Wow! At long last, I've signed the official contract with my builder, James Mathusek from Gallery Homes. I did this during the past week, on 1/11/11 (a nice date, I think). If anyone is wondering, I actually had them start on the house before I had all the details worked out, so that they could get started. I wouldn't recommend this on a routine basis, but its the way it worked out in my case. The builder plans to use the house in the Parade of Homes for the Winnebago Home Builders Association at the end of April and I want them to have plenty of time to build. It was kind of scary to sign a big house contract, too--all by myself, no less. I so wished my husband was there! I was so accostomed to him doing all the negotiating and the bargaining and working out the details. He was so good at it too! I have what I hope is a fair contract without any hidden loopholes. I feel like such a neophyte at this and a lot of what I call "builder speak" goes over my head. I have had a whole lot of anxiety over much of this. For awhile, I was getting paralyzed by all the decisions I had to make and the worry that I would make the wrong one. I went on a spiritual retreat in November (which I do every year), and what I came away with after meditating on this for a bit was this: Its OK to make a mistake. Things can be changed and corrected as I go along. In my own job as a nurse practitioner, if I make a really bad mistake, someone can actually die. That won't happen in this case. The reassurance that I could reassess and redo things as I go along, gave me the courage to go forward with the contract and with the house even if it has flaws.
More on the long road to actually signing a contract later!
I am in the fortunate position of being able to afford to build myself a new house (well...perhaps myself and the bank). Having been to several 3rd world countries and knowing that there are lots of people in the world who don't even have housing, I felt a few pangs of guilt about this. I had a decision to make: rehab the old or build new. The cost to rehab my old house was going to be substantial. It was October of 2009. My husband had passed away in August from liver cancer. I was in the depths of grief and sorrow. I needed a project. I decided that if I had to plunk down a lot of money anyway, it was better to build new. I also decided that if I was going to build new, I was going to build green. My new house will be both beautiful and "green". I will share the journey and the adventure with you.