Moving, Builders, Construction Documents

It’s been quiet here on the blog for about a month. That’s mostly because we were busy selling our old house, finding a rental, and moving in.

Selling

We put our old house on the market in the hot spring selling season and hot it is. From listing to accepted offer took six days. That’s not unheard of in Northwest Arkansas at the moment. Many houses are selling within a week; we had two offers to choose from. We happened to fit that sweet spot of a 3 bedroom under $150k in an established, convenient neighborhood. It took all of our free time readying the house by finishing up all of the projects that only reached 90% completion in the 11 years we owned the house (did I mention the new house won’t have trim).

Renting

Happy to reclaim our free time from the pit of never ending handyman work for other people, we started looking for a place to live while our new “big special”, as our three year old calls it, is to be built. The rental market is pretty hot in NWA too. We ended up finding something on Craigslist, which I’ve decided is the best way to look. It also helps to have a family member who is a human Craigslist search engine. It’s on the high end of our rent budget, but even though it has some serious shortcomings, like an impossibly small master shower that the wife hates, it’s nicer than we need, has an extra bedroom, and it’s in a great neighborhood closer to the site. Hopefully we can eliminate the storage unit we have to offset our rent payment.

With a 12 month lease signed (we’ll probably use it all) and closing date nearing, we moved. We’ve never moved before. We hate moving. Moving services are totally worth whatever they charge.

Shopping

Now that things have settled down from closing and moving, we can focus on builder shopping. The builder that the architect likes has shown us a couple of his houses. One is under construction and is quite modern. The home owner is an interesting older gentleman who was gracious enough to give us a tour.

This guy knows exactly what he wants and, according to him, has been designing the home for a dozen years. It’s going to be an interesting home with some nice angles. Hopefully I can get his permission to share some photos of it. In that visit we got to see how this particular builder can solve problems and be flexible to do things outside the norm. This is an essential quality when building a modern home and it sets apart the good builders who can do custom homes from the ones that just crank out the same three floor plans in a subdivision.

The next house the builder showed us was built in 1995. We got to see how well his work holds up and we were more than impressed. After 18 years, the house looks new. It was described to us as a Southwestern style house and I would say that it’s fairly modern with a Southwestern flair.

Both home owners had nothing but praise for the builder. I’m sure he’s not going to introduce us to his unhappy customers, but still we’re impressed overall with this guy. He seems to be a straight shooter and willing to work with us to get us what we want.

Drawing

The architect is working on construction drawings. He requested some details about the appliances and fixtures we’ve selected so far so they can be incorporated into the drawings. We feel so behind on these kinds of details. We have some things started that I’ll share soon, but there are so many details to consider that it gets overwhelming. Once the drawings are done, we’ll send them out for bids to the two builders we’ve been working with, and look for at least one more to talk to.

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