Updated 11-16-04: I'm a HOMEOWNER!!!!

So I'm building a house... well, I'm not building a house exactly - that's what the builder is for, but since I have a masochistic streak, I decided that my first foray in to home ownership should be with  new construction. Yes, I am insane. Anyway, I should close on my house in November '04 (and I did!!!). So I decided to throw some of the evolutionary pictures of my adventure on the web. Hope you enjoy.

My lot - #19
March '04

I found this great little neighborhood in Washington called Oak Ridge. OK - so I was surfing the MLS for the Washington area and had already made contact with Nan McLendon at The Rich Company. Turns out that Nan had listed a house in this neighborhood and so I asked her about it. Next thing I knew, she was taking me through it and I was asking "Why buy this one when I can build my own?" Nan's response was "I don't know - if you want this, lets go do it!!!" Turns out that I got the last lot - the lot I had wanted sold while I was out touring the neighborhood with Nan. Needless to say, I was thrilled to get any lot.

The builder for the neighborhood is Anthony Singleton who owns C.A. Singleton Construction Company, and after some research with friends "in the know" I discover that he's one of the best builders around. So "whew!" - one potential catastrophe averted.


But oh my - I'm going to have a mortgage! What am I thinking??? No more, "footloose and fancy free" living. I'm actually going to worry about loosing my job now. This is serious business, not to mention the fact that I have to pick out COLORS??? What on earth do I know about home decor??? You mean I actually have to decide on light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, flooring, counter tops, etc...

The beginning: The poured slab
April '04

An estimated floor plan
(my drawing, not the builder's)

And deep down inside I'm thinking "This is going to cost me more than what these people are telling me - I just know it is. It's their job to sell stuff, not to look after me." Sure, they all are nice people, but are they really going to look out for me? Or do they smell an easy commission because they know I am an absolute IDIOT when it comes to this stuff?

And now that I have the keys - it was pretty painless - except for the check writing stuff - that sucked. Apparently, the BANK owns the house, I don't - except I'm the one who gets to insure it, pay taxes on it, and fix it when it breaks. I'm not sure how this is a good thing, but I'm told that I'll appreciate it come April 15th.

It seemed to take forever to get the slab poured. Apparently, concrete was a "hard to find" item on the market. But once that got done, the framing seemed to fly. They did not use Weyerhaeuser lumber (I know, I know) or Weyerhaeuser OSB for the walls, but you can't have everything in life.

Its funny - the builder said he's seen me less than almost any other home owner he's built for - As you can see from the pictures - I was there often - just after hours.

The framing begins
April '04

Trusses are up!
July '04

As an engineer, I found the whole structure thing fascinating. I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but there are cathedral ceilings in the living room, the front bedroom and the master bedroom. I'm hoping that this won't be a pain to keep warm in the winter.

Some changes from the standard "cypress" floor plan for my house was to move the fireplace from the center of the back wall to the corner and put in a sliding glass door to the deck. I had also asked some neighbors with the same plan if I could walk through their house and talk to them about what they would do differently - they gave me a few tips but the biggest thing I noticed was how dark the living room was. So the sliding glass door opened up the back, and I also added a sky light above the fireplace for more light. As a former resident of Seattle, I have grown to appreciate the importance of natural light in the house.

It was about this time when I had to do a walk through with the electrician. I fortunately had already decided on my lighting preferences and had even gone as far as to pick them out. The rest of it was where do I want TV and power outlets, etc. The walk through took about a half an hour - much to the surprise of the builder. Apparently that's a shortest time ever record with the electrician. I guess being an engineer building a house has some benefit. Though it took me HOURS to pick out silly things like flooring, wall paint and counter tops. Nola at Chubby's Carpets was infinitely patient with me.... even if she did want to sell me wood laminate flooring with a lifetime warranty. <grin>

Drywall is in - picture taken from where the fridge will stand.
Sept '04

But now begins the real anxiety.... the colors are on the walls. The blue is the master bed room and the green - which is so bright, its really hard for the digital camera to get a realistic color. The middle bed room is going to be my office and I left it the standard "welcome white" that is really rather yellow.

Here's the front view as of 10-25. Concrete has been poured and the garage has been painted. There's no deck in the back yet, but you can see they have been clearing the back part of the lot.

So I closed yesterday - ouch. Closing was about $1,000 more than I had anticipated - once again reinforcing my belief that you really need to get a good banker. But I had locked in rates before the recent increase, so my house payment shouldn't be too bad - especially if I eat peanut butter sandwiches and never go anywhere or spend any money ever again. <sigh> Oh well. Just don't mistake me for a mature, responsible adult.

This was taken PRE-closing - about a week before, but the landscaping is in and the trim and gutters are up.

They came back and pressure washed the driveway before I moved in.


The  living room and dinning area:
The fireplace is gas, and you can see the FABULOUS deck out the sliding glass doors. Its so pretty - its a shame I have to put my crappy IKEA furniture in it.


And a quick snap shot of yours truly - in the master bath room - I'm on the other side of the fabulous tub. There's ALMOST enough room for all the things I need to make myself pretty. :)


My pretty kitchen - complete with under cabinet lights and stainless appliances - you'd ALMOST think I was planning to cook in here.

I have to say that Anthony and his team (Ann and Jesse especially!) did a wonderful job - my house is beautiful as you can see. And Nan was wonderful holding my hand and has promised to sell my house when I'm ready to shack up with a rich OLD millionaire. <grin>

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