The building process feels slower than molasses
I sat down to write this post a few times, but it seems vulnerable to put my thoughts and feelings out there for everyone to read but I also feel like it will help me process the journey up to this point. Let me take you back to 2018, Tyler and I had just got married. We bought a home in Tiffin in 2017, we loved our little cozy house. It was the perfect starter home, and it was close to both the farm and Tyler’s work. Dean was born in November of 2020. Our small three-bedroom house started to feel a little crowed with a baby, a Diesel dog and two cats. We didn’t have a basement or attic so our 3rd bedroom, which was once our office, became our storage room. I should also note that our two cats don’t get along. We had both brought a cat into the relationship that we had prior to dating. You guys if they even glance at one another, there is a huge cat fight! Pun intended haha. So, we kept Athena in our room and Scarlet in the office. We would rotate letting them out to explore the living room.
As our family grew, we knew we wanted to look for something a bit bigger. At least for a home where we could store our own Christmas tree which was currently in my old room at Dad’s house. We talked to Tyler’s cousin who is a relator and we got signed up for all the sites to see if something came available.
At this point we didn’t know buying some of the farm would be possible. We began having casual conversations with our family. I am not sure how it really got brought up, but we had the courage to ask my grandma if she would consider selling us a small plot of land where the garden sits. She was open to the idea, so we sat down with my dad and his sisters. This process began prior to Dean being born. I remember being pregnant at these meetings, but I am not sure how far along I was.
We had the land surveyed and approved by Johnson County. This was a pretty long process in itself. We are close enough to Tiffin that it also had to be approved by them. Unless you are buying 40 acres, a farm can only be split one time through a process called Farmstead Split. Grandma and Grandpa built a home in the 90s, but my grandpa zoned it as residential. I feel it was a God moment that called my grandpa to zone it residential instead of a farmstead split. We love the idea of having a bit of space to continue to expand the flowers and for Dean to have a pretty large size backyard.
We agreed to officially purchase the land in 2022. This gave us time to save, get settled in as new parents and for us to start designing our floor plans.
Now this is where the journey begins to go a little haywire. We started the process with so much excitement and motivation. The road was leading us down a scary but exciting path! I am a person who likes a plan. I like to prepare, and I am often very organized. We began working with an attorney to help us with purchasing the land. At first, he was alright, but we soon realized (a little to late) that he was not as great as we thought. We couldn’t get ahold of him; he was never in his office and communication lacked in professionalism. We were supposed to officially purchase the land in January of 2022. Well, it is now mid-March, and we are still waiting for a few things to get finalized. I will feel so much better when we have this at least checked off the list.
We decided to sell our home and move in with my in-laws until our house was built. This was thought to be a short-term arrangement that would allow us to save. We listed our home in October and we had an accepted offer within 24 hours! The market right now is insane! I am so grateful to my in-laws that have graciously let us move into their basement. Our house plans were drawn up back in the spring of 2021. It is our dream house, modest in size but still spacious with lots of storage. We couldn’t wait to break ground summer 2022.
Prices rose, they rose again... and again. Now gas is high, the supply chain is crap and labor shortages are a real thing! The last estimate we received was mouth dropping to say the least. Building right now would put us in a position we wouldn’t feel comfortable with. We are big savers and like to be conservative with our expenses. The feeling of our dream home slipping through our fingers was emotional but more than that the feeling of not knowing what we should do is worse. We sold our house and by the looks of it, prices for lumber and everything else is not going back down anytime soon. Now interest rates are rising.
Tyler mentioned buying a house back in town for the mean time, but our heart truly wants to be on the farm. We were brainstorming and the topic of a shop house came up. What if we built a shop house with living quarters that could be turned into a flower studio down the road? The goal would be to still one day build our home, but we have to be making plans and sacrificing somewhere. So right now, we are getting estimates for what it would cost to build a shop house. The living quarters would have three bedrooms, one bath, a Living room and kitchen. The design we came up with is beautiful. I have hope and faith that this will work out! I am coming around to the idea and I like it more and more every day. Tyler was hoping for a shop one day, we would just be going a bit out of order.
My emotions have been all over the place throughout this process and we haven’t even started building. I know there will be many more ups and downs to come. I hope to continue to share the journey with you. I feel God is proving me opportunities to learn patience, being content in our current situation and humbling me. I am trusting that he has a plan and will guide us down the road he wants us to take.
As always, thank you for reading.
Here are a few photos from my Pinterest inspiration board. I am loving the idea of creating industrial farmhouse vibes to help tie the shop and living quarters together. The house portion would be about the same size as our house we sold but we would be out on the farm and with the shop we would have extra storage!