Bennetts & Company

Plans Change

There’s some big stuff going on with the land we purchased and our plans to build there. It’s looking like things are going to go in a very different direction than where we expected. In the long run it’s absolutely for the best, but I’m a very task-oriented person and I like to know the plan so it’s not been my favorite piece of this journey so far. It’s hard for me to feel good about moving (what feels like) backwards in the process. I had a list of tasks to get from Old House to New House. I checked off the steps: Find Land, Purchase Land, Select Builder. Now I’m going back to the drawing board on those things which means the timeline is totally shot and I have no idea when we are going to be making a move or what that move will be.

Long story short – when we bought our land, we had been interviewing some builders for a while. We had worked down to a fairly short list of local builders that we were interested in when we stumbled across what felt like a perfect piece of land for sale. So, we decided we could nail down the builder decision (they all three had rights and permits to build in this location) and just went for it. But…once we purchased the land, we really felt like the other shoe dropped with these builders. One had been telling us great stories about his green building practices, but as we drew closer to trying to sign a contract, he really backed away from that and started telling us how expensive and ineffective green methods were. Another told us a story about all their architects on staff (no draftsmen, only the real deal!) but as we moved away from the first builder and started gravitating towards this second firm of architects, we found out that they really built from models and specs with slight tweaks to make them feel personalized. The third builder was always our third choice, and well, we weren’t crazy about settling for our third choice.

We pretty much went into a holding pattern because we just couldn’t decide what to do. Then, about six months ago, we attended an event in a nearby community where local builders showcase their work. If you’re from the Indy area, the event is called Home-A-Rama. We fell in love with another builder’s work. At this point we were a little weary of the whole process so we didn’t get our hopes up. Then we met the builder and they were just wonderful. We were able to walk through a few of their homes and look at some more homes from their portfolio. It felt right. They got us and what we wanted and they just seemed like truly good people. Indy folks – I can’t say enough good things about Kent and Randy Shaffer and their whole team. I highly recommend you check them out.

Anyway, right when I started to feel that we were on a great path and it was all coming together, we found out that due to some contractual issues and some regulations, they couldn’t build in the community where our land was. This felt surmountable at first. I felt like we could just get them approved and move forward. It didn’t turn out to be that easy. After a long road of getting our hopes up, just to be let down, we decided in the that it was time to throw in the towel on that effort.

Leaving us with a beautiful piece of land and an excellent builder and no way to use those two resources to build our dream house.

The options:

1) Keep waiting and hoping that this builder finds a way to be able to build on our land.

2) Build a house with another builder that we don’t love.

3) Sell the lot and buy another to build elsewhere so we can use the builder we love.

We chose Option 3 – to sell the land. It goes up on the market officially this week or next.

I’m riding a roller coaster of emotions right now. We told all of our friends and family we were doing this, so for some reason, this feels like a failure. I keep questioning whether our decision to buy the land was impulsive, or if our decision to sell the land is impulsive. I still don’t regret buying the land, so I hope that’s a sign it wasn’t an impulse move. I feel good about taking a step towards working with the right builder. I just can’t help feel like I’ve failed by not getting it right the first time.

The kicker – it really came down to politics and the “green friendly” builder who had been our first choice was just blocking this new builder from the approval they needed to build for us. We aren’t sure why. Maybe he thought we would come back and ask him to build for us? Maybe he was mad at us? Maybe there’s some long-standing issue between the two builders? We don’t know and I had to stop spending energy trying to figure it out or solve it.

Right now, I’m letting myself feel all the feelings in hopes that I’ll land in a good place as we move forward. Wish us luck as we undertake a step in the journey we just never expected to take. We’re selling the dream home land.

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