Building our house was against all odds but we were able to do it with God's help. I decided that I would share our experience in order to encourage those that may want to build something out of the ordinary.
One year ago as of yesterday, we began building our house. It seems like so long ago. We had much opposition before we even got to this point. We had secured a construction loan and been preapproved for the final mortgage six months prior but got the loan yanked the a few days before construction began. This was when the housing market crashed and the banks got scared. We had to work really hard to find someone else to work with us. We had great credit, and nearly 1/2 of what it would take to build with our equity in our other house and cash combined. We also owned the land outright. Still, convincing a bank that a farmhouse would have value in a city that is only tearing down old farmhouses was difficult. We did find a banker that caught our vision. The key was finding a bank that keeps their own loans. So, on June 1st, we were finally on our way!
My first job was to secure the building permits. This was a process that a rookie might be intimidated by but I was so excited that I didn't even think about it. I went downtown and got in line with my rolls of plans, my checkbook and a pocket full of dreams. The female gender was not the norm down there. The only women I saw were dressed like the men. In makeup, capri pants and flip flops, I was more than a little out of place. An older seasoned builder asked me what I was doing there. The conversation went like this:
Me: I'm building a house.
Him: By yourself?!
Me: Yes, my husband and I are contracting it.
Him: Ha ha ha! Without a builder?
Me: Yes, sir.
Him: (shaking his head) Have you built houses before?
Me: Nope, just this one.
More conversation about our plans...
Him: Well, good luck with that, little lady (still laughing)
Me (what I wanted to say but wish I had): Well, if a bunch of old men can do it, so can I!
Leaving there that day, I felt like I had conquered. With my excitement still intact, I left with permission to build our dreams. Little did I know that it would be the hardest thing that we have ever done.