original boundaries when Druid Hills was platted. It is not in the historic district and was across the street from the original neighborhood. It was still part of the original farm. We still have old fences and gates. There are even old rusty bits of farm machinery.