Our decision to move from a major metropolis to east of Egypt has necessitated the building of a home. We knew this a few years ago when I began the optimistic search for a perfect love nest for our cohabitation. There are very few homes in Powderly, Texas from which to choose.
I am an experienced real estate agent. I know how to research and find the flawless and elegant abode to meet any prospect’s heart’s desire. It really helps if you have more than a handful of choices. I know there are great homes here. It is evident the current owners wish to continue living in them! Our choices have resembled Elvis Presley flocked wallpaper decor, no hallway or privacy floor plan – you have to walk through each bedroom to get to the next bedroom (heard they designed the home themselves!), the 4 bedroom, 1 bath house and omg there is a “huge” built-in pool included with the listing! We’ve had a pool. No one had time in their schedule to clean it. Everyone swam in it the first 2 weeks and then it became this “thing” we had in the backyard to look at. I remember cleaning it, in the dark in my corporate blue suit and running all over town trying to find the correct size filters for the pump. If we ever have a home with a pool, it will include a guy named Sven, wearing a speedo. He will know how to mix a chilled Cosmopolitan and instinctively know when to turn the pages on my trashy magazine as I lay in a chaise lounge blabbing on my phone.
We came to the conclusion, we are going to have to have a home built. Is there nothing that will please me? I don’t need a horse stable or RV port. I am tired of remodeling and gutting the joint to the bricks to replace all plumbing and electricity. I’ve sucked up more sheet rock dust than a contractor. I am not in the mood to fix a slab foundation which is cracked in half. Weighing out the pros and cons, starting from scratch will at least be a different adventure.
Eight years ago, after sustaining damage from Hurricane Rita and a 21 hour car ride to escape her wrath, we purchased 8+ acres on a wooded lot, in a subdivision which includes a private lake, in Powderly. It is beautiful. I have scoured countless websites and bought books with floor plans. The most difficult real estate agents are themselves. My husband was a commercial builder. I, actually worked for a residential builder for years. We think we are experts. The more we research, the less we know. We have agreed on the perfect set of plans, 3 times. Yesterday, we had to commit to the perfect floor plan and elevation so it could be presented to the man trying to plan the foundation work. The husband and I have agreed, after 2 fights, to be our own general contractors. We are building a dream house.
My cousin-in-law asked me how many fights we have had over this decision. She is keeping track. I, initially, wanted to commit to a builder. Give them the plans and tell them to build the house. Challenges with this commitment occur when they insist on their own vendors. There are extreme limitations with cabinet, woodwork, tile, counters and window choices, to name a few. The husband does not want to put up with shoddy work, inferior product and the front door facing the wrong direction. We have talked to a lot of people with having their home built by the name brand contractors in the area. The majority were very pleased with the final project but admitted there are limitations. I am a little picky. Personality plays a primary focus for the project. I would rather fight with my lover than a stranger. He is more handsome and I always win.
So, the project truly begins today – the floor plan is being dropped with the concrete man. He has already walked the property. We are calling the bulldozer guy, again, to clear additional trees and brush. The driveway was cut in last year, as was the initial clearing for the house.The survey was verified – to make sure the front yard is not on the guy’s lot next door! In fact, the house will sit almost exactly in the middle of the 8 acres. Trenching for utilities will chunk a huge bite of the budget but privacy does cost a few bucks. Honestly, it was more important to want to sit half naked on a back porch eight years ago than it is now, but what the hell!
I know there is hope for this endeavor. In 2000, we purchased a home on Crystal Beach which was hand built by a retired couple. The neighbors conveyed stories of a menopausal woman, hammering shingles on the roof of a home which sat on 10 foot pilings. The beach house was literally created with this remarkable couple’s bare hands, in 1973. This little fortress withstood the wrath of Hurricane Alicia and Hurricane Rita with countless tropical depressions and storms in between. On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike came to shore with a direct hit to Bolivar Peninsula and wiped our dream house off the face of the earth. If a house, nailed with hand carried lumber and shingles can stand for 35 years with the coastal environmental challenges it faced from the Gulf of Mexico, we certainly can be our own general contractors without choking each other to death. I wonder what their fight count ended up being?