The One Year Mark

I went for a trail run on a beautiful June day at the one year mark – almost exactly a year from purchasing our property. The trail I accessed was only a little ways down the road from the property, so I parked in our driveway and started my run from there. It gave me a chance to reflect on the past year.

To date, we had spent $281,000. We had plans for a house we were happy with. We had approval from the county and the HOA to build the house. 

And we had half a hole in the ground, the deepest section of which continued to fill with water.

From our most aggressive, “maybe we can build through the winter” timeline, we were seven months behind schedule. From our more realistic springtime schedule, we were about two weeks behind schedule.

So far we were about on-budget, but with a forecast $30-40k overrun in light of the excavation issues.

Frankly, it felt like a bit of a low point. We still had a long way to go.

But there were some silver linings. In what occasionally felt like self-punishment, I continued to occasionally check on Zillow to see if any houses popped up on the market that we would have considered buying, at least on paper. Over the course of a year, I had only found one or two, and they were still priced above what our total cost ought to be, even with the forecasted excavation overruns. 

We were happy with the house plans and with the lot (at least with the surface of the lot). The floorplan feels like one that will work really well for us and capture great views.

The trail I could access from our driveway led me through beautiful pine and aspen groves and through meadows with grand mountain views. A few minutes into the run I crossed into a Wilderness Area, where wheeled and motorized travel was prohibited. It was something I could certainly get used to.

And so far, time was on our side. Even with the excavation slowdowns, it looked like we could still hit our move-in target of August 2021. And no job or life issues were forcing us to move before then.

Year two looked to be the busy one, but hopefully we’d be celebrating our first full summer in the house by year three.

Book Reviews

Designers Abroad: inside the Vacation Homes of Top Decorators. Very pretty pictures, mostly of ultra-expensive vacation retreats done on high budgets. Not very relevant for most of the rest of us. Great Escapes: Inspirational Homes in Stunning Locations has more in this vein. 

Western Design: A 1995 book that feels like a book from 1995. It largely treats “Western” as synonymous with “cowboy.”