Written on September 24, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Melissa Bahen
Hi! I’m Melissa. I write about food, family, and farm life at Lulu the Baker. My family and I are hopefully about to fulfill one of those good, old-fashioned life-long dreams: we’re building our Dream House.
This is a story long in the making. Dream houses, it seems, take a lot of work.
It began almost exactly 7 years ago. When my husband finished grad school, we put everything we owned in cardboard boxes, strapped our 10-month old into a carseat, and spent Labor Day weekend driving away from everything and everyone we knew, and heading to the wilds of western Oregon. OK, not exactly the wildnerness, just Eugene. After settling into a motel room while waiting for our apartment to be ready and for our belongings to catch up with us, we went for a sunset drive in the countryside. And that’s when we first saw it: The Land. There was a little sign on the side of the highway that said, “Land For Sale,” and it led us to the most perfect parcel of land we could ever imagine. At the top of a hill, overlooking a valley filled with the greens and golds of Oregon in the early Fall, it was 2+ acres on a little country cul de sac, outside of town, but only 12 minutes from Costco (we timed it), and close enough to neighbors that you could borrow a cup of sugar in a pinch. And it was really, really out of our price range.
Nevertheless, we spent the next four years making occasional pilgrimages to The Land and dreaming of someday buying it. We made a few half-hearted offers on it along the way, but the owner refused to budge on the price, which, as it turns out, was a good thing for us! We saved and saved and saved, and when we were ready to buy property in 2010, The Land was still on the market. We made our first serious offer (accompanied by a little sweet-talking and much batting of eyelashes), and lo and behold, it was accepted! The very first piece of property we had ever looked at or dreamt of buying became ours that summer!
We were so excited that we threw a party on The Land. Our friend Annie turned 30 at the end of the summer, and we threw her a big extravaganza in the middle of our 2+ acres. Out there in the middle of nothing, we ate sweet potato fries and crab legs and corn on the cob and tart cherry cakes, and we thought surely we would be able to start building our Dream House before the end of the next year, because that’s how Dream Houses work, right? You just dream them up and they materialize, right?
As it turns out, dream houses take a lot of work. We’ve spent the three years since we bought the land poring over house plans, perusing magazines, catalogs, and design books, meeting with contractors and subcontractors, and saving, saving, saving. We finally broke ground on July 31st! There’s a big, fancy pit in the middle of The Land now, and the kids love to run around in it and wonder which room they’re standing in. With any luck, we’ll have our building permits by the time this article goes live (they were supposed to be issued 2 weeks ago!), and we’re scheduled to pour the foundation before the end of September. My husband spent his day off sinking a temporary power pole and digging trenches for the electrical work. Things are about to get busy at the Dream House!
Will we get the permits in time to pour cement? Will we figure out what flooring to put in the dining room? And will we ever find the apron-front kitchen sink we bought at IKEA last year? Tune in next month to find out what’s happening as Lulu the Baker Builds a Dream House! In the meantime, you can follow along on our building adventure via Instagram, and get a feel for our modern farmhouse style by following our Someday House board on Pinterest! See you in October!
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