As our building timeline keeps getting pushed back, and the date of our lease being up quickly approaches, I am staying surprisingly calm. I am finding that flexibility is the key to staying sane.
Delay After Delay
When we first began this journey of building our own home, we would have never guessed that it would have taken so long. In fact, we were hoping to be moved into our house when our original lease was up in November 2016. At the rate that we’re going, we’ll be lucky if we’re done by November 2017.
We have been waiting on the slow wheel of bureaucracy to turn. First, it was the Planning Board that held us up for eight months. Now we have our well drilled and we are waiting two to three weeks for water samples to be tested. Next, we will be waiting who knows how long to finally get our Board of Health approval.
Our project also got held up by weather delays. When we finally started clearing the land, we got delayed by a big snowstorm this past winter. In the spring, when we were ready to drill the well, we had to wait for the ground to be dry enough to get the well truck back to the site.
Thinking of Plans B and C
We originally signed a one year lease for our apartment, thinking it would be plenty of time to build. When the Planning Board process took so much longer than we could have ever imagined, we were lucky enough to extend our lease another 6 months.
Then we extended it another 3 months.
Unfortunately, our landlord sold our unit, and someone else is moving in, so after August 31st we’ll be looking for another place to live.
One option would be to find another rental and try to go month to month. Another option would be to borrow a trailer from someone and live out on the property until the house is done. If we needed a temporary place to stay, we could move in with family members, but having two cats (that don’t get along with dogs) makes that option difficult.
Finding the Silver Lining
As they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and our situation certainly does. The more delays we have with our project, the more time we have to save more money. Originally, we were aiming to save $50,000, but once we put together a number with the subcontractors estimates, we realized that we will need to save way more than that.
Each month that we’re delayed, we can save an extra $1,650 for the down payment. This summer we have a few side hustles lined up, so we’ll be able to put even more money toward the house.
How to Stay Flexible
Whenever something doesn’t work out the way you planned, it’s easy to give up or to drive yourself crazy trying to fix it. I’m trying to take a different approach with this project.
At first, I would stress about the Planning Board delaying our meetings or requiring more paperwork, but I realized this wasn’t helping the situation at all. I would remind myself that stressing about something that is out of my control doesn’t change anything. Instead I try to focus on the positive in the situation, such as how we are able to save more money, and put my energy toward that goal.
It feels like we are in the final stretch with board approvals, so hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we can finally break ground on our house. We are waiting another week or two to get the results of the water test, and then will be able to submit our paperwork for our Board of Health approval. Once we are approved, we will FINALLY satisfy the Planning Board (our subdivision approval was conditional on the Board of Health approval), and be able to file the paperwork to get the deed to the land in our name, and start building.
Once we break ground, it should only take about four months to get the house up. I’m staying optimistic, but I know, based on the trend so far, that more delays are likely.
How do you deal with a project being delayed?
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