Keith and Kinsey's Real Estate Update


To Buy Or To Build
February 11, 2012, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Home Build | Tags: , , , , , , ,

We’ve made a decision; we are building a house… maybe. I’ll start at the beginning of our housing story for those of you that don’t know it. Kinsey was in the process of searching for a condo when we met, and she bought one shortly after**. I (Keith) already had a house that was pretty much a bachelor pad (big yard, garage space, tiny bedrooms). When we found our relationship getting serious we had the challenges of figuring out what to do with two homes. I ended up renting my house and moving in with Kinsey, because here condo association didn’t allow her to rent. Neither of us really liked the others choice of home. So, we agreed that we would find something else when the time was right. Well, the time is right. We’ve sold my bachelor pad and will be ready to sell the condo soon.

We have been watching the market closely for the past 2 years, and actually offered on a short sale house that we didn’t get a little over a year ago (blessing in disguise?). We didn’t necessarily agree on all the features we wanted. The two things we agreed on were: we wanted to stay in Verona and we wanted an office to work with real estate clients.  At the top of my list was a large private yard, and lots of garage space, or a shed (I’m a gearhead with a classic car). At the top Kinsey’s list was an open entertaining space, a master bath, lots of sunshine, and a walk in closet.

We have probably looked at 75% of the houses that have come on the market in Verona in the past year, which is easy to do as agents. Although the difficult thing as agents is that we see all the good and bad of every house. We always tell our clients the perfect house is hard to find (especially with a price limit). Well, it’s true. I’m not sure the perfect house even exists. We got to the point where it was either sacrifice a bit of house for a larger more private lot or build the house we want and sacrifice a little on the lot. We chose the latter and put a lot under contract yesterday.

We’ve chosen to build in the Hawthorne Hills neighborhood of Verona because we can actually do it for a similar price per square foot as comparable existing homes. In many real estate markets this is not the case, but the Verona housing market has been better than most through the housing downturn. We actually chose a lot that backs up to a highway (its 100+ yards off) so that we wouldn’t have backyard neighbors 30 yards away. This was also the more affordable option in the neighborhood. Best of all, we’ve already got some great neighbors! Krause’s, Busch’s, and Kindschi’s watch out, we are bringing down the neighborhood!

The contract on our lot is currently contingent on reaching an agreement on a building contract for an acceptable price. So, we’ve got some hurdles to get through yet. This is why I said “maybe” at the beginning of this post. Our builder thinks we can make it happen within our price range though.  Our next step is to meet with the builder to tweak and tune floor plans. Then he will put the plans out for subcontractor bids to see if we can meet our pricing requirements.

We plan to blog about the entire construction process as we go. So, stay tuned for more info. I promise I’ll keep it more short and to the point next time.

**Editor Kinsey’s note: If he’d only asked me to marry him on our first date…

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2 Comments so far
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Comment by Laguna Beach General Contractor

[…] February, we made the decision to build a house and we purchased a lot in […]

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