A Home To Call Our Own!: Pt 1.

Wade and I did something huge recently… we decided to build a house! We have been renting our house for 4 years now and decided now was the time for the next chapter. We hired an agent through USAA’s {MoversAdvantage} program and started looking at houses soon after. If you have USAA I highly recommend signing up for the program. They match you with a reputable agent in the area AND give you a pretty handsome check if you end up buying a house. {even if you do not end up financing through them} The program also gives you a specialist within USAA to check up on you and see how you are doing with everything; which was great considering we are first time home buyers.

Any who. Back to the looking part. In a nutshell we did not find many houses that we were drooling over; and we saw a bunch! Of course as first time home buyers we {I} wanted it all.. big master with closet space, deck, hardwood floors, lots of land, nice upgraded kitchen etc.  I love love love old house with a bunch of character, however the thought of something breaking unexpectedly really haunted us. Since we would be on a tight budget already, fixing a roof or leaky foundation would not be quite doable.

From the beginning of our house search, we saw a lot for sale with a particular model house included in the price with the same street address as we have now. We laughed and said we should just move there since it was right down the street!

After some failed attempts at searching for already existing houses, our Realtor called the owner of the lot; Rylea Homes, and got more information about the lot. The “development” had 4 lots; 3 of them with homes already built and 2 of them with families living in them. The lot available was 3.26 acres (3.64 with the shared driveway) right next to a horse farm and with wooded areas around it.

We met the builder/owner, Jim at the “spec” home for sale right next to the lot and listened to what came standard with the house (granite!) and how he builds his houses.  We were sold! We loved that only 4 houses were in the “development” and all the space we would have land wise.  The lot was huge at 3.2 acres and completely overgrown with brush but had an awesome tree line around the boarder.  The only negative part was that the highway was at the very back of the property; but at least it has the tree line to block it as well as the house sits on the very front of the property distancing it as much as possible from the noisy road.

 {Shared driveway along a horse farm}
 {our house-add 2 car garage and bedroom over garage}
{aerial photo of our lot}
 {Staked lot}
 {Wade and Cha Cha exploring the lot}

After the meeting, we met the builder’s realtor at a local model to see how our house would look in person and decided to go for it! We were beyond excited to start this adventure.  We signed the contract on 7/31/2014; brush was cleared out, the house was staked and permits were submitted to Frederick County! We were on our way to owning our very own new home!

When we originally started looking at houses we contacted Bob Kirchner from Caliber Home Loans to run some pricing estimate scenarios for us; however we found out if we went with our builder’s preferred lender, MLend, we would recieve some closing help. Long story short, Mark Pritts of MLend was awesome; however we were unable to lock in our low interest rate until our house was completed. Caliber had an awesome builder’s program which allowed us to lock in for 180 days! So back to Caliber we went! We ended up going the USDA route (yes like the cows.. its a loan program in rural areas) which meant we did not have to put any deposit down and were able to get a great low rate.  After some blood, sweat and tears our loan was submitted to USDA!

It took a month and a half to get the permits approved but once they were; construction started almost immediately!  Fast forward 3 weeks later we have the shell of our house and we could not be happier with the progress! Up next I will share the options we chose (cabinet color, flooring, etc)  I am so excited to share this adventure with you all and spin off into the world of home decor. Check out the first part of our home building journey below:

 {Some of the brush was cleared!}
 {digging the foundation}


{grated and cleared out some more of the brush}
 {Footer is poured!}
 {Poured the foundation-those are the molds}
 {Voila! a foundation!}
 {Brought in more dirt to level}
 {Walkout basement}
 {two windows in basement}
 {Framing of main floor}
 {Large pantry}

 {Standing in our soon to be kitchen}
{Cha Cha checking out her new home}

 {Vaulted ceilings in Family Room}
 {Walking around upstairs}
 {Adding the second level}
 {Putting the trusses on}
 {roof is on!}
 {Standing in the Master closet}
 {Master Bedroom}
 {House wrapped like a present!}
{Windows and doors in!}
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