House Construction – The Beginning

Hi.  We haven’t been using this blog recently, but thought this was a good time to get started again.  For the last few years we have been looking for land on the Eastside to build our dream house.  Well we finally found a place that both Christina and I agreed on and was in our price range.

Our criteria really reduced the number of properties that fit and so the processes has taken quite a long time.  We wanted 5+ acres, close to our current house (Redmond Ridge/Union Hill area of Redmond), relatively flat to provide a lot of usable space and around $500K.  About a month ago I saw a place that met all of these requirements and last week we made an offer which has been accepted.  We are now in the feasibility phase, more about that later.

Here is the listing of the property:  20849 NE 116th Street, Redmond

Cute Pond – Crystal Clear Water with Catfish

Large Field for Kids & Horses

We have been working with the same agent for two years, he has been very supportive and has never shown any frustration with our slow pace and reluctance.  Now that we have something under offer he has been very helpful in guiding us through the process, helping get the inspection done, etc. He joined us at both the mortgage broker and our first architect meeting.  Both of these proved very helpful as he had a lot of experience and had a lot of useful questions to ask.

If you are in the market I would highly recommend him: Joe Meisenheimer.

Although we aren’t quite sure what we are going to do with the existing houses in the near term (we will almost certainly tear down everything on the property long-term) we had a full inspection of the house done.  Turns out it is in pretty bad shape, given that it is over 60 years old this wasn’t surprising, but we were kind of thinking we might rent it.  That is not likely to happen given how much work is required to improve it.

The inspection company was recommended by Joe and they were great.  We quickly scheduled an appointment, they showed up early, did a thorough and diligent job.  Total cost was $490.

If you are in the market for a property inspection I highly recommend them: Property Inspectors

It will likely take about a month to close on the land and we won’t be starting the design phase until that is complete.  We are currently working with an architect in Kirkland that will do the feasibility study as part of our property contingencies   We are hopeful that they will also be our architects to design our house, but we haven’t made a firm decision on that front yet.

We are currently working with Thielsen Architects in Kirkland.  I can’t recommend them yet, as we have only just started working with them, but so far we are happy with their experience in building in this area, what we have seen of their design portfolio and the quality of work they have done so far on the feasibility assessment.

We met today for our first meeting with the architects.  I was hoping that if everything went right we could be in the new house by Christmas next year.  Turns out that is probably too optimistic.  They said that usually the design stage takes six months (2 months for preliminary interviews and design, 2 months for drawings and 2 months for permitting).  We won’t start until the property closes, which is early February, so that means we will be done the design phase around July, when we can start construction.  Apparently the best month for pouring a foundation is September, so that will give us roughly two months to prep the land and start construction in September.

Given that it will likely be spring before we can move in.

That should get everyone caught up.  We will continue to post updates on the blog and hope this is a helpful resource for people thinking about building a dream house.

2 thoughts on “House Construction – The Beginning

  1. Beautiful looking piece of land Steve, congrats.
    Did you get the ride on mower with the purchase? 🙂

    When we renovated our house I really enjoyed the design phase with the architects, landscape and kitchen designers.

    I found a coupe of books that really helped me understand usability for spaces. This knowledge helped deliver a kitchen that as well as looking great can easily handle five people working in it with no trip overs.

    http://www.amazon.com/Measure-Man-Woman-Factors-Design/dp/0471099554
    Is a book on ergonomics and human factors in design – brilliant.

    http://amzn.com/0071346163
    Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning
    Is a great book detailing sizings for rooms and use cases in – How much room required to shuffle past a dining table as opposed to walking through carrying something. Possibly a bit out of date now there may be a better option.

    Look forward to seeing how your dream house comes together.

    • Thanks Carl. Unfortunately we didn’t get the ride on mowers. We asked in the original offer, but the seller wanted to keep them. We will definitely have to get one though. That should make mowing fun for a few months.

      Thanks for the book suggestions, I will check them out.

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