Thursday, December 04, 2014


Well that is progress.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Dirt and blackberry

We closed on the lot on Monday.   If you don't remember we made the first offer on the land on March 11.  It is Oct now.     So we are the proud owners of dirt, a few cherry blossom trees and blackberries.

A couple weeks ago we met with the architect for the first time face to face.  After heated discussions we have made a few changes in design to save money in construction costs.  We even cut back on the downstairs square footage. 

Next up verify storm water, get engineering done, get quick claim signed by seller.  Then permits and construction loan.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


We were supposed to close today.  It was the sellers agents fault for not notifying title.  So maybe tomorrow?  Also I made a $5000 miss calculation that caused some panic but it seems that we should be ok.

The good news is if you didn't already know.  Eagles were removed from the endangered species list in August of 2007 and the fact that we are a touch more than 600 feet from the nesting tree means we can build all year round.  Way to go eagles for coming back!

Bad news there is a 10 foot area that is more than 40% grade and no permits we issued in the 80s to move the dirt... Blah blah blah means we need to be set back 25 feet from the slope.  So we need a lawyer to help us remove a private drainage easement on the other corner.  So we can shift the house back 10 feet.  That will also make us more than 200 feet from the lake, hence removing more regulations.  Now if can find a lawyer that will call me back.  I have called 3 and emailed one.

Hope we can find the happy place to set the house down in the coming month.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Status update

(does this count as breaking ground?)

Paul and I have been working hard to determine if we can build a house on this lot.  We have had so many ups and downs.  I have said more than once, lets get out now.  Despite this we are still moving forward.  We have the loan more or less ready to go.  We have sewer (think it took 5 or 6 times to find it), water, gas and power on site.  Plans are being engineered, we are talking about moving a easement.  We need to get an environmental study done.  Soon we start to pick out everything that the house will be made up of.   We have a president of the home owners association that is watching over us closely that lives kiddy-corner behind the lot. Because of this we report any work directly to the city inspector before we do anything.  We don't want to accidentally break any rules.   We have talked to the neighbors behind us and they seem great with 3 kids from age 15-9.  The retired UW professor next door to our left is amazing guy.  He has 2 granddaughters that are the same ages as our boys and invited us to swim in his indoor pool when they are here.  What?!  he doesn't even know us.   The house in front of us is empty.  Lets hope someone great buys that place as it would be nice to have access to the water for a kayak one day.

We should own the land on July 28th.  If things progress quickly  we will get our permits and start building before Oct 1  There is a eagle that nests in the area and we can only build the outside (foundation, roof, siding) of the house between August 16 and December 31st.    If things are slow (and this is what will happen) we will start building Aug 16 2015.

Very excited to work with Nick and Tim Casper for the next year (or two).  Looking forward to our first deck party before we move in.... Maybe next spring?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The excavator show up.  Looking for the sewer pipe and geotechnical is getting done!  Tonight we will know if we can do this.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

I knew it would be frustrating....

and it is frustrating.

The video guy could not find a place to enter the sewer from so we didn't get a view of the sewer line.  Mike our contractor has a excavator guy to come out to dig down to find the pipe so that a video line can be done.  I will find out the price per hour tonight after he takes a look at what machine he will need to bring.  If he hits the pipe we will pay for 50% of the fix.  A cherry blossom tree might have to come out, they will do their best not to kill it.  I believe the tree is on the lake side property.

We will need to extend the feasibility for 45 days.  During this time we hope too:
  • Find sewer, make sure the line is working after 34 years and find a solution for storm water.
  • Get Geotech done so we can get a bid on the price of foundation.  
  • Get survey done with topography.
  • Start environmental initial study.
If we find the sewer line is not there or unusable we will get a bid for putting one in.

If things go well we will start the process to get building permits.  House plans are nearly finished, just need an elevation to be completed and approved.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Changes to the builders idea... version 2.0

I think these will be really funny in 20 years if we build this house.  Maybe I will wonder what in the world was I thinking???

Friday, March 28, 2014


Here is the first draft.  I imagine they will change a bunch .

Building... Not much new

Really there needs to be a  templated a way to start building a house.  Do this this and this. Then do this.  If that doesn't work do this.  

There is sewer, water, power to the land. There may or may not be a drainage pipe we can put or storm water in.  This pipe is not sewer... It might be a perf pipe for drainage but the utility company can't tell me.  They only do sewer and water.   

Anyway we meet with the builder tonight to see some plans and figure out next steps.  I think we are at the point where we start to spend some money.

Oh the green flag below is where the sewer line is 12 feet down and built in 1980.  Think it is still good?!  Like the tires?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Some just tell me what the pipe is!

What is this pipe?  Why would it be capped?  Why is it so new looking?  Could it be an easy way to hook the existing sewer main without digging up the property in front?  Let's hope so.    

Monday, March 17, 2014


Picture on a rainy day.  Too bad some of the cherry blossom trees will have to go.
Here we are 5 days later.   We have been approved for our land loan. 

I believe I understand  all the setbacks requirements, easements, and where the sewer and water is located.

The only red flag at the moment is the erosion zone.  I think this won't be an issue as the guess at the moment is the slope of the lot is 32%.  At 40% you need a variance.  We are well under that.  Plus we are within 200ft of the lake so we will have environmental issues to overcome.  Don't want to mess with spawning salmon.

The one small issue is the lot is 70 feet wide (65ft at top and 75ft at bottom).  20ft easement for the property driveway in front of us and 10ft setback means a 40ft wide house.  Doable for sure but not ideal.

Builder meetings Tuesday and Thursday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Offer Accepted

Where were we when our Realtor called back? Laura - Returning from Snoqualmie Mountain with Laurie (Skiing with the kids). Paul - Cycling home from Bellevue. I actually cycled by the lot to see it.

Building Dream Started

 For the past 10 year I have been searching for the perfect property.  I have had different requirements over the years but one thing I always wanted was some sort of view.   The definition of view has changed too.   For example, forest view or at least 30 feet between houses  became acceptable.  Every 6-10 months I would get excited about some property that came on the market and then have a sleepless night pretending to live in the new house at the new location.  Paul has been bombed at least weekly with land, home plans or houses that might be good.    He has been sent at night to go look at the location of a house or property.  He has listened to me talk about requirements for hours and has been so supportive of my obsessive dream.

Sooooo... Made an offer of some land yesterday, it has been accepted and we start the process tomorrow.