After our first decision to pursue land and our dream, the Fireman and I planned a weekend in October to fly back to Washington State and look at land to purchase.
During this time, I did a TON of research and got our assets together and was able to get a raw land loan for the property.
It took us a while to get a real estate agent. Several of them didn’t return our calls, not sure why. We finally got one we loved, who seemed eager to help out. We gave her our final list of Top 8 properties.
I had the Top 8 (#1 properties), plus some backups (#2 properties). The backup properties were less money for the acreages, or more difficult, but I didn’t want to throw them out, because I knew it would be harder to do research while we were there and wasn’t sure how the #1’s would fare. They may have been cheaper for lots of reasons. I also had a few in my #3 list, just incase…
I took Friday, October 21’st off and we got on a red eye flight Thursday night from Chicago to Portland, Oregon. Portland is a longer drive to the town we chose than Seattle, but WAY cheaper. So, we landed Friday morning at midnight or so, spent the night at a close motel, then drove the rest of the way Friday morning after a nice diner breakfast. We got there around noon and met our wonderful real estate agent. She really was a trooper. She met with us and tromped around acres and acres of property. We drove around and had to scope out each area. It took the rest of the day until we had no more light left.
The Fireman and I regrouped at the local downtown hotel. We pulled all of the properties out, made notes and tried to weed out some of the more difficult properties. We needed to have a well installed or access to community share water to close on our loan, so that marked off a couple of them. Distance and if the lots were cleared or not also came into play.
We were tired and hungry, so we walked to this cute little Italian restaurant a few blocks away. We had been here before, but didn’t have a reservation. We were in luck and were able to get a table within a few minutes. We ordered wine and had wonderful meals. I had espresso rubbed roast duck, it was amazing! We decided not to talk about the properties for the rest of the night. Our minds were spinning! We had thought and talked for so long that we were just a little numb. The meal and wine helped us relax.
After dinner, we walked back to the hotel and promptly went to sleep. The next morning, we regrouped, made a list of properties we wanted to see again, or new ones from our #2 stack. We emailed our list to the agent and went to breakfast. We went to a really cute little cafe restaurant a couple of blocks away. Good food and even better coffee. We stopped into the natural food store for a few minutes to grab some snacks for the day and look around. Yup, that’s why why we love this town! Natural food store, good food, good coffee. Yes, ma’am.
We met the agent at one location and then ended up visiting the final two ourselves, and revisiting 2.
One property in particular we couldn’t find the day before, but we followed directions out on the Highway and found it! It had a river running through it, like the movie with Brad Pitt, except no Brad Pitt. We liked it despite the lack of Mr. Pitt.
Another property we really liked was very close to town, which is good and bad. Good for proximity, bad because businesses could encroach a bit and take away some of the privacy. The land had also recently been cleared, so we would have had to build up trees and plants. Added cost, but there’s cost to clearing too.
There were a couple other favorites, but these were the largest and rated the highest on our final list.
We ended up placing an offer on the cleared lot, but the sellers weren’t willing to move much on the price. Besides, after thinking it over further, I think we both really wanted the river property. It had the ‘magic’ we were looking for. The raw beauty of uncleared land and woods with moss. So, we spent a couple of weeks going back and forth on offers and as of last week, have a contract! We won’t close til January and have a month or so for feasibility testing. So, crossing our fingers (and toes!) here that it all continues to go well.
Lots of phone calls, applications, tests and figuring to do for the next month…