A New Direction

Back at square one, no new house, still wanting to move and a year of new experiences behind us, we looked at our options. Thankfully, despite being a mistake, the house that wasn’t turned out to be a profitable mistake. We had spent a year remodeling a house. Every time we got to a project, it started with us saying “What were they thinking???” Nothing in the house was as we would have chosen it. Despite all of the work we’d done, we would have had to sink another $100k into it to truly make it the house that we wanted.
We talked that the only way to truly get the house we wanted was going to be to build it ourselves. Why not? Sean has tons of construction experience, I have vision and design ability, really why not? We started looking at vacant lots with a general idea of permit costs and building costs. Honestly, the lot we ended up with is the 2nd lot we looked at, but there were many more after that.
We looked at cheap lots, under $100k, high end lots up to $350k with views of the lake. Our priorities were as flat as possible, not too rural, land but with a neighborhood feel, utilities reasonably close, in a great location. The first lot we loved we made an offer on while we were still selling the house that wasn’t and they accepted contingent on our sale. They ended up getting another offer before we closed, and we were bumped out of contract. In hindsight, that was a good thing because we like our lot much better. Our lot was just around the corner, in the same neighborhood, but is flatter and better laid out.
The problem is that they were asking $265k and the one around the corner had gone for $200k. We offered $200k and they rejected. After a few months of reminding them that we were interested, they came down to $225k and we accepted. Fortunately we were able to use the profit and down payment from the house that wasn’t and pay cash for the lot with the old owner carrying a small $25k loan until we start construction.
The lot is in a gated community with a small hoa of $500/year that maintains the private road and the gates. Most of the homes were built in the 1990’s so the neighborhood is mostly built out. The owners of our lot had planned to build on it, but when the crash happened they bought elsewhere and got stuck holding he lot for 10+ years. It has two wells already drilled and came with house plans for the house they had planned to build, but unfortunately was not the house we wanted to build.
So now we had a vacant plot of land, big dreams, and no clue!

Author: Brandy K.

Bio: I wanted to take a chance to introduce myself, I am Brandy Kollenborn, a furniture painter from Sacramento, CA and owner and artisan behind  “Brushed By Brandy”. I'm a stay at home mom of 3 boys, Noah 11, Ashton 8, and Logan 5, married for 16 years to my favorite furniture cameraman, repairman and delivery person, Sean. I have a degree in finance and left my career with The State of CA to stay home when my youngest son was born, with no clue what my next step would be, it was a leap of faith! The first pieces I did were a bedroom set in 2016 that tenants left behind in our rental, it was beat up, but solid wood, and I had nothing to lose, it was either going to the curb or I could make something of it. I've always been on the crafty/artistic side so this was a great way to express that on huge canvases. My hobby has turned into a booming little business, most of my pieces are sold before I create them and designed alongside my customer. My style is blended, smooth, colorful statement pieces for any room. I'm proud to partner with The Dixie Belle Paint company and Prima Marketing group creating sample pieces, lives, and blogging tutorials at brushedbybrandy.com. We are in the process of building our forever home on 5 acres for our boys, it will be my biggest custom project to date :) and I love sharing that journey on my page and in a blog as well. We are project people through and through, don't know how to sit still.  I'm so appreciative of the support, my confidence wavers all the time, I love answering questions and connecting with other creatives, this community has been so welcoming to me and I hope I can return that! I’m so grateful for this opportunity, I never imagined there would be interest in me painting furniture in my garage!  Facebook.com/brushedbybrandy Instagram.com/brushedbybrandy  Youtube.com/brushedbybrandy Brushedbybrandy.com 

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