Clouds on the Country Side

Finding the Right Place for Your New Home

In Adventures in New Builds, Tips and Tricksby Stephanie Aldridge1 Comment

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Finding the right place for John’s and my new home was not an easy task.  This was a year long process which began with two lists.

Let’s start with John’s list of ‘must have’s:

  • 5 acres
  • Close to a river / stream (hopefully water front)
  • Lots of wild life
  • Able to have a large garage / shed on it
  • Away from the city
  • Move in ready
Image result for free images of land
John’s perfect morning view.

My list looked something like this:

  • Yard big enough for the dog
  • Close to river
  • Mountain view and lots of wild life
  • Able to have a large garage / shed on it
  • Away from the city BUT close a commuter route
  • Move in ready

As you can see, the big glaring difference between John’s list and my list was about 4 1/2 acres of land.  There was also one big problem with John’s list and my list – and that was budget.

When You Can’t Get Everything You Want

Finding a house that contained everything we wanted was impossible. We were able to find houses that were 5 acres, near a river, but the house was so dilapidated there was no way anyone could even live in it.  Or we would find the perfect house, but it was was no where near the mountains and the commute for me would be 3 hours.  Once, we found the perfect place, with everything we wanted, and of course, they were asking around a cool $1,500,000 for the place.

We knew we had to had to start cutting out items – and the first two things to go were waterfront and acreage.  There were two reasons for this:

  • Does John really want to spend all his weekend taking care of the 5 acres?
  • Did we really want to be in an area that floods?

Once we cut those out, we found four new build communities which matched our new specifications.  Since John was giving up his acreage, I wanted to make sure he still had some form of privacy.  I then limited the search even further, making sure each of the communities had available lots that had wooded back yards.  That knocked it down to two communities.

Doing Due Diligence!

This is the tip that is going to be the reason why you’re glad you read this blog however, I went even further after I found the lots I liked online, and I looked up the comprehensive plans for each of the counties that held the communities.

What are comprehensive plans? It is one of the most important documents that is used by county boards and planning commissions nation wide. The document guides coordinated development over the course of many years and sets the vision for the county.  Many counties house their comprehensive plans for you to look online.  If they don’t – you can go right on down to the planning and development office and grab a copy.

When looking at the comprehensive plan for both counties I was able to discover that one of the developments, the wooded area behind the plots were looking at was zoned for residential use and within 20 years would be built into another community.  However, the second option backed up to a dry storm water retention basin owned by the state.

Storm water retention basins are great because they provide much needed storm water run off for communities and roads.  For us, it means that the wooded view that would provide John the privacy he wanted would never be disturbed.

After all my research, I showed John the community, and he agreed it was a wonderful compromise.  We were off to look at houses.

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