So, in this post, we are changing gears a little bit… I want to tell you all about our new build here in Blaine WA, and the process we went through. I’m hoping this will give someone else the courage to try it.

First a little bit of back story…. Brian and I still had our house in Sudden Valley in June 2018, and we had just finished fixing it up, and I was ready to relax and enjoy it. Brian had some other plans up his sleeve and was suggesting we sell and possibly buy land and build. I was about to lose it when he made the suggestion! I thought about all of the hard work we had just poured into our current house and was sick to my stomach at the thought of selling it right when we just finished getting it to perfection! Ugh!!!!! But he had a good point, this wasn’t meant to be our forever house and the current housing market was crazy at the time with houses pending in three days of listing, and crazy multiple offer situations driving up the prices. His idea was a good one because we could buy land and build for cheaper than buying another fixer upper at top dollar and pouring our money into it. Although I was peeved about his suggestion, I knew he was totally right!

“I’m hoping this will give someone else the courage to try it.” – Dana Hardy
We started looking all over Whatcom and Skagit county to find some land and whew, there were some duds out there! We would see something that looked gorgeous only to find out when we visited the site that there was a half dilapidated house right next to the property you were stuck staring at, or 90% of the property was designated wetlands and you could only build in this teeny tiny area where there was a stupid hill in the way which would make foundation prices go through the roof! Weeks and weeks of looking went and we would go look at a new piece of property almost every evening.
No lie, I was starting to lose hope we would never find this elusive land and then we drove up to Blaine and looked at this piece of property that had been on the market for 10 years!!! We both thought that there had to be some catch with this one because most of the land we looked at on the market for that long had something funky going on that could really put a dent in the building process. Nope, not this one, it had utilities already run to it, which was a big win! It was on a dead-end road and driving up to it was like a scene out of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ TV show Fixer Upper! It was gorgeous! Lucky for us the man who owned and developed the property did all of the improvements slowly making it easier to build on which is maybe why it was on the market for a bit.
1. Ok, so let me stop right here and let my Real Estate broker advice kick in…. do not do this without one! It is very important to hire an agent because when you put in an offer on a piece of land you get something called Feasibility. It’s the timeframe you have to check on every single detail about the piece of land and make sure its buildable. It allows you to back out if you find something that is going to spoil your plans. Plus, this real estate agent has all of the connections you will need for a land developing consultant, lawyer, lender, and whoever else you might need along the way for surprises that could creep up and bite you right in the butt! Ouch!

2. You want to sit down and hash out how much you want to set aside for this project too. Its pertinent to have some emergency funds for any issues you might run into. The county or city could require you to do some pretty expensive stuff to the land in order to build. For example, the county was requiring us to build a fire truck turnout to appease the fire marshal and rightly so in case our house ever caught fire.

So, we quickly made the decision to put in an offer and YAY, it was accepted! While we were in feasibility on the land, we quickly put the house up on the market. I staged it to be sure we could sell it quickly. This part was hard, and my heart goes out to every seller out there who needs to treat their house like a museum exhibit until an offer comes through. It’s tough! In the meantime, while we were going through all of this, I was still working a full-time job doing payroll, and working real estate on the side. Plus, Brian was running his own business and trying to quickly find us a place to live in the interim. I am not going to lie, there were a couple of instances where I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown but I pulled it together. Whew! Staging paid off and we had an offer within 10 days! Somehow the stars and planets must have been aligned too because Brian found us a short-term apartment for the time it would take to build the new house. Thank you, universe!!!! I’m going to end this first part of building here. It’s a lengthy process and figured it would be best split in two…. stay tuned next week for Part 2!