Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This New House

Well, I suppose it's about time I started using this thing again and what better use of an online message board to my family and friends than to discuss the homebuying and building process? We started looking at buying a home several months ago and even longer if you count getting our ducks and finances in a row to be ready to get our loan. At the beginning, I figured that we would discuss what our dream home would be like, look online at houses and talk about what an ugly kitchen this one had or what we should change about the living room in that one, and then we would spend a month in housing at Lackland while we looked this summer while we made an offer on a home and that would be that. Well, nothing is ever as simple as it seems in your mind, especially when it comes to buying a home. We soon realized that we couldn't find a home with enough space that would pass the VA standards in San Antonio. We could find plenty of hovels, but no homes. It was getting really frustrating but I just kept plugging away and trying to find something, anything that would meet our needs without budging on our non-negotiables. It must be safe, have a good school for the kids and be someplace not too far from family bbq time. The food is last on the list, but still important. The hardest part was the schools. The affordable homes are in the worst school districts. I kept getting little nudges from friends about building but I really thought that it was out of the question because we set a very strict budget. When I say strict, it seems crazy to most people, but we decided to stay under 95K for a 3BR2BA. I was finding most places that was leaving us with around 1200 square feet, and that is about as much as an apartment that you have to really like each other or have really small people in to make it work. We are planning on living here forever, so I was hoping for at least 1500 so that we could find a place for the kids to have a playroom and then a place to study and have friends over and then as a craft room or a place for Adam to hang out and play guitar when he is old and gray. Well, I gave in to the idea as the slimmest of chances and started looking into the idea of our Dream Home. We have talked about living in an Eco house or converting our home eventually to a green home bit by bit over the years. I have been doing a lot of research but never thought that it would come of anything, because most of the figures, even for a small home are around 245K. Then I found a kit home. This is something that had me begin sending builders my ideas and budget. That is what has become the beginning of what might be our new home. I have since found a Green Contractor who thinks that he might be able to take on the project and have us in our home in as little as a month!!! He has been building Eco homes for 12 years, so he is familiar with many of the aspects of green design that I want in our house. It's passive solar heat with a central chimney for cooling. Additional heat will be provided with radiant floor heat. We will have rainwater catch and an aquifer with reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light to make it potable. We will have solar panels tied to the grid. Raincladding instead of siding, cork instead of carpet (better for asthmatics too), bamboo flooring upstairs, stained concrete down. It's amazing what you realize has been in your heart once you allow yourself to dream that it might be a possibility. The picture above is of the lot that we will be placing our house on...possibly. It's 2 acres to the left of the Monopoly house with the long driveway. We are thinking that we would place it about halfway up. What do you think? Any suggestions for our Eco-home?

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