Two years ago my husband and I purchased a 2.5 acre parcel of land just yards from our current home. We spent 6 months drawing up the floorplan for our 3,750 sq ft rambler with 4 bedrooms, an office, a separate kids wing and an open concept living area. We had finally made it! We were going to build our forever home complete with enough property to provide the privacy we’d always wanted. The best part? We would be just a short walk from the homes of some of our closest friends. Our kids would grow up with their kids, play together and build strong friendships with each other like we had with their parents.
Then the dream began to break down. Shortly after permits were approved we ran into problems securing access to our property. I’ll spare you the details and summarize that we no longer felt safe accessing our property from the route we were pursuing. Our remaining option for access was cut off by a disappointing decision from the very same people we were so excited to live next to.
Everything Happens for a Reason
While I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted from the frustration of the past 12 months, I can acknowledge 2 key benefits from this experience:
- The delay in building gave us plenty of time to question our home design and realize that we don’t need such a large house. After evaluating our current home and all of our unused space we now know that we want to downsize instead of upsize.
- We learned that we had over-valued the strength of this friendship. Our personal values have grown too far apart and we are lucky to have discovered that before we made such a big decision about where to build our home. They are good people, we just made a mistake assuming they would do what they could to help us realize our dream. The situation hurt us, both emotionally and financially. I finally understand what my father meant when he told us “don’t get into business with your friends.”
When a dream dies, replace it with a new one
Looking at it now, if I brush aside the immediate feelings of frustration and hurt, I also feel a wash of relief. Now that we are free from the stress of building a home, we can focus on all of these other exciting changes in our life. Once the housing market calms down we will look to build/purchase a home more appropriately sized for our family’s needs.