We've always known that someday, in the eventual-theoretical-future world, we would move to the Family Farm up in a little town northeast of Vancouver, Washington. My parents live there; my brother and his family live there. My grandma, my aunt and uncle, and my cousin's family live there. At the Family Farm we really do farm families. That's what we grow. And a few blueberries to keep the birds happy. Plus, an occasional weed or two.
I grew up there, and Jason's parents live not too far away, so it's good for being around family. Even though it's an exciting thing to consider, I'm not getting too emotionally vested in it because I don't want to think about leaving the town we live in. I don't want to think about leaving my friends (and don't worry, friends! I'm not moving yet!). I like my job. I like my church. I like where we live. Leaving doesn't really sound like that much fun, even though it will be great to live closer to family.
But what does sound like fun is building our own house. Coming up with plans, and picking light fixtures--that sounds like fun. I have a file folder full of ideas and sticky notes that say "These lights!" "this tub," "love these barn doors." I'm focusing on the good stuff that will come from moving, and won't worry about the moving part until we actually move.
Since, however, we are thinking of moving within the next couple years and it does take many moons to build a house what with all the permits and fees and people needing to build things with their hands and dig stuff with big machines, then we have started the process of talking to builders.
Tonight we talked with a builder/architect. We shared with him some of the things we like and don't like, and what we want to have in our dream house that we plan on living in for the rest of our lives. Then he sketched. Kitchen here, dining room there, bedrooms, places to sit and relax and grow up. And there it was. A house.
I have lots of scribbles of how I want the rooms to function, and it was so interesting to see someone else sketch our vision without looking at plans I had already drawn up. What he came up with was something I hadn't even imagined, which was good because that's what I wanted him to do. We talked about lighting and winds and weather patterns. We talked about flow and spaces and the feeling of a house.
And then we talked about money.
We have a budget. It's a fairly modest budget because we definitely don't want to tie ourselves down with a huge house payment. I firmly believe in the power of the Not So Big House, and had thought that by building a medium-sized home (under 2500 sf) we could have a medium-sized budget. However, we do have definite tastes about craftsmanship and style (we're looking along the arts and crafts style), and this poses some issues for the medium-sized budget.
It was a good reality check, and I came away from tonight's meeting feeling like I have a better understanding of what we can expect to build. We still have more builders to talk to and more architects to meet with. Maybe they'll have different news to offer us, maybe not. Either way, I'm so glad we're starting now. It'll be something else, building a house. Fortunately, we're not building it right now because I'm still looking forward to living here and enjoying our new backyard. Which reminds me: I need to post some pictures. I'll get on that soon.