A New Chapter For Us

So, I left off yesterday where we had just sold our old home. After we moved out, we decided we would move into the camper set up on the property. It would save us money instead of getting an apartment and we could just live here while we worked to find someone to lend  money for our little house. This was not an easy task. We had already decided on a floor plan that we created ourselves and it would be 576 square feet, plus a small utility room attached. The builder that we decided to go with gave us the business card of a man that worked for a mortgage broker called Atlantic Bay Mortgage. They wanted forms for this, forms for that, everything short of wanting to know our blood types. Since it was a small house, they supposedly had trouble finding comparable homes to get an accurate appraisal. We couldn’t get the broker to give any information when requested and communication with the man was severely lacking. It turned out to be a real headache dealing with these people. I won’t go into details about this company, but I was relieved when the deal fell thru with them.

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Our floor plan that we created.

We didn’t let that setback discourage us, but we were already wondering if there was any bank at ALL that would be willing to lend us money for such a small home. We were beginning to see our small home dreams fade away, when one day I was looking online for local banks in our small town. I had read that if one bank turns you down, to keep looking, especially at the local ones. The first link I clicked on was for a bank located on main street in town. Jack called the bank and spoke with a man who ended up being the vice president. He got our information, looked it over and asked us to come in. We made an appointment with him, we went over our financial information and discussed the home we wanted to build. He said it didn’t look like a problem at all, but we’d have to wait two weeks for their board to decide. We anxiously awaited that phone call and were so relieved when they told us that we had the loan. The process with this bank went smooth as butter and I’m so grateful that we found them. They made Atlantic Bay Mortgage look like clowns working the three-ring circus.

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Construction of our small house. This is a view from the living room look back towards the the extremely small kitchen. The doorway on the right leads to the bathroom.

So, at the end of October 2015, with the funds to start the project, we signed a contract with a builder for our home to be built. I’ll skip a few months and just say that we’re still in the process of getting the house built, but we are getting closer to the finish line. I’ll admit that I wish we had gone with another builder, but finding someone willing to build something this small was very difficult. It has been a frustrating process dealing with him. He’s very incompetent, lacks time management skills, and knows nothing about planning things out properly. We’ve been fairly happy with the work, but the whole construction phase has gone a lot slower than we had hoped. If we weren’t so close to the end of the project I’d love to tell the builder to get the hell off our property and I hope I never see his face again. If we did that though, we’d be in a worse situation than we’re in now. I’m just biting my tongue, being as cordial as possible, and looking forward to completing the house in a few more weeks. Then the company is going to get a heck of an awful review online. I’ll do everything in my power to make sure no one deals with them in the future.

Anyway, so that brings us up to date. Now we just anxiously await the day when we can finally move our stuff into our new small house and start a new chapter. We are looking forward to a MUCH smaller mortgage payment, less upkeep, and smaller utility bills. I am looking forward to finally getting settled again. Right now all our stuff is packed into a storage unit, we are living in a small camper with one bedroom, our son is having to sleep on an uncomfortable sofa and his “room” consists of a dinette table where his computer and a few belongings stay. Although the camper is hooked up to a septic tank, we still have to deal with emptying holding tanks (NOT a fun job). I also have no washing machine and dryer right now, so I’ve been having to use my mom’s washer every couple of weeks. Thanks to my parents I don’t have to use those disgusting, grimy machines at the laundromats in town. Yuck! One of the other things that can get a bit annoying is throwing a breaker. We can only run so many things in the camper at one time since it’s only 30 AMPS. Just last night I was cooking when instantly everything went dark, except for the blue flames coming from the propane stove. I was making baked potatoes in the microwave and that is what tripped it. It’s not too much trouble, but that is just a problem you don’t have too often in a regular house. I’d love to not have to worry about running the air conditioner and vacuum at the same time without cutting the power off.

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This past Christmas. Jaden is in his “room” with a small, ugly, temporary 3 ft. Christmas tree set up on top of the dinette table. So crowded, but tiny living wasn’t going to keep us from putting up a tree.

One advantage of living in a camper before moving into a 576 square feet house is that our “small” house is going to feel like a palace when we eventually move in. We will each have our own bedrooms again, we’ll have normal furniture to be COMFORTABLE on (camper sofas are awful), and I will have a regular sized refrigerator again. Fitting a weeks worth of groceries into a camper fridge takes some serious Tetris-like strategy.

I have loved having Jaden a little closer though. He hasn’t been able to hide away in his room, separated from us. I’ll admit, it does drive Jack and me a little crazy when Jaden laughs loudly at something he’s doing online and we miss a punchline in a movie we are watching. We are only 10 feet from each other all the time, so it will be nice having walls again. I remind myself that I’m glad that at least I can hear him laugh; not all parents are so lucky.

So, hopefully in just a few more weeks, I will finally be able to show you our new dream house complete and finished. I can’t wait to welcome you into our home!

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