It's easy to forget how lucky we are sometimes.
And how so often in life, the best things are the simplest things. And how many ways we are truly blessed.
But these are good thoughts to re-ground ourselves....Especially when you're reeling from the sting of sticker shock.
Actually the original sticker shock with this whole project came when we first started imagining (what we thought was) a nice, modest home and began seeking out local contractors to build it, for as it turns out, around $250 / square foot. (Actually, one guy told us cheerfully that we might be able to get something for less than $200, but only the simplest of designs and cheapest of materials). Our 2000 sq foot dream home was going to cost us half a million dollars...How does anyone do this, we thought to ourselves.
So, we regrouped. Re-examined our values, our needs, our budget. Eventually, we discovered modular construction companies, who purported to offer high quality homes at a fraction of site built costs. So far, so good.
And really, it has been good. The modular company has done a fine job. But still, a project as huge as constructing a home is dominated by two inescapable truths that must not be underestimated:
1. There are a TON of little things that go into making a home.
2. None of these things are free.
Am I blaming myself for being a total greenhorn? No. Some slack must be cut here; after all, Margaret and I don't have a lot of experience building homes from scratch. In fact, I'd wager that not many people do what we're doing at all, and even fewer do it TWICE, or more times.
It all reminds me of that age old Steven Wright quote:
Word. The lessons we learn in this exercise may never be applied in our lives again. So what did we learn? Margaret and I were presented with an final estimate over $80,000 higher than what I had so foolishly thought we could have this dream for. That's a lotta clams.
But you know what? We can adapt. We don't need a garage right away, for example. We make not like paying down a larger mortgage, but we can deal with it.
So yeah, someday, we'll look back on all this and laugh. The sting is starting to fade, and it's being replaced with an excited tingle in the stomach. We're now just months away from actually having this thing.